Gilead may mean, among other things, “hill of testimony” and that is the meaning The Broken Cradle had in mind when he decided to use it as the name of his latest EP. It is supposed to tell the journey of our respective roads to Gilead in our search for happiness and purpose. The EP is a neoclassical and ambient album that starts with the aptly titled Road to Gilead, a piano-centered track with atmospheric pads that create a mesmerizing soundscape. Listening to the multiple textures in the song feels like scratching an itch and not wanting to stop.
The Broken Cradle is the solo work of Eric McLean, a musician from North Carolina with over 20 years of experience. With influences such as Brian Eno and Olafur Arnalds, it is not surprising that his music could fit so well in an album from any of those renowned artists. He is that good.
Steve Kroeger is an electronic music composer and producer who has had 5 singles on the Billboard Dance charts. He often teams up with singer-songwriter Skye Holland, as was the case in Home, a chill spellbinding tune that feels like summer. Skye, who got Japanese, Dutch and Canadian roots, started her music career at 10 when she joined a Japanese teen pop group. Her sweet voice shimmers all over this track and complements Steve’s smooth production really well.
Home is the perfect track to listen to when you want to lighten your mood. It’s fun and catchy as hell. As far as house/pop songs go, it cannot get any better than this. Enjoy!
Harrison Wood Hsiang, the Vermont-based songwriter who founded the collective of musicians and artists known as Couchsleepers, is upfront in telling you that he actually makes his living as a neuroscientist. After all, it comes up in everything that is written about his band. I can imagine that it could get really tiring, but, at the same time, I can’t blame the people writing those articles. It’s actually a pretty cool fact. He formed Couchsleepers in 2019 during the third year of his graduate studies because he needed a way to express all his creativity. Fast-forward to 2021 and they have received hundreds of thousands of streams and even one fan with a Couchsleepers tattoo. Not bad at all.
All The Best Intentions is the band’s latest single. It’s a song about that feeling we get when we’re about to do something that we know we shouldn’t do but want to anyway. Melodically, it has a really strong Snow Patrol vibe and all the ingredients it needs to become a hit with the right marketing (I know, easier said than done). At the very least, it will help Harrison and Coachsleepers to keep growing their audience organically. I, for one, am now intrigued by the great music they have yet to release.
You might have heard this week’s news on The Wallflowers releasing their first album in 9 years next month. They even released its lead single already, which is okay, I guess, but nothing to write home about. While I’m not a die-hard fan of Jakob Dylan‘s band (I wasn’t even aware they had made an album in the last decade), they do have some really great songs that were very popular during the The Wallflower‘s heyday. Their most famous –and probably best– song is One Headlight, which won two Grammys and became the first song to top all three of Billboard‘s rock charts: modern rock, mainstream and adult alternative.
All that being said, I do have a soft spot for a far more modest single from the same Bringing Down The Horse album: Three Marlenas. It peaked at number 51 on the Hot 100 chart and is not the song most people immediately think about when they hear this band’s name, but it is that song for me. Take a walk with me down memory lane with this week’s #ThrowbackThursday song.
You can love them or hate them but you can’t deny Twenty One Pilots is one of the biggest musical acts out there. They hit it big in 2015 with their albumBlurryface and basically every single song they have released since then has become a success. Until not that long ago, I thought that record was their debut album but, as probably know, I was very wrong: it was their third. In 2019, I decided to watch some of the performances from that year’s Reading Festival on video-on-demand, which included this musical duo from Columbus, Ohio. That was the first time I listened to Trees, a little gem from their second album, Vessel (2013), and that they used to close their show (which made me think it was a fan favorite). They put an amazing spectacle performing this track then (you can watch it below) and it blew me away. It immediately became a #musicalcrush.
Tyler Joseph and Josh Dunn are releasing a new album, Scaled And Icy, in May. While we wait for it, please enjoy this week’s #ThrowbackThursday entry: Trees.
There is a town in Japan called Hakone that is famous for its views of Mount Fuji and hot springs. This natural spa inspired LA-based Turkish composer Deniz Cuylan to layer multiple guitar arpeggios in a chaotic but harmonious way, just like a thermal spring. The end result, Flaneurs In Hakone, is certainly a beautiful piece of music that can help relax you even when the closest thing to a hot spring you have around is your shower head.
