Comment: When I featured Metric‘s Black Sheep about two weeks ago, I mentioned that they had a new album (Formentera, named after the Spanish island where the band recorded it) that was quite good. I also said that I was going to feature one of their new songs soon and here I am making good on that promise. Paths In The Sky is Formentera’s closing track and even though it hasn’t been released as a single yet, I think it is quite possibly the best song in that record. It is a flawless tune.
Comment: Metric is as close to being indie-royalty as you will find in the world, and this electronic-leaning band from Toronto is back with a new album, Formentera, that is really good (spoiler alert: I will feature one of its songs in the near future). While we wait for that, as a #ThrowbackThursday post, we could listen again to one of their most popular songs: Black Sheep. Even though it wasn’t included in any of Metric’s studio albums, the song became popular when it was featured heavily on the Scott Pilgrim vs. The World movie, which became a cult hit.
As an interesting tidbit, actress Brie Larson is the actual singer in the version you hear in the movie (which you can listen to in one of the clips below), not Emily Haines (Metric’s lead singer). There’s some debate on the internet about which version is better. Both of them are pretty good.
Two days ago, on my post about Moon Museum, I compared their single to Bros from Wolf Alice, so, naturally, it makes sense to feature that track as this week’s #ThrowbackThursday entry. Bros was released initially as a demo in 2013 but the British band included a reworked version in their debut album, My Love Is Cool, in 2015, and re-released Bros as its second single. A tribute to childhood friendships –as evidenced by its music video, which you can watch below–, it was the only song from that album to enter the main UK Singles chart. With its soft guitar riffs and lead singer’s Ellie Rowsell‘s sweet vocals, Bros is, without a doubt, a great indie track.
Formed originally as an acoustic duo in 2010, Wolf Alice quickly became a fully-fledged alternative rock band. They have released two studio albums since then and are about to drop their third one in June. Three of the new songs are available already and they sound really nice. While we wait for the rest of the new album to drop, let’s enjoy Bros again.
Last month, when I featured A Real Hero by College feat. Electric Youth as that week’s #ThrowbackThursday entry, I mentioned that I was planning to feature one of its many covers too. This great cover by Smallpools, released in 2015, is the one I was referring to. It is different enough to the original to seem a brand new song while maintaining its essence. I just love its atmospheric vibe and the guitar chords in the intro, as well as how the whole track goes in crescendo. Pro tip: if you have some high quality headphones or speakers, use them with this song.
Smallpools is a synth-happy 3-piece indie pop band from L.A. formed in 2013. Their debut single, Dreaming, got featured on the FIFA 14 videogame, which gave them a lot of exposure. Another single, Over & Over, was used in a promotional video for Snapchat. While their subsequent singles haven’t replicated the success the aforementioned tracks had, I think they have all followed a similar blueprint of indie pop. I believe what they did with A Real Hero is completely different to anything else they have done. While their music is generally good, gorgeous tracks like this cover are what could set them apart. They should do more of them,
I can’t claim to know much about the work of electronic music composer and producer David Grellier, aka College, because, unfortunately, that’s not the case. His goal is to “synthetize into [his] music the emotions of [his] childhood”, reason for which his music is heavily influenced by ’80s pop culture. If you watched the movie Drive (2011), you should have heard his most widely known song, A Real Hero, co-written with Austin Garrick from Canadian synth-pop duo Electric Youth, duo that also features on the track. If you just listen to this song, you’ll quickly notice two things: a) It certainly has an 80s vibe, and b) It is a mesmerizing track.
Despite getting nominated to an MTV Music Award for ‘Best Music’ and becoming an underground hit, A Real Hero is still relatively unknown to the casual music fan. Even then, it has been covered multiple times by established and not so established artists (and I’m planning to feature one of those covers here soon). In fact, a fun anecdote is that a few years ago, while I was on holiday in Malta, one night there was a really good guitar player performing some music at the hotel we were staying. Near the end, he started playing a song that instantly reminded me of A Real Hero. I quickly dismissed that thought because surely that song wasn’t popular enough to be played randomly by a guitar player in a small island on the Mediterranean Sea. Well, it was A Real Hero and it was one of the highlights of that trip. Enjoy this tune as this week’s #ThrowbackThursday entry.