Seven Fresh Songs #84
TEOA — Push Back
“Push Back,” the new song of East Coast folk-rock trio TEOA works on two levels: it tells the story of being accidentally connected to a global tragedy and yet helpless to do anything against it. But the track also shows that something can be done, for example, using music to create moments of unity and common sense that will, drip by drip, change the status quo.
Singer James Downes about the roots of the song:
“I had band practice in Newtown, CT on December 14, 2012. I’ll never forget standing on the front lawn of my drummer’s house with my bandmates, watching in frightened awe as an endless train of first responders and news trucks blasted down the suburban streets. Only a few hours later we heard the news, along with the rest of the world, about the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary. It all happened less than a mile from where we stood. Being that close to unthinkable darkness leaves a boot tread on the brain. I wrote “Push Back” eight years later, the sound of those sirens still branded into my memory. With lawmakers continuously offering nothing more than ‘thoughts and prayers,’ I was feeling nauseated by the insanity of American politics and its complete failure to pass any meaningful gun control legislation. I needed this song to pull me out and into a place where I could breathe again.”
M Field — Fiona
Matthew Field, aka M Field, moved from his home in Capetown, South Africa, to London, the U.K, in a change of scenery. In the process, he also gears up for the release of his self-titled EP, due September 2nd. From the EP, we already came to love “Gargoyle,” “Leafy Outlook,” and “Andrew” and are now adding “Fiona” to the eclectic mix. Field is famous in his home country as one-third of pop trio Beatenberg, who created South Africa’s biggest airplay hit with “Pluto.”
“Fiona” delights with the same creative imagination and execution: different instruments playing astonishing notes evoking impressionists putting colorful dots on canvases. All vivacious, light, and utterly beautiful!
When asked about “Fiona,” Field says:
I had the idea for ‘Fiona’ at a place called Port Shepstone on the east coast of South Africa. My band was doing a gig there and I went for a walk on the beach and I sang this melody. The name came with the melody — ‘unbidden’ as they say (do they say that?). I made a note of it and when I got back home I did a rough arrangement of it. That demo hung around for a long time, with very buzzy guitar takes and no verses. Then last year I finished it, added the verses and produced and mixed it with Bullion, over the phone/internet between Cape Town and London. It is obvious, but I will add that the guitars are inspired by Congolese rumba and soukous music, which I deeply love. I don’t know what the song is about, and used to worry about it. At some point I realised that the repeated names might be separated by a comma, creating two Fionas.
Listen to the gorgeous “Fiona,” our Song Pick of the Day, and watch the lovely video, directed by Jarred Figgins, too:
Michy Tree — The Wire
“It’s time to stop listening to social media, and do what makes you happy,” says U.K. musician Michy Tree and she has an infectious indie-rock banger to back it up. Michy currently studies music in London and has released three singles so far.
Listen to “The Wire,” our Song Pick of the Day here:
The Wilderness of Manitoba — The Alchemist
Canadian indie-folk rockers The Wilderness of Manitoba delight once again with their new single and video “The Alchemist.” From the start, we are enveloped in a cozy blanket of harmonies and beauty. Halfway through, the feelings of bliss intensify and threaten to change for a few seconds yet in the end, we stay on an optimistic path, and “The Alchemist” ends in serenity.
When asked about the creation of the song, the band says:
This song was inspired by a trip to the northern side of Algonquin Provincial Park a few years ago. After a significant weekend up north, the songwriting thankfully revealed itself.
They explain further:
The mood of “The Alchemist” is yearning through dreams yet also searching for something without quite being able to realize what it is. It’s story is a series of comparisons: the alchemist is looking for gold in the silver lining in the same way that we try to hold on to our fleeting memories. He tries to recall memories without knowing whether he’s capable of doing so.
Filmed and edited by Will Whitwham, the video is striking in its changing moods, reflecting the song’s flow, and the band says:
Taking footage that was filmed across all four seasons, the scenes travel across memories of touring, old haunts, and locations that I used to live or frequent and connects them with my current surroundings.
Listen to “The Alchemist,” our Song Pick of the Day, and check out the video too:
Katherine Aly — Glow & Ignite
“Glow & Ignite” is upbeat pop infused with a good dose of electronic grit. It also features 60s-style background singers. Scottland-via-Greece singer/songwriter Katherine Aly puts this all together into an exuberant melange of a pop song that keeps you engaged from the first bar until the fade-out. Yes, there is a fade-out too.
With all that, it makes a lot of sense what Katherine says about the song:
“My music’s motto is ‘dance with your shadow’, embrace the dark side, let it ignite your creativity, accept is as part of your healing, be OK with not being OK — its only human.”
Listen to “Glow & Ignite,” our Sing Pick of the Day on your favorite streaming service or below on Bandcamp:
School of X — Race for Caress
After his much-acclaimed debut Album Armlock, Danish indie-pop maverick School of X is gearing up to release Dancing Through The Void (September 24th) via Tambourhinoceros. Joining the already released tracks “Feel of It,” and “Away” is now “Race for Caress,” supporting the notion that this will be a stunning album. “Race for Caress” enchants with a lazy beat and an instantly catchy melody. Who doesn’t want to chime in when Rasmus Littauer, the artist behind the moniker, chants: “It’s a race for caress, it’s a lifelong mess, take me to the party .”
When asked about “Race for Caress,” Littauer says:
I wanted to make a song that holds you in a tight grip lyrically… an iron grip. The song is about how love hunts you down, no matter how much you fuck up or try to strangle it. It’s about longing for love and acceptance of who you are and chasing it for your whole life… it’s such a universal need that we all need fulfilled.
Listen to “Race for Caress,” our Song Pick of the Day:
Shelly Bhushan — Heat
“Heat” is energy and there is plenty of that in the new song by NYC singer/songwriter Shelly Bhushan. With all the elements of classic soul and R&B, the song features a fresh and surprising production. But nothing distracts from Shelly’s powerhouse vocals that can send shivers down your spine throughout the song’s three and a half minutes. Recorded with a full band (Harry Cordew on bass, John Celentano on drums and organ, Gene Cordew on organ, Sam McIlvain on guitar, Alan Markley on synth/keys, and Quinn McCarthy on guitar and backing vocals), “Heat” is also certainly a delight to see performed live.
Listen to “Heat,” our Song Pick of the Day, below: