Comment: I’m sorry I didn’t feature this great tune, Progression, in time for the summer, but I guess it’s better late than never. The artist behind the track, South London’s Simon Mós, wanted to evoke feelings of nostalgia and melancholy by using experimental guitar recordings into his beats, all of this while maintaining a minimalist production style. Progression is a great example of that and also the perfect way to start your weekend. Enjoy!
Comment: That Isn’t Me is a gorgeous folk song about focusing on what’s good in life instead of feeling stuck. Northwest Stories‘ lead vocalist, Adam Fink, got a calming voice you won’t want to stop listening to but, on top of that, they recording this song in 432 Hz as opposed to the standard 440 Hz, in order to make it even more soothing. Trust me, it works.
Northwest Stories is composed of Adam (vocals, guitar, piano) and RJ Rouse (background vocals, producer, engineer) and even though most of their songs are written about God, their music can appeal everybody, not just Christians. That Isn’t Me is a great example of that. Enjoy this lovely track!
Comment: Life is funny. Stephanie Nikolas and Eric Breden were high school friends and neighbors, but it wasn’t until they were in their 20s that they started to see each other as partners, both musically and romantically. This sparked Blue Cove into life, which they describe –accurately, I must say– as a blend of modern indie pop with the “nostalgic shoegaze sensibilities of the 90’s”. With a DIY mentality, Steph and Eric do everything related to Blue Cove, and I mean everything, not just mixing and producing their music: from designing their own merch and artwork to capturing their own press photos to filming their music videos. From what I can tell, they’re pretty good at all of those things.
Thrive is the title track of Blue Cove‘s forthcoming debut album (to be released in October), and it is both dazzling and delicate, if such a combination is indeed possible. Think Mazzy Star, but more dynamic. Lyrically, the song talks about thriving despite dealing with social anxiety and negative thoughts, something a lot of us can relate to. Unfortunately, there’s no music video for this vibrant track yet, but you can check below a little guitar piece they wrote and uploaded to Youtube. Absolutely gorgeous.
Comment: Jeen O’Brien, or simply Jeen, is a #singersongwriter and music producer from Toronto who has been making music professionally since the nineties. She has been releasing albums as Jeen at least since 2015 and several of her songs have been featured on commercials for very well-known brands and also TV shows such as MTV Catfish. Chances are that we have unknowingly listened to her music before, but that’s changing now.
Jeen is releasing a new album in October and one of its lead singles was the refreshing Mountain, which became available in June. It reminds me a bit of a nice little song that I featured here 2 years ago when this blog was just starting: Shake Your Head Yes by The Mynabirds. The song was Jeen‘s attempt at keeping things in perspective during the pandemic, and it is full of lush sounds surrounding an engaging pop melody. Don’t miss it.
Influences: Foo Fighters, Bruce Springsteen, Sam Fender
Release date: June, 2022
Comment: Morning, from British four-pierce band Armstrong, is one of those alternative rock songs that grab your attention from the start. I have always had a predilection for songs that begin with just a guitar and some melodic vocals, and that then explode once all instruments join the fun –usually around the chorus–, and that’s exactly what happens here. The track’s lyrics talk about delaying big life-changing decisions, like breaking up with someone, until the next morning. Don’t delay listening to this infectious track though. It will be well worth your time.
Comment: Sløtface used to be a Norwegian punk band with certain notoriety in some music circles, but earlier this year they announced that it was becoming the solo project of frontwoman Haley Shea after the amicable departure of the other band members. With this change, came as well a transition to a slower and moodier sound, inspired by those artists mentioned above. I have to say that I hadn’t listened to Sløtface before, so I cannot comment much on the band’s previous releases, but I’m digging this new sound.
Back in June, Haley/Sløtface released two new singles co-written between her and producer Mikhael Paskalev: Beta and Come hell or whatever. Both are really good but the latter is the one I’ve been playing on repeat. Check it out
Comment: French artist oppidum is undoubtedly one of the best electronic music artists out there. He was featured here two years ago with his single Genius Loci, and even then you could tell he was different. Now he’s back with a new, self-produced, EP, Vignemale, whose lead single is the superb Murmuration. Vignemale is one of the highest peaks in the Pyrenees, and the EP is the story of the five-day journey to reach it. oppidum’s trademark is creating instrumental downtempo electronica tracks that combine acoustic instruments with field recordings, and you will find plenty of that in Murmuration as well.
The acoustic guitar tones in this hypnotic track are phenomenal. I feel I could listen to Murmuration all day on repeat.
Influences:Olafur Árnalds, Max Richter, Ludovico Einaudi
Comment: With composers such as the ones mentioned above as his influences, it’s no wonder that Mexican composer and pianist Pablo Suárez‘s music sounds so enchanting. It is the type of minimalist neoclassical compositions they excel at. Take for example Shiver –part of Pablo’s latest album Retrospect–, with its delicate piano melody and hypnotic strings (played by Luis Cardoso): you won’t want the song to end.
The artist’s goal with this album was to capture the intimate aspects of each instrument, minor flaws included, to produce nostalgic melodies in piano and violin. I guess each one of us will experience the record differently, but we will all find it nothing short of magical.
Comment: Phoebe Bridgers has been featured here before and she’s pretty much everywhere these days, so I don’t think you need me to tell you who she is. What you may or may not know though is that she recently released a brand new song for the tv show Conversation With Friends, and it is truly gorgeous. She started to write Sidelines with her drummer, Marshall Vore, but left it unfinished while they focused on some other things. When the folks from the tv show reached out to her, she and Marshall decided to finish it and I, for one, am glad they did, as it is too good to be left unreleased.
Comment: Emarosa is a band originally formed in Kentucky in 2006, but they have transformed themselves in such a way that they sound today like a completely different band, and I don’t mean simply the fact that they got a new lead vocalist, Bradley Scott, circa 2012. They went from being a post-hardcore act to an indie pop marvel with some synth-wave and 80’s music influence. Their last full album, 2019’s Peach Club, charted on the U.S. Billboard charts and led them to a successful nation-wide tour.
Last month, Emarosa released a new indie pop song, Attention, that is incredibly catchy. The best way I have to describe it is that I guess this is how the child of George Michael’s Freedom and Seal’s Kiss From A Rose would sound. Give it a listen and let me know what you think!