Comment: I was aware of the existence of Everything Everything, but I hadn’t really cared about them until a friend of mine made me listen to “No Reptiles” a few weeks ago. When the song started playing, I have to say that I wasn’t enjoying it very much, but by the time it finished, I knew right then that it was a stroke of genius and one of those tracks that grows on you with each listen. Considering I’ve been overplaying this track since then, I suppose I wasn’t wrong.
In a musical landscape often dominated by formulaic melodies and predictable lyrics, “No Reptiles” emerges as a refreshing revelation. The song is a brilliant confluence of art-rock, pop, and unbridled emotion. With an arresting, pulsating beat that serves as the foundation, the song immediately commands attention. The bassline then adds depth and groove, ensuring that this song isn’t just an auditory experience but a visceral one too. Jonathan Higgs’ vocal range and intensity are staggering, and the lyrics, although cryptic, are highly evocative. Supposedly, Higgs wrote this song after a few of his friends became conspiracy theorists, and the title refers to the Reptilian theory.
That being said, what truly elevates “No Reptiles” is its ability to create an atmosphere that’s both hypnotic and liberating. As the song progresses, it swells, cascading into an intricate sonic tapestry that refuses to be confined by any genre or structure. The seamless interplay between the band members showcases not only their musical chemistry but also their innate understanding of their craft. This is why I had to feature it here as a #ThrowbackThursday post. What a masterpiece!
Comment: If you like covers that are not exact replicas of the original song, you’re in for a treat.
“Tonight, Tonight” is a classic alternative rock song by The Smashing Pumpkins, released in 1996 as part of their double album “Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness“. The song is an anthemic ode to hope and change, with lyrics that evoke a sense of urgency and possibility. It reminds us that we’re not alone, we’re not stuck, and we can make things happen.
Smallpools, featured here before for another outstanding cover they did, and Caroline Kole are two indie pop artists who have teamed up to deliver a fresh and fun cover of “Tonight, Tonight”. Smallpools is a Los Angeles-based band known for their catchy and upbeat songs such as “Dreaming” and “Million Bucks”. Caroline Kole is a Nashville-based singer-songwriter who has collaborated with artists such as Reba McEntire and Mr. Gwen Stefani Blake Shelton.
Their cover of Tonight, Tonight is a faithful homage to the original, but with a modern twist. They keep the same structure and melody of the song, but add their own flair with poppy synths, electric guitars, and harmonized vocals. They also strip down the song in an acoustic version that showcases their vocal talents and chemistry. Please enjoy “Tonight, Tonight” by Smallpools & Caroline Kole.
Comment: Today is #ThrowbackThursday, and we’re featuring Evermore’s song “Hey My Love.” For those who may not be familiar, Evermore was a New Zealand band that was relatively popular in their home country and Australia but not as well-known in Europe or America. They released their last album, Follow the Sun, in 2012. It was full of excellent tracks, including “Hey My Love,” a beautiful ballad that showcases the band’s ability to create emotional and heartfelt music. The song’s lyrics tell the story of longing and love, and the melody is both haunting and captivating. If you haven’t heard of Evermore before, “Hey My Love” is a great introduction to their music. It’s how I was introduced to their catalog. Give it a listen and let me know what you think!
Evermore consisted of three brothers: Jon, Peter, and Dann Hume. All three of them pursued their own careers after breaking up the band in 2014, mainly as songwriters and music producers. For example, Jon co-wrote the award-winning song “Hurtless,” performed by Dean Lewis. Evermore was a truly talented band.
Comment: Without a doubt, “The Way” is the song Fastball are known for. It is certainly a great rock song and it was a huge megahit in 1998. However, as a #ThrowbackThursday entry, I wanted to put the spotlight on “Fire Escape”, a slightly lesser known single from the same masterful album: “All The Pain Money Can Buy”.
From the very first note, “Fire Escape” draws you in with its infectious energy and driving rhythm. The guitar riffs are crisp and clean, and the drums provide a steady beat that keeps you moving along. The song’s lyrics are insightful and introspective, touching on the challenges of finding one’s true identity and the struggle to be true to oneself in a world that often expects conformity. The music video, which you can watch below, is also hilarious.
Overall, “Fire Escape” is a standout track that showcases Fastball‘s unique style and talent. Let’s keep playing this gem of a song.
Comment: Cigarettes After Sex has been around since 2008, but I admit I hadn’t heard of them until I listened to “Heavenly” on @indie.verses‘s excellent Spotify playlist a couple of years ago. It was love at first sight, and after hearing recently that the band is coming to London this year, I thought it was time to feature this magnetic song on a #ThrowbackThursday entry.
The band’s sound is characterized by its dreamy, ethereal quality, with slow, hypnotic melodies and soft, whispery vocals, and that’s exactly what you get here as well. What I love most about “Heavenly” is how it creates a relaxing, almost hypnotic atmosphere that transports you to another world. The track’s lush production and frontman Greg Gonzalez’s soothing vocals create a sense of intimacy that feels like a warm embrace. It’s the kind of song that you can put on repeat and just let yourself get lost in.
“Heavenly” is a timeless masterpiece that showcases Cigarettes After Sex’s signature sound at its best. It’s a must-listen for anyone who appreciates beautiful, introspective music such as Mazzy Star’s Fade Into You.
Comment: Metric is as close to being indie-royalty as you will find in the world, and this electronic-leaning band from Toronto is back with a new album, Formentera, that is really good (spoiler alert: I will feature one of its songs in the near future). While we wait for that, as a #ThrowbackThursday post, we could listen again to one of their most popular songs: Black Sheep. Even though it wasn’t included in any of Metric’s studio albums, the song became popular when it was featured heavily on the Scott Pilgrim vs. The World movie, which became a cult hit.
As an interesting tidbit, actress Brie Larson is the actual singer in the version you hear in the movie (which you can listen to in one of the clips below), not Emily Haines (Metric’s lead singer). There’s some debate on the internet about which version is better. Both of them are pretty good.
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: I think Kevin Griffin from Better Than Ezra is one of the best lyricists around. BTE are best known for their singles released during alternative rock’s heyday in the 1990s, but Closer was the album that introduced me to them. A Lifetime is one of my favorite songs ever and a great example of how talented Kevin is as a songwriter. However, the song I want to feature today is the title track from that underrated album, a song that always resonated with me even though it I couldn’t really relate to it before.
Closer is a beautiful song Griffin wrote after having his first child. In it, he wonderfully describes the excitement, pride, bewilderment and fear he felt all at once as a new dad. I hadn’t mentioned it here before but I’m about to become a dad as well in the next 24 hours or so, and I’m finally starting to understand what Kevin Griffin meant word by word. Incredibly, I can now say that Closer is even better than I thought.
Hope you enjoy this week’s #ThrowbackThursday entry, and please bear with me while I adapt to my new routine.
Comment: I’m excited to see this little British band tomorrow as I haven’t attended a live rock concert in a long, long time (and it sounds like it might be the only one in a while too). Named after the title of a collection of poems by Eleanor Rees, Eliza & the Bear are not well-known to the casual music fan but if there is one song of theirs that even them are likely to have heard before is Friends, which became an indie hit when it was released five years ago. Other songs I would recommend are Cruel and I’m On Your Side.
As this week’s #ThrowbackThursday, let’s honor Eliza & the Bear.
Comment: I mentioned Of Monsters and Men in yesterday’s entry and then in the comments section I said that I loved lead singer’s Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir’s voice. If the only songs you know of this quintessential indie band are their biggest hits (Little Talks or Mountain Sound), you might not be aware of her sweet and mildly raspy voice. Both songs are great but do not showcase Nanna’s vocals that much. Instead, listen to Organs, an underrated gem that wasn’t even a single off the band’s sophomore album. It’s all about Nanna and her flawless vocal delivery. Enjoy! #ThrowbackThursday