Top 30 Songs for May 28-June 3, 2023

Irish singer-songwriter and musician Hozier (born Andrew John Hozier-Byrne), has never shied away from addressing social and political topics in his songs, and in a 2021 interview with Forbes magazine, he stated that he believes “the personal is the political“. His breakout hit “Take Me to Church” highlighted the injustices and violence perpetrated against the LGBTQ community; the video for his song “Cherry Wine” raised awareness of domestic violence; and “Nina Cried Power” paid homage to such artists as Nina Simone, Bob Dylan, and Mavis Staples, whose work often took political or social justice stances.

His latest single “Eat Your Young” was inspired by Gluttony, one the 9 Circles of Hell contained in the first part of Dante Alighieri’s epic poem Divine Comedy, and describes a feast being prepared and served together with the chaos that comes with it. Many of the allegorical lyrics can be construed to be anti-war, with references to corporate greed and capitalistic warfare, and sacrificing our young to fight our wars. According to an annotation in Genius, the line “pull up the ladder when the flood comes” could be interpreted to mean that when the biblical flood comes, rather than leaving the ladder down to help other people climb to safety, the ladder is pulled up-presumably because to save them would be to share resources with them. The darkly captivating song, from his forthcoming third album Unreal Unearth, due for release in August, ascends to the #1 spot on my latest Top 30. It’s Hozier’s third song to top my chart.

In other chart developments, the Foo Fighters‘ “Rescued” climbs six spots to enter the top 10. Four songs make their debut this week: the lovely and heartwarming “Marry Another Man” by singer-songwriter Wise John (whose wonderful EP The Mr. Love Sunset Show! I recently reviewed), “We’re All Gonna Die” by singer-songwriters Joy Oladokun and Noah Kahan, “Chemical” by superstar Post Malone, and “Superglue” by pop-rock band Michigander.

  1. EAT YOUR YOUNG – Hozier (2)
  2. KID – The Revivalists (1)
  3. NOT STRONG ENOUGH – boygenius (4)
  4. PAID OFF – Oli Barton & the Movement (6)
  5. NEW GOLD – Gorillaz, Tame Impala & Bootie Brown (3)
  6. DUMMY – Portugal. The Man (9)
  7. GO DOWN RIVER – The Heavy Heavy (10)
  8. GHOSTS AGAIN – Depeche Mode (5)
  9. THE WALK HOME – Young the Giant (7)
  10. RESCUED – Foo Fighters (16)
  11. THE PERFECT PAIR – beabadoobee (12)
  12. ESSENCE – Refeci featuring Shimmer Johnson (14)
  13. FLOWERS – Miley Cyrus (8)
  14. WOLF – Yeah Yeah Yeahs (13)
  15. 1982 – Morgendust (17)
  16. RESCUE ME – Dirty Heads (18)
  17. LEAVING – Au Gres (19)
  18. THE WAY – Manchester Orchestra (20)
  19. THOSE EYES – New West (21)
  20. IN MY HEAD – Mike Shinoda & Kailee Morgue (22)
  21. WHY – Future Theory (23)
  22. BLUEBELL WOOD – Frank Joshua (11)
  23. TROPIC MORNING NEWS – The National (15)
  24. HELLO – GROUPLOVE (27)
  25. EMPTY NEST – Silversun Pickups (28)
  26. PINEAPPLE SUNRISE – Beach Weather (30)
  27. MARRY ANOTHER MAN – Wise John (N)
  28. WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE – Joy Oladokun & Noah Kahan (N)
  29. CHEMICAL – Post Malone (N)
  30. SUPERGLUE – Michigander (N)

Top 30 Songs for May 21-27, 2023

“Kid”, the feel-good anthem by New Orleans band The Revivalists, remains atop my Top 30 for a second week, while Hozier‘s enchanting “Eat Your Young” moves into second place. Entering the top 10 are “Dummy” by Portland alt-rock band Portugal. The Man and “Go Down River” by British duo The Heavy Heavy, at #s 9 and 10 respectively. The biggest upward movers this week are “Rescued” by Foo Fighters, leaping 12 spots to #16, “Not Strong Enough” by supergroup boygenius (Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers & Lucy Dacus), climbing five spots to #4, and “Those Eyes” by New West, also advancing five spots to #21.

The lone debut this week is “Pineapple Sunrise” by Beach Weather, who’ve become one of my favorite bands over the past year. The title track from their album of the same name, “Pineapple Sunrise” has not been officially released as a single, however they did release a terrific new video for the song this past Friday, and I love it so much it’s made my Weekly Top 30.

  1. KID – The Revivalists (1)
  2. EAT YOUR YOUNG – Hozier (3)
  3. NEW GOLD – Gorillaz, Tame Impala & Bootie Brown (2)
  4. NOT STRONG ENOUGH – boygenius (9)
  5. GHOSTS AGAIN – Depeche Mode (4)
  6. PAID OFF – Oli Barton & the Movement (8)
  7. THE WALK HOME – Young the Giant (7)
  8. FLOWERS – Miley Cyrus (5)
  9. DUMMY – Portugal. The Man (13)
  10. GO DOWN RIVER – The Heavy Heavy (14)
  11. BLUEBELL WOOD – Frank Joshua (6)
  12. THE PERFECT PAIR – beabadoobee (12)
  13. WOLF – Yeah Yeah Yeahs (11)
  14. ESSENCE – Refeci featuring Shimmer Johnson (15)
  15. TROPIC MORNING NEWS – The National (10)
  16. RESCUED – Foo Fighters (28)
  17. 1982 – Morgendust (20)
  18. RESCUE ME – Dirty Heads (21)
  19. LEAVING – Au Gres (22)
  20. THE WAY – Manchester Orchestra (24)
  21. THOSE EYES – New West (26)
  22. IN MY HEAD – Mike Shinoda & Kailee Morgue (25)
  23. WHY – Future Theory (27)
  24. SOFTEN – Alex Southey (16)
  25. LOVE FROM THE OTHER SIDE – Fall Out Boy (18)
  26. PEPPER – Death Cab for Cutie (17)
  27. HELLO – GROUPLOVE (29)
  28. EMPTY NEST – Silversun Pickups (30)
  29. ANGELICA – Wet Leg (19)
  30. PINEAPPLE SUNRISE – Beach Weather (N)

Top 30 Songs for May 14-20, 2023

Photo by Alysse Gafkjen

I’ve loved making song lists since my teens, but one thing I don’t like about doing them is having to drop songs down and then ultimately off. And just because I move songs down and then off my lists doesn’t mean I no longer like them or am even tired of them, but they must eventually make way for newer songs to have their own time in the sun, so to speak. That said, it makes me a little sad to knock “New Gold”, by Gorillaz, Tame Impala and Bootie Brown, from the top spot it’s held the last three weeks, but it must step aside because The Revivalists‘ “Kid” is my new current favorite song. For those unfamiliar with The Revivalists, they’re an 8-piece alternative roots rock band who formed in New Orleans in 2007. They finally burst onto the music scene in 2015 when, on the strength of their third album Men Amongst Mountains, Rolling Stone magazine named them one of “10 Bands You Need to Know”. One of the singles from that album, “Wish I Knew You”, was a sleeper hit, finally reaching #1 on the Billboard Adult Alternative Songs chart in September 2016, then topping the Alternative Airplay chart in May 2017.

The exuberant feel-good anthem “Kid” is the lead single from their forthcoming fifth studio album Pour It Out Into The Night, due for release on June 2nd, and is currently #1 on the Adult Alternative Songs chart. Band lead vocalist David Shaw said the song “is about capturing the essence of life. We all go through ups and downs. Sometimes, we don’t believe in ourselves. We’ve got skeletons in the closet trying to drag us down. But you’ve got to believe in yourself. You’ve just got to live for the spirit. Nothing good ever comes easy. If you don’t have hope, what do you have?” Besides making great songs, The Revivalists use their music as a force of positivity, and are actively involved in several philanthropic causes, including establishing an umbrella fund Rev Causes in 2019, for the purpose of supporting various organizations dedicated to reviving and investing in their communities, public health, and the environment.

The lone debut this week is “Empty Nest” by L.A.-based alt-rock band Silversun Pickups, who’ve been making music since 2000.

  1. KID – The Revivalists (3)
  2. NEW GOLD – Gorillaz, Tame Impala & Bootie Brown (1)
  3. EAT YOUR YOUNG – Hozier (5)
  4. GHOSTS AGAIN – Depeche Mode (2)
  5. FLOWERS – Miley Cyrus (4)
  6. BLUEBELL WOOD – Frank Joshua (6)
  7. THE WALK HOME – Young the Giant (9)
  8. PAID OFF – Oli Barton & the Movement (10)
  9. NOT STRONG ENOUGH – boygenius (11)
  10. TROPIC MORNING NEWS – The National (7)
  11. WOLF – Yeah Yeah Yeahs (12)
  12. THE PERFECT PAIR – beabadoobee (14)
  13. DUMMY – Portugal. The Man (18)
  14. GO DOWN RIVER – The Heavy Heavy (17)
  15. ESSENCE – Refeci featuring Shimmer Johnson (19)
  16. SOFTEN – Alex Southey (8)
  17. PEPPER – Death Cab for Cutie (15)
  18. LOVE FROM THE OTHER SIDE – Fall Out Boy (16)
  19. ANGELICA – Wet Leg (21)
  20. 1982 – Morgendust (22)
  21. RESCUE ME – Dirty Heads (23)
  22. LEAVING – Au Gres (24)
  23. TRANSMITTER – Sea Power (13)
  24. THE WAY – Manchester Orchestra (25)
  25. IN MY HEAD – Mike Shinoda & Kailee Morgue (26)
  26. THOSE EYES – New West (27)
  27. WHY – Future Theory (28)
  28. RESCUED – Foo Fighters (29)
  29. HELLO – GROUPLOVE (30)
  30. EMPTY NEST – Silversun Pickups (N)

Top 30 Songs for May 7-13, 2023

“New Gold”, the wonderful collaboration between virtual band Gorillaz, Australian alternative psychedelic music project Tame Impala, and American rapper Bootie Brown, maintains it’s grip on the #1 spot for a third week, while “Ghosts Again” by Depeche Mode moves into the #2 spot. Jumping five spots each are “Kid” by The Revivalists, to #3, and “Eat Your Young” by Hozier, to #5. The raucous “Paid Off”, by British alt-rock band Oli Barton & the Movement, enters the top 10 at #10. They just released their biting new single “Left Alive in America?” on May 5th, and will be releasing their album Pipe Dreams on the 19th.

Making their debut this week are “Rescued” by the Foo Fighters, their first new release since the untimely death of drummer Taylor Hawkins, at #29, and “Hello”, by the always delightful L.A. band GROUPLOVE, at #30.

  1. NEW GOLD – Gorillaz, Tame Impala & Bootie Brown (1)
  2. GHOSTS AGAIN – Depeche Mode (3)
  3. KID – The Revivalists (8)
  4. FLOWERS – Miley Cyrus (4)
  5. EAT YOUR YOUNG – Hozier (10)
  6. BLUEBELL WOOD – Frank Joshua (6)
  7. TROPIC MORNING NEWS – The National (2)
  8. SOFTEN – Alex Southey (5)
  9. THE WALK HOME – Young the Giant (9)
  10. PAID OFF – Oli Barton & the Movement (13)
  11. NOT STRONG ENOUGH – boygenius (17)
  12. WOLF – Yeah Yeah Yeahs (14)
  13. TRANSMITTER – Sea Power (7)
  14. THE PERFECT PAIR – beabadoobee (16)
  15. PEPPER – Death Cab for Cutie (11)
  16. LOVE FROM THE OTHER SIDE – Fall Out Boy (12)
  17. GO DOWN RIVER – The Heavy Heavy (18)
  18. DUMMY – Portugal. The Man (19)
  19. ESSENCE – Refeci & Shimmer Johnson (20)
  20. I WANT YOU DEAD – Two Feet & Allie Cabal (15)
  21. ANGELICA – Wet Leg (22)
  22. 1982 – Morgendust (23)
  23. RESCUE ME – Dirty Heads (24)
  24. LEAVING – Au Gres (25)
  25. THE WAY – Manchester Orchestra (27)
  26. IN MY HEAD – Mike Shinoda & Kailee Morgue (28)
  27. THOSE EYES – New West (29)
  28. WHY – Future Theory (30)
  29. RESCUED – Foo Fighters (N)
  30. HELLO – GROUPLOVE (N)

Top 30 Songs for April 30-May 6, 2023

“New Gold”, the marvelous collaboration between virtual band Gorillaz, Australian alternative psychedelic music project Tame Impala, and American rapper Bootie Brown, remains at #1 for a second week. Holding at #2 for a second week is the beautiful “Tropic Morning News” by The National, which previously spent two weeks at #1. Depeche Mode‘s “Ghosts Again” holds at #3 for a second week, and “Flowers” by Miley Cyrus moves up a notch to #4. Moving up three spots each are “Soften” by Canadian singer-songwriter Alex Southey, to #5, and “Bluebell Wood” by British singer-songwriter Frank Joshua to #6. Entering the top 10 are “Kid” by The Revivalists, climbing three spots to #8, and “Eat Your Young” by Hozier, which jumps six spots to #10.

Two songs make their debut this week: the gorgeous “Those Eyes” by Toronto band New West, entering at #29. The song, which reminds me a bit of Coldplay’s beloved earlier songs like “Yellow” and “Fix You”, was actually released in May 2019 as their very first single, and later included on their debut EP Call Me When You Hear This Song. Like Beach Weather’s “Sex, Drugs, Etc.”, the song apparently went viral on Tik Tok, and has recently been climbing the Alternative charts. Entering at #30 is “Why”, a stunning song by British psychedelic indie rock band Future Theory, an immensely-talented act I’ve written about many times on this blog. This is their third song to appear on my Top 30, with their 2021 single “One and the Same” reaching #3.

  1. NEW GOLD – Gorillaz, Tame Impala & Bootie Brown (1)
  2. TROPIC MORNING NEWS – The National (2)
  3. GHOSTS AGAIN – Depeche Mode (3)
  4. FLOWERS – Miley Cyrus (5)
  5. SOFTEN – Alex Southey (8)
  6. BLUEBELL WOOD – Frank Joshua (9)
  7. TRANSMITTER – Sea Power (4)
  8. KID – The Revivalists (11)
  9. THE WALK HOME – Young the Giant (10)
  10. EAT YOUR YOUNG – Hozier (16)
  11. PEPPER – Death Cab for Cutie (6)
  12. LOVE FROM THE OTHER SIDE – Fall Out Boy (7)
  13. PAID OFF – Oli Barton & the Movement (14)
  14. WOLF – Yeah Yeah Yeahs (15)
  15. I WANT YOU DEAD – Two Feet & Allie Cabal (12)
  16. THE PERFECT PAIR – beabadoobee (17)
  17. NOT STRONG ENOUGH – boygenius (18)
  18. GO DOWN RIVER – The Heavy Heavy (20)
  19. DUMMY – Portugal. The Man (21)
  20. ESSENCE – Refeci & Shimmer Johnson (22)
  21. BACKPATTERS AND SHOOTERS – The Zangwills (13) 20th week on chart
  22. ANGELICA – Wet Leg (24)
  23. 1982 – Morgendust (25)
  24. RESCUE ME – Dirty Heads (26)
  25. LEAVING – Au Gres (27)
  26. TROUBLE WITH THIS BED – Beach Weather (19) 22nd week on chart
  27. THE WAY – Manchester Orchestra (29)
  28. IN MY HEAD – Mike Shinoda & Kailee Morgue (30)
  29. THOSE EYES – New West (N)
  30. WHY – Future Theory (N)

Top 30 Songs for April 23-29, 2023

I love when artists from different genres and backgrounds come together to create music, especially when the pooling of their collective talents and imagination results in glorious sonic alchemy. One of the finest examples of this in recent memory is “New Gold”, a brilliant collaboration between virtual band Gorillaz (fronted by British singer-songwriter and producer Damon Albarn), Australian alternative psychedelic music project Tame Impala, and American rapper Bootie Brown (aka Romye Robinson). The deep, pulsating beat and lush, intricate synths by Albarn, producer extraordinaire Greg Kurstin, and Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker create a magical backdrop for Albarn’s and Parker’s dreamy vocals and Brown’s flawlessly rapped verses, all of which not only complement each other beautifully, but also create a palpable sense of excitement and energy. The song is a gorgeous feast for the senses, and ascends to the #1 spot on my latest Weekly Top 30.

Co-written by them all, the song’s lyrics speak to the ephemeral and often unfulfilling things too many people indulge in, expressed in the chorus “New gold, foolish gold, everything will disappear.” They rely on self-delusions or any number of palliatives, rather than face their problems in a realistic way, whether it be the ultimately self destructive overuse of cosmetic surgery that often ages poorly, abuse of party drugs that destroy the user’s mind, or endless social media drama, wasting time on online content lacking any real value or engaging in online arguments that only serve to make us feel more isolated than ever.

In other chart developments, Young the Giant‘s poignant and lovely “The Walk Home” enters the top 10, and two songs make their debut: “The Way” by American alt-rock band Manchester Orchestra, at #29, and “In My Head” by Mike Shinoda (of Linkin Park) and Arizona-based singer-songwriter Kailee Morgue, at #30.

  1. NEW GOLD – Gorillaz, Tame Impala & Bootie Brown (3)
  2. TROPIC MORNING NEWS – The National (1)
  3. GHOSTS AGAIN – Depeche Mode (4)
  4. TRANSMITTER – Sea Power (2)
  5. FLOWERS – Miley Cyrus (6)
  6. PEPPER – Death Cab for Cutie (5)
  7. LOVE FROM THE OTHER SIDE – Fall Out Boy (7)
  8. SOFTEN – Alex Southey (9)
  9. BLUEBELL WOOD – Frank Joshua (10)
  10. THE WALK HOME – Young the Giant (12)
  11. KID – The Revivalists (14)
  12. I WANT YOU DEAD – Two Feet & Allie Cabal (13)
  13. BACKPATTERS AND SHOOTERS – The Zangwills (8)
  14. PAID OFF – Oli Barton & the Movement (15)
  15. WOLF – Yeah Yeah Yeahs (16)
  16. EAT YOUR YOUNG – Hozier (23)
  17. THE PERFECT PAIR – beabadoobee (19)
  18. NOT STRONG ENOUGH – boygenius (20)
  19. TROUBLE WITH THIS BED – Beach Weather (11) 21st week on chart
  20. GO DOWN RIVER – The Heavy Heavy (21)
  21. DUMMY – Portugal. The Man (22)
  22. ESSENCE – Refeci & Shimmer Johnson (24)
  23. PAGES – White Reaper (17)
  24. ANGELICA – Wet Leg (27)
  25. 1982 – Morgendust (28)
  26. RESCUE ME – Dirty Heads (29)
  27. LEAVING – Au Gres (30)
  28. YOU GOTTA DO WHAT YOU GOTTA DO – Darksoft (18)
  29. THE WAY – Manchester Orchestra (N)
  30. IN MY HEAD – Mike Shinoda & Kailee Morgue (N)

Top 30 Songs for April 16-22, 2023

The beautiful “Tropic Morning News” by The National holds at #1 for a second week, with Sea Power‘s majestic “Transmitter” also remaining at #2. “New Gold” by the dream collaboration of Gorillaz, Tame Impala and Bootie Brown slides into 3rd place (Gorillaz & Brown performed the song at the Coachella Music Festival this past Friday night), while Depeche Mode‘s “Ghosts Again” assumes the #4 spot. British singer-songwriter Frank Joshua enters the top 10 with his sublime love song “Bluebell Wood”.

Three songs make their debut this week: Entering at #23 is the amazing “Eat Your Young” by Irish singer-songwriter Hozier. He states the song was inspired by Gluttony, one the 9 Circles of Hell contained in the first part of Dante Alighieri’s epic poem Divine Comedy, and describes a feast being prepared and served together with the chaos that comes with it. “Rescue Me” by Southern California reggae-ska rock band Dirty Heads enters at #29, and “leaving” by Michigan singer-songwriter Au Gres enters at #30.

  1. TROPIC MORNING NEWS – The National (1)
  2. TRANSMITTER – Sea Power (2)
  3. NEW GOLD – Gorillaz, Tame Impala & Bootie Brown (6)
  4. GHOSTS AGAIN – Depeche Mode (7)
  5. PEPPER – Death Cab for Cutie (4)
  6. FLOWERS – Miley Cyrus (8)
  7. LOVE FROM THE OTHER SIDE – Fall Out Boy (5)
  8. BACKPATTERS AND SHOOTERS – The Zangwills (3)
  9. SOFTEN – Alex Southey (10)
  10. BLUEBELL WOOD – Frