Comment: Caroline Romano is back with a new single, “girl in a china shop”, and it’s, as they say in the UK, a ‘banger.’ Having written about her twice before, it’s clear that Romano is not just a passing phase, but a force to be reckoned with in the alt-pop scene.
The Nashville-based singer-songwriter has once again demonstrated her knack for capturing the essence of young adulthood in her music. “girl in a china shop” is an emotional rollercoaster, with an explosive chorus that contrasts beautifully with its reflective verses. In the lyrics, Caroline admits to feeling like she breaks everything she touches, and this song is her way of acknowledging that feeling.
With millions of streams already under her belt, and more music on the way, it’s clear that Caroline Romano is an artist whose star will only continue to rise. We can’t wait to see what she does next.
Comment: The Maine, whose song “Face Towards The Sun” was featured here in July 2021, released “How to exit a room” in July this year, and it is a shining example of the band’s consistent ability to deliver fresh and engaging music. Featured on their self-titled album, this track has garnered praise from both fans and critics alike. It kicks off with an attention-grabbing rhythm and boasts introspective and relatable lyrics, tackling the universal experience of desiring an escape from a situation or place.
Musically, “How to Exit a Room” is a finely-crafted pop-rock gem that doesn’t overstay its welcome, offering a delightful listening experience with its melodic chorus and well-balanced instrumentation. The production is polished, ensuring that each element of the track shines without overshadowing the others.
Whether you’ve been a longtime fan of the band or are just discovering their music, this track is unquestionably worth a listen.
Comment: “Spanish Moss” by Against Me! is an energizing track from their 2010 album White Crosses. This punk rock anthem talks about the need to be who you are without feeling ashamed for it, which takes some extra meaning once you learn about the lead singer’s backstory, who back then was not known as Laura Jane Grace.
The music is catchy and powerful, with driving drums, soaring guitars and Laura Jane Grace’s passionate vocals. Given the fact that this great tune turned 13 last month, I thought it would be a good choice for #ThrowbackThursday. So turn up the volume, sing along and let Spanish Moss take you on a journey. You won’t regret it.
Comment: All Time Low was one of the first bands featured on T.A.M., and almost three years later (time flies!), they have returned with their eponymous single: Tell Me I’m Alive. This is also the title of the band’s ninth studio album, their first release since the pandemic. The first three quarters of the track showcase a more mature sound for the band, with pop elements infused into their punk style and even the addition of a piano to back the vocals. It is not until the bridge that All Time Low switch gears up with classic punk drum lines and high energy levels. I’m not a fan of songs that rely too heavily on this drumming style, but when used sparingly as is the case here, they can be a brilliant addition.
All Time Low was formed in 2003 in Baltimore, Maryland. The band members, consisting of lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist Alex Gaskarth, lead guitarist Jack Barakat, bassist Zack Merrick, and drummer Rian Dawson, gained popularity with their pop punk sound and catchy lyrics. Throughout their career, All Time Low has toured extensively and earned a dedicated fan base, selling over 2 million records worldwide. With their continued success and loyal fan base, All Time Low has cemented themselves as one of the most prominent bands in the pop punk and rock music scene.
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: As a band, The Dares current lineup has been performing together since 2010. During this time, they have had the chance to work with both established and up-and-coming producers. While getting help from professionals is always nice, it is also pretty expensive with pricey hourly rates, which is not good for artistic freedom when you got a limited budget. For example, you may have to settle for a less than perfect option just because you cannot afford another recording session. The pandemic gave The Dares the opportunity to set up a home studio on an unused conference room, which allowed them to self-produce a few songs.The band enjoyed having the opportunity to pursue their own vision and that shows in tracks like Pain, from the use of synths to the layered vocals on the bridge and outro.
Despite having a relatively happy melody, Pain got a deep meaning with lyrics that criticise those who prey on vulnerable people (which, sadly, seems to happen more and more these days). It is a track full of contrasts and definitely worthy of our attention. Please check The Dares out!
Comment: I hadn’t done one of these (#ThrowbackThursday entries) in a while, mostly due to a lack of time, not a lack of songs. In fact, I wanted to feature Sugarcult last week, after they kindly liked a tweet in which I mentioned them, but alas, I ran out of time. This band from Santa Barbara, California, started in 1999 and had a pretty successful debut studio album in 2001, during the hey-day of early 2000s punk-rock –by the way, last year they re-release that album in its 20th anniversary–. However, something I liked about them was that they were not afraid to experiment and try new sounds: none of their three studio albums sound alike.
Despite still being active (after a hiatus), they have not released a new album since 2006’s Lights Out, which is the one that features today’s track: Do It Alone. This song was the first single off that album and probably ahead of its time, because it wasn’t even as successful as the second single (Los Angeles). I think part of the reason why was that it sounded closer to the music of bands that were becoming popular then, like The Killers, than what Sugarcult had released before. It was our loss, though, because the single was really outstanding and perhaps, in a parallel world in which both track and album were a massive success, we would have had many more Sugarcult albums.
Comment: Down got the peculiarity of being a cool pop-punk song made by what until now had been an alt-reggae band. Cydeways got a wide range of influences and they just follow whatever inspires them regardless of the genre. Lyrically, Down is a light tune about being into an ex’s best friend, and melodically, it reminds me of the best tracks from bands such as Mest and New Found Glory. The production from Kyle Black (Paramore, State Champs, The Story So Far) is really top-notch. All in all, Down is an outstanding track that we can definitely enjoy.
Comment: Twenty-year-old Nashville-based artist Caroline Romano was featured here last August (at the age of 19) with her song ‘The Hypothetical,’ part of her new album, ‘Oddities & Prodigies,’ released in February. The album, highly recommended, includes great songs like the aforementioned one and ‘Grocery Store,’ among others. However, my favorite track by far is the eponymous ‘Oddities & Prodigies,’ even better than ‘The Hypothetical.’ If you enjoy catchy #poprock songs, you might find it perfect. Check it out
Comment: The punk-rock genre is having some kind of renaissance in France with talented bands like Back On Earth and today’s featured band: Atlas For Home. This quartet has been around since at least 2014 but “Keep Going” is their first single in four years, so don’t feel bad if you’re into this type of music and hadn’t heard of them. The good news is that they’re planning to release a new EP this year, with this catchy single being just an appetizer. The band’s new leitmotiv is to create the perfect blend between mid-2000s pop-punk, like Blink, and modern pop-punk, like Neck Deep. It’s an ambitious goal, but judging by “Keep Going”, they know what they’re doing. Give them a chance.