Finishing in a proper wrapper, an incredible August month where WtMM received more than one thousand new submissions of new releases, we’ve thought about featuring a proper TGIF on this gorgeous Friday here in Lisbon. With too many great songs to count, and with a quite unusual vacation month where great music keeps pouring right into our hands, these could easily be considered some of the best alternative songs of the Summer, for us.
ACUA – Help Me Up
ACUA is a Psych Pop/ Alternative band from Cologne, Germany. With spacy guitars, energizing drums, reeling synthesizers and singing baselines, their sound is the vacuum between retro and future, in which they celebrate getting lost in their very own melancholic euphoria.
Now, releasing their second album, Help Me Up is the opening piece and meant as a bright start in sound, but a hard and dark start lyric-wise. The song is like a shimmering, ornate door you look at and know leads to another mystical place far away. You feel that there is heaven and hell inside. It’s that kind of a door you have to open to let yourself fall into the whole thing.
BATTS – All That I Need
Melbourne producer, singer and songwriter BATTS drops her new single, All That I Need on August 18. With its slow-burn driving beats, pulsing synths and exultant chorus “All that I need / right here, right now“, this new song reveals another dimension to the world Tanya Batt has created with her forthcoming album The Nightline, out October 14 on Mistletone Records.
As Tanya Batt explains, All That I Need is about “a beautiful trip; whether it be with psychedelics, love or a crazy life experience. It’s about being with someone you love, and that being all that you need in that moment in time.” She adds that the synth sounds are “heavily inspired by the ‘inflatable wavy air dancer’ you see at car sale lots”.
Blue Lupin – Soak
Blue Lupin is a collaborative creative project led by singer-songwriter Joanna Wolfe. Debut single “Soak” is released today ahead of further singles in November and in the next year. Equally at home crafting honest, thoughtful shoegazy grunge or atmospheric, reverb-drenched, ethereal dream-pop, Blue Lupin is enigmatic, but only in challenging the norms of identity within the music.
As Joanna explains, “Soak is a song born out of letting go of my grasp of the creative process. It came from a sense of letting go, taking the pressure off and diving into the playful side of creativity.”.
BLYN – YNML
Remember the time when every alternative rock radio band was compared to Radiohead? Those were dark days. But sometimes a band pops up with a tune or sound that echoes the Abingdon lads and BLYN certainly don’t hide it on “YNML”, a track that, at one point, was even called Yorker. Coincidence? No.
“YNML” feels like a Radiohead track – specifically, “In Rainbows” era Radiohead (their best era) -, plays a bit like a Radiohead track, but BLYN makes it stand out enough from its influence to make it sound like a very good art rock track, whose theme also feels quite a bit Radiohead-esque (we do live in a society after all…) – “a protest against the powers that be, and on the other hand, a protest against the contempt and apathy within ourselves to actually take action.“
Fionn – All Good
Vancouver duo Fionn recently released their powerful single All Good. The new single follows Fionn‘s Celtic-inspired single Picnic On The Moon, where the duo returned to their singer-songwriter roots to create an authentic folk-pop sound that takes the best of both their folk background in story-telling and their pop-forward songwriting/production style. In returning to their roots, Fionn aren’t abandoning the fiery aesthetic they’ve developed over their past couple of records; they’re adapting it into the sound that wholly represents them as artists and individuals.
Speaking about the track, the duo share: “All Good is a psychedelic depiction of our first times crushing on girls. We’ve never released a song talking about this side of ourselves, but knew immediately what we wanted to say the first time we heard Kevvy Maher play the opening guitar riff. We wanted the lyrics to be trippy to depict the feeling of falling for people we didn’t know we were able to have feelings for, and the crazy infatuation that came along with those experiences.”
gemini daisies – greener grass
Gemini daisies is the solo project and artistic expression of Matt Hall, an Austin-based musician originally from southern California. Influenced by his theatrical family, Hall started writing songs in his early teens before evolving into a multi-instrumentalist. He makes all the noises and self-records in garages, bedrooms, and iPhone voice memos across the country.
Released on August 19, “greener grass” is Gemini daisies‘ newest single and it invites us to colour outside the lines. The hook, “you can’t save me with white picket daydreams” represents blazing our own trail outside of cultural expectations. It’s the perfect late-summer indie record. Wobbly acoustic guitar, drum machine, psychedelic lead guitar, and hypnotic vocals, aim to take the listener elsewhere so they come back to themselves and end up questioning the reality they live in.
Gold Spectacles – Living Hell
Favouring a DIY approach, London-based Gold Spectacles makes baroque-pop music. Drawing on an eclectic range of influences from Paul Simon to Phoenix to Lykke Li, their sonic palette toes the line between electronic and organic landscapes, blending the two parallels. Their 2019 eponymous debut album was well received, achieving notable Spotify playlistings, gathering support from radio and blogs, and leading them to the top of the Hype Machine on multiple occasions.
2022 has been a breakout year for Gold Spectacles, with two tracks being selected as BBC Radio One’s “Track of the Week” and now releasing Living Hell, a track where self-sabotage is the main event, playing with the idea of getting out first before it all goes belly up. Predicting the worst comes easy when things are looking too good to be true. It’s a duet of sorts, a colourful apology, dressed up with chilled-out spangly guitars.
Malcolm. – Forever
Malcolm. has forged his original sound from Alt, Bedroom Pop, Indie Rock, R&B, and many other genres. His music is self-written, recorded, and independently released; his music typically revolves around relationships and is flavoured with his self-deprecating humour. Born in Prince George, B.C. Canada, Malcolm. started drumming at 5 years old and didn’t look back, becoming a multi-instrumentalist. He now records his music out of his Calgary basement, where his laid-back and totally unique style is converted into music.
“Forever” is his first single in 2022 after a set of singles in 2021 and a debut album in 2020. “It’s basically about getting ahead of yourself with a crush or early in a relationship. the chorus is designed to make you zone out and it has a really flowy groove to it overall”. We feel the Summer-ish feeling to it, the gorgeous vocals that feel chilled and high, and the hooking chorus that make the track an instant-like with the potential to be sung along and aloud.
The track is so good, that we (WtMM) feature it in our best-of-new indie playlist here.
Mayya – Rock Inside My Shoe
Mayya is not a newcomer to the indie scene – her Spotify claims she has shared the stages with acts such as Deerhoof, Mike Watt or Kid Congo Powers – but it’s always nice to receive a hidden indie gem from some of the “veterans”.
“Rock Inside My Shoe” hovers like a psychedelic rock trip, laced with electronica sounds, Mayya’s gorgeous vocals taking the change in the poetic verses and the hard-hitting choruses – quiet/loud dynamics used at its finest, art pop conjugated from the depths of observation, transported to an indie rock pedestal not too far from, for example, Minta & The Brook Trout.
Miller Roberts – Rhiannon
NSW-based, multi-instrumentalist Miller Roberts’s new track and cover follow the release of her sophomore EP “All the things I could never say” in 2021, and her live version of EP single “Bad Habit” on Mahogany’s acclaimed Live Sessions earlier this year. In this new single, she delivered a lush homage to Fleetwood Mac’s “Rhiannon“. The single was reimagined with Miller’s effortless vocal timbre and longtime musical collaborator Jackson Barclay’s airy and light-as-a-feather instrumental. The pair present a thoughtful, indie-folk / dream-pop version of the classic, that is both vulnerable and unguarded, while equally confident and self-assured.
“Rhiannon” opens on to Miller’s next phase of original music – beginning with the upcoming single “Bon Iver Concert” pencilled for release in November 2022; leading to her debut album in 2023 with an accompanying East Coast tour.
Night Cruise – Third Sound
Micah Keren-Zvi formed Night Cruise together with Sariah Mae and producer/engineer Peter Gonzales in 2012. Jaz- rock outfit Night Cruise is possessed with a sound that is both modern and antiquated—showcasing meticulous production with complex and harmonically rich songs that bear a resemblance to the music of Steely Dan and Talking Heads. The lyrical narrative, as expressed by principal songwriter Micah and singer Sariah, is closely connected to the city itself, and to the beautiful and challenging experiences it cultivates.
Their new single, Third Sound, is a track from Night Cruise‘s self-titled EP. Featuring lyrics that explore the incongruity between the internal and external, and the possibility of loneliness amongst a sea of people, Third Sound lands somewhere between the jazzy contemplation of Steely Dan and the AM radio pop of Fleetwood Mac.
Sam Valdez – Unwind
Sam Valdez’s blend of shoe-gaze, Americana, indie-rock, and pop provides an evocative backdrop for her reflective songs about a childhood growing up in the glare and space of Las Vegas, Nevada. Echoes of formative musical experiences as a child violinist, and the mystery, beauty, and haunting quality of desert life can be heard in the music of the now Los Angeles native, who displays a knack for dreamy textures, and a flair for abstract but emotive lyrics. Classical music’s force has informed her potent and sweeping arrangements and cinematic sense of dynamics.
“Unwind” is her latest (super) track. Released at the end of August, is a song about intimacy. Valdez explains, “I pictured it like a stretched-out day where you stress and run through all of these inner conversations and obstacles to be closer to someone, only to change your mind and prefer to be alone“.
This is the kind of track that merges our minds with our hearts. There is an obvious Lana feel to it, but there are also a lot of other more electric-melancholic vibes that are firmly focused on her vocal capacity to wonder. The track is part of the forthcoming EP entitled “Crush” where she collaborated with producer Gianluca Buccellati (Arlo Parks, The Marias, Biig Pigg and Lana Del Rey).
The track is so good, that we (WtMM) feature it in our best-of-new indie playlist here.
Sony Beckett – Daylight_
Mexico-based electronic outfit Sonny Beckett is a Synth-Pop / Nu-Disco project, formed in 2022 by musician/producer Maxarev Posadas, as a way to manifest the love and appreciation for the ’80s / ’90s electronic art & music. With the help of musicians Gab Mariel, Erik Flores & Hafid Villeda, Sonny Beckett delivers a retrofuturistic vibe for the present day.
“Daylight_” is the second ever Single by this project. Described as a positive and inspiring track, with an endless summer vibe, punchy synth-bass, lo-fi dreamy vocals, 80s vibe synths, mellow guitars and a catchy melody. It is also the perfect track for your holiday road trip if you’re still to have one this year. Perfect for breath parties or just relaxing Sunday afternoons, an all-Summer context song that got you covered.
SUIIX – All the Time
Beginning life in Sydney, Australia as a solo project that took the form of moody vocals, hypnotic melodies, vintage synths and loop-based psych-pop jams, SUIIX (pronounced like Sui) eventually grew member by member into a more expansive 4 piece live band. What transpired is shimmering gaze-pop with one foot in the late 70s and the other firmly planted somewhere in the near future.
Released on August 11th, their yearning new single All The Time follows on from previous single “The Great Nothing“, and is taken from SUIIX’ long-awaited forthcoming debut album, set for release before the end of the year. Speaking about the track, Sarah says “It came from a place of joy and crippling introversion. It’s about wanting to share everything about your inner world with someone but being too afraid to“
The Oceans – Relationship Revisited
Riotous guitars, insistent beats, and captivating melodies: this is the essence of The Oceans. Formed in 2014 by Copenhagen multi-instrumentalists Dan Joe & Linus Valdemar, the duo sounds like their city feels – a pulsing, paradoxical sea of chaos, noise, and serenity.
On the forthcoming album’s (due 9th of September) only true ballad, Relationship Revisited, Marie Fjeldsted joins the band. Here, Linus and Marie, who are also a couple in real life, merge in a love story that exudes both melancholy and nostalgia. Here, on Relationship Revisited, the sound wizard producer Noah Rosannes has been given free rein in the production, which has resulted in a somewhat unconventional hi-hat role, which is actually a joke monologue, which is cut into small pieces and then assembled into a rhythmic role.
Very Very – Strange Occasion
After the recent death of her mother and only parent, Very Very channels grief and change in her new single, “Strange Occasion“. This wide-open song showcases intimate vocals, delicately layered guitars and soothing rhythmic piano that pulls you into her world of listlessness. A song that is so raw and honest that it’s both heavy-hearted and beautiful all at once and where we can feel all the pains and all the healings and memories present in the story. There is a gorgeous bass line through it all that gives it further depth while the vocals go from south to north on our hearts.