Fresh New Tracks, Vol. 24 – 9fm, Callum Pitt, Refeci ft. Shimmer Johnson

For my latest edition of Fresh New Tracks, I’ve chosen three great new singles from a group of very talented acts I’ve previously featured on my blog: New Jersey-based indie artist 9fm, British singer-songwriter Callum Pitt, and Canadian-American singer-songwriter Shimmer Johnson, in a stunning collaboration with Danish electronic artist Refeci, who’s new to me.

9fm – “Lesson Learned”

9fm (short for Ninth Floor Mannequin) is the music project of hyper-creative New Jersey-based singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Jarrod Pedone. Drawing influences from some of his favorite artists like Paul Simon, Fleet Foxes and James Blake, Pedone melds elements of folk, alternative rock and synth pop to create fascinating songs with a pleasing, often otherworldly vibe. He’s also a huge fan of the classic TV show The Twilight Zone, as well as the more recent Twilight Zone-influenced British sci-fi anthology series Black Mirror, and many of his song lyrics are based on particular episodes of those shows. I’ve written about his music several times over the past five years, most recently in May 2021 when I reviewed his brilliant EP First One, Ninth Fifteen.

Now he’s back with a new single “Lesson Learned“, which was inspired by The Twilight Zone episode “Time Enough at Last”, which first aired in November 1959. Starring Burgess Meredith as Harry Bemis, a frustrated bank teller who loves books but is surrounded by people who do all they can to prevent him from reading them, “Time Enough at Last” follows him through a post-apocalyptic world after a nuclear war has destroyed everyone and everything around him. The season one episode became one the most popular of the entire Twilight Zone series.

For the recording of the track, Pedone played all instruments, as well as handled the mixing and mastering. The beautiful artwork for the single was created by Jordan Campbell. Like many of his songs, “Lesson Learned” has a dark undercurrent, highlighted by an aggressive stomping beat and fuzzy cinematic synths. His echoed vocals have a haunting, ethereal quality that suits the subject matter quite nicely as he croons “Ooooh lesson learned, and it took too long. Who’d have known to take what you can while you can’t see the end of the story. Do what you would if you could but while you still can. And when there’s a will, find a way, ‘cause it won’t just stay waiting stay waiting.

Connect with 9fm: Twitter / Instagram
Find his music on SpotifySoundcloud / iTunes / Bandcamp 

CALLUM PITT – “Fraction of a Second”

Callum Pitt is a thoughtful and talented singer-songwriter from Newcastle Upon Tyne in northeast England. Inspired by the music of such artists as Elliott Smith, Julien Baker, Adrianne Lenker, Sufjan Stevens, The War on Drugs and Fleet Foxes, he creates, in his own words, “indie-folk with a grand, orchestral, chamber pop sensibility plus an alt-rock edge”. His music is characterized by lush harmonies, captivating melodies, and honest, meaningful lyrics touching on subjects like depression and anxiety, and social and political unrest, delivered with his soft, pleasing vocals. Since 2017, he’s released an impressive number of singles as well as a four-track EP Poisoned Reveries in 2019. His beautiful second single “Least He’s Happy” has been streamed more than two million times on Spotify, with several other singles garnering over 100,000 streams. I’ve previously written about three of his songs, most recently last November when I reviewed his beautiful single “Mayfly”. The song is enjoying a long run on my Weekly Top 30, where it currently sits at #8.

Now Callum returns with his latest single “Fraction of a Second“, a heartfelt song about the night he came perilously close to losing his mom, dad and brother to a motor vehicle accident. It’s the third single from his forthcoming debut album In the Balance, due for release on June 2nd. The song has a melancholy yet hopeful feel, and features a buoyant drumbeat overlain with delicate sweeping synths, beautifully-strummed guitar notes, lovely piano keys and vibrant strings. As always, Callum’s smooth vocals are comforting and warm as he sings of his gratitude that his family safely survived the crash: “And I don’t know what I’d do, if that truck had taken all of you, I think the moon may disappear. But a fraction of a second kept you here.”

Connect with Callum:  Facebook / Twitter / Instagram
Find his music on  Spotify / Apple Music / Soundcloud / Bandcamp / Amazon

REFECI featuring SHIMMER JOHNSON – “Essence”

Refeci is a brilliant Danish DJ and electronic house music producer who’s been making music since his mid teens, both as a solo artist and a collaborator with numerous musicians and vocalists. Now 23 years old, he’s released an impressive amount of music since 2016, and five of his singles have garnered many millions of streams on Spotify alone.

Shimmer Johnson is a singer-songwriter and musician with the voice of an angel. Originally from Edmonton, Canada with professional ties to Los Angeles, Shimmer has an incredibly beautiful and resonant singing voice. In addition to her amazing vocal talents, she’s also a fine guitarist and pianist, and has collaborated with several songwriters and producers to create an impressive repertoire of outstanding songs over the past several years. She started out singing Country songs, but eventually branched out into adult contemporary pop, rock and dance music, all of which she manages to handle with ease. I’ve written about her numerous times on this blog, and one of the songs I’ve featured, her terrific dance single “Starts With You”, went all the way to #1 on my Weekly Top 30.

Refeci and Shimmer recently teamed up to create a captivating dance song “Essence“, released through the LOUDKLOUT label on February 17th. Refeci’s pulsating dance beats are overlain with hauntingly beautiful piano chords and gauzy atmospheric synths, creating a mesmerizing and sensuous soundscape for Shimmer’s enchanting ethereal vocals that transport us to a dreamy, faraway place. The simple lyrics speak to the importance of remaining true to oneself: “Don’t ever ever doubt your life. Make a wish and just believe. Find the path that’s right. It’s the essence of life.” The fascinating music video produced for the track features scenic footage of such diverse locales as China, the Sahara Desert and Cape Town, South Africa, interspersed with scenes of people of different ethnicities and cultures expressing a range of emotions.

Connect with Shimmer:  Facebook / Twitter / Instagram
Find her music on Spotify / Soundcloud / Apple Music / Bandcamp

Connect with Refeci: FacebookTwitterInstagram

Find his music on SpotifyApple MusicSoundcloudAmazon Music

Top 30 Songs for March 12-18, 2023

The first time I heard “Love From the Other Side” by rock band Fall Out Boy, I knew it would be a number one hit. And sure enough, in just four weeks it’s reached the top of my weekly chart (it’s also currently #1 on the Billboard Alternative Airplay chart). I love hard-driving rock songs with symphonic elements, so “Love From the Other Side” is right up my alley. It’s their first song to ever top my chart (as well as any Billboard chart), and I can say with certainty that it’s already my all-time favorite song by them. Their first new music release in four years, the song is the lead single from their forthcoming eighth studio album So Much (for) Stardust, due for release on March 24th. The song marks a return to Fall Out Boy releasing music under the Fueled by Ramen label.

The lyrics are filled with meanings open to interpretation, but overall, they seem to address the band’s internal struggles with their own stardom and success. According to a comment on Genius Lyrics, “The song [and] music video have a general theme of a new beginning. The last release from the band was ‘Mania’ from 2018. ‘Mania’ didn’t resonate very well with the audience, and the band didn’t release anything after 2019 outside of some collaborations. The ‘apocalypse’ is the failure of Mania and the following silence, with the new album being ‘the other side’ and a new beginning for their career, popularity, and music style.” ‘The apocalypse” can also likely be construed as a reference to the Covid pandemic. The imaginative video features band member Pete Wentz as an old man, reading a fantasy story to his granddaughter.

In addition to “Love From the Other Side”, there are so many fantastic songs out now, many by veteran artists and bands. The gorgeous “Transmitter” by Sea Power climbs four spots to #6, “Tropic Morning News” by The National rises five spots to #12, “New Gold” by Gorillaz, Tame Impala (who’s now recovering from recent surgery to repair a broken hip), and Bootie Brown jumps seven spots to #16, and “Ghosts Again” by Depeche Mode leaps 13 spots to #17.

Four songs make their debut this week: “Flowers” by Miley Cyrus finally enters my chart at #27 after having just spent six weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. Though I think she has a pretty good singing voice, I’ve never been much of a fan, as some of her slutty antics really turned me off. But after giving the song a careful listen the other day, it finally clicked with me and I have to concede that it’s a good song. With “Flowers”, Cyrus makes her very first appearance ever on my chart. The other three debuts include the boisterous “Modernise” by English rock band Slow Readers Club, at #28, the beautiful “The Walk Home” by one of my favorite American pop-rock bands Young the Giant, at #29, and the enchanting “Bluebell Wood” by English singer-songwriter Frank Joshua, at #30.

  1. LOVE FROM THE OTHER SIDE – Fall Out Boy (3)
  2. TROUBLE WITH THIS BED – Beach Weather (1)
  3. BACKPATTERS AND SHOOTERS – The Zangwills (4)
  4. NIGHT BUS – Caitlin Lavagna (2)
  5. PAGES – White Reaper (5)
  6. TRANSMITTER – Sea Power (10)
  8. MAYFLY – Callum Pitt (8)
  9. JUST BEFORE THE MORNING – Local Natives (9)
  10. THE LONELIEST – Måneskin (6)
  11. YOU GOTTA DO WHAT YOU GOTTA DO – Darksoft (13)
  12. TROPIC MORNING NEWS – The National (17)
  13. PEPPER – Death Cab for Cutie (15)
  14. SUREFIRE – Wilderado (16)
  15. SLEEPWALKING – All Time Low (14)
  16. NEW GOLD – Gorillaz, Tame Impala & Bootie Brown (23)
  17. GHOSTS AGAIN – Depeche Mode (30)
  18. EVERGREEN – Mt. Joy (20)
  19. SOFTEN – Alex Southey (22)
  20. SHADOWS IN THE DARK – The Star Crumbles (11) 20th week on chart
  21. THIS IS WHY – Paramore (12)
  22. EYEZ – The Arcs (24)
  23. WEIGHTLESS – Arlo Parks (25)
  24. ANTI-HERO – Taylor Swift (18)
  25. DANCE FOR ME – Sam Rappaport (19)
  26. SAIL AWAY – lovelytheband (21)
  27. FLOWERS – Miley Cyrus (N)
  28. MODERNISE – Slow Readers Club (N)
  29. THE WALK HOME – Young the Giant (N)
  30. BLUEBELL WOOD – Frank Joshua (N)

MARTIN SAINT – Album Review: “Radio Murmurs”

Martin Saint is a Canadian singer-songwriter and guitarist based in Montreal. Active in the local music scene for many years, he’s also currently the lead singer and rhythm guitarist of Montreal-based alt-rock band The Ember Glows. He’s released a fair amount of music as a solo artist, including a spoken word EP Fly Tales in 2019, an album One Word Away in January 2020, an EP Last New Year’s Eve in March 2021, and this past November, he dropped an excellent cover of Leonard Cohen’s song “The Law”, which I featured in a Fresh New Tracks post. Now he returns with his second album Radio Murmurs, featuring eight exquisite tracks, most of which deal with various aspects of love, relationships lost, and emotional well-being.

About the album, Martin explains “This new collection emerged during the pandemic with the specific intention to produce a full-length album. The goal was to achieve a result similar to David Bowie’s ‘Low’ album, with half the record featuring more accessible pop hooks and the other half more atmospheric and texture-driven. As always, lyrics aim at standing for themselves outside the music, as a major cornerstone of the ensemble. Glimmers of Nick Cave, Bowie, Leonard Cohen, Simple Minds and The Doors infuse most of my work and ‘Radio Murmurs’ displays these references a little at a time.”

For the album’s recording, Martin enlisted the help of several musicians and vocalists, including fellow The Ember Glows members Richard Bunze, Kevin Hills and Dan Stefik on a couple tracks, Guillaume Thoreau, who played Mini-Moog on “Scenes from Cars”, singer-songwriter Ursa Minor for the duet on “I’ll Be Your Stranger”, Delphine Dupont for backing vocals on “No Hard Feelings” and Sarah Emilie for backing vocals on “Last Lights” and “No Hard Feelings”.

There’s a lot to like on Radio Murmurs, particularly the darkly beautiful and mysterious aura of many tracks, lush arrangements, outstanding instrumentation – especially the gorgeous chiming and jangly guitar work, and Martin’s poetic lyrics. The album kicks off with the splendid “In the Universe“, a stunning song highlighted by the aforementioned chiming guitars and affecting piano keys. Martin’s smooth vocals, which remind me at times of the late, great Scott Walker, are pleasing as he plaintively asks a friend for their love, comfort and support: “Will you sit by my side, and be the last face I see. Will you run and hide when the gods take back what they’ve lent me?

On the lovely duet “I’ll Be Your Stranger” with Ursa Minor, Martin sings of the loneliness and ennui he (and many of us) experienced during the Covid lockdowns, hungry for love, empathy and companionship: “Exiled at home in digital solitude. Time is crawling and I swing from mood to mood. When all that I want is to hide naked in bed./ I’ll be your kind stranger. Passing by for a minute or more. The one you won’t need a mask for.” Ursa Minor’s ethereal vocals both contrast and complement Martin’s quite nicely.

Last Lights” is an outlier, thematically, with lyrics addressing historic socio-political strife and the rise and fall of authoritarian regimes: “Invaders’ songs fill the old streets. Join The Party, march to the beat. Smokestack steel fuels the strife. Sad Slavic eyes bound for exile. And nations rise from relic. Nations fall brick by brick.” Musically, the track has a mesmerizing synth-driven groove reminiscent of some of Depeche Mode’s songs. I’m not sure what “Wet Road” is about, though its lyrics speak of driving in the rain at night with a loved one, with mention of the album’s title: “Exits fly by, mile by mile. The engine purrs. Over our silence, the radio murmurs. In the soft rain, the velvet night is rocking me. In her foggy bliss she cradles me.” I really like its mysterious vibe, highlighted by sharp, eerie synths, sparkling piano keys and deep bassline.

The Double” is a great tune, with an arresting toe-tapping beat accompanied by a throbbing bass groove, otherworldly synths and delicate jangly guitars that are simply fantastic. Martin’s doesn’t have a strong voice, but his vocals sound particularly good on this track. “No Hard Feelings” is one of my favorite tracks on the album, with an opening strummed guitar lick that immediately reminded me of Oasis’ great classic “Wonderwall”. The lyrics speak of a couple in the final throes of a relationship that’s over, saying their last goodbyes to one another without acrimony: “Happy rest of the road is what you meant to say, I saw it in your smile. No binding words to relive old days, this is our last mile. We can try but we all know it’s not the same. But no hard feelings.”

Wide Open” has a strong Simple Minds feel, as the song has shades of their song “Alive & Kicking”. Kevin Hills provides some great fuzzy bass on this track The lyrics are directed toward someone who’s fallen far down and letting them know that, despite their self-destructive behavior, your door is still open if they need a friend: “How low have you now sunken, friendless, broke and broken? What are you now reaping that you have long been sowing? Where have we watched you take your long road to perdition? When did your last mistake become your next decision?

Martin saves the best for last, as the stylish and sultry “Scenes from Cars” is my favorite track on the album. The song’s captivating music is courtesy of a fake pedal-steel sound by Dan Stefik’s guitar and Mini-Moog synths played by Guillaume Thoreau. Martin’s smooth croons have an ethereal sultry feel as he touches on various romantic and non-romantic scenarios between people while driving in cars: “Sunday morning drive. A family of five or a weekend dad and child. Backseat in the dark. A teenage hand pushed hard. Love is still a bridge too far. Predator and prey roam lost highways or city streets today./ Lovers in a car. A loner in a car.” It’s a superb ending to a very fine album.

Connect with Martin:  FacebookInstagram 

Find his music on Bandcamp / SpotifyApple Music

Top 30 Songs for March 5-11, 2023

Beach Weather maintain a firm grip on the #1 spot for a third week with their languid and sultry “Trouble With This Bed”, while their monster hit “Sex, Drugs, Etc.” also spends its 25th week on my chart. Both songs are featured on their wonderful new debut album Pineapple Sunrise. Welsh singer-songwriter and actress Caitlin Lavagna‘s “Night Bus” holds at #2 for a second week, and Fall Out Boy‘s hard-driving cinematic gem “Love From the Other Side” continues its rapid climb, moving up five spots to #3. Entering the top 10 are the beautiful “Just Before the Morning” by Local Natives, at #9, and “Transmitter” by Sea Power, at #10.

The lone debut this week is “Ghosts Again” by legendary electronic band Depeche Mode, which now essentially consists of Dave Gahan and Martin Gore. The song is their first new release since the death of co-founder and keyboardist Andy Fletcher last May. About the song, Gahan said it “captures this perfect balance of melancholy and joy“, while Gore noted it has “such an upbeat feel to it“. The duo has intimated in interviews that the song is a sort of tribute to Fletcher, touching on the fragility of life and the possibility of an afterlife, namely, that everyone will eventually turn into “ghosts again”. (Wikipedia) With “Ghosts Again”, the duo leave no doubt they can still deliver a stellar song after more than 40 years.

  1. TROUBLE WITH THIS BED – Beach Weather (1) 3rd week at #1
  2. NIGHT BUS – Caitlin Lavagna (2)
  3. LOVE FROM THE OTHER SIDE – Fall Out Boy (8)
  4. BACKPATTERS AND SHOOTERS – The Zangwills (4)
  5. PAGES – White Reaper (5)
  6. THE LONELIEST – Måneskin (3)
  8. MAYFLY – Callum Pitt (10)
  9. JUST BEFORE THE MORNING – Local Natives (11)
  10. TRANSMITTER – Sea Power (12)
  11. SHADOWS IN THE DARK – The Star Crumbles (6)
  12. THIS IS WHY – Paramore (7)
  13. YOU GOTTA DO WHAT YOU GOTTA DO – Darksoft (15)
  14. SLEEPWALKING – All Time Low (16)
  15. PEPPER – Death Cab for Cutie (17)
  16. SUREFIRE – Wilderado (20)
  17. TROPIC MORNING NEWS – The National (21)
  18. ANTI-HERO – Taylor Swift (13)
  19. DANCE FOR ME – Sam Rappaport (14)
  20. EVERGREEN – Mt. Joy (22)
  21. SAIL AWAY – lovelytheband (19)
  22. SOFTEN – Alex Southey (25)
  23. NEW GOLD – Gorillaz featuring Tame Impala & Bootie Brown (30)
  24. EYEZ – The Arcs (27)
  25. WEIGHTLESS – Arlo Parks (28)
  26. SEX, DRUGS, ETC. – Beach Weather (23) 25th week on chart
  27. STICK SEASON – Noah Kahan (24)
  28. TONIGHT – Phoenix featuring Ezra Koenig (18) 21st week on chart
  29. KILL BILL – SZA (26)
  30. GHOSTS AGAIN – Depeche Mode (N)

Concert Review – The Eagles: Hotel California Tour

A recent photo of the band by Ron Koch

Last Saturday night, February 25th, I saw the Eagles at the Acrisure Arena in Palm Desert, California. (It’s a brand new multi-use arena that serves both as the home of the newly-created Coachella Valley Firebirds hockey team – yes, we now have a hockey team in the desert! – and as a major venue for music concerts and other large events.) I had the good fortune to be gifted a ticket to the sold-out show by a neighbor who had an extra, and believe it or not, it was my very first time seeing the legendary folk-rock band. As a legacy act who’s been around more than 50 years, seeing them live at this point comes with a bit of trepidation, as we wonder how well they’ll perform and sound, given their ages. Well, I needn’t have worried, as they sounded fantastic! There was no opening act, just them, who played for three hours.

The Eagles, who now consist of founding member Don Henley, Timothy B. Schmit, Joe Walsh and Vince Gill, along with former member Deacon Frey (Glenn’s son), who rejoined the group for this tour, actually began what has been dubbed their “Hotel California Tour” back in 2020. But as Wren Graves sardonically noted in Consequence Sound, the Eagles are “lurching closer to the self-fulfilling prophecy that while they might be able to check out any time they like, they can never leave“, as they keep extending the tour by adding more dates. The most recent leg of their tour began in Portland, Oregon on February 19th, and includes shows in 11 cities, wrapping up on April 7th in Newark, New Jersey. (You can book tickets for remaining shows, if they’re even available, here.) Interestingly, they played two nights here in Palm Desert, the second of which I attended. 

The show was divided into two parts, the first of which was their performance of the entire Hotel California album. The proceedings began with a rather odd bit of theatrics involving a very old-looking man walking slowly across the stage holding a vinyl copy of Hotel California, then placing it on a turntable and dropping the needle, whereupon the band began playing the title track. (The album’s flip side was later handled by a sexy blonde woman in a slinky black dress. The meaning or symbolism of these two characters wasn’t clear to me, but perhaps the woman represented the woman alluded to in the title track.)

The Eagles, along with a cadre of supporting musicians, including another back-up drummer Scott Crago, who Henley cheekily noted “helped keep him from having cardiac arrest“, played each song in the same order as they appear on the album. To faithfully recreate the lusher moments of “Wasted Time,” “Pretty Maids All in a Row,” and “Last Resort”, they enlisted members of a couple of Southern California orchestras, as well as a choir from Cal State Fullerton (if my memory serves me correctly).

After a short intermission, they returned to play, as Henley put it, “everything we know.” And did they ever! After beginning their second set with “Seven Bridges Road”, Henley then welcomed Deacon Frey to the stage (Deacon joined the Eagles after the death of his father in 2016 but left the group last year in order to focus on his solo career). To riotous cheers, he launched into a rousing rendition of “Take It Easy”, one of Glenn’s signature songs. (Both Deacon and Vince Gill handled the songs formerly sung by Frey.)

Filming videos of any portion of the concert was strictly forbidden, however, I managed to record part of the song without getting caught. But moments after I stopped filming with my smart phone, an usher instructed the man sitting in front of me to cease his own filming. I uploaded my video to YouTube, but after hearing and reading about people having their videos taken down and even being banned from YouTube altogether (I don’t know whether or not it’s true, but I read somewhere that Henley employs a staff of 60 people assigned to scour the internet for unauthorized content), I deleted my video.

Frey followed with the beautiful “Peaceful Easy Feeling”, which has long been one of my personal favorite Eagles songs, then the band played the dark and mysterious classics “One of These Nights” and “Witchy Woman” two more favorites of mine. Joe Walsh then took center stage for the first of his songs “In the City”. While a few of the people I went to the concert with thought his songs were the weakest part of the show, I loved every minute of them. Not only is he an incredible guitarist, he’s also a terrific showman with a great sense of humor. He made us all laugh when he quipped “I loved my 20s in the 70s, but my 70s in the 20s, not so much.”

I found this assessment of Walsh by Robert Ham in his review of the Portland concert for Consequence Sound that’s so on point, I’ll simply quote it in its entirety: “The 75-year-old’s pact with Satan, which has helped him survive all manner of chemical dependencies and much personal turmoil, seems very much in place. His face was still an amoebic mass, warping and distending in response to his aqueous guitar solos and his own vocals, but what came out of it was lucid and strong. Walsh took an impressive amount of the spotlight, knocking out his Hotel California song, “In the City,” and a trio of tunes from his life outside Eagles with a supremely joyful countenance. If, at times, it looked like he was pulling it all out from deep within his core as he sang “Life’s Been Good” and “Rocky Mountain Way,” his performance never diminished.”

And just look at his gorgeous red guitar!

Vince Gill was a pleasant surprise for me. I’ve never much followed his country music career, though I’ve liked what I heard by him. But his vocal style fits the Eagles’ sound very well, and wow, what an amazing guitarist he is!

The hits kept on coming, with even Henley’s great solo song “The Boys of Summer” making an appearance. The guys wrapped up with “Heartache Tonight”, then left the stage to thunderous applause, only to return for a four-song encore that began with a blistering performance by Walsh of his classic “Rocky Mountain Way”. I loved the special visual effects for his performance, which showed him encased in flames:

They concluded their encore set with “Desperado”, “Already Gone”, and a heartfelt performance of “The Best of My Love”, which Henley and the band dedicated to America in this time of bitter divisiveness and discord. It was a fitting and emotional end to a magnificent show, where the feelings of love for the Eagles by everyone there were strongly palpable.

I apologize for the shitty quality of my photos. My smart phone takes decent videos, but lousy photos when the lighting’s poor.


Set 1 (Hotel California)

  1. Hotel California
  2. New Kid in Town
  3. Life in the Fast Lane
  4. Wasted Time
  5. Wasted Time (Reprise)
  6. Victim of Love
  7. Pretty Maids All in a Row
  8. Try and Love Again
  9. The Last Resort

Set 2 (Greatest Hits)

  1. Seven Bridges Road (Steve Young cover)
  2. Take It Easy (with Deacon Frey)
  3. Peaceful Easy Feeling (with Deacon Frey)
  4. One of These Nights
  5. Take It to the Limit
  6. Witchy Woman
  7. In the City (Joe Walsh song)
  8. I Can’t Tell You Why
  9. Tequila Sunrise
  10. Lyin’ Eyes
  11. Life’s Been Good (Joe Walsh song)
  12. The Boys of Summer (Don Henley song)
  13. Funk #49 (James Gang song)
  14. Heartache Tonight


  1. Rocky Mountain Way (Joe Walsh song)
  2. Desperado
  3. Already Gone (Jack Tempchin cover) (with Deacon Frey)
  4. The Best of My Love (with Deacon Frey)

Fresh New Tracks, Vol. 23 – Frank Joshua, Ryan Redwood, Scoopski

Time for another installment of Fresh New Tracks, and once again, I’m featuring three wonderful new releases by artists who couldn’t be more different from each other. They are, in alphabetical order, British singer-songwriter Frank Joshua, British singer-songwriter Ryan Redwood, and Philadelphia-based power pop act Scoopski.

FRANK JOSHUA – “Bluebell Wood”

Frank Joshua is a rather enigmatic but astonishingly-talented singer-songwriter and producer based in London. I recently learned about him from a marvelous WordPress blog I follow called Less Than 1,000 Followers that’s featured him numerous times, and it was love at first listen. Mr. Joshua has one of the most enthralling singing voices I’ve heard in a long while, and I was blown away the moment I began listening to his music. As napsebasty, the blogger who reviewed Frank’s stunning latest album Talk of Things so beautifully put it, “Frank Joshua’s poetic and far-reaching songs nestle deep in the visceral side of life, describing states of mind that can’t always be pinpointed or explained.” Wanting his music to speak for itself, he never shares any photos or details of himself, and in fact, his Twitter name is “Frank Joshua // No Face Just Music”. Despite his wish to remain somewhat anonymous, it hasn’t kept him from engaging with his fans and showing genuine appreciation toward them. Case in point, after I merely commented on Twitter and Facebook posts about loving his music, he immediately thanked and followed me on both sites.

Frank has released an impressive amount of music in only two years, including two albums and numerous singles. His latest is “Bluebell Wood“, a song so enchanting that I had to feature it on my own blog. The song has a beautiful piano-driven melody, overlain with dreamy synths and an exotic vibe that feels Latin at times, then Middle Eastern later on. Frank’s silky vocals are warm and comforting in the vein of crooners like Michael Bublé or Michael Feinstein, only better. The lyrics, written by Simon Pitheakley, seem to speak of a new couple tentatively exploring their budding romantic relationship, careful to not dive in too quickly, nor do or say anything hurtful toward one another.

The whimsical video, directed and filmed in grayscale by Diego Monfredini and inspired by the 1930s animations of Wladyslaw Starewicz, shows a young girl who appears to be sick in bed, with her mother sitting nearby, keeping a watchful eye. When the mother dozes off, the girl’s toys come to life, embarking on a myriad of adventures, while an innocent ballerina becomes temporarily entrapped in a spider’s web before freeing herself. Once the mother wakes up, all appears to be well, with her daughter happily sitting up and cradling one of her dolls.

Connect with Frank:  FacebookTwitterInstagram 

Find his music on SpotifyApple MusicSoundcloud YouTube

RYAN REDWOOD – “Once Again”

Ryan Redwood is a charming, hard-working and affable young singer-songwriter based in Lowestoft, England. I’ve been following him since early 2018, when he was lead vocalist for alternative indie rock band The Only Route, and reviewed several of their singles. After the band called it quits at the end of 2019, Ryan soldiered on as a solo artist, writing and recording songs influenced by some of his favorite acts like Oasis, The Charlatans, Catfish and The Bottlemen and Blossoms. He released his first single “Perhaps” in December 2020, and since then has released several more singles. Last September, I reviewed his previous single “All Said and Done”, and now Ryan is back with a fine new single “Once Again“. 

The song is a buoyant rocker, highlighted by Ryan’s energetic jangly guitars and snappy drumbeats. I like how the melody and tempo transition in the final minute of the song to a slow, driving cadence with aggressive guitar notes. And I’ve always liked his smooth but earnest vocal style, and how his strong accent shines through. The lyrics are directed to a former romantic partner, thanking them for supporting and loving you when you needed it most, and now that the relationship has ended, that there are no hard feelings over whatever shit may have transpired between the two of you in the past. Ryan told me the line “Fall back when you need a friend” is an assurance to a former lover that you’ll still be there for them should they need it one day. It’s another great single from Ryan, and I’ll surely continue to follow along on his musical journey.

Connect with Ryan:  Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

Find his music on  Spotify / Apple Music / YouTube

SCOOPSKI – “Double”

Scoopski is a hilarious and wildly-creative power pop act from Philadelphia comprised of Scoopski, who sings, writes songs, plays guitar and bass, and produces, and Mrs. Scoopski, who also sings and writes songs, as well as plays piano and synths. As for their music style and sound, since I couldn’t describe it better myself, I’ll just quote from their bio: “Their songs range from lighthearted and even silly, to serious, emotional and heartfelt, all with the common theme of strong hooks and love of melody.” Listening to several of their songs, their sound to my ears is a delightful mashup of The Barenaked Ladies, Weezer and Blink-182. Some have zany titles and subjects, like “Dad Bod”, “Elon, Send Me to Mars”, “Pineapple of My Eye” and “Emergency Joyride”. Over the past three years, the prolific couple have released an impressive amount of music, including three 12-track albums – Bad Things Happen in Philadelphia, Things Are Fine and See You Soon – plus two EPs and several singles.

Their latest offering is “Double“, a song directed toward a hypocritical person you thought you knew well, with an exasperating set of rules for others that they refuse to follow themselves. Scoopski beautifully articulate these sentiments in straightforward, highly-relatable lyrics “Tell me again, what were the rules? They seem a little different for you. Am I seeing double? Or just double standards? Is the message getting through? I’m singing these words loud and true. When you’re hearing double, you won’t have an answer.” The delightful song features a bouncy, foot-stomping tempo overlain with terrific strummed guitar notes, lively piano keys, and exuberant percussion. I really like Mr. and Mrs. Scoopski’s endearing vocals and harmonies, which keep the song from becoming too overly serious. The clever, entertaining video they made for the song stars Scoopski DJ Juan Hedley, and follows a mask-collecting adventure game. Great stuff!

Connect with Scoopski:  FacebookTwitterInstagram

Find their music on SpotifyApple Music Bandcamp / Soundcloud 

Top 30 Songs for February 26-March 4, 2023

There’s so much incredible music out now, and this week’s Top 30 is one of the best in a while, chock-full of songs I can honestly say I love. Beach Weather remain on top for a second week with their beautiful “Trouble With This Bed”, one of the many stellar tracks from their debut full-length album Pineapple Sunrise, due out this coming Friday, March 3rd. “Sex, Drugs, Etc”, another track to be included on the album, spends its 24th week on my chart. “Night Bus”, the wonderful autobiographical song by Welsh singer-songwriter and actress Caitlin Lavagna, slides into second place, followed at #3 by “The Loneliest” by Italian band Måneskin. “Pages” by American rock band White Reaper climbs four spots to #5.

Three songs move into the top 10: the stupendous “Love From the Other Side” by Fall Out Boy, leaping 13 spots to #8; the sultry “Wild as the Wind” by British singer-songwriter HULLAH, entering at #9, and the lovely “Mayfly” by another British singer-songwriter Callum Pitt, at #10. The sole debut this week is “New Gold”, a glorious collaboration between British act Gorillaz, Australian act Tame Impala, and American rapper Bootie Brown. The song is from Gorillaz’ latest album Cracker Island, which dropped this past Friday.

