Top 30 Songs for January 2-8, 2022

Happy New Year! For my first Weekly Top 30 of 2022, The War on Drugs hold the top spot for a second week with “I Don’t Live Here Anymore”, featuring backing vocals by Lucius. Climbing three spots to #2 is “Good Friend”, one of the many wonderful songs from the brilliant album Mild Fantasy Violence by Canadian artist dwi. Entering the top 10 this week are “Crutch” by Band of Horses and “Time in Disguise” by Kings of Leon, and the lone debut is “The Outside” by twenty øne piløts.

  1. I DON’T LIVE HERE ANYMORE – The War on Drugs featuring Lucius (1)
  2. GOOD FRIEND – dwi (5)
  3. BEGGIN’ – Måneskin (2)
  4. LOVE LOVE LOVE – My Morning Jacket (4)
  5. DON’T BRING ME DOWN – Two Feet (3)
  6. I DON’T WANNA TALK (I JUST WANNA DANCE) – Glass Animals (6)
  7. CRUTCH – Band of Horses (12)
  8. LOVE IN OCTOBER – Ships Have Sailed (7)
  9. TIME IN DISGUISE – Kings of Leon (11)
  10. STARTS WITH YOU – Shimmer Johnson (10)
  11. JUSTIFIED – Kacey Musgraves (9)
  12. THE TIPPING POINT – Tears for Fears (15)
  13. I SEE THE SUN – Solar Eyes (17)
  14. TWO CAR FAMILY – Apollo Junction (18)
  15. LEFT BEHIND – a million rich daughters (19)
  16. SMILE – Wolf Alice (20)
  17. ALL TOO WELL (10 Minute Version) – Taylor Swift (8)
  18. KALEIDOSCOPE – Soda Cracker Jesus (21)
  19. JOURNEYMAN’S BALLET – Sam Rappaport (22)
  20. U&ME – alt-J (23)
  21. ONE AND THE SAME – Future Theory (24)
  22. WAKE ME UP – Foals (25)
  23. SURVIVOR – Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats (13)
  24. EASY ON ME – Adele (14)
  25. THE HARDEST CUT – Spoon (26)
  26. REARVIEW – G. Samedi (16)
  27. UNTIL I COME HOME – Two Feet & grandson (27)
  28. CHAPSTICK – COIN (29)
  29. HEAD IN THE CLOUDS – Thunder Fox (30)
  30. THE OUTSIDE – twenty øne piløts (N)

Top 30 Songs for December 26, 2021-January 1, 2022

The War on Drugs take over the top spot on my final Weekly Top 30 of 2021 with their bittersweet “I Don’t Live Here Anymore”, featuring beautiful backing vocals by indie pop band Lucius. Canadian-born and now L.A.-based singer-songwriter Shimmer Johnson enters the top 10 with her lively dance-pop song “Starts With You”, and debuting this week are “Chapstick” by Nashville pop-rock band COIN, and the delightfully funky “Head in the Clouds” by Sydney, Australian band Thunder Fox.

  1. I DON’T LIVE HERE ANYMORE – The War on Drugs featuring Lucius (2)
  2. BEGGIN’ – Måneskin (1)
  3. DON’T BRING ME DOWN – Two Feet (3)
  4. LOVE LOVE LOVE – My Morning Jacket (5)
  5. GOOD FRIEND – dwi (8)
  6. I DON’T WANNA TALK (I JUST WANNA DANCE) – Glass Animals (4)
  7. LOVE IN OCTOBER – Ships Have Sailed (7)
  8. ALL TOO WELL (10 Minute Version) – Taylor Swift (6)
  9. JUSTIFIED – Kacey Musgraves (9)
  10. STARTS WITH YOU – Shimmer Johnson (12)
  11. TIME IN DISGUISE – Kings of Leon (13)
  12. CRUTCH – Band of Horses (15)
  13. SURVIVOR – Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats (11)
  14. EASY ON ME – Adele (10)
  15. THE TIPPING POINT – Tears For Fears (16)
  16. REARVIEW – G. Samedi (14)
  17. I SEE THE SUN – Solar Eyes (19)
  18. TWO CAR FAMILY – Apollo Junction (20)
  19. LEFT BEHIND – a million rich daughters (21)
  20. SMILE – Wolf Alice (17)
  21. KALEIDOSCOPE – Soda Cracker Jesus (23)
  22. JOURNEYMAN’S BALLET – Sam Rappaport (24)
  23. U&ME – alt-J (25)
  24. ONE AND THE SAME – Future Theory (26)
  25. WAKE ME UP – Foals (27)
  26. THE HARDEST CUT – Spoon (29)
  27. UNTIL I COME HOME – Two Feet & grandson (30)
  28. NEVER LOOKED BACK – The Zangwills (18)
  29. CHAPSTICK – COIN (N)
  30. HEAD IN THE CLOUDS – Thunder Fox (N)

Top 30 Songs for December 19-25, 2021

Sexy-beautiful Italian rockers Måneskin remain in the top spot for a second week with “Beggin'”, while the War on Drugs’ “I Don’t Live Here Anymore”, featuring Lucius, closes in at #2. Otherwise, all the songs in last week’s top 10 remain in that rarefied group, with a bit of shuffling around of positions here and there. As we approach the end of 2021, two new songs debut this week: “The Hardest Cut” by veteran art-rock band Spoon, and “Until I Come Home”, a wonderful collaborative single by Two Feet and grandson.

  1. BEGGIN’ – Måneskin (1)
  2. I DON’T LIVE HERE ANYMORE – The War on Drugs ft. Lucius (3)
  3. DON’T BRING ME DOWN – Two Feet (2)
  4. I DON’T WANNA TALK (I JUST WANNA DANCE) – Glass Animals (4)
  5. LOVE LOVE LOVE – My Morning Jacket (6)
  6. ALL TOO WELL (10 Minute Version) – Taylor Swift (7)
  7. LOVE IN OCTOBER – Ships Have Sailed (9)
  8. GOOD FRIEND – dwi (10)
  9. JUSTIFIED – Kacey Musgraves (8)
  10. EASY ON ME – Adele (5)
  11. SURVIVOR – Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats (11)
  12. STARTS WITH YOU – Shimmer Johnson (14)
  13. TIME IN DISGUISE – Kings of Leon (15)
  14. REARVIEW – G. Samedi (16)
  15. CRUTCH – Band of Horses (19)
  16. THE TIPPING POINT – Tears For Fears (18)
  17. SMILE – Wolf Alice (17)
  18. NEVER LOOKED BACK – The Zangwills (12)
  19. I SEE THE SUN – Solar Eyes (22)
  20. TWO CAR FAMILY – Apollo Junction (23)
  21. LEFT BEHIND – a million rich daughters (24)
  22. TAKE THE L – Roadkeeper (13) 20th week on list
  23. KALEIDOSCOPE – Soda Cracker Jesus (25)
  24. JOURNEYMAN’S BALLET – Sam Rappaport (26)
  25. U&ME – alt-J (27)
  26. ONE AND THE SAME – Future Theory (28)
  27. WAKE ME UP – Foals (30)
  28. MINE FOREVER – Lord Huron (21)
  29. THE HARDEST CUT – Spoon (N)
  30. UNTIL I COME HOME – Two Feet & grandson (N)

Top 30 Songs for December 12-18, 2021

One of the hottest acts to burst onto the global music scene in 2021 has been Italian rock band Måneskin. Though they’ve been around since 2016, it was their win this past May of the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest for their song “ZITTI E BUONI” that catapulted the exciting and sexy band into superstardom. That song entered my Weekly Top 30 in mid-June, and they’ve remained on my chart every single week since with a run of singles – “ZITTI E BUONI”, “I WANNA BE YOUR SLAVE” and “Beggin'”. “Beggin'”, their fiery remake of the 1967 Four Seasons song, takes over the #1 spot this week, dethroning Two Feet’s “Don’t Bring Me Down” after a four-week run. “Beggin'” was a top 20 hit for the Four Seasons, and was reimagined 40 years later by Norwegian hip-hop duo Madcon, who had a #1 hit with it in several European countries. As I write this, Måneskin’s version has been #1 on the Billboard Alternative Airplay chart for 10 weeks.

In other chart developments, the War on Drugs climb to #3 with their beautiful “I Don’t Live Here Anymore”, featuring added vocals by Lucius. Entering the top 10 are “Love in October” by the immensely talented L.A. duo Ships Have Sailed, and “Good Friend” by Canadian artist dwi, whose marvelous album Mild Fantasy Violence I reviewed in October. The lone debut this week is “Wake Me Up” by British band Foals, currently one of my top 10 favorite bands in the world.

  1. BEGGIN’ – Måneskin (4)
  2. DON’T BRING ME DOWN – Two Feet (1)
  3. I DON’T LIVE HERE ANYMORE – The War on Drugs featuring Lucius (5)
  4. I DON’T WANNA TALK (I JUST WANNA DANCE) – Glass Animals (3)
  5. EASY ON ME – Adele (2)
  6. LOVE LOVE LOVE – My Morning Jacket (6)
  7. ALL TOO WELL (10 Minute Version) – Taylor Swift (7)
  8. JUSTIFIED – Kacey Musgraves (10)
  9. LOVE IN OCTOBER – Ships Have Sailed (11)
  10. GOOD FRIEND – dwi (12)
  11. SURVIVOR – Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats (13)
  12. NEVER LOOKED BACK – The Zangwills (8)
  13. TAKE THE L – Roadkeeper (9)
  14. STARTS WITH YOU – Shimmer Johnson (16)
  15. TIME IN DISGUISE – Kings of Leon (17)
  16. REARVIEW – G. Samedi (18)
  17. SMILE – Wolf Alice (19)
  18. THE TIPPING POINT – Tears For Fears (20)
  19. CRUTCH – Band of Horses (21)
  20. CAN YOU HANDLE MY LOVE?? – WALK THE MOON (14)
  21. MINE FOREVER – Lord Huron (15)
  22. I SEE THE SUN – Solar Eyes (24)
  23. TWO CAR FAMILY – Apollo Junction (25)
  24. LEFT BEHIND – a million rich daughters (26)
  25. KALEIDOSCOPE – Soda Cracker Jesus (27)
  26. JOURNEYMAN’S BALLET – Sam Rappaport (28)
  27. U&ME – alt-J (29)
  28. ONE AND THE SAME – Future Theory (30)
  29. COLORADO – Milky Chance (22)
  30. WAKE ME UP – Foals (N)

Top 30 Songs for December 5-11, 2021

Not a lot of changes from last week’s chart, with the top four songs remaining in place. “Don’t Bring Me Down” by my favorite artist Two Feet is #1 for a fourth week, while Adele’s “Easy On Me” is #2 for a third week. Entering the top 10 are Taylor Swift’s “All Too Well (10 Minute Version)”, which jumps 12 spots from #19 to #7 (the song fell from #1 to #4 on the Billboard Hot 100), and Kacey Musgraves’ “Justified”, which nods at #10. The two new debut songs this week are both by British bands: “U&ME” by alt-J, which enters at #29, and “One and the Same” by Future Theory, which enters at #30.

  1. DON’T BRING ME DOWN – Two Feet (1) 4th week at #1
  2. EASY ON ME – Adele (2)
  3. I DON’T WANNA TALK (I JUST WANNA DANCE) – Glass Animals (3)
  4. BEGGIN’ – Måneskin (4)
  5. I DON’T LIVE HERE ANYMORE – The War on Drugs ft. Lucius (7)
  6. LOVE LOVE LOVE – My Morning Jacket (8)
  7. ALL TOO WELL (10 Minute Version) – Taylor Swift (19)
  8. NEVER LOOKED BACK – The Zangwills (6)
  9. TAKE THE L – Roadkeeper (5)
  10. JUSTIFIED – Kacey Musgraves (12)
  11. LOVE IN OCTOBER – Ships Have Sailed (13)
  12. GOOD FRIEND – dwi (14)
  13. SURVIVOR – Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats (11)
  14. CAN YOU HANDLE MY LOVE?? – WALK THE MOON (9)
  15. MINE FOREVER – Lord Huron (10)
  16. STARTS WITH YOU – Shimmer Johnson (17)
  17. TIME IN DISGUISE – Kings of Leon (18)
  18. REARVIEW – G. Samedi (20)
  19. SMILE – Wolf Alice (21)
  20. THE TIPPING POINT – Tears For Fears (22)
  21. CRUTCH – Band of Horses (25)
  22. COLORADO – Milky Chance (15)
  23. WRECKED – Imagine Dragons (16)
  24. I SEE THE SUN – Solar Eyes (26)
  25. TWO CAR FAMILY – Apollo Junction (27)
  26. LEFT BEHIND – a million rich daughters (28)
  27. KALEIDOSCOPE – Soda Cracker Jesus (29)
  28. JOURNEYMAN’S BALLET – Sam Rappaport (30)
  29. U&ME – alt-J (N)
  30. ONE AND THE SAME – Future Theory (N)

Top 30 Songs for November 28-December 4, 2021

Two Feet maintains a firm grip on the #1 spot for a third week with his darkly beautiful and brooding “Don’t Bring Me Down”, while Adele’s poignant “Easy on Me” holds at #2 for a second week. Glass Animals climb two spots to third place with their buoyant “I Don’t Wanna Talk (I Just Wanna Dance)”, and My Morning Jacket’s “Love Love Love” enters the top 10 at #8.

As we enter the final month of 2021, a whopping six new songs (well, five new and one refashioned) debut this week. Taylor Swift’s epic 10 minute and 13 seconds long “All Too Well” – which debuted at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 – enters my chart at #19 (I’m old school about music charts, and have a problem with songs debuting at #1). The five other new entries are “I See the Sun” by British psychedelic pop/rock band Solar Eyes, “Two Car Family” by British electro-rock band Apollo Junction, “Left Behind” by Chicago post-punk band a million rich daughters, “Kaleidoscope” by Tacoma psychedelic power pop artist Soda Cracker Jesus, and the enchanting “Journeyman’s Ballet” by Brooklyn singer-songwriter Sam Rappaport.

  1. DON’T BRING ME DOWN – Two Feet (1)
  2. EASY ON ME – Adele (2)
  3. I DON’T WANNA TALK (I JUST WANNA DANCE) – Glass Animals (5)
  4. BEGGIN’ – Måneskin (6)
  5. TAKE THE L – Roadkeeper (3)
  6. NEVER LOOKED BACK – The Zangwills (4)
  7. I DON’T LIVE HERE ANYMORE – The War on Drugs ft. Lucius (10)
  8. LOVE LOVE LOVE – My Morning Jacket (11)
  9. CAN YOU HANDLE MY LOVE?? – WALK THE MOON (8)
  10. MINE FOREVER – Lord Huron (7)
  11. SURVIVOR – Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats (9)
  12. JUSTIFIED – Kacey Musgraves (14)
  13. LOVE IN OCTOBER – Ships Have Sailed (15)
  14. GOOD FRIEND – dwi (16)
  15. COLORADO – Milky Chance (13)
  16. WRECKED – Imagine Dragons (12)
  17. STARTS WITH YOU – Shimmer Johnson (19)
  18. TIME IN DISGUISE – Kings of Leon (24)
  19. ALL TOO WELL (10 Minute Version) – Taylor Swift (N)
  20. REARVIEW – G. Samedi (23)
  21. SMILE – Wolf Alice (25)
  22. THE TIPPING POINT – Tears For Fears (26)
  23. BITTER TASTE – Billy Idol (17)
  24. TALK TO ME – Bealby Point (18)
  25. CRUTCH – Band of Horses (30)
  26. I SEE THE SUN – Solar Eyes (N)
  27. TWO CAR FAMILY – Apollo Junction (N)
  28. LEFT BEHIND – a million rich daughters (N)
  29. KALEIDOSCOPE – Soda Cracker Jesus (N)
  30. JOURNEYMAN’S BALLET – Sam Rappaport (N)

Top 30 Songs for November 21-27, 2021

Not a lot of changes from last week’s list. Two Feet remains on top for a second week with his smoldering gem “Don’t Bring Me Down”, while Adele’s heartstrings-tugging “Easy on Me” climbs two spots to #2. The War on Drugs enter the top 10 with “I Don’t Live Here Anymore” and Band of Horses are the lone debut this week with “Crutch”, their first new music in five years.

  1. DON’T BRING ME DOWN – Two Feet (1)
  2. EASY ON ME – Adele (4)
  3. TAKE THE L – Roadkeeper (3)
  4. NEVER LOOKED BACK – The Zangwills (2)
  5. I DON’T WANNA TALK (I JUST WANNA DANCE) – Glass Animals (6)
  6. BEGGIN’ – Måneskin (10)
  7. MINE FOREVER – Lord Huron (5)
  8. CAN YOU HANDLE MY LOVE?? – WALK THE MOON (8)
  9. SURVIVOR – Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats (9)
  10. I DON’T LIVE HERE ANYMORE – The War on Drugs ft. Lucius (11)
  11. LOVE LOVE LOVE – My Morning Jacket (12)
  12. WRECKED – Imagine Dragons (7)
  13. COLORADO – Milky Chance (15)
  14. JUSTIFIED – Kacey Musgraves (18)
  15. LOVE IN OCTOBER – Ships Have Sailed (19)
  16. GOOD FRIEND – dwi (20)
  17. BITTER TASTE – Billy Idol (13)
  18. TALK TO ME – Bealby Point (14)
  19. STARTS WITH YOU – Shimmer Johnson (25)
  20. DISTORTED LIGHT BEAM – Bastille (16)
  21. TRANSPARENTSOUL – WILLOW featuring Travis Barker (17)
  22. BAD DREAM – Cannons (22)
  23. REARVIEW – G. Samedi (27)
  24. TIME IN DISGUISE – Kings of Leon (28)
  25. SMILE – Wolf Alice (29)
  26. THE TIPPING POINT – Tears For Fears (30)
  27. THE ANGEL OF 8TH AVE. – Gang of Youths (21)
  28. WHAT YOU SAY – Cold War Kids (23)
  29. SATURDAY – twenty øne piløts (24)
  30. CRUTCH – Band of Horses (N)

Top 30 Songs for November 14-20, 2021

It was inevitable that Two Feet’s darkly beautiful and mesmerizing “Don’t Bring Me Down” would ascend to the top of my Weekly Top 30. It’s his 4th song to reach #1 on my chart this year, and his 8th in total, beginning with his monster hit “I Feel Like I’m Drowning” in the summer of 2018. He’s one of the finest guitarists around today, with a soulful and sultry music style unlike anyone else, and highlighted by bluesy guitar work and deep floor-rattling bass grooves. I love every single recording he’s released, and have seen him perform live twice, in November 2018 and again this past May. He engages regularly with his followers on social media, which has earned him an incredibly loyal and passionate base of fans, me included. I deeply love and respect this man as both a musician and human, and he’s my favorite artist in the world right now.

In other chart highlights this week, Roadkeeper’s politically relevant “Take the L” moves up to #3, followed by Adele’s heartfelt “Easy on Me”. Glass Animals’ delightful “I Don’t Wanna Talk (I Just Wanna Dance)” moves up a notch to #6, and Måneskin’s saucy “Beggin'” enters the top 10. Leaping 10 spots each are The War on Drugs’ “I Don’t Live Here Anymore” and My Morning Jacket’s ebullient “Love Love Love”, which climb to #11 and #12, respectively. Debuting this week are “Time in Disguise” by Kings of Leon, “Smile” by Wolf Alice and “The Tipping Point” by the legendary Tears For Fears.

Fun fact: In addition to Two Feet, I’ve also seen three other acts on this list in concert: twenty øne piløts, Coldplay and Tears For Fears.

  1. DON’T BRING ME DOWN – Two Feet (2)
  2. NEVER LOOKED BACK – The Zangwills (1)
  3. TAKE THE L – Roadkeeper (4)
  4. EASY ON ME – Adele (6)
  5. MINE FOREVER – Lord Huron (3)
  6. I DON’T WANNA TALK (I JUST WANNA DANCE) – Glass Animals (7)
  7. WRECKED – Imagine Dragons (5)
  8. CAN YOU HANDLE MY LOVE?? – WALK THE MOON (8)
  9. SURVIVOR – Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats (10)
  10. BEGGIN’ – Måneskin (12)
  11. I DON’T LIVE HERE ANYMORE – The War on Drugs ft. Lucius (21)
  12. LOVE LOVE LOVE – My Morning Jacket (22)
  13. BITTER TASTE – Billy Idol (13)
  14. TALK TO ME – Bealby Point (14)
  15. COLORADO – Milky Chance (15)
  16. DISTORTED LIGHT BEAM – Bastille (9)
  17. TRANSPARENTSOUL – WILLOW featuring Travis Barker (11)
  18. JUSTIFIED – Kacey Musgraves (20)
  19. LOVE IN OCTOBER – Ships Have Sailed (23)
  20. GOOD FRIEND – dwi (24)
  21. THE ANGEL OF 8TH AVE. – Gang of Youths (16)
  22. BAD DREAM – Cannons (18)
  23. WHAT YOU SAY – Cold War Kids (19)
  24. SATURDAY – twenty øne piløts (17)
  25. STARTS WITH YOU – Shimmer Johnson (27)
  26. MY UNIVERSE – Coldplay & BTS (25)
  27. REARVIEW – G. Samedi (30)
  28. TIME IN DISGUISE – Kings of Leon (N)
  29. SMILE – Wolf Alice (N)
  30. THE TIPPING POINT – Tears For Fears (N)

Top 30 Songs for November 7-13, 2021

After a three-week run on top with “Mine Forever”, Lord Huron have been supplanted by British indie pop-rock band The Zangwills, whose gorgeous and cinematic “Never Looked Back” takes over the #1 spot. I featured them and their song a few months ago, and immediately recognized it as a future number-one hit. They’re definitely a band with a bright future if they continue putting out such quality music.

Closing in fast is my favorite artist Two Feet, with his smoldering “Don’t Bring Me Down” rising three spots to #2. Texas alt-rock band Roadkeeper holds at #4 with their politically-charged “Take the L”, and Adele’s poignant “Easy on Me” is #6 for a second week. The lone entry into the top 10 this week is “Survivor” by Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats. Canadian rockers Bealby Point continue their climb up my chart with “Talk to Me”. The Strokes-esque gem with a killer bassline lands at #14 this week. The War on Drugs’ beautiful “I Don’t Live Here Anymore” debuts at #21, while silky-voiced Australian singer-songwriter G. Samedi enters at #30 with his sensual track “Rearview”.
  1. NEVER LOOKED BACK – The Zangwills (3)
  2. DON’T BRING ME DOWN – Two Feet (5)
  3. MINE FOREVER – Lord Huron (1)
  4. TAKE THE L – Roadkeeper (4)
  5. WRECKED – Imagine Dragons (2)
  6. EASY ON ME – Adele (6)
  7. I DON’T WANNA TALK (I JUST WANNA DANCE) – Glass Animals (8)
  8. CAN YOU HANDLE MY LOVE?? – WALK THE MOON (10)
  9. DISTORTED LIGHT BEAM – Bastille (9)
  10. SURVIVOR – Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats (16)
  11. TRANSPARENTSOUL – WILLOW featuring Travis Barker (7)
  12. BEGGIN’ – Måneskin (19)
  13. BITTER TASTE – Billy Idol (15)
  14. TALK TO ME – Bealby Point (17)
  15. COLORADO – Milky Chance (18)
  16. THE ANGEL OF 8TH AVE. – Gang of Youths (11)
  17. SATURDAY – twenty øne piløts (12)
  18. BAD DREAM – Cannons (13)
  19. WHAT YOU SAY – Cold War Kids (14)
  20. JUSTIFIED – Kacey Musgraves (23)
  21. I DON’T LIVE HERE ANYMORE – The War on Drugs ft. Lucius (N)
  22. LOVE LOVE LOVE – My Morning Jacket (28)
  23. LOVE IN OCTOBER – Ships Have Sailed (27)
  24. GOOD FRIEND – dwi (29)
  25. MY UNIVERSE – Coldplay & BTS (26)
  26. FREAKS – Surf Curse (20)
  27. STARTS WITH YOU – Shimmer Johnson (30)
  28. BE A WOMAN – DeLaurentis (21)
  29. MISSING PIECE – Vance Joy (22)
  30. REARVIEW – G. Samedi (N)

Fresh New Tracks Vol. IX

It’s been a while since my last installment of Fresh New Tracks, and truth be told, I’ve been rather hesitant to do more of these posts, as I suspect a lot of artists don’t appreciate sharing the limelight with others. That said, there’s just so much great music being released nearly every day, and my time to write posts and reviews is limited, so combine them I must.

For my latest installment, I’ve chosen new singles by three of my favorite indie artists, all prolific musicians who possess really beautiful singing voices – Australian singer-songwriter G. Samedi, American singer-songwriter The Frontier, and Canadian-American singer-songwriter Shimmer Johnson. I’ve previously featured each of them on this blog numerous times, and love their new songs so much that I have to share them.

“Rearview” by G. Samedi

Sam looking cool as always

G. Samedi is the music project of Sam Dawes, a remarkably talented and dangerously charismatic singer-songwriter from Sydney, Australia. He’s also lead vocalist and songwriter for the wonderful soul/funk/jazz/pop band Thunder Fox, who I’ve written about several times as well. He has a distinctive soulful and silky vocal style that effortlessly glides from smooth, sultry croons to a plaintive falsetto and back again. Drawing from R&B, soul, trip hop, electronic and alternative rock elements, Sam creates moody and sensuous soundscapes for the expression of his bold lyrics addressing the darker and more introspective aspects of love and relationships. He writes all his own music and lyrics, records and programs all instruments, sings all vocals, and produces and mixes all tracks. The only think he outsources is the mastering.  

While still actively involved with Thunder Fox, who will be releasing their second album next month, Sam began recording and producing some of his songs as a solo artist in early 2020. In less than two years, he’s released an astonishing 10 singles, one of which, “Icarus”, I reviewed this past May. His latest is “Rearview”, which dropped October 16th, and it’s another stunning & dreamy track. I love all the colorful instruments and sounds he incorporates into the song, highlighted by sparkling synths, enchanting organ, and a mix of shimmery and gnarly guitar notes. As always, his layered vocals are smooth, sensuous and incredibly emotive.    

Connect with G. Samedi: Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

“On the Other Side” by The Frontier

Jake sharing a moment with his trusty sidekick Atlas

Regular readers of this blog know I’m a huge fan of The Frontier – aka Jake Mimikos, who’s based in Fairfax County, Virginia. Jake is an enormously talented guy with a kindness and sense of humor to match, and I’m quite fond of him both as an artist and human. Since 2015, he’s released an impressive amount of music both as a solo artist and as a band under The Frontier moniker, and we’ve been following each other on social media for nearly that long. Drawing upon elements of pop, folk, rock and electronica, his music is always incredibly pleasing and flawlessly crafted. As with many singer-songwriters, Jake’s songs are often inspired by personal experiences, and deal with love, relationships and loss. He prefers to write lyrics that are honest and straightforward, as if he were having a conversation with a friend. I’ve loved all of his songs, and have featured several on this blog, most recently “Shattered”, which I reviewed this past July. Two of his singles, “Dark Places” (from 2019) and “Can We Go Back” (from earlier this year) reached #1 on my Weekly Top 30, while “Sleep” (released in late 2020) reached #2.

On October 15th, he dropped his latest single “On the Other Side”, a beautiful song with heartfelt lyrics directed at a former romantic partner that’s hurt him, and who he now wants to try and get over: “Gotta get my head right, gotta get you out of my mind. Tell me what it feels like on the other side.” About the song, Jake told the blog Cool Top 20The music for this song came to me, oddly enough, when I was creating a video on Tik Tok. At the time, I was just messing around and posting little videos of me playing with my looper pedal. One of the loops I created had this really cool lead part over this simple progression. When I heard it I knew instantly I wanted to develop it a bit more and turn it into a song. You can hear the lead guitar part over most of the song in the background. It’s really simple, but to me it was the coolest thing hearing it come together.” It sounds very cool indeed Jake!

Connect with The Frontier: Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

“Starts with You” by Shimmer Johnson

Shimmer working her magic

Let’s kick the mood into high gear with a hot new dance-pop song, “Starts with You” by Shimmer Johnson. Originally from Edmonton, Canada and now based in Los Angeles, Shimmer has an incredibly beautiful and resonant singing voice. Her clear, pitch-perfect vocals are strong, but with a raw vulnerability that beautifully conveys the subtle yet powerful emotions expressed in her heartfelt lyrics, enabling us to connect with her songs on a deeply personal level. 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 few years. She started out singing Country songs, but eventually transitioned to a more adult contemporary pop sound. 

I’ve featured Shimmer several times on this blog, most recently this past June when I reviewed her powerfully moving single “It’s Fate’s Turn”. Her latest single “Starts with You”, released on October 15th, sees her venture into dance-pop, and I absolutely love it! Co-written by Shimmer, her husband Corey, and Ted Perlman, the song features an infectiously upbeat dance groove guaranteed to have even the biggest wallflowers on their feet and swaying their hips. It’s essentially a song of love that starts off with the singer feeling a bit unsure about her new lover’s intentions: “All alone feeling emptiness. She’s leaving. He won’t see me. What I need, I can’t breathe” but ends up with her feeling happy and secure: “He does see me. What I need to be free (Feel this moment). He helps me see all the things I can be.” I love the funky little Nile Rodgers-like guitar riff and Shimmer’s smooth, breezy vocals. It’s a great track that’s already one of my favorites of her many songs, and I’m certain it will be a hit.

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