Comment: Lizzie Esau is just 23 but she must have grown up listening to alt-rock records from the 90s. If you listen to any of her singles (for example, “Bleak Sublime”), you will see what I mean. That said, the Newcastle-based singer-songwriter adds her own experimental touches to her music, making her stand out in the crowded music scene. “Jellyfish” is her exciting new single and it showcases her creativity with a fuzzy guitar riff and spoken-word vocals that lead into a soaring chorus. That chorus is everything! and along with the tempo variations and clever lyrics, they make “Jellyfish” truly a must-listen track.
Influences:Avril Lavigne, Smash Mouth, The Hotelier
Location: Cologne, Germany
Release date: March, 2023
Comment: If you’re into alternative rock with a pop-punk twist and catchy hooks, you’ve got to check out Still Talk‘s single “Headcheck”, which will be part of the band’s upcoming debut album, appropriately called “St. Banger”. I love that this 5-piece band, fronted by Tanja Kührer, manages to balance different styles while keeping things fresh and energetic. “Headcheck” is a fun, upbeat song that celebrates the friendships within the band. The track is great from the get-go, but that stripped-down ending with the jangling guitar deserves a chef’s kiss.
If you’re in Germany, be sure to catch their live shows this year – I bet they’ll be a blast!
Comment: Dottie Andersson is a unique artist from Sweden with a sound that is both authentic and refreshing. “Heavy Objects”, her promising debut single, skillfully blends electronic and indie elements to create a sound that is both atmospheric and catchy. The cherry on top are Dottie’s vocals, which are just perfect for this type of music.
The song’s lyrics speak to the theme of letting go of emotions and situations that weigh us down, and the accompanying video, filmed as a spontaneous one-take by photographer Nic Schoppet, perfectly captures this sentiment. Without a doubt, Dottie Andersson is an artist to watch in the coming months and years.
Comment: British alt/rock band WESSON, led by #singersongwriter Chris Wesson, is formed by four musicians coming from different backgrounds, resulting in a delightful blend of pop, punk rock and indie rock. “Made Me Happy” is just their fifth single, but given how fun and catchy it is, I think it’s safe to say that this band is going places.
The lyrics express the emotions of a person who was hurt by someone’s actions in the past. The song reveals that the person has come to the realization that they might have acted similarly if they were in the same situation, and is finally finding peace in understanding their own and others’ behaviors. Between how relatable the lyrics are and the extremely catchy chorus, “Made Me Happy” is the type of tune that gets stuck in your head. Listen to it at your own peril.
Influences: Bon Iver, Phoebe Bridgers, Fleetwood Mac
Release date: January, 2023
Comment: Some singers are lucky enough to have a vocal style that is nuanced and distinctive enough to be easily recognizable whenever you hear it. I think that could be the case with Brighton-based artist, Benjamin Brett, who has just released a hauntingly beautiful debut track called “In My Head”. This song reminded me a bit of David Gray‘s 1998 hit: “This Year’s Love”, probably because both tracks got gorgeous melodies and unmistakable vocals.
The emotive and raw vocals perfectly capture the vulnerability and honesty of the song’s subject matter, which delves into mental health struggles and the fear of losing touch with one’s real self. With delicate guitar work and touching harmonies, “In My Head” will stay with the listener long after it has ended, and that, my friends, is the best kind of music. Certified #musicalcrush.
Comment: Verra Cruz, a British alt-rock infused trio, has recently released their newest single, “The World Is Crashing In”, a powerful, emotional track that speaks to love, loss, and the rawness of emotion. I particularly like that lovely guitar line in the intro and the anthemic chorus.
Verra Cruz got formed in 2003 and currently consists of Marc James (guitar/lap steel/vocals), Henry Cross (bass) & Jimmy Cooke (drums). However, after being featured by Kerrang! as an ‘Incoming Band’ in 2008 and supporting acts such as Biffy Clyro and Switchfoot across the world stage since then, the band’s career has not taken off yet in the way you could have expected. More people should be aware of Verra Cruz and perhaps “The World Is Crashing In” is the song that will give them the final push to accomplish that.
Comment: If you are a fan of classic rock ballads from the 80s and have been missing that sound in today’s music scene, you should definitely check out “THE LONELIEST” by Italian band Måneskin. As someone who was not particularly interested in the band before and did not enjoy their Eurovision-winning song (Zitti E Buoni), I must admit that this track caught my attention from the moment I first heard it on Eclectic Music Lover‘s weekly top 30 post, and has since become one of my favorites.
“The LONELIEST” is a poignant mix of a love letter and a will, written during a difficult time when the songwriter was away from home and loved ones. It is a testament to Måneskin‘s versatility and musical talent, as it showcases a different side of the band that people may not have seen before. Trust me, this song is definitely worth a listen.
Comment: Linebeck’s “Waste My Time” is a fantastic indie track that packs a punch with its raw energy and heartfelt lyrics. This four-piece band from Hamilton, Ontario has crafted a powerful song that speaks to the realities of modern dating in the digital age. Lead vocalist Chrys and guitarist Momo’s transition from an acoustic ukulele-guitar duo to a full band has clearly paid off in the production value of this track.
The lyrics in “Waste My Time” are relatable and thought-provoking, touching on the vulnerability and uncertainty that often comes with the early stages of a relationship. Chrys delivers the vocals with a passion and intensity that captures the emotion of the song perfectly. It’s a sweet and memorable track that is sure to get stuck in your head.
Comment: “Birthday” is the last track on Phoebe Go‘s debut EP, “Player,” and even though this is her first solo project, Phoebe has experience as a member of a couple of bands, making her a seasoned performer in the Australian indie scene.
Birthday is my favorite song on the EP, in no small part because of how vulnerable the Australian artist sounds here. The lyrics, paired with the soft instrumentation and sweet melody, create a touching and intimate atmosphere that is both captivating and heartwarming. If you’re a fan of indie music and artists who pour their heart into their work, this track is a must-listen.
Comment: Out of all the entries in this website, the one with the highest number of Google Search hits is by far the entry for Sultan + Shepard‘s flawless track: Assassin. I’m now going to make things a bit more confusing to those visitors by adding another track involving the same duo, along with Belgian producer Jerro, and British producers Jon Hopkins and Kelly Lee Owens.
I’ll let Sultan + Shepard expain the story behind this track: “One day, we happened to be on Reddit, and saw that someone had tagged us in a video of Jon Hopkins playing our collaboration with Jerro, ‘Trois’. We were very flattered because we’ve been a big fan of Jon ever since we heard Light Through The Veins many years ago. We reached out on Twitter to say thanks for supporting the track, and he wrote back saying he had an idea he wanted to discuss. Turns out he had discovered the song in a car after a gig in Milan and Shazam’d it and started playing it in his sets. He then made a special edit of Trois using the vocals and synths from his song ‘Luminous Spaces’ with Kelly Lee Owens. He sent us the rough draft and we quickly sent over stems and before we knew it a new piece of music had been born out of our two songs. ‘Luminous Spaces’ was one of our favorite tunes of the past couple years so we were extremely excited. We’re such fans of both Kelly and Jon, so being able to connect and collaborate with them through this song that we started with Jerro in our studio last year feels very special to us.” Enjoy!