  1. TROUBLE WITH THIS BED – Beach Weather (1)
  2. NIGHT BUS – Caitlin Lavagna (4)
  3. THE LONELIEST – Måneskin (5)
  4. BACKPATTERS AND SHOOTERS – The Zangwills (7)
  5. PAGES – White Reaper (9)
  6. SHADOWS IN THE DARK – The Star Crumbles (2)
  7. THIS IS WHY – Paramore (3)
  8. LOVE FROM THE OTHER SIDE – Fall Out Boy (21)
  10. MAYFLY – Callum Pitt (12)
  11. JUST BEFORE THE MORNING – Local Natives (13)
  12. TRANSMITTER – Sea Power (14)
  13. ANTI-HERO – Taylor Swift (6)
  14. DANCE FOR ME – Sam Rappaport (10)
  15. YOU GOTTA DO WHAT YOU GOTTA DO – Darksoft (17)
  16. SLEEPWALKING – All Time Low (18)
  17. PEPPER – Death Cab for Cutie (19)
  18. TONIGHT – Phoenix featuring Ezra Koenig (8) 20th week on chart
  19. SAIL AWAY – lovelytheband (15)
  20. SUREFIRE – Wilderado (24)
  21. TROPIC MORNING NEWS – The National (26)
  22. EVERGREEN – Mt. Joy (23)
  23. SEX, DRUGS, ETC. – Beach Weather (23) 24th week on chart
  24. STICK SEASON – Noah Kahan (20)
  25. SOFTEN – Alex Southey (28)
  26. KILL BILL – SZA (16)
  27. EYEZ – The Arcs (29)
  28. WEIGHTLESS – Arlo Parks (30)
  29. I’M IN LOVE WITH YOU – The 1975 (22)
  30. NEW GOLD – Gorillaz featuring Tame Impala & Bootie Brown (N)

MORNING FUZZ – Album Review: “Wherever We Go”

As much as Twitter drives me crazy at times, one of the things I do like about it has been the thousands of musicians and bands I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know over the past seven-plus years I’ve been active on that platform. A great many of those musicians and bands are enormously talented, and some are also genuinely gracious and kind, and one act who checks both boxes is Morning Fuzz, an outstanding rock band from Long Island, NY. Formed in 2009 by singer/songwriter & guitarist Frank Fussa and bassist Chris Johanidesz after the breakup of their previous band Ultra High Frequency, Morning Fuzz was a short while later joined by longtime friend and guitarist Michael Cullari, then went through several changes in drummers (something that’s plagued many a band I’ve written about). Between 2009 and 2013, they released two EPs and an album Chasing Ghosts, then went quiet for a few years, I’m guessing largely due to work and family obligations.

They returned to making music in 2016, and since then have been releasing singles in fits and starts. They followed me on Twitter in early 2017, and shortly thereafter released their single “Silent Sun”, a fantastic song I reviewed and liked so much, it ended up ranking #69 on my 100 Best Songs of 2017 list. They followed up with a Christmas single “Magical Christmas Time”, and another single “Fellow Creep”, then went quiet again after yet another drummer left. They appear to have finally struck gold in 2018 when drummer Dan Leonardi came on board, and their lineup has remained intact since then. In 2019, they released a terrific single “I’ll Be Around”, which I also reviewed, and which also charted on my Weekly Top 30, ending up at #71 on my 100 Best Songs of 2019 list. They dropped another single “Field of Frowns” later that year, then in February 2020 returned to the studio to record their second album Wherever We Go, and we all know what happened next.  Halfway into the recording process, Covid hit and everything came to a halt. 

Chris, Dan, Frank & Michael

Once restrictions were lifted, they went back to working on the album on weekends or whenever the studio was free, finally finishing with recording in late 2020. Frank then set to work mixing the album himself. He recalled “I would come home from work everyday and just start mixing until all hours of the night. Then we sent the album out to The Lodge to get mastered. It took another year just to get that done and the vinyl copies produced. In the meantime we released three singles from the album and filmed a video for ‘Don’t Wait Up’. Then we did a live video for ‘Love To Hate You’ from our band studio, then shot another video for ‘Vigo’ (which they released this past December). After releasing only singles since our debut album, we wanted to make a full album that was meant to be heard as a whole, even though that seems to be dying out these days. We wanted to make a no skipper album with every song solid and engaging. Hopefully we lived up to the task. I think we did.”

Well, after listening to Wherever We Go several times, I certainly think they’ve succeeded, as all 11 tracks are superb. In preparation for writing this review, I went back and re-listened to their entire back music catalog, and was reminded of how good this band is. It’s also remarkable how long – with the exception of their drummer – this band has been together. In addition, they’ve written and recorded at least 37 songs over the years, which I think is a heck of a lot for a band that’s gone through a few periods of inactivity.

The album blasts open with the aforementioned “Vigo” a rousing rocker that sets the tone for the album, both musically and thematically. Frank told me the album is essentially about time, both in terms of how it seems to be moving way too fast, but also the need to try and make the most of it while we’re here. It also addresses his constant struggle to be more positive. All those subjects resonate strongly with me, and these lyrics really hit the mark: “We were young and we had high hopes. Where did all of the time go? Fazed out amongst the people. Left out, wherever we go. We’re chasing moving cars, forgetting who we are. Sold out the lucid dreame. The grass is never greener.” I love the hard-driving rhythms, fortified by Dan’s smashing drumbeats, Chris’s aggressive bassline, and Frank and Michael’s blazing guitars. I also like that all members of the band sing, with Chris, Michael and Dan’s backing harmonies beautifully complementing Frank’s raw, impassioned vocals. Finally, several aspects of the song, at least to my ears, call to mind some of the music of the Foo Fighters and Thirty Seconds to Mars.

Next up is “Don’t Wait Up“, which Frank says is “about the ever changing world with fads, styles, opinions, and everyone trying so hard to fit in or be a part of something because they feel like they have to. The message is, be yourself, do what you love, and don’t be pressured to try to fit in.” The song opens with Chris’s tasty little bass riff, then explodes with raging guitars and crashing percussion as Frank alternately croons and wails the lyrics: “It’s hard to sit through all of this noise. Everyone’s in love with their own voice. They jump the line and can’t sit still. Run along now, go get your fill. Don’t wait up.” I like that their videos feature mostly footage of them performing their songs, rather than trying to act out some some silly plot line, and this one nicely showcases their energy and charisma.

Love To Hate You” is another terrific banger, with a stomping groove overlain with gnarly and jangly guitars and more of Dan’s explosive drums. Frank’s vocals are more emphatic than ever here, as he wails the lyrics about a person who’s deeply devoted to and wrapped up in something or someone, but that no matter how how they try, they cannot reach their goal or gain acceptance from that other person. Despite repeated attempts that go unnoticed or keep getting beaten down, the frustrated individual just can’t give up or let go, no matter what, often feeling caught between conflicting feelings of adoration and loathing. “It’s hard to face you. But we are going to make it after all. Because I love to hate you. I’ve hit a hundred walls, but I’ll climb a hundred million more cause I was made to.

I think my favorite track on the album is “Sailing In“, a beautiful rock song with gorgeous chiming guitars and vocal harmonies. The song speaks to that rapid passage of time addressed earlier, and also how people come in and out of our lives, leaving their imprints on our souls and psyches: “Foot steps, reverse, come back, it all just starts to blend. Old memories or deja vu that comes again. I feel the wind, I feel like I’m just sailing in to find myself stuck in that same old bar of sand. Who knows where we are? Fools gold in our hearts, no time to play pretend. These faces come and go.”

This theme is further explored on “Calling All Cars“, in which Frank emphatically admonishes another to stop wasting their precious time: “I hear, you hear all those same words but in different tones. You see, I see the same world in a different light. You choosing your fights. Our minds, we’re losing our minds. Your time, you’re wasting you’re time and your life! Cars, calling all cars! Your time is precious, follow your heart.” I really like the stark contrast between the lilting harmonies and aggressive wails in the bridge.

Another favorite is “Last Night, Today’s Dust“, a lively, melodic rocker about sticking together through good times and bad: “We were caught in the rain. We will get through these days. We can’t force all the stars to align, but I’ll always be by your side. We will live in the now. We’ll erase all the doubts. No ifs, no buts, no other way.” This song has a strong Foo Fighters vibe, and Frank’s vocals even sound a bit like Dave Grohl’s in spots.

One of the most powerful tracks on the album is “Give Me Electric“, which articulates some of Frank’s songwriting challenges: “[it] probably comes from the most negative state of mind out of all of the songs. Struggling to feel inspiration, every day felt like groundhogs day. Creativity was not flowing. But life gets like that and it always jumps back. After hearing the song recorded, I felt fucking great!” The lyrics speak of wanting to feel those sparks – whether they be creative, romantic, or whatever – that inspire us to do better and feel alive: “Give me electric. Shock me up so I can feel alive, because I fear that I’m fading away. Because I feel that I’m fading away.”

Test Fire” is a poignant song acknowledging the pain caused to another, and asking for forgiveness: “I bottomed out, I let you down. For all the grief I’m sorry. Turn the page, don’t turn away. If I should shout please drown me out.” As it’s title suggests, “Manic Dramatic” features a frantic beat and lyrics touching on the risks of always living life on the edge: “We can be so erratic. We’re manic, dramatic./ As we pick a vice, we pay the price, oh do we. Somewhere down the line, our fate is blind, we’ll see. Worry all of our lives. Will we be alright?

Wherever We Go closes with “Strange Nights“, a beautiful, bittersweet rock song that’s also the longest track on the album. The song starts off gently, with a brief spacey synth that’s soon replaced by a delicate acoustic guitar and Frank’s plaintive vocal. Eventually the music ramps up as he laments about a relationship broken beyond repair, adding that he never intended to hurt his partner: “Right way, wrong way. Too tough to balance out. My way, your way, it doesn’t matter now to me./ There we were with all we had. Holding on to something that was wrong. And here I am, with all I have. I never meant to cause you any harm.

Morning Fuzz have come roaring back with Wherever We Go, a stellar work that further solidifies their already impressive rock credentials. They’re a great band, and I’m so proud of them for putting out such a strong, expertly crafted work as this.

Follow Morning Fuzz:  Facebook / Twitter / Instagram
Stream their music:  Soundcloud / Spotify /  YouTube
Purchase on  iTunes / Bandcamp

Fresh New Tracks, Vol. 22 – Oli Barton & the Movement, Magnetic Skies, Marc Schuster

New music releases continue at a dizzying pace, so much so that it often feels overwhelming. I should be featuring at least some of it on this blog, but alas, I just haven’t much felt like writing of late. But when I hear new songs that pique my interest, I want to share them with the world. That means it’s time for another Fresh New Tracks post, and today I’m featuring three terrific tracks from artists with totally different sounds. They are, in alphabetical order, British alt-rock band Oli Barton & the Movement, British synthpop band Magnetic Skies, and American singer-songwriter & musician Marc Schuster. I’ve previously written about Oli Barton & the Movement and Marc Schuster, while Magnetic Skies is new to me.


London-based Oli Barton & the Movement are a long-time favorite of mine. As indicated by their name, the band is headed by the wildly creative and charismatic singer-songwriter Oli Barton, with the Movement comprised of exceptionally talented musicians Jamal Lagoon on guitar, Marco Paone on bass, and Josh Needham on drums. Together, their eccentric yet sophisticated style of alternative rock is a colorful mix of post-punk and psychedelia, fortified with touches of funk, grunge and pop. I’ve featured them many times on this blog over the past six years, and have loved every one of their releases. Four of their songs have appeared on my Weekly Top 30 lists – their provocative 2017 single “Kinky” went all the way to #1, while “44”, “Martyr” and “Just Like Always” all reached the top 5.

On February 17th, they dropped their latest single “Paid Off“, and it’s a certifiable banger! Produced by the band’s longtime collaborator Jules Gulon, and featuring beguiling backing vocals by Portugal-born and now London-based singer-songwriter Carlota Rocchi, the song is an exhilarating, infectiously catchy romp. Opening with Needham’s galloping drum beats and Paone’s throbbing bass, which are soon joined by Barton’s distinctive croon, the song explodes into a chugging rocker, fueled by Lagoon’s scorching riffs, Barton’s vocals rising to an impassioned wail. The lyrics seem to speak of people who use others for their own gain, bleeding them until they’re dry: “I’m just a fraction of the fragment of what I was. The moment they penetrated me./ They just want to be paid off by you, by you, by you!” I love it, and the guys have another future top 5 hit on their hands!

Follow Oli Barton and the Movement:  Facebook / Twitter / Instagram


Also based in London, Magnetic Skies was originally formed as a duo in early 2019 by singer-songwriters and keyboardists Simon Kent and Jo Womar. With a shared love of 80s synth-driven post-punk and vintage analogue synths, they quickly got busy writing and recording an impressive amount of material they released in a succession of singles and three EPs – Dreams And Memories, Hold On and Into Paradise. They became a four-piece in 2021 with the addition of guitarist Carlos Aguilar and drummer Lenin Alegria, and since then have released six more singles. In preparation for writing about them, I listen to quite a bit of their back music catalogue, and it’s really outstanding. Their latest single, “You Shine On“, which dropped February 17th, will be included on their forthcoming debut album Empire Falling, set for release later this year.

Released via independent label ReprinT Records, “You Shine On” features a dreamy melody set to hypnotic driving beats and lush, atmospheric soundscapes reminiscent of such defining 80s acts as The Human League, Pet Shop Boys and Depeche Mode. There are so many fabulous touches, like the dominant pulsating bassline, gorgeous jangly guitars, swirling synths, crashing percussion and soaring vocal harmonies. About the song, the band explains: “This is a love song, a story about two people finding each other despite divisions from outside, and about being true to yourself even when that doesn’t fit with expectations from society or other people. It’s celebrating a really positive self-belief.” The track is accompanied by a stylish video featuring kaleidoscopic images of a beautiful woman dressed in a flowing, butterfly-like golden garment, interspersed with similarly-kaleidoscopic images of the band performing the song.

Follow Magnetic Skies:  FacebookTwitterInstagram

MARC SCHUSTER – “George Around the Corner”

Marc Schuster is an insanely creative, multi-talented guy from the Philadelphia area who I first got to know several years ago through blogging (he has a terrific WordPress blog called Abominations, where he writes about music and interviews lots of indie artists). Not only is he an educator, author, literary critic and visual artist, he’s also a prolific songwriter and musician, recording both as a solo artist and as part of numerous music projects and collaborations with an ever-expanding roster of musicians, including his latest project The Star Crumbles with fellow musician Brian Lambert (their song “Shadows in the Dark” recently spent two weeks at #1 on my Top 30 chart). As if all that weren’t enough, he also started doing a weekly hour-long music podcast a few months ago he calls “Tweetcore”, where he features songs by talented indie artists he’s met through Twitter. I honestly don’t know how he finds the time and energy to accomplish all that he does!

Though Marc likes to experiment with different sounds, styles and textures, most of the songs he records as a solo artist have a delightful, indie bedroom-pop sensibility. Not only are they infectiously catchy, he has a wonderful knack for putting a youthful, often tongue-in-cheek perspective on everyday situations and problems many of us have faced at one time or another. He doesn’t have a powerful singing voice, but he more than makes up for it with a quirky, endearing vocal delivery that never fails to put a huge smile on my face. I seriously adore this man, who’s also been incredibly supportive of both me and my blog.

Almost a year ago to the day, I reviewed his delightful EP There Is No Down. In addition to his work with The Star Crumbles, Marc has continued putting out solo singles, his latest of which is “George Around the Corner“, a sweet song he released on February 16th. He cleverly name-drops his neighbor George, as well as a few of his fellow artist collaborators like Tim Simmons and Brian Lambert. He elaborated about the song on his blog: “‘George Around the Corner’ is more or less about real people I know. George does, in fact, live around the corner, and he did, in fact, fly a fighter jet in 1969 (and the years on either side of it). The line about him not remembering my name was true when I started working on the song, but more recently he has begun to remember my name when I see him. Tim stops by for coffee fairly regularly if not actually once a week, and sometimes I stop by his house. The line about us not speaking, however, is entirely false. We talk a lot. But ‘speak’ rhymes with ‘week.’ And Brian did visit Philadelphia once. He was actually visiting family in Delaware when he made the additional trek out to see me. His son came with him and did take a picture of us waiting for the train. However, that was not the only picture he took. Also, I stand by my claim that sometimes the best of times move kind of slow.” If you click on the Bandcamp link below, you’ll see the lyrics to the song.

Follow Marc:  Website / Twitter / Instagram

Top 30 Songs for February 19-25, 2023

In the space of only six months, alternative pop-rock trio Beach Weather have become one of my favorite bands. Though they’d been around since late 2015, I first learned about them last summer when I heard their song “Sex, Drugs, Etc.”, which I loved at first listen. The song was originally recorded in 2016, and included on their debut EP Chit Chat, but wasn’t released as a single back then, and largely went unnoticed. After dropping a second EP What a Drag, the band went on hiatus as the three members, Nick Santino, Reeve Powers, and Sean Silverman, relocated to different cities and began working on their own solo projects. Fortunately for us, they reunited in late 2021, and began work on their forthcoming debut album Pineapple Sunrise, due for release on March 3rd. In the meantime, “Sex, Drugs, Etc.” went viral on TikTok and became a huge hit on alternative radio, going all the way to #1 on the Billboard Alternative Airplay chart. It’s also spent nearly six months on my Weekly Top 30, three of them at #1, and ended up at #3 on my 100 Best Songs of 2022 list.

Last August, they started releasing a string of new singles from Pineapple Sunrise, beginning with “Unlovable”, their first new release in five years. They followed in November with the melancholy but beautiful “Trouble With This Bed”, which takes over the top spot of my Weekly Top 30. (They’ve since dropped two more singles, “Homebody” in January, which I reviewed, and “Hard Feelings” this past Friday the 17th.) “Trouble With This Bed” touches on a romantic relationship crippled by uncertainty and unfulfilled desires, acted out by a young couple in the accompanying video, interspersed with scenes of Beach Weather performing the song, all on the same bed. I particularly love the song’s beautiful languid groove, Nick’s dreamy layered vocals, and that dominant bassline. 

I’m excited to add four marvelous new songs to my list this week: “Love From the Other Side” by rock veterans Fall Out Boy, their first new music in four years, entering at #21; “Soften” by Canadian singer-songwriter Alex Southey, whose latest EP Common Fantasies I also reviewed last month, at #28; “Eyez” by Black Keys member Dan Auerbach’s side project The Arcs, at #29; and “Weightless” by hyper-talented British singer-songwriter Arlo Parks, her first appearance on my chart, bringing up the rear at #30.

  1. TROUBLE WITH THIS BED – Beach Weather (3)
  2. SHADOWS IN THE DARK – The Star Crumbles (1)
  3. THIS IS WHY – Paramore (2)
  4. NIGHT BUS – Caitlin Lavagna (5)
  5. THE LONELIEST – Måneskin (7)
  6. ANTI-HERO – Taylor Swift (4)
  7. BACKPATTERS AND SHOOTERS – The Zangwills (9)
  8. TONIGHT – Phoenix featuring Ezra Koenig (6)
  9. PAGES – White Reaper (13)
  10. DANCE FOR ME – Sam Rappaport (8)
  12. MAYFLY – Callum Pitt (12)
  13. JUST BEFORE THE MORNING – Local Natives (15)
  14. TRANSMITTER – Sea Power (16)
  15. SAIL AWAY – lovelytheband (10)
  16. KILL BILL – SZA (14)
  17. YOU GOTTA DO WHAT YOU GOTTA DO – Darksoft (20)
  18. SLEEPWALKING – All Time Low (22)
  19. PEPPER – Death Cab for Cutie (24)
  20. STICK SEASON – Noah Kahan (18)
  21. LOVE FROM THE OTHER SIDE – Fall Out Boy (N)
  22. I’M IN LOVE WITH YOU – The 1975 (17)
  23. SEX, DRUGS, ETC. – Beach Weather (27)
  24. SUREFIRE – Wilderado (28)
  25. EVERGREEN – Mt. Joy (29)
  26. TROPIC MORNING NEWS – The National (30)
  27. LUX ÆTERNA – Metallica (19)
  28. SOFTEN – Alex Southey (N)
  29. EYEZ – The Arcs (N)
  30. WEIGHTLESS – Arlo Parks (N)