It’s almost that time of year when we can think about rolling down the windows and turning up the music. Any of these songs make you feel like doing that?
1. Oliver Tree, Cowboys Don’t Cry
Cowboy Tears (Atlantic)
Recommend If You Like: Er, naked buff cowboys?
First, this is not a country song and album. Second, the video will grab your attention for obvious reasons. Then you’ll notice the “bowl cut mullet,” which is something of a trademark look. And how tall is that woman? Or is it that Oliver is that short? If you’re drawn in by all that, you might want to go back and explore his back catalogue which goes all the way back to 2010. Fun fact: Thom Yorke loved his cover of Karma Police.
2. Alfie Templeman, Broken
Mellow Moon (Chess Club Records)
RIYL: Latter-era Coldplay pop
Alfie is a 19-year-old from Bedfordshire who isn’t shy about writing about teenage life and mental health, especially the issues that arose with people during the pandemic. Although the song has a pop feel, there are elements of jazz and bits of R&B within the arrangement. He says he wrote the riff for this song when he was just 14. There are plenty of shows coming up this year and some in the UK are touting him as some kind of Next Big Thing. We shall see.
3. NewDad, Say It
Banshee EP (Faith Youth)
RIYL: Breathy alt-pop
NewDad is a four-piece from the west coast of Ireland who recently received some warm reviews for their performance at SXSW. This song may make you think of the late-80s-to-mid-90s when we had groups like the Sundays, Frente, and the Cardigans. I have a feeling that if Dolores O’Riordan were still with us, she’d be a fan.
4. Stars, Patterns
Caplelton Hill (Last Gang)
RIYL: Montreal anglo-pop
I know I had something from Stars on this list a couple of weeks back, but I’m so looking forward to their first album in five years (due May 27) that I had to include another track from the record. Very dramatic dining room table scene, too.
5. The Indiana Drones, To Be Free
RIYL: Frantic angst
The Indiana Drones are out of Windsor (don’t confuse them with an actual drone manufacturer based out of Indiana called—well, you know). And this isn’t really a band as much as it’s a vehicle for singer/songwriter/producer Justin Zuccato. (Look at the liner notes of JJ Wilde’s Born to Die EP; he’s the producer). Justin’s own music is a mix of Green Day and Econoline Crush with maybe some NIN and Panic! At the Disco. Intrigued?
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