Comment: Picture Us Tiny is the moniker of Jackson Velli, who in April last year posted a short pop-punk cover of Forever & Always (originally from Taylor Swift) that became viral on Tiktok. That success led him to record and release a full version on all platforms, which is great news to those of us who are not regular users of said social media website, as we would have missed it otherwise. One of Jackson’s main goals is to “ensure catchy punk music will never die” and this cover is a great step towards achieving that.
Comment: Fans of The Gaslight Anthem will love this tune because Old Currents‘ vocalist, Jake Novak, does sound a lot like Brian Fallon. The energetic Here, You Through This Away is the band’s first release since their debut album in 2017, and will be featured in their new album: The Glory, The Defeat, to be released in April. If it is full of songs such as this one, we won’t want to miss that release. It could be one of the highlights of 2022.
Comment: This song is part of a 3-track EP that was written between Southampton (UK) and Reykjavik (Iceland), so I don’t think it is simply a coincidence that Weekend Punks remind me a bit of Icelandic band Of Monsters And Men. Weekend Punks claim to play Surf Pop with relatively little experience of surf or sun. I think their style is actually some kind of chilled back punk mixed with shoegaze pop and 90s rock vibes. The glue that holds everything together is the lead singer’s magnetic vocals. The Theme from Weekend Punks is the band’s second single and a good example of this very interesting proposition. Check it out!
Comment: I don’t think Antidote is the best song Simple Plan has ever released, not even close, but it is nevertheless a heck of a good song that remind us that these Canadian rockers still got it. Believe it or not, their debut album No Pads, No Helmets…Just Balls is going to be 20 in March. Anyway, Simple Plan wrote Antidote during the pandemic and hopefully it is an indication of how their next album is going to sound like.
Comment: The Maine is a pretty consistent band from Arizona that always delivers a few gems per album, such as Face Towards The Sun, which is part of their latest record: XOXO: From Love and Anxiety in Real Time. It is not one of the lead singles but it will surely become a fan favorite because it got a great melody and an effervescent chorus, despite the less than optimistic lyrics. Overall, it is another great song from The Maine.
Comment: During the pandemic, many of us found ourselves with some extra downtime and that was the case for six musicians from various local bands in Ottawa, who decided to collaborate remotely and have some fun, hence the name Gents on Loan. From The Start is the first song to come out of that impromptu collaboration and it is a radio friendly punk rock song that will fill fans of the genre with renovated energy. Give it a listen!
Comment: Formed in 2012, DYGL (pronounced “Day-glo”) is an indie rock band from Japan that sounds incredibly good. Half of Me, for example, is all kinds of catchy with a touch of pop-punk rhythms. Their press release calls it a “killer tune” and, quite frankly, I have to agree with that. This song is one of the singles off their latest release, A Daze In A Haze, which is well worth a listen.
I hope this is just the start of a trend of great rock music coming out of Japan. We need this.
Comment: The Summer Set, a pop-punk band from Scottdale, Arizona that after achieving a decent following went on a hiatus in 2017, surprised their fans in August when they announced that they were back to making music and dropped their first single in 4 years. Street Lightning is as catchy as anything they’ve ever released with, as depicted in the music video below, some 80s music vibes that fit it really well. As lead singer Brian Logan Dales described it on his Instagram: “This song is about chasing the high of life as fast as you can, written by a guy who finally learned how to slow down and take in everything around him.”
Comment: 19-year-old Nashville-based artist Caroline Romano has just dropped this pop-punk banger that sounds really refreshing. She’s young but wise beyond her years and you just have to listen to The Hypothetical to know that she’s going places. No doubt.
The Camel City Blackouts were featured here back in May with their single Another Night and now they’re back with a new EP, Wild Card, featuring three brand new tunes. Swing or Sway is the one that kicks things up with three minutes of this fine blend of energetic #punkrock music and #alternativerock. The vocals are also pretty enjoyable, which is not something you can say about most songs within the same genre. I should give a special mention as well to the second track: Memory, which got a great chorus as well.
The bottom line is that if you like punk-influenced music, you should give this band from Winston-Salem, North Carolina, a chance. They won’t disappoint.