The Magic Epic – Sally

Sally is a gorgeous song on its own but its music video (which you can watch below) is so beautiful that it makes you like the song even more. It becomes impossible to separate one from the other. The video follows a ballerina dancing through empty streets in a way that matches the delicate piano notes from the track. This ballerina is a tribute to a friend of British singer-songwriter The Magic Epic , who was also the inspiration for Sally. This friend was a professional dancer frequenting clubs and parties until she got pregnant and drastically changed her lifestyle without ever looking back. The Magic Epic is that child’s godfather.

This artist based out of Brighton is a longtime busker and wedding singer who has lived an interesting life doing a bit of everything. This has allowed him to become a seasoned songwriter people can relate to. Influenced by modern and old-school artists, and you can certainly perceive that on Sally, he has released three singles so far and is getting ready to drop a debut album too. If it’s full of songs like Sally, it will be quite a treat.

Featured on the following mixtapes:

Palma Louca – Stationary Life

Stationary Life, one of two singles released in 2021 by Newcastle-based #indierock band Palma Louca, is a song that critiques the way modern society is constructed. Most people repeat the same routine day in and day out without any hope for breaking that cycle. Despite alluding to such a deep and somber theme, musically the song is actually far from depressing. It’s very atmospheric, with layer after layer of different sounds, including some great drums, cool guitar riffs and spot-on vocals. That being said, it doesn’t feel overproduced at all. Stationary Life should sound just as great live.

With regards to Palma Louca, the British band recently signed with their local label Pillar Artists and continue releasing singles at a steady pace. I hope there is a debut EP or full-length album coming soon because I’m sure it will deserve our attention. The band is formed by Cameron Snow (Drums), Daniel Bailey (Keys/Synth & Backing Vocals), Joe Norton (Guitar & Vocals), Richard Norton (Guitar), and Andrew Thompson (Bass). Please do check them out!

Featured on the following mixtapes:

We Wander – Rock And A Hard Place

I talked about Canadian #indiefolk act We Wander back in November (time flies), and they are back now with a new single, Rock And A Hard Place, that’s just as good, if not better. Drums and strings take a more prominent place on this song, which is nice, but just as with Can’t Save You, the secret weapon here is Maddie Little‘s vocals. She’s able to transmit emotions of longing, anger or despair in line with the lyrics, which are about a relationship falling apart. I particularly like the chorus because that’s where the songwriter is coming to terms with what is going on and, in some way, that’s exactly how that section of the tune makes you feel.

I would also say Rock And A Hard Place is a grower: a song that you enjoy more and more each time you listen to it. And if you needed further proof that We Wander was going places, watch the song’s music video below . It’s really well made and worth watching.

Featured on the following mixtapes:

Louis & The Shakes – How Badly Do You Want It?

Jack White meets The Killers meets Queens of the Stone Age. That’s what I think How Badly Do You Want It? sounds like and, somehow, it still works. This fast-paced indie/Americana tune from British quartet Louis & The Shakes is the first single off their forthcoming album of the same name. Lead singer Louis Antoniou wrote this song with the purpose of encouraging the listener to keep going no matter what and with such an infectious rhythm, no one will be able to keep still. A problem I usually have with this type of music is that often the artists seem to care more about being noisy than having a good melody, but that’s not the case at all here. Don’t get me wrong, this track rocks hard but in a way that lets you appreciate the nice vocals and the craftsmanship of every band member.

In addition to Louis, the band is made up of Jamie Lawson on lead guitar, Manny O’Donnell as drummer and Will Finnerty on bass. Louis & The Shakes started in 2019 with a bluesy 60s influenced debut EP that got support from BBC Introducing and some radio stations in the United Kingdom. Fresh off a new distribution deal, this new single represents the start of the quartet’s exciting new chapter. Hopefully, the new album will help them expand their audience on time for the return of rock concerts. Their music is perfect for live gigs.

I mentioned above that no one will be able to keep still while listening to this track. I dare you to prove me wrong.

Featured on the following mixtapes:

Ade – Something Good

Adeola ‘Ade‘ Fabola is a Manchester-based singer-songwriter with a folksy acoustic pop style that fits him like a glove. I think he’s in the process of changing his moniker because on Youtube and some of his social media he goes by the name of Dr Fabola, but regardless of what his stage name is, the artist behind it is absolutely worthy of your attention. If you listen to his latest single, Something Good, you will see that he got a sweet and comforting voice and his music is simply beautiful. You can tell he’s passionate about his work and that really makes a difference as well. He’s a true artist indeed.

After learning to play piano and guitar in his home country of Nigeria, he moved to Manchester in 2018 where he continued with his musical development. He’s been cutting his teeth playing in cafes, lounges, and festivals, but always blowing audiences away with his knack for entertainment. Unsurprisingly, he’s been drawing comparisons to artists such as Jason Mraz, Passenger, Michael Kiwanuka, and Jack Johnson. They could still be underselling him.

Watch his video for ‘Something Good’ or listen to it on the mixtapes mentioned below and get mesmerized by Ade‘s beautiful melody.

Featured on the following mixtapes:

Stumble Steady – Tired

Hopefully, Garrett Kealers solo act Stumble Steady is firmly on your radars after he was featured here back in December. I’m happy to report that he has just released his debut EP, Nobody Told The Wolves, which contains two of the tracks he had released as singles –including Coming To An End–, as well as three previously unreleased tracks, out of which my favorite one is Tired. Even though style-wise it is in the same vein as its predecessor (and just as catchy), Tired is different enough to stand on its own.

Unless you hate infectious, hook-ridden indie pop songs, you should definitely check Stumble Steady‘s new EP, starting with Tired. It might have been inspired by how we all feel after one year of pandemic, but listening to this tune will actually inject you with enough energy to keep going throughout your day. Who doesn’t need that on a Monday?

Featured on the following mixtapes:

Lewca – Back From The Dead

Back From The Dead is one of those genre-defying eclectic songs that you just like. Think Parklife from Blur with a catchier chorus and you will have a pretty good idea of how this tune sounds. As an artist, Lewca just wants to do what he feels like doing while having fun as well, not worrying about conventions or what people think they like. I mean, this song mentions going to the barber and having eggs with bacon for breakfast, not your typical lyrics stuff, yet it still works. It does so because the contrast between the chorus (did I mention that it was extremely catchy?) and the verses is high enough to highlight how infectious the former is, and also because the production, in charge of Lewca himself, is top-notch.

With regards to the artist, Lewca is quite a funny character, as evidenced by the bio on his website. Originally from London but living in France since he was 19, he now has 3 Kids & a Mortgage, which is also how he decided to call his debut EP (whose cover art is a drawing his kids made). He has always been involved with arts, studying Fine Arts and working on films, but got as well a passion for making music that he wanted to explore before he was “too old to die young“. Here we hope he achieves his mission of conquering the world.

Check this artist out. Maybe he will be your cup of tea or maybe not, but I guarantee you will have fun.

Featured on the following mixtapes:

Talk Shivi – Shadow Monster

Talk Shivi is the musical project of Jacob Henry, a singer-songwriter, actor, and journalist based out of New York City. I cannot tell you much about him in terms of bio or the meaning behind that moniker, but I can tell you that he is a talented musician whose songs got a really unique feeling to them. He has released just two songs so far as Talk Shivi: Shadow Monster, his debut single back in January, and Let You Slide, just yesterday. Both very good but also different to each other. These are not your typical ‘guy with a guitar’ busking tunes, these are layered songs that will leave you wanting more.

Shadow Monster is a groovy alternative rock track with a sprinkle of psychedelic elements to make it interesting. Lyrically, it has a message about getting through dark times, probably inspired by the global pandemic. Before covid, Jacob used to perform live in NY all the time, which obviously changed last year. This has prompted him to shift his focus to the digital side of things, resulting in these two releases. There’s something magnetic in Shadow Monster that makes it easy on the ears. Check it out below but please do yourself a favour and listen to Let You Slide too. It is even catchier.

Featured on the following mixtapes:

Weezer – All My Favorite Songs

All My Favorite Songs was released back in January and I’ve been meaning to feature it here since then. For one reason or another, it took me this long but the important thing here is that today’s the day. The lead single from Weezer‘s latest album, OK Human (pretty clever name), I think it is the best Weezer song in the last decade or so. According to the band’s frontman Rivers Cuomo, the lyrics reflect his music taste with the first line being: “All my favorite songs are slow and sad“, but those are far from being the adjectives I would use to describe this tune.

If this is your first time listening to All My Favorite Songs, you’re in for a treat. Enjoy!

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Juline Costa and Six Four Zero Two – I Really Like You

I Really Like You is a post-punk track, a genre I had heart before but wasn’t really familiar with. When you entered that into Google, this is the definition that you get: “a style of rock music inspired by punk but less aggressive in performance and musically more experimental”. I Really Like You is definitely experimental but in a groovy and compelling way. It doesn’t sound close to punk or even punk-rock to me, which is why I chose the Alternative (Rock) mixtape for it, but I certainly liked it. I’m sure it won’t be everybody’s cup of tea but, worst-case scenario, you will find it interesting.

The tune is a collaboration between Portuguese singer-songwriter Juline Costa and British act Six Four Zero Two. The latter is the independent, not-for-profit musical project of Rob Howsam, who joined the Royal Air Force in his youth and had 6402 as part of his Service Number. He enjoys the irony of using something that represents such as restrictive environment as the moniker of his creative endeavour. He was looking for a good vocalist to collaborate with and a contact suggested Juline to him. She was obviously what Rob was looking for.

Now, this is actually the first official release form Juline Costa. She got some songs posted on her Youtube channel and Soundcloud profile, but no studio albums or singles. Hopefully, I Really Like You, which she wrote based on a single acoustic guitar riff on repeat, will help her record an EP or something, because even though it might not be super evident on this track (other than her great tone of voice), she’s really talented and versatile (seriously, check her Youtube channel out). When you add Six Four Zero Two‘s production skills to the mix, the result is really fascinating.

Featured on the following mixtapes: