Before starting here I was working on cruise ships as a trombone player in a rock band (Rubber Duck!). Once all the madness of the past year started happening, obviously these behemoths of ships stopped voyaging. This week has been surreal watching as the ship I was supposed to live on next leaves for its first journey since the lockdowns. Although I’m no longer a part of Rubber Duck, watching it go down from Denver which is literally the mile high city has been bittersweet. So to all those returning to work I say good luck and stay safe! Whether you’re on a cruise ship or stuck on land.
Wherever you are, I’m sure you’ll enjoy something from this week’s New Music Sunday list.
Zo » Never Meant
Love doesn’t always mean happy endings on Zo’s new anthem ‘Never Meant’INDIE TOP 39
Philadelphia-based Zo has a huge presence on their new song ‘Never Meant’. Lead singer Gina Zo sounds phenomenal overtop the versatile instrumental. Cool, tasteful guitar licks dot the instrumental while drum grooves push and pull the energy. I loved the way the powerhouse vocals were mixed. The song had a very classic rock feel and sheen. It accented the emotion behind the lyrics as well as ensured every voice was heard clearly. One of my favorite parts was how intimate everything felt. I felt like I was listening to a close friend. Between the incredible vocals and adaptive rhythm section, this song rocks!
Echo Coast » Symphony Of Sound
The lightness of ‘Symphony of Sound’ was refreshing and showed the less somber side of musicINDIE TOP 39
Their sound is instantly familiar. I was thankful for how on pitch the lead vocals were, it showed the attention to detail that went into making ‘Symphony of Sound’. By the time the rock organ entered I was already hooked, but its presence sealed the deal. You can really hear the smile behind all the instruments however that may sound. Additionally, I enjoyed the non-serious tone it took. That’s not to say it doesn’t sound like a serious performance, because obviously if it’s on this list we loved it. Echo Coast sound like they genuinely enjoy performing this track.
Fia Nyxx » Still Love You
The beauty of ‘Still Love You’ speaks for itself.INDIE TOP 39
‘Still Love You’ is the first single released from her upcoming album ‘Red Umbrella’. Melancholy lyrics of love soar over the atmospheric instrumental. Although the lyrics are vulnerable, there’s power behind every last line. Insistent synths drive the melody, causing long tones and vocal riffs alike to feel supported. Fia Nyxx’ impressive voice. Cool trap inspired drums are interesting without falling into the rolling hi-hats cliche. Instead, they gain their energy working in conjunction with the rhythmic synthesizers to fill out the texture. This allows the melody to soar over top sounding emotional and powerful. A lovely listen, and incredible addition to Fia Nyxx’ already strong discography.
Ivy Eye » Make My Way Out(To The Sun)
There’s no escaping the upbeat contagious energy on ‘Make My Way Out(To The Sun)’.INDIE TOP 39
‘Make My Way Out (To The Sun)’ is Portsmouth-based duo Ivy Eye’s sophomore single. Funky bass lines dance alongside the bouncy guitar line and airy atmospheric synths. Vocals sit at the forefront, giving everything its disco vibe. Melody lines were exciting and unique. Layering the lead line gives it an ethereal, nostalgic energy. The verses felt incredibly modern, but the chorus’ felt pulled right out of the 70s. To make a disco song that feels modern is no easy task, but Ivy Eye made it sound easy. What the duo is lacking in discography they make up for with sheer talent and energy.
JOE TRAXLER » Don’t Dance
‘Don’t Dance’ is both captivating and cool as hell.INDIE TOP 39
I’m going to start off by saying calling this song ‘Don’t Dance’ is very conflicting. The energy was infectious and the lyrics relatable.The cool sultry vocals compliment the groovy bass line very well. Each and every voice was interesting and locked into the groove. Their sound at points reminds me of Maroon 5. Maybe it’s how catchy the song was, maybe it was the glossy vocals. No matter what it was, I found ‘Don’t Dance’ to be, simply put, awesome. Easy-going melody lines kept my interest while the tight rhythm section set the groove.
Josh Collins » Lemonade
‘Lemonade’ was enjoyable to listen to and left me with a smile on my faceINDIE TOP 39
The cool guitar lines work with Josh Collins’ fun melodies. The playfulness of the lyrics pairs well with the easy claps and counter-melodies. Whenever the song transitions out of the chorus it brings back the supporting rhythmic line perfectly without sacrificing the energy. Same thing when it does the full stop. The bounciness of the instrumental parts kept it easy to listen to and enjoyable. The gentle fun tone is reminiscent of warm summer days spent with loved ones. Although the texture is never necessarily thick, ‘Lemonade’ feels full even at its thinnest. Not only was this song lighthearted, but it was nice to listen to and left me feeling happy.
Kate Ellis » Bluebirds & Rye
Playful strings support Kate Ellis’ gentle voice on ‘Bluebirds & Rye’INDIE TOP 39
Singing reassurances about the hardships of life, Kate Ellis’ performance of ‘Bluebirds & Rye’ will leave you thinking about the past as well as the future. I loved the cool nostalgic energy. The way the easy poetic lyrics moved whimsically over the strings. Everything was warm and made me feel comfortable. The beauty of the song is evident and impossible to overlook. The melodic lines were heavy with emotion, but also light and bouncy. The contrast between the deep content matter and the ease of delivery was pulled off incredibly well. To call this song pretty wouldn’t do it justice.
POLYDRIVE » Not Me Anymore
‘Not Me Anymore’ conveys a myriad of tough emotions, in a cool approachable way.INDIE TOP 39
Breakup songs are everywhere, rarely however do they touch on the perspective of the one doing the breaking up. On ‘Not Me Anymore’, POLYDRIVE capture the complex emotions that come alongside breaking up. The moody vocals fit the atmospheric energy phenomenally. The instrumental break was nice and broke the song nicely. By the time the vocals came back the energy was palpable. The constantly growing instrumental kept everything feeling fresh and new through the entirety. Although the content matter is gloomy, I found ‘Not Me Anymore’ to be oddly uplifting. Not only did the song bring a fresh new perspective, but it did so in a way that was approachable and enjoyable.
Romarni Brytz » Marlin
‘Marlin’ captures the frustration but freedom that come with leaving a toxic relationshipINDIE TOP 39
Breaking away from a controlling relationship isn’t an easy process. On ‘Marlin’, Brighton-based pop singer Romarni Brytz escapes the feelings of feeling trapped. The sweet melody seems to dance over top of the interesting instrumental. Sometimes it’s atmospheric synths supporting the lead vocals, others it’s acoustic guitars. Throughout the four minute track I found myself constantly intrigued by the beauty and controlled chaos going on behind the vocals. The constantly moving and evolving background voices brought out the vulnerability of the lyrics. ‘Marlin’ feels like the clarity found after hysteria. Things make perfect sense, but the underlying anger and frustration is still there.