Flaneurs In Hakone is part of No Such Thing as Free Will, a new album from Deniz Cuylan. In addition to having 10 albums spanning a variety of genres, Deniz also works as a sound designer and film composer on projects such as the Emmy nominated Netflix documentary film, Mars Generation, the Netflix tv series: El Chapo and Rise of Empires: Ottoman.
Listen to this little taster of what this talented musician can do below.
With the Easter break, I don’t have much time for writing this post, so I’m going to take the opportunity to feature a little gem from a signed #indiepop band that is popular enough to have its own Wikipedia entry: Young Rising Sons. I first heard of this band from New Jersey when their debut single, High, became viral around 2014 and stayed on my radar ever since. They released Halloween in October 2020 but I didn’t pay much attention to it until February or so. Let me tell you, from the moment I really listened to it, I became hooked. I’ve been playing it over and over during this time and am still not tired of it.
Have you ever been in a relationship with somebody who gave you mixed signals? That’s basically what Halloween is about and also what makes the lyrics so relatable. Lead vocalist Andy Tongren wears his heart on his sleeve on this song and the music arrangement during the chorus is really stunning. I know Halloween is the wrong holiday for this time of the year but, between you and me, I don’t really care. Enjoy.
I wasn’t planning to feature What’s Up as this week’s #ThrowbackThursday song when I mentioned it in the Marcelo Deiss‘ entry, but I’ve stumbled upon it quite a few times since then, I even listened to a nice cover I might feature in the near future. It is a great and extremely catchy song, don’t get me wrong, but chances are you know that already. After all, it’s a classic.
4 Non Blondes are considered one-hit-wonders but that’s basically because they didn’t give themselves another chance. The band broke up shortly after What’s Up became an international hit, and it was just the second single off their first and only album. However, lead singer/songwriter Linda Perry remained active within the music industry, founding record labels and writing and producing hits for other artists, including Beautiful by Christina Aguilera. By the way, Linda hated how What’s Up was produced for the commercial version we all know. She preferred her demo version but it hasn’t been released.
One final piece of trivia: the song’s title is never mentioned in the lyrics. What is mentioned, quite prominently, is “what’s going on“. However, there is a classic Marvin Gaye song with that name, which is why, in order to avoid any confusion, they went with What’s Up instead.
Forever is the latest single from NYC-based brothers Abner and Harper James, aka Eighty Ninety. I don’t know the exact reason why they chose that moniker but if you told me that it was because they wanted to emulate the style of indie pop music from the 1980s and 1990s, I’d believe you because that’s exactly how they sound like. As stated in their bio, they “fuse intimate storytelling, sticky melodies, and minimalist pop productions built on acoustic instruments and electronic sounds in a style they call ‘808s and telecasters‘”. They debuted in 2016 and even got Taylor Swift to add one of their songs, Your Favorite Song, to her official Spotify playlist with tunes she loves.
Forever will be part of Eighty Ninety‘s upcoming sophomore EP. It is a warm song in the duo’s signature chill-pop style . Even though the song’s theme is about unrequited love, it is actually pretty uplifting. The whole tracks feels like a daydream we won’t want to wake up from. Give it a listen below.
Just to avoid any confusion, One is an original song and not a cover of the famous U2 classic. That being said, for some reason, it reminds me a lot of another classic: What’s Up by 4 Non Blondes. It is a magnetic alternative rock track with nice guitars and even elements of blues. The lyrics intertwine Portuguese and English to deliver a message about fighting back and standing together as one. The end result is pretty uplifting and invigorating.
One is also the first track of Hurl, the new EP from Brazilian-born and London-based musician Marcelo Deiss, whose goal as an artist is to evoke emotions through his music. As a keen observer, he writes about society from his experience merging his Brazilian culture with his English surroundings. He’s particularly worried about people getting overloaded with fake news, advertising and social media post and subsequently losing touch with reality and themselves. As a talented artist with a conscience, he makes it very easy to root for him.