Seven Fresh Songs #37
Mt. Wolf — Anna Maria (feat. Solomon Grey)
What happens when two London-based acts team up and collaborate? The utterly gorgeous “Anna Maria”, that is what happens!
After releasing their album “Aetherlight” and heavily touring around it, Mt. Wolf went on a hiatus to spend some time on individual projects. While Mt. Wolf’s singer Sebastian “Bassi” Fox is still pursuing his own projects and ideas, guitarist Stevie Red McMinn and drummer Alex Mitchell wanted to continue with Mt. Wolf, and are seeking out interesting collaborations with other musicians. For “Anna Maria” they joined forces with fellow Londoners Solomon Grey, comprised of Tom Kingston and Joe Wilson.
Speaking of the collaboration, Mt. Wolf provides the following insight:
“We reached out to them with the instrumental of this track and the response was really positive — both the guys have given a lot to this song, in terms of vocals, songwriting, and production. The whole collaboration project has been a really fun and inspiring process, and something we can take with us into the next Mt. Wolf album”.
“Anna Maria” is undoubtedly an instant Mt. Wolf classic, with its bright and dreamy, highly infectious vibe. It is Wilson, who lends “Anna Maria” his dazzling vocals, transforming the already beautiful track to something unforgettable.
Listen to “Anna Maria”, our Song Pick of the Day:
Ellie Haddad — How Are Ya?
Libanese/Swedish singer/songwriter Ellie Haddad has been writing music for a while, but “How Are Ya?” is the first single under her own name. It is a fun, playful tune about insecurities in social situations, when you start to believe that others must think you are a crazy. But don’t let the light-hearted musical presentation fool you: Ellie is tackling serious stories from her own life in this song and the upcoming EP. She says:
The EP is called “P.T.S.D” (post traumatic stress disorder) is a collection of 5 songs that are all about why I have P.T.S.D, (but in a a fun and upbeat way, ish)
Listen to our Song Pick of the Day “How Are Ya?” below:
Kissy — Ever Enough
“Ever Enough”, the bright and joyful new single by Los Angeles-based singer and songwriter Kissy, makes for the perfect summer soundtrack, even for such a strange one as the one of 2020. Nightlife in general and clubbing, in particular, came to a screeching halt but we still imagine “Ever Enough” blasting from speakers somewhere, encouraging people to dance and to forget their troubles for a little while. Think mid 80s Madonna, the carefree, blissful, sensuous pop-vibe!
Kissy is the lo-fi indie project of Sasha Ortiz, who made herself a name as a touring and recording vocalist for artists like Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, Charles Bradley, The Kills, and more. We asked about the inspiration for her new single, and she told us:
“Ever Enough is a fun, danceable, late-summer take on feelings about facing deep insecurities within, wanting to be seen, and be worthy of love. I was inspired to write “Ever Enough” in response to Blood Orange’s 2013 ‘Cupid Deluxe’ track, ‘You’re Not Good Enough’.”
Always amazing what serves as inspiration for an artist’s own songwriting. “Ever Enough” is more than just ‘sufficient’. It is lavishly beautiful and oh-so irresistible!
Listen to “Ever Enough”, our Song Pick of the Day:
Abby Sage — Honey,
Abby Sage is a singer/songwriter from the Bay Area. Her third single “Honey,” allures with a relaxed vibe: chill beats and guitars underline Abby’s voice as she reflects on a high-energy romantic encounter. She says about the song:
Honey embodies full surrender to that overwhelming feeling of attraction. That initial “holy shit I would do anything for this human who I just laid eyes on for the first time” kinda thing. My mom claims she knew she would marry my dad the minute she looked into his eyes upon first meeting him. I played upon this idea with Honey, however, in my case, the draw is lust over anything.
Expect more music from Abby in the next months. Listen to our Song Pick of the Day “Honey,” here:
Brothertiger — Paradise Lost
Electronic musician and synthwave pioneer John Jagos, aka Brothertiger, is releasing his first album of original material in five years. “Paradise Lost” the last single before the album drops on Friday, is the album’s title as well as closing track and it is full of promise despite the grim name.
One of the cool things about running an indie music blog is the exposure to new music before its release date, and so we not only assume that the album is magnificent but we know that it is so as we’ve been listening to it for the last couple of evenings. For its release day, September 11th, Brothertiger has planned a special album release show out of his studio in Brooklyn. More about this here.
Reading up on the press release, I learned that Brothertiger not only was inspired by ’80s legends from Tears for Fears over to Talk Talk and Prefab Sprout, but he has released in 2017 his own version of one of my all-time favorite albums: “Brothertiger Plays: Tears for Fear’s Songs from the Big Chair.” Now I am even more intrigued as I already was by listening to his original work because… taking on my -hands-down- favorite band, how well could this go? Turns out, surprisingly well. Covers are such a hit or miss situation and usually better left alone but clearly, Brothertiger knew exactly what to do with the gorgeous, timeless material and put his own sparkling spell on it.
Fast forward to 2020, listening to “Paradise Lost” with its all-encompassing, dreamy vibe the desire to hold on and keep on listening becomes almost overwhelming.
Reflecting the central themes of his upcoming album, Jagos says:
“I’ve definitely grown a lot while being here, but it’s grown a bit tiresome to me, too. New York City’s lost a lot of its glimmer when it comes to music. It’s a lot harder to make music here now, with the shutting down of DIY venues and rent increases that make it harder for artists to cultivate something. A lot of this album is about my frustrations about possibly leaving the city, as well as my yearning to escape somewhere else — if not for a brief period of time, then maybe permanently.”
Living in New York City for the past 19 and a half years, following the music scene closely, we understand this kind of frustration, and these thoughts only all too well. Without getting too doomy and gloomy but the pandemic is not helping matters either, with even more DIY venues closing and artists struggling more than ever to make ends meet.
“Paradise Lost” is a shimmering, bittersweet reminder to enjoy precious moments as they happen, and as long as there are musicians making this kind of soothing and inspiring music, not all is lost!
Listen to “Paradise Lost”, our Song Pick of the Day:
Stacey — D.M.T. (Video)
“D.M.T.” is an audiovisual piece full of beauty. Toronto singer/songwriter Stacey takes cues from the 60s and creates psychedelic pop that engulfs you like a warm blanket while she invites you to “dream in multicolor together.” Fellow Canadians Babygirl, another glamglare favorite, were also involved in the song as Stacey reveals:
‘DMT’ is a fun, modern exploration of psych-pop. I wrote it with some of my favourite songwriters, Canadian duo Babygirl. We let our brains run free with melody and lyrics and of course a love for Beatles-y vibes. I’m a big psych-rock enthusiast, old and new, and was excited to dip my toe into that world.
The visuals by Peru-based director Sara Serna are part of the experience, so don’t miss watching the video here:
Justin Dean Thomas — Peach Rings (feat. Paul Simonon)
New York-based singer/songwriter Justin Dean Thomas just released his new single, the utterly charming “Peach Rings”. His guitar play brings the stars above alive so you can almost hear them sparkling while you are riding the car with him.
We reached out to Justin and asked him about his inspiration for “Peach Rings” and he explained:
“The song came to me in an organic way. This melody came to me while I was playing guitar. And I could close my eyes and see the entire song roll out like I was in the back of someone’s car watching the highway sprawl out at sunset. I could smell the air and feel it blowing through the window. Those are the kinds of songs I like to sing. If I can live in the song I can perform it sincerely. That’s a good song to me.”
Agreed about “good song”. We love the shimmering, woozy summer vibe of “Peach Rings”, the laidback feel, and the promise of everything’s possible!
Justin’s singles “No One Knows” and “Anytime I’m Feeling” were featuring The Smith’s bassist Andy Rourke, whereas “Peach Rings” features no other than Paul Simonon, The Clash’s legendary bassist. How does someone attract famous bass players? With great songs of course! But how did this really come together? We asked Justin this as well and he told us:
“Paul and I were talking about recording an album but Covid prevented me from going to London so we made due with at least working on this one song together with what I had as a demo and what he heard and saw and of course he did his dynamic and always powerful touch on the bass. We were talking about how to do something of an Orbison or Hazlewood type of feel over a beat that didn’t necessarily have a connection to that style but how to get the vocal and production to hover over it in that manner. Lucas Carpenter helped us to get the track over the finish line in mixing and laying down the vocal on the recording.”
Listen to the irresistibly pretty “Peach Rings”, our Song Pick of the Day: