Hopefully, Garrett Kealer‘s solo act Stumble Steady is firmly on your radars after he was featured here back in December. I’m happy to report that he has just released his debut EP, Nobody Told The Wolves, which contains two of the tracks he had released as singles –including Coming To An End–, as well as three previously unreleased tracks, out of which my favorite one is Tired. Even though style-wise it is in the same vein as its predecessor (and just as catchy), Tired is different enough to stand on its own.
Unless you hate infectious, hook-ridden indie pop songs, you should definitely check Stumble Steady‘s new EP, starting with Tired. It might have been inspired by how we all feel after one year of pandemic, but listening to this tune will actually inject you with enough energy to keep going throughout your day. Who doesn’t need that on a Monday?
Harrison Wood Hsiang, the Vermont-based songwriter who founded the collective of musicians and artists known as Couchsleepers, is upfront in telling you that he actually makes his living as a neuroscientist. After all, it comes up in everything that is written about his band. I can imagine that it could get really tiring, but, at the same time, I can’t blame the people writing those articles. It’s actually a pretty cool fact. He formed Couchsleepers in 2019 during the third year of his graduate studies because he needed a way to express all his creativity. Fast-forward to 2021 and they have received hundreds of thousands of streams and even one fan with a Couchsleepers tattoo. Not bad at all.
All The Best Intentions is the band’s latest single. It’s a song about that feeling we get when we’re about to do something that we know we shouldn’t do but want to anyway. Melodically, it has a really strong Snow Patrol vibe and all the ingredients it needs to become a hit with the right marketing (I know, easier said than done). At the very least, it will help Harrison and Coachsleepers to keep growing their audience organically. I, for one, am now intrigued by the great music they have yet to release.
I’ve featured quite a few good bands from Michigan lately and today I got you another one. I don’t know what exactly is causing this avalanche of great indie music coming from that state but I hope they keep it coming. Shady Groves is a collective of singer-songwriters and multi-instrumentalists formed in 2015 and after going through some lineup changes, it now consists of just original founders: Adam Fitzgerald & Dylan Caron. Adam also started Underflow Records, whose goal is to draw attention to under-appreciated artists from the region.
With influences such as The Smiths and The Shins, it’s not shocking that Like You, the fourth single from their second full-length album, Dreamboat, feels old and modern at the same time. It’s kind of a musical reverie that could have been part of a TheBeach Boys album. However, do not think that all Shady Groves songs are like that. They’re really versatile in terms of genre, so if for some reason Like You is not right up your alley, they will probably have something else more suitable to your style. In my case, I really enjoy this track. Check it out in the mixtapes below.
With the Easter break, I don’t have much time for writing this post, so I’m going to take the opportunity to feature a little gem from a signed #indiepop band that is popular enough to have its own Wikipedia entry: Young Rising Sons. I first heard of this band from New Jersey when their debut single, High, became viral around 2014 and stayed on my radar ever since. They released Halloween in October 2020 but I didn’t pay much attention to it until February or so. Let me tell you, from the moment I really listened to it, I became hooked. I’ve been playing it over and over during this time and am still not tired of it.
Have you ever been in a relationship with somebody who gave you mixed signals? That’s basically what Halloween is about and also what makes the lyrics so relatable. Lead vocalist Andy Tongren wears his heart on his sleeve on this song and the music arrangement during the chorus is really stunning. I know Halloween is the wrong holiday for this time of the year but, between you and me, I don’t really care. Enjoy.
Back in September, I introduced you to a little indie band from Southend-on-Sea, UK, called in earnest. You may be happy to hear that they are back with a double single that they wrote about their dogs. Any decent human being who has had pets knows how especial they are. They become family members.
The first track, your dog, was inspire by the band’s front-couple’s dog: Murph, and the second one, good boy, is a tribute to Doug, an old dog Sarah and Tom had who sadly passed away in 2019. If you have lost a dog, then you know how painful that experience can be. However, good boy is not a sad song. It is just beautiful. I’m a fan of Sarah’s voice but she sings this track with her partner Tom and their voices work really well together, not unlike Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová in the Oscar-winning track Falling Slowly.
Listen to good boy below and get mesmerized by it.
There’s some rawness in No Sympathy that makes it incredibly compelling. It was written by Duccbod during a difficult period for him in which his inner monologue had turned particularly dark. This song was his way of coming to terms with his emotions and purge himself of them. The result was this haunting piece that is as heartfelt as it is hard to catalogue. I mean, it is an indie rock track with elements of rap at times and one of the most magnetic choruses you will find today. It gets heavier towards the end without losing its contemporary essence. No Sympathy is really something else.
Duccbod is the moniker of Ryan Skidmore, an obviously talented artist from Lincolnshire, UK. With a wide array of influences, ranging from The 1975 to Lil Peep, Sublime and Post Malone; it’s not surprising that No Sympathy has what he calls “sonic fluidity”. After starting composing bedroom pop songs, with over 20 singles under his belt, he has transitioned into a more versatile artist. He’s currently working on his biggest and most industrious project yet, for which No Sympathy is just a little taster. Listen to this great tune below and you will see why I’m genuinely waiting for Duccbod‘s next project with anticipation.
I was introduced to this song by the video below and I know it’s very “artsy“, but I have to admit that I don’t like this videoclip that much. It’s just not my cup of tea. The fact that I actually enjoyed the song is a testament to how good it is. I was predisposed to dislike it yet I didn’t. I don’t know, I found it hypnotic and the artist, Renay, got a nice voice and obviously knows how to use it. Why can certainly cast a spell on your ears.
Renay and Razteria are actually two monikers used by the same person: Renee Asteria. A singer-songwriter and producer/engineer based in the San Francisco Bay area with Bolivian and Dutch roots. She uses Renay for her pop-oriented work and Razteria for more experimental tracks incorporating different genres including South American music. A true artist, she wrote the first version of Why over 15 years ago when she was still trying to figure out herself. On this finished version, she’s learned to embrace all of her sides, good and bad. Check it out below.
I’m here for the outstanding guitar solo in the bridge of At Home In The Dark. It really elevates the whole song to another level: from nice to really good. The tune is the second single from Michigan based-artist Au Gres (aʷ grā), which is the musical project of singer-songwriter Joshua Kemp, who conceived the whole project in his bedroom with, according to him, unimpressive equipment. Au Gres‘ music is a blend of indie rock with bedroom pop and that is particularly true in this new release, which Joshua refers to as being “indie pop with teeth”.
At Home In The Dark is also a love song whose theme is promising one’s partner that you will help them feel at home during the good times but specially during rough times too. You can read a wonderful review of this song at our friend Jeff‘s essential music blog: Eclectic Music Lover, or just listen to it right away at the links below. Whatever you choose, you won’t regret it.
To be honest, when I heard that Carson Rowland was an actor who started on Nickelodeon and was now trying his luck as a musician as well and that he had a new track that perhaps was about a fellow actress and former love interest who was obsessed with making it in we Hollywood, I never thought that I was going to like the song. What can I say? We all have our biases. The truth is that Miss Hollywood Wannabe is catchy as hell and Carson is actually a nice singer with an enjoyable voice. Even the lyrics aren’t as cheesy as I thought they were going to be. He is way better than your average young heartthrob actor turned pop star. Not only that, he’s even completing a degree in Neuroscience with a 4.0 grade point average. Talk about judging a book by its cover.
If you don’t hate good hook-ridden pop songs, give Miss Hollywood Wannabe a chance. It’s as good as they come. If Carson Rowland continues down this road, he has a real chance to become a much bigger star.
I can’t believe indie-pop singer/songwriter Cloe Wilder is just 14-years-old. Her single I Wanna Be Alone With You, from her just-released debut EP Teenage Lullabies, is as catchy as it comes. Lyrically, the tune is probably what you would expect from a teenager but musically the track is flawless within the indie pop genre. It got more hooks than a fisherman’s kit. When you add it up and also take into account Cloe’s voice, can you blame me for having trouble believing her age?
As many other artists nowadays, the Florida-based songstress started her career uploading covers to her Youtube channel. With her talent, the sky is certainly limit. I just hope she keeps true to herself writing music that she likes as opposed to simply what they think is going to sell. Only time will tell but she could certainly become something special.