Top 30 Songs for June 5-11, 2022

Florence + the Machine‘s cinematic “My Love” holds the #1 spot for a second week, while The Black Keys‘ “Wild Child” remains at #2. Brooklyn band Gooseberry climbs a notch to #3 with their wonderful “Sleep”, and London artist HULLAH moves up to #4 with his ethereal and moody “Chasing Trains”. British band The Amazons‘ “Bloodrush” climbs four spots to #11, Two Feet jumps seven spots to #12 with his smoldering “Tell Me The Truth”, and Caamp’s “Believe” leaps eight spots to #22. Two songs make their debut this week – the epic “The Foundations of Decay” by My Chemical Romance, their first new music in eight years, and the buoyant “In The Mirror” by Los Angeles ska punk band The Interrupters, entering at #29 and 30, respectively.

  1. MY LOVE – Florence + the Machine (1)
  2. WILD CHILD – The Black Keys (2)
  3. SLEEP – Gooseberry (4)
  4. CHASING TRAINS – HULLAH (5)
  5. AS IT WAS – Harry Styles (3)
  6. WILD – Spoon (6)
  7. LOVE BRAND NEW – Bob Moses (7)
  8. LA CIENEGA – Chief Springs (8)
  9. SEVENTEEN GOING UNDER – Sam Fender (10)
  10. VIRGINIA (WIND IN THE NIGHT) – The Head and the Heart (9)
  11. BLOODRUSH – The Amazons (15)
  12. TELL ME THE TRUTH – Two Feet (19)
  13. ON MY KNEES – RÜFÜS DU SOL (11)
  14. THE HURT WITHIN – Holy Coves (13)
  15. DISTANCE – Mount Famine (14)
  16. A LITTLE BIT OF LOVE – Weezer (17)
  17. 2am – Foals (18)
  18. SHUT OFF THE LIGHTS – Bastille (20)
  19. SYNCHRONIZE – Milky Chance (21)
  20. THAT’S WHERE I AM – Maggie Rogers (22)
  21. DECEPTION – Hannah Reem & Noodle Beard (12)
  22. BELIEVE – Caamp (30)
  23. ANIMAL – Partisan (25)
  24. CLOSER – The Frontier (27)
  25. LONELY – Sea Girls (28)
  26. BEDS ARE BURNING – AWOLNATION feat. Tim McIlrath (29)
  27. I LOVE YOU – Fontaines D.C. (16)
  28. WHAT, ME WORRY? – Portugal. The Man (23)
  29. THE FOUNDATIONS OF DECAY – My Chemical Romance (N)
  30. IN THE MIRROR – The Interrupters (N)

Top 30 Songs for May 29-June 4, 2022

I love the music of British band Florence + the Machine. Fronted by singer-songwriter Florence Welch, their sound is a glorious blend of indie rock, baroque pop, folk, art rock and soul. Their gorgeous song “My Love” takes over the #1 spot on my Weekly Top 30. The third single from their new album Dance Fever, Welch told Rolling Stone that she initially envisioned the song as a “sad little poem” to be performed acoustically, but later transformed it into a number she describes as “Nick Cave at the club.” In an interview with BBC Radio 1 Breakfast Show, she commented “Sometimes the biggest dance songs, I think, have a really sad core to them.” The song was co-written by Glass Animals vocalist Dave Bayley, with whom she collaborated on Dance Fever along with Jack Antonoff. The video for “My Love” was directed by Autumn de Wilde, who also directed the videos for the previous two Florence + the Machine singles “King” and “Heaven Is Here”. In the video, Welch is shown performing a concert in a pretentious nightclub, where she hypnotizes and immobilizes people, then arranges them in dances. Very baroque and cinematic.

In other chart developments, the songs at #s 3-7 remain in their same positions, while two beautiful songs – “Virginia (Wind in the Night)” by The Head and the Heart and “Seventeen Going Under” by Sam Fender – enter the top 10. Debuting this week are “Beds Are Burning”, a terrific remake of the Midnight Oil classic by AWOLNATION, featuring guest vocals by Rise Against lead singer Tim McIlrath, and “Believe” by American folk band Caamp, making their first appearance on my Weekly Top 30.

  1. MY LOVE – Florence + the Machine (2)
  2. WILD CHILD – The Black Keys (1)
  3. AS IT WAS – Harry Styles (3)
  4. SLEEP – Gooseberry (4)
  5. CHASING TRAINS – HULLAH (5)
  6. WILD – Spoon (6)
  7. LOVE BRAND NEW – Bob Moses (7)
  8. LA CIENEGA – Chief Springs (10)
  9. VIRGINIA (WIND IN THE NIGHT) – The Head and the Heart (11)
  10. SEVENTEEN GOING UNDER – Sam Fender (12)
  11. ON MY KNEES – RÜFÜS DU SOL (13)
  12. DECEPTION – Hannah Reem & Noodle Beard (8)
  13. THE HURT WITHIN – Holy Coves (14)
  14. DISTANCE – Mount Famine (16)
  15. BLOODRUSH – The Amazons (17)
  16. I LOVE YOU – Fontaines D.C. (9)
  17. A LITTLE BIT OF LOVE – Weezer (20)
  18. 2am – Foals (21)
  19. TELL ME THE TRUTH – Two Feet (25)
  20. SHUT OFF THE LIGHTS – Bastille (22)
  21. SYNCHRONIZE – Milky Chance (23)
  22. THAT’S WHERE I AM – Maggie Rogers (24)
  23. WHAT, ME WORRY? – Portugal. The Man (15)
  24. BROKEN HORSES – Brandi Carlile (18)
  25. ANIMAL – Partisan (28)
  26. BLACK SUMMER – Red Hot Chili Peppers (19)
  27. CLOSER – The Frontier (29)
  28. LONELY – Sea Girls (30)
  29. BEDS ARE BURNING – AWOLNATION feat. Tim McIlrath (N)
  30. BELIEVE – Caamp (N)

Top 30 Songs for May 22-28, 2022

Not a lot of changes from last week on my latest Weekly Top 30. The Black Keys hold at #1 for a second week with their raucous “Wild Child”, while Florence + the Machine‘s “My Love” closes in at #2. British five-piece Chief Springs enter the top 10 with their lovely song “La Cienega”, named after the famous boulevard that runs through West Hollywood and Los Angeles. The lone new debut this week is “Lonely” by British band Sea Girls, who’ve been around since 2015, but I sadly didn’t learn about until a few weeks ago.

  1. WILD CHILD – The Black Keys (1)
  2. MY LOVE – Florence + the Machine (3)
  3. AS IT WAS – Harry Styles (2)
  4. SLEEP – Gooseberry (6)
  5. CHASING TRAINS – HULLAH (7)
  6. WILD – Spoon (8)
  7. LOVE BRAND NEW – Bob Moses (5)
  8. DECEPTION – Hannah Reem & Noodle Beard (4)
  9. I LOVE YOU – Fontaines D.C. (10)
  10. LA CIENEGA – Chief Springs (13)
  11. VIRGINIA (WIND IN THE NIGHT) – The Head and the Heart (16)
  12. SEVENTEEN GOING UNDER – Sam Fender (19)
  13. ON MY KNEES – RÜFÜS DU SOL (14)
  14. THE HURT WITHIN – Holy Coves (15)
  15. WHAT, ME WORRY – Portugal. The Man (9)
  16. DISTANCE – Mount Famine (17)
  17. BLOODRUSH – The Amazons (18)
  18. BROKEN HORSES – Brandi Carlile (11)
  19. BLACK SUMMER – Red Hot Chili Peppers (12)
  20. A LITTLE BIT OF LOVE – Weezer (22)
  21. 2am – Foals (23)
  22. SHUT OFF THE LIGHTS – Bastille (24)
  23. SYNCHRONIZE – Milky Chance (25)
  24. THAT’S WHERE I AM – Maggie Rogers (26)
  25. TELL ME THE TRUTH – Two Feet (27)
  26. BROKEN HEARTS – Ships Have Sailed (20)
  27. GIVE A LITTLE LOVIN’ – Jamie Alimorad (21)
  28. ANIMAL – Partisan (29)
  29. CLOSER – The Frontier (30)
  30. LONELY – Sea Girls (N)

Top 30 Songs for May 15-21, 2022

Though their latest album Dropout Boogie has gotten mixed reviews, I love The Black Keys‘ lead single “Wild Child”, which knocks Harry Styles’ “As It Was” from the #1 spot after a two-week run. The rousing stomper sees them going back to their blues rock roots, highlighted by Dan Auerbach’s gnarly guitars and Patrick Carney’s muscular drumbeats. Though the simple lyrics are directed to a woman the singer wants to love – “I just wanna hold you at the end of every day. Girl, I wanna please you, oh, I’m needing you to stay. The sun is gonna shine if you would just come out and play. Baby, won’t you show me your wild child ways” – the outrageous video portrays Auerbach and Carney as guys who show up for menial jobs at an out of control high school, then add to the ensuing mayhem.

In other chart news, Florence + the Machine‘s gorgeous “My Love” continues its march toward the top, climbing a notch to #3. “Sleep” by Brooklyn four-piece Gooseberry, “Chasing Trains” by British singer-songwriter HULLAH, and “Wild” by Spoon all climb three spots to #6, 7 and 8, respectively, and Fontaines D.C.’s haunting “I Love You” finally enters the top 10.

Three songs make their debut this week. The first is “Seventeen Going Under” by British singer-songwriter Sam Fender, which enters at #19. The beautiful song was released in July 2021, and I ranked it at #44 on my Top 100 Songs of 2021 list, so when it started getting a lot of airplay a few months ago, I resisted placing it on my Weekly Top 30. But now that’s it climbing up the Alternative charts, I’m compelled to add it to mine too. The other two debuts are “Tell Me The Truth” by my favorite artist Two Feet, who just dropped his fourth album Shape and Form, and “Closer” by another favorite artist of mine, singer-songwriter The Frontier.

  1. WILD CHILD – The Black Keys (2)
  2. AS IT WAS – Harry Styles (1)
  3. MY LOVE – Florence + the Machine (4)
  4. DECEPTION – Hannah Reem & Noodle Beard (3)
  5. LOVE BRAND NEW – Bob Moses (5)
  6. SLEEP – Gooseberry (9)
  7. CHASING TRAINS – HULLAH (10)
  8. WILD – Spoon (11)
  9. WHAT, ME WORRY? – Portugal. The Man (6)
  10. I LOVE YOU – Fontaines D.C. (14)
  11. BROKEN HORSES – Brandi Carlile (8)
  12. BLACK SUMMER – Red Hot Chili Peppers (7)
  13. LA CIENEGA – Chief Springs (15)
  14. ON MY KNEES – RÜFÜS DU SOL (16)
  15. THE HURT WITHIN – Holy Coves (17)
  16. VIRGINIA (WIND IN THE NIGHT) – The Head and the Heart (18)
  17. DISTANCE – Mount Famine (19)
  18. BLOODRUSH – The Amazons (20)
  19. SEVENTEEN GOING UNDER – Sam Fender (N)
  20. BROKEN HEARTS – Ships Have Sailed (12)
  21. GIVE A LITTLE LOVIN’ – Jamie Alimorad (13)
  22. A LITTLE BIT OF LOVE – Weezer (21)
  23. 2am – Foals (22)
  24. SHUT OFF THE LIGHTS – Bastille (26)
  25. SYNCHRONIZE – Milky Chance (28)
  26. THAT’S WHERE I AM – Maggie Rogers (29)
  27. TELL ME THE TRUTH – Two Feet (N)
  28. I’LL CALL YOU MINE – girl in red (24)
  29. ANIMAL – Partisan (30)
  30. CLOSER – The Frontier (N)

Top 30 Songs for May 8-14, 2022

Some have asked me how I come up with my Weekly Top 30 lists – i.e., what my song rankings are based on, and how and why I include the songs that I do. Well, it’s simple: it’s basically a list of my 30 current favorite songs for each week. If I had my own radio station, these are the songs I’d play most, along with favorite older songs, of course. I’m a big fan of alternative rock, dream rock, pop-rock and synthpop, so my lists are strongly influenced by the Billboard Alternative and Adult Alternative Airplay charts. I also write about and like to promote indie artists as much as possible, many of whom are putting out outstanding music, so each week I try to include at least 10 songs I really like by indie artists and bands.

It’s not often that a song that reaches #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 also tops my chart, as a lot of them are crap, but every once in a while a great pop song comes along that I also love, such as last year’s “Drivers License”, “Levitating” and “Leave the Door Open”. Harry Styles‘ “As It Was” is another such hit song, now in its third week at #1 on the Hot 100, and #1 for a second week on my chart. The Black Keys‘ “Wild Child” closes in at #2, while Florence + the Machine‘s gorgeous “My Love” rises to #4. Entering the top 10 are songs by two indie artists I’ve come to really like: “Sleep” by Brooklyn four-piece Gooseberry, who just released their wonderful EP Broken Dance, and the achingly beautiful “Chasing Trains” by British singer-songwriter HULLAH. The lone debut this week is “Animal” by British rock group Partisan, a long-time favorite band of mine.

  1. AS IT WAS – Harry Styles (1)
  2. WILD CHILD – The Black Keys (3)
  3. DECEPTION – Hannah Reem & Noodle Beard (2)
  4. MY LOVE – Florence + the Machine (6)
  5. LOVE BRAND NEW – Bob Moses (5)
  6. WHAT, ME WORRY? – Portugal. The Man (4)
  7. BLACK SUMMER – Red Hot Chili Peppers (7)
  8. BROKEN HORSES – Brandi Carlile (8)
  9. SLEEP – Gooseberry (11)
  10. CHASING TRAINS – HULLAH (12)
  11. WILD – Spoon (13)
  12. BROKEN HEARTS – Ships Have Sailed (9)
  13. GIVE A LITTLE LOVIN’ – Jamie Alimorad (10)
  14. I LOVE YOU – Fontaines D.C. (17)
  15. LA CIENEGA – Chief Springs (18)
  16. ON MY KNEES – RÜFÜS DU SOL (19)
  17. THE HURT WITHIN – Holy Coves (20)
  18. VIRGINIA (WIND IN THE NIGHT) – The Head and the Heart (21)
  19. DISTANCE – Mount Famine (22)
  20. BLOODRUSH – The Amazons (23)
  21. A LITTLE BIT OF LOVE – Weezer (24)
  22. 2am – Foals (25)
  23. JUST LIKE ALWAYS – Oli Barton & the Movement with Maella (14)
  24. I’LL CALL YOU MINE – girl in red (15)
  25. CHEER UP BABY – Inhaler (16)
  26. SHUT OFF THE LIGHTS – Bastille (27)
  27. MIRACLE MILE – Head Noise (28)
  28. SYNCHRONIZE – Milky Chance (29)
  29. THAT’S WHERE I AM – Maggie Rogers (30)
  30. ANIMAL – Partisan (N)

Fresh New Tracks, Vol. 15 – The Frontier, Partisan, Johnny Ritchie

There’s so much new music being released these days that it’s already time for another installment of Fresh New Tracks. Today I’m featuring new songs by (in alphabetical order) Virginia-based singer-songwriter The Frontier, British rock band Partisan, and Montana-based singer-songwriter Johnny Ritchie. All three singles were released yesterday, April 8th.

THE FRONTIER – “Closer”

The Frontier is the music project of singer-songwriter Jake Mimikos, who’s based in northern Virginia. An enormously talented, gracious and funny guy, he’s released an impressive amount of music both as a band and a solo artist under The Frontier moniker since around 2015, and we’ve followed each other on social media for nearly that long. Drawing upon elements of pop, folk, rock and electronica, his music is incredibly pleasing and flawlessly crafted. As with many singer-songwriters, Jake’s songs are often inspired by personal experiences, and touch on such topics as 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 many of them on this blog over the years. Two of his singles, “Dark Places” (from 2019) and “Can We Go Back” (from 2021) went all the way to #1 on my Weekly Top 30, while “Sleep” (released in late 2020) reached #2.

On his latest single “Closer“, The Frontier delivers more of the catchy and melodic pop-rock we’ve come to love and expect from him. The song is more upbeat and pop-oriented than some of his previous releases, with a bouncy, guitar-driven groove and colorful synths nicely complementing the optimistic lyrics. About the song, Jake told Cool Top20 blogThis song was written during the pandemic while there was a very intense feeling of loneliness and isolation going on. It’s really a response to that. Wanting to get back to feeling connected again, I wanted to release something that hopefully everyone might be able to relate to and enjoy. I’m hoping that came through in the song. This song is special because it was 100% funded and supported by my friends, family, and fans. Huge thanks to everyone who contributed to my kickstarter to make this happen.

Connect with The Frontier: Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

PARTISAN – “Animal”

Manchester, UK rock band Partisan was one of the earlier bands to follow me on Twitter way back in 2016, and I loved their high-energy style of melodic rock right from the start. Now comprised of Stuart Armstrong on guitar and vocals, Dan Albon on bass, and Leo Stanfield on drums, I first wrote about them in August 2016 when I reviewed their fantastic single “Juggernaut”, then two months later had the pleasure of meeting them when they performed at the legendary Whisky a Go Go on the Sunset Strip. I featured them a second time in June 2018 when I reviewed their single “Oxygen.” They followed with three more singles over the next two years, before the pandemic brought things to a halt.

Now, I’m happy to report that the guys are back with a brilliant new single “Animal“. It’s their first new music in over two years, and was definitely worth the wait. The song is both melodically beautiful and intensely satisfying from a rock perspective. It’s an electrifying stomper, highlighted by Stuart’s gorgeous, intricate guitar work, Dan’s driving bassline and Leo’s galloping drumbeats. I love Stuart’s beautiful tenor singing voice, which sounds better than ever here. The lyrics speak to the inherent dichotomy that exists with physical love and lust, namely that we often want a bit of both devil and angel in a romantic partner, but more heavily oriented toward the latter, of course: “Give me some more of that modern love. One from below, and two from above. Animal.” I love this song, and cannot get enough of it!

Connect with Partisan:  FacebookTwitterInstagram

JOHNNY RITCHIE – “Too Much Trouble featuring Jay Davis

Johnny Ritchie is an engaging and thoughtful young singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist based in Great Falls, Montana. With a lifelong love for music, he began learning to play piano and drums as a young child, then went on to study Contemporary, Urban, and Popular Music at Columbia College Chicago, and in 2020 earned a B.A. degree in Music at Western Michigan University. He now has his own business teaching others to play piano, keyboards and drums, as well as providing lessons in music theory, songwriting and improvisation. He also writes and records music in which he fuses alternative and experimental rock with neo-psychedelia and contemporary jazz to create incredibly fascinating soundscapes.

In March 2021 he released his debut single “Social Robots”, a song addressing human behavior and social media consumption following the tragedy of the 2018 shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL (which I reviewed). He followed with “Tired of the Media”, a song decrying the scare tactics so often used by the media. Now he returns with another socially topical single, “Too Much Trouble“, which touches on the superficiality of many of our interpersonal interactions these days, specifically the feelings of emptiness, disconnectedness and isolation that often result from using dating apps. Social media platforms were supposed to bring us closer together, but as Johnny noted to me, they “ironically make us feel more disconnected from those traits of human connection that we so desperately desire: love, physical touch, understanding and acceptance.”  

Musically, the song has an incredible arrangement and sophisticated jazzy vibe, dominated by a fabulous soulful organ and deliciously funky bass groove. The trippy psychedelic synths, subtle guitar notes and crisp percussion are perfection, and nicely complemented by some well-placed finger snaps adding even more coolness to the proceedings. The marvelous solo at the end was performed by his friend Jay Davis on an electric wind instrument. Johnny’s smooth, low-key vocals are wonderful too, exuding just the right amount of emotion as he sadly ponders “Is it too much trouble, baby, to want to know your mind? / I want to connect, skin on skin contact. But it’s only video call dates, swiping to find a mate. Nothing seems to last more than a day.”

Connect with Johnny:  Facebook / Instagram

PARTISAN – Single Review: “Oxygen”

Partisan Oxygen

I’ve been following Manchester, UK rock band Partisan for a couple of years, and I love their music. Like many bands, they’ve undergone a few personnel changes since their formation, but their music has remained consistently good. Partisan is now made up of Stuart Armstrong on guitar and vocals, Dan Albon on bass, and Leo Stanfield on drums. I previously featured their fantastic single “Juggernaut” on this blog two years ago, in the summer of 2016, and that October had the pleasure of meeting them when they performed at the legendary Whisky a Go Go on the Sunset Strip. They’ve released several excellent tracks since then, and in May they dropped their latest single “Oxygen.

The new track nicely delivers more of their signature high-energy melodic rock. It opens with sounds of sirens in the distance, then Albon lays down a bass riff as Armstrong’s punchy guitar and Stanfield’s snappy drums enter the proceedings. Tasty intricate guitar riffs ensue along with heavier percussion, all the while anchored by Albon’s subtle bass line. Armstrong’s fervent vocals are positively sublime. I really love his distinctive tenor voice, which is a major component of Partisan’s unique sound that sets them apart from any other band.

My take on the song is that it seems to be about realizing that a relationship one took for granted is worth salvaging. That there’s enough oxygen – love – for two for the relationship to survive. “I was too blind to see. I was too drunk to feel. Denying ourselves the truth. There must be enough to breathe. Oxygen release. / Let me be the one that saves you. / Let me be the one to keep you breathing.

The dark, brilliant video shows the band performing the song in a dank, filthy room in a decrepit old building. As the song progresses, dust and smoke permeate the room as the walls begin closing in on them, sucking out the oxygen. By the end, Armstrong is shown trapped and curled up in a tightly enclosed space. An interesting side feature in the video is that among the various photos on the wall is one of a smiling President Trump (who can suck the oxygen and joy out of a room like a Harry Potter Death Eater). His photo is eventually shown pierced with darts. That brought a big smile to my face!

Catch Partisan at one of their upcoming shows in and around Manchester:

June 5             Gullivers, Manchester
June 30           Save the Children Charity event
Sept 27           Sonder Festival, Manchester

Connect with Partisan:  Facebook / Twitter / Instagram
Stream their music:  Spotify / Apple Music / Soundcloud
Purchase:  iTunes