Lewca – Back From The Dead

Back From The Dead is one of those genre-defying eclectic songs that you just like. Think Parklife from Blur with a catchier chorus and you will have a pretty good idea of how this tune sounds. As an artist, Lewca just wants to do what he feels like doing while having fun as well, not worrying about conventions or what people think they like. I mean, this song mentions going to the barber and having eggs with bacon for breakfast, not your typical lyrics stuff, yet it still works. It does so because the contrast between the chorus (did I mention that it was extremely catchy?) and the verses is high enough to highlight how infectious the former is, and also because the production, in charge of Lewca himself, is top-notch.

With regards to the artist, Lewca is quite a funny character, as evidenced by the bio on his website. Originally from London but living in France since he was 19, he now has 3 Kids & a Mortgage, which is also how he decided to call his debut EP (whose cover art is a drawing his kids made). He has always been involved with arts, studying Fine Arts and working on films, but got as well a passion for making music that he wanted to explore before he was “too old to die young“. Here we hope he achieves his mission of conquering the world.

Check this artist out. Maybe he will be your cup of tea or maybe not, but I guarantee you will have fun.

Featured on the following mixtapes:

Rotten Kings – Old Town

Mallorca, in case you’re not familiar with it, is one of Spain‘s Balearic islands in the Mediterranean. It’s very beautiful, with sandy beaches and perhaps the warmest water you are likely to find in the Mediterranean Sea. Mallorca is also the home of Rotten Kings, a young alternative rock band that just released their debut EP, Raindrops, last month. The fact that they found the time to write, practice, and record songs pretty much in the middle of paradise is testament of the passion they have for music.

Old Town was released as a single ahead of the EP and it showcases very well how promising this band is. A guitar-driven song about a relationship going cold, it will remind you of late 90s/early 2000s alternative rock tracks. Do not expect to find something groundbreaking here, just a really good rock tune that should establish this young Spanish band firmly on your radar. They are just getting started.

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A Darker Bright – Drift

I love the way Drift starts. Those jangly guitars do a marvellous job at reeling the listener in and inviting them to stay until the end, and while that intro is definitely my favorite part in that song, the rest of it holds its ground rather well too. It is the lead single off Lay The Armor Down, the debut album from Los Angeles-based alternative/indie rock band: A Darker Bright.

Unfortunately, there’s no much more I can tell you at this point in time about this Californian band. I’m not even sure if they have three members or four, but the important thing here is that they make really good rock music and we should definitely keep them in our radars. Definitely check them out!

Featured on the following mixtapes:

Talk Shivi – Shadow Monster

Talk Shivi is the musical project of Jacob Henry, a singer-songwriter, actor, and journalist based out of New York City. I cannot tell you much about him in terms of bio or the meaning behind that moniker, but I can tell you that he is a talented musician whose songs got a really unique feeling to them. He has released just two songs so far as Talk Shivi: Shadow Monster, his debut single back in January, and Let You Slide, just yesterday. Both very good but also different to each other. These are not your typical ‘guy with a guitar’ busking tunes, these are layered songs that will leave you wanting more.

Shadow Monster is a groovy alternative rock track with a sprinkle of psychedelic elements to make it interesting. Lyrically, it has a message about getting through dark times, probably inspired by the global pandemic. Before covid, Jacob used to perform live in NY all the time, which obviously changed last year. This has prompted him to shift his focus to the digital side of things, resulting in these two releases. There’s something magnetic in Shadow Monster that makes it easy on the ears. Check it out below but please do yourself a favour and listen to Let You Slide too. It is even catchier.

Featured on the following mixtapes:

Juline Costa and Six Four Zero Two – I Really Like You

I Really Like You is a post-punk track, a genre I had heart before but wasn’t really familiar with. When you entered that into Google, this is the definition that you get: “a style of rock music inspired by punk but less aggressive in performance and musically more experimental”. I Really Like You is definitely experimental but in a groovy and compelling way. It doesn’t sound close to punk or even punk-rock to me, which is why I chose the Alternative (Rock) mixtape for it, but I certainly liked it. I’m sure it won’t be everybody’s cup of tea but, worst-case scenario, you will find it interesting.

The tune is a collaboration between Portuguese singer-songwriter Juline Costa and British act Six Four Zero Two. The latter is the independent, not-for-profit musical project of Rob Howsam, who joined the Royal Air Force in his youth and had 6402 as part of his Service Number. He enjoys the irony of using something that represents such as restrictive environment as the moniker of his creative endeavour. He was looking for a good vocalist to collaborate with and a contact suggested Juline to him. She was obviously what Rob was looking for.

Now, this is actually the first official release form Juline Costa. She got some songs posted on her Youtube channel and Soundcloud profile, but no studio albums or singles. Hopefully, I Really Like You, which she wrote based on a single acoustic guitar riff on repeat, will help her record an EP or something, because even though it might not be super evident on this track (other than her great tone of voice), she’s really talented and versatile (seriously, check her Youtube channel out). When you add Six Four Zero Two‘s production skills to the mix, the result is really fascinating.

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Country Club – Temporary

Country Club is the moniker used by 23-year-old Liverpool resident Leon Holmes. Influenced by the likes of Gorillaz, The Strokes, Massive Attack and Portishead; his music is eclectic without being way too experimental. His goal is to blend nostalgic and contemporary genres in an ingenious way. Temporary is an example of that.

As is the case with all his songs, Leon performed, produced and mixed Temporary on his own using just a couple of instruments and a laptop. He did a great job at making it seem like he got plenty of help from other musicians. The tune is captivating without being too on-your-nose. You can really sense the impact Gorillaz had over Leon on Temporary but he still gave it his own twist. In fact, you might like this song even if you aren’t a big fan of Damon Albarn’s virtual band. I’m proof of that.

Listen to Free Country’s infectious tune in the mixtapes below. You might love it but even if you don’t, you will find it refreshing and that’s always a plus.

NERiMA – Home

I had been looking forward to writing about this song from the moment I added it to my backlog. Not only is it really good, but I also see a lot of potential on this little young band from Toronto, NERiMA. It consists of Alexi, Alex, and Connor and i doubt any of them is over 20. They claim to love both classic punk-rock and modern alternative music and somehow you can feel that in their tunes. Even Home, which they catalogue as soft-rock, got that blend in a perfect way, which is amazing considering their youth. It’s not easy to get that balance right.

And did I mention that Home is just their second single? They are currently preparing their debut album which will hopefully be released soon. As most bands, they faced difficulties during Covid, being so young and having no income from live shows. Fortunately, they survived the worst part but this is where we should step in and give them all the support we can. NERiMA‘s members are really talented and knowing that their music is connecting with people will let them know that they are on the right path and their sacrifices in terms of time, effort, and money have not been in vain. The last thing we want is a bright and talented band breaking up because they didn’t find an audience. Please buy or stream their music, follow them on social media (FB | IG | TW | YT) and let them know that you want them to keep making great music. Don’t do it for them, do it for your future self.

Featured on the following mixtapes:

MONOWHALES – Out With The Old

Monowhales is a 3-piece rock band from Canada that came to light in 2017 and achieved impressive success in the Canadian music scene for a DIY, independent band. They even got supporting slots for bands like Marianas Trench. The band released a few singles last year and started 2021 with a bang with the explosive Out With The Old. The hook-ridden tune got all the elements to get you to move from the moment the first chorus hits your ears.

Monowhales wrote this track about today’s world and feeling that we are given the illusion of choice when there is no choice at all, but staying hopeful for a better future. They got a new single lined up bot this Friday and if Out With The Old is any indication, we should really pay attention to it. They obviously know how to compose a great track.

Featured on the following mixtapes:

Favourite Daughter – Long Distance

I don’t know how many alternative/indie rock artists there are out there who started their careers as opera singers but I bet the list is not long. Julia Kennific, who is a soprano from Montreal, certainly qualifies now that she has released her debut alternative rock single as Favourite Daughter. The Canadian artist wrote Long Distance on an unplugged, rented electric guitar after a discouraging call with her girlfriend at the time. Julia had been away in Halifax for an opera gig and they had not seen each other for four months when that call happened. Frustrated and foreseeing the end of that relationship, Julie felt the need to express her feelings on this relatable song.

However, don’t think Long Distance is a sad song to listen to while watching the rain fall on a window. It is a guitar-driven tune with a catchy beat prone to foot-tapping. As Julia puts it, it is a song “to blast on repeat in your headphones while on a long, angry run post-breakup, to sing along to with your best friend on an aimless night drive, or belt loudly and off-key while taking a shower“. Enjoy!

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The Chronicles of Manimal and Samara – At The Worlds Ends

Continuing with this week’s trend of featuring songs a bit “out of left field” for me, I got today At The Worlds End, the latest single from The Chronicles of Manimal and Samara. Now, I do like TCOMAS, don’t get me wrong. I even featured them here back in October. But as you will notice when you listen to this track, it is much heavier than the kind of music I usually feature here. It is probably be the heaviest one yet. What can I say? There’s something about the way Daphne delivers her spoken word parts that I can’t resist.

The fact that this song’s theme is related to climate change and the impact that our actions have on the planet also helps. This is reflected very well in the accompanying music video, which you can watch below. Check this tune out, particularly if you enjoy loud guitars. It will be worth it.

Featured on the following mixtapes: