#MusicMondayis the hashtag I've been using for quite a while to share music recommendations from up-and-coming artists. Always fresh, and always different, trying to look for trends before they become one. You can checkNovember's review, or2010s: A Decade in Musicto see some of the most recent posts.
The last month of the year is a great time to reflect on, and what better way to do it than listening to this month's strong selection. Here are some highlights, with a few words from the artists themselves:
Sorrey - Full Bloom
Our last journey of the year starts in Charlottetown, Canada, with a pop tune full of optimism:
"Things were starting to happen for our band, opportunities coming our way that felt right. We also seemed to hit our stride as a performing unit, really gelling and finding our sound. This is after several years of lineup changes and questionable trajectory. I couldn't have predicted it, but certainly wanted it to happen. And when it felt like all the pieces were starting line up, it felt like we were finally blooming in the conditions that were right for us.
Typically I'm inspired to write based on my personal experience with love and love-loss, but I was compelled to write about something thematically different this time. And I believe the song can be applied to a variety of personal experiences, whatever someone is working towards, there is something beautiful about letting go a bit, taking your time, and seeing where it takes you."
Moving to Nashville, TN, with just two releases, this indie pop band already sets a high bar with their talented songwriting:
"The song is the hardest song i’ve ever had to write— it’s about experiencing sexual assault when i was 7. I had an amazing songwriting teacher this year and on the first day of class he said “if you really want to piss the devil off, write a song about the worst thing that’s ever happened to you and let it go.” right after class i wrote Seven in about 30 minutes and the next day my friend helped me demo it out and he wrote all the drums etc. It’s probably my favorite song I’ve ever written just because the whole story is spelled out in the lyrics. I feel like I didn’t leave any details out."
From Montclair, NJ, this track's beginning bass line take us and doesn't let go, letting the guitar and lyrics take over little by little:
"It’s Not Me is about (you guessed it) a failed relationship, but I’d like to think it’s not just a regular, cliche “break up song.” Everyone’s got that “big ex,” you know which one I’m talking about. The ex that had the biggest impact on you, the one that maybe you thought was “the one,” the person you thought you might even marry someday."
Downtown Eyes down The secrets on the city bus Don’t tell
Next stop, Seattle, WA. for a dream pop track with a story to tell from afar:
"Belltown” was inspired by a moment I had one night as I was transferring buses in the Belltown neighborhood of Seattle. There was a woman in line ahead of me, eyes glued to her red high-heeled boots as she shuffled demurely onto the bus. She stood tall with broad shoulders, donning a long black dress and messy, dark hair that covered her downcast eyes. She carried with her a sense of deep longing to be invisible. It seemed to me a sense born out of necessity, as if she had been seen and been hurt and felt safe only in the background. She didn’t lift her eyes even once as she disappeared slowly into the back of the bus.
“Belltown” is the song we wrote for this woman. It is a song for her as she wakes up each morning and sees herself in the mirror, knowing that how she wishes to present to the outside world and how the world chooses to see her will never be the same. Yet even as she hides amongst the crowd, when she draws into herself, she has a rich and vibrant inner life. Her reality exists in her mind, the place in which she never has to doubt her body, her clothes, her mannerisms, or her very existence. At the end of the song, we find her realizing that her vitality is in her own hands, and that choosing to be more than the summation of others’ expectations is her ultimate power."
Now we go to San Francisco, CA for a riffing rock track with a message about the future:
"Basically the song is about recognizing that tomorrow starts today. The song paints a picture of a waiting room as a metaphor for a state of mind where one is apprehensive or scared to accept that life is happening at the moment. It’s always been more comfortable for me to think about the life I want to live or the person I want to be in the future, but in reality, who I am today is what matters most. The lyrics of the song pretty much just say over and over that this is not a waiting room (life is actually happening right now) and not to be afraid of that fact."
For our last stop of this year's journey, we land in Paris, France, for some surf punk vibe:
Take me back
Back to the day
When we went on the run
When we touched the sun
"Our bassist Coline wrote this song. It's about her and a friend on a trip from Paris to Brittany where they voyaged in a train filled with birds, swam in the ocean and via an optical illusion, touched the sun."