Daniel Etherton – Foundations

Foundations is the debut single of London-based British artist Daniel Etherton, and as far as debut singles go, it cannot get much better than this. Released back in February, Foundations is a sweet tune with an acoustic guitar-based melody that really does sound great. One of the reasons for that is Daniel’s voice, which is perfect for an #indiefolk track such as this one. When he sings the lyrics, which reflect on internal struggles and real friendships from a hopeful perspective, it feels like he really means every single word. The song is long enough to make you appreciate how talented Daniel is as singer-songwriter, but at 2:41, it is also short enough to leave you wanting more.

I do hope Foundations gets enough success and recognition to encourage Daniel Etherton to keep writing and recording music. If this is what he did as a new music artist, just imagine what he will be able to do with more experience and confidence. The sky is really the limit for him.

Featured on the following mixtapes:

Mike Robert – Cold

After completing his service time in the army and travelling across Europe and North America for 5 months, American #singersongwriter Mike Robert decided to write a music album as well as record it and produce it from home while playing all the instruments himself. You would think it was recorded and produced in a high-end music studio by the way Cold, one of its lead singles, sounds. This debut album will be quite good.

Cold is one of those songs that sound pretty uplifting while the lyrics tell a different story. In this case, the song is about feeling trapped and ‘underwater’, unable to feel excitement about anything. The happy energy in the tune’s arrangement represents Mike’s desire for happiness and feeling love. It starts with an acoustic guitar that gives the track a #folkpop vibe, followed by an infections beat that will get you to tap your feet right away. By the time the rest of the instruments come into play, you are already hooked. Listen to this earworm at your own peril.

Featured on the following mixtapes:

Moon Museum – Pleasures of Peace

Moon Museum describe their style as dream rock and after you listen to their debut single, Pleasures of Peace, you’ll understand why. There are some ethereal elements in the track. It kind of makes sense too, considering that songwriter Ryan Joseph got the melody from a dream. The band cites as influences bands like Slowdive and Doves, but for this song in particular, I can’t help but think of Wolf Alice and their song Bros. If you like that song, Pleasures of Peace will be right up your alley.

Moon Museum started as a collaboration between Ryan (vocals/guitar/keys) and Ian Zazueta (lead guitar), who knew each other from the music scene in San Francisco. The pair then contacted Olivia Barchard (vocals/guitar/keys), who was working on her own solo material and after discovering how similar their styles were, she decided to join them and explore the dynamics of having contrasting male and female vocals. Last but no least, they recruited their friend Aaron Hazen to play drums. Unfortunately, the pandemic slowed things down for Moon Museum but they emerged from it with 3 singles ready to be shared with the world. Pleasures of Peace was the first one but they just released a second one called With You that is worth your time as well. I’m genuinely looking forward to their third single.

You should seriously check them out.

Featured on the following mixtapes:

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.

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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?

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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: