Of Stones and Finches
The glamglare newsletter #1
The Stones are playing
When Elke and I have just started dating for a couple of weeks, The Rolling stones came to Munich for the first time in many years and the city went mad over it. But both of us disliked The Stones. Not so much because of their music, but because everybody seemed to agree that this is the best band ever, though there was - in our opinion - so much more exciting music around. Being young means there is not much nostalgia to fall back on and the concept of people listening to decades-old music was beyond us. “The Stones are playing, we have to go,” has been a bonmot for us since then.
Of course, this has changed. Now we listen to “Classic Rock” every Saturday morning on Apple Music Radio, which typically starts with The Rolling Stones. Or Led Zeppelin. By no way, we are fans now, but there is comfort in listening to music from the good old times, even though they were, objectively, not really better. But we do this only on Saturday morning because we still believe that the most intriguing music is the one that is being created right now. There is nothing against enjoying old favorites, but new music reflects best the present we are living in.
So read on about our seven brand new song picks.
Song Picks of the Day
Evie Balfe - Wearing a Crown
London-based singer/songwriter Evie Balfe is "Wearing a Crown," but that is only the start of her troubles. The slow-burning synth-pop track meanders like her thoughts about never making it to the other side, where happiness is guaranteed. But while the song builds around the drama of her insecurity, it also highlights that life is about the journey, not the destination.
Listen to "Wearing a Crown" here:
Lauren Waller - Nothing but Life
While Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter Lauren Waller released her new single "Nothing but Life" a little over three weeks ago, the wistfully optimistic track just now landed in our inbox. We're back from a little vacation up north and the pensive melancholic vibe resonates with us. In her catchy and utterly gorgeous song, Waller tackles feelings about love, loss, and life in general.
Listen to "Nothing but Life," our Song Pick of the Day:
Connect with Lauren Waller here.
smallmint - The Dark
Something small can be very powerful, like a mini peppermint which can be all that's needed to feel refreshed. Irish indie-rockers smallmint (lower case, of course) released the irresistibly catchy "The Dark" the last single from their atmospheric debut album where we all end up in the end. Indeed that's an interesting question, and the answer lies luckily (?!) in the dark. I guess smallmint know a good deal about their deep subject matter, hence "The Dark, Pt. 1 & 2" and an additional, shorter radio edit. We hope that song gets some heavy radio play as it is in the very best indie rock tradition, with lovely guitars and great vocals and full of feelings and good vibes. Speaking of the album's production, smallmint's frontman Cameron-Braithwaite says:
We wanted the album to feel natural and to actually sound like a band playing live in a room, which is exactly how it was recorded. It was important for us to keep that space and energy in the recordings - no need for overproduction or too many overdubs, so that the arrangement of the music and the emotion within the lyrics could speak for themselves.
Listen to "The Dark," our Song Pick of the Day, and check out the album too:
Connect with smallmint here.
Nyxen - Silence in Motion
Synthesizers were new and exciting in the 80s and were often used for themselves's sake, not always to the best effect. But some musicians were more careful and integrated electronics with the existing rock sensibilities. New Order or Ultravox come to mind here. That is the vibe the singer, songwriter, and producer Nyxen from Sydney, Australia, goes for in her new song "Silence in Motion." She says about the song:
"['Silence in Motion' is] a fast paced journey into what it feels like to be an outsider. An introverted, over-thinker, idolizing the freedom and confidence they see in the people around them, wanting that for themselves. 'Silence In Motion' felt fitting as a name, the silence of erratic thoughts speeding through your mind, the silent movement of people you cross paths with and the effects of unspoken words as you move through time."
The Luka State - Bring Us Down
After a little hesitation, whether I'd really want to go so much 'rock,' it became clear that I do because "Bring Us Down" is irresistibly stunning! The crazy banger is the new single by British four-piece The Luka State. Until recently, I was sort of worried that the times of this type of pulsating, guitar-driven indie rock might be over but luckily that's not the case because The Luka State are not alone. Then again, Manchester or Liverpool, and the band hails from somewhere in between (Winsford, Cheshire), are the birthplace of a plethora of brilliant rock bands. Aside from the energizing and appealing sound, what made me ultimately want to feature "Bring Us Down" today, is the band's statement about "Bring Us Down." The Luka State say:
Anyone who stands out in small towns like ours, anyone who wants more for themselves, more than this, they attract a lot of negativity. I think that's something a lot of people can identify with. We're about the ones who are trying to pick each other up, not drag each other down. This song is about putting haters in their place and doing it your own way. Something I think every growing band has to deal with. Being in a rock band is like rolling the dice every day and trying to win the lottery. It ain't easy.
Being in a band isn't easy, and growing up in a small town doesn't make it trying as an artist any easier, especially when everybody around you has football (soccer) in their mind 24/7. In essence, small towns suck and that sentiment resonates with me on top of the overall sound. The Luka State are Conrad Ellis (vocals, guitar), Sam Bell (bass, vocals), Jake Barnabas (drums), and Lewis Pusey (guitars) and it'll be very exciting to follow the band on their journey as they're currently touring the UK, and are announced to play The Louder than Life festival in Louisville, Kentucky with more stateside announcements to follow. If their current oeuvre is any indication, more dazzling alt-rock gems can be expected from The Luka State. Listen to "Bring Us Down," our Song Pick of the Day, and check out the vibrant band video too:
Connect with The Luka State here.
Mayfly - Black Water
Being among people but still feeling alone and isolated - is what Charlie and Emma of the Montreal duo Mayfly go through in their new song "Black Water." Musically and visually, in the video directed by Adrian Villagomez, they describe the struggle from two perspectives that come together to create a haunting experience. Charlie and Emma have produced the string-heavy, cinematic track themselves. They say about the song:
"'Black Water' is one of our most honest and vulnerable works to date. We are opening up on some of the darkest moments that both of us have gone through mentally. Through the video that we shot for this track, we tried to illustrate in the most visually striking and realest way possible, how someone can be feeling so unwell without anyone noticing or reaching out. We are so happy and proud to have this single open the door to a new chapter for us as artists, especially since it encapsulates the essence of the album that we will be releasing."
Watch "Black Water," our Song Pick of the Day below or listen to the song on your favorite streaming service:
Antoine Chambe - Breathing Underwater (ft. Jimmy Burney)
French producer Antoine Chambe delights with his new single, "Breathing Underwater" featuring singer Jimmy Burney. While Chambe is a diamond-selling artist, Los Angeles-born and based Burney is multi-Grammy-nominated, and their collaboration is gloriously exhilarating. The song sounds like breathing underwater might sound like, and Burney's vocals stand in beautifully blissful contrast to the brooding sound created by Chambe. Asked about "Breathing Underwater," Antoine Chambe says:
I'm a big fan of the mix between clean French Touch beats and US Pop / R&B vocals. I'm very inspired by the collaborations between legendary French Touch producers such as Daft Punk, Kavinsky, and Busy P with pop world stars like The Weeknd, and Pharrell Williams… I've always wanted to try something in that style at my level. Recently I had the huge opportunity to feat. with the Grammy Nominated singer Jimmy Burney who has the perfect voice for that kind of music so I've given it a shot and I had so much fun doing it. Fun fact, while producing it the studio was struck by lightning so maybe it is a sign!
Listen to "Breathing Underwater," our Song Pick of the Day:
Connect with Antoine Chambe here.
This video should have a million streams…
“Treading Water” is a year old, but we still enjoy watching the video. The Australian sisters Mabel and Ivy, who record as Charm Of Finches, filmed and directed it themselves. They tell a story about breakup and loss – nothing too serious according to their making-of clip. But the video together with the sister’s beautiful harmonies somehow makes something far more grave out of it.
That’s all for this week. You’ll get more music every week if you subscribe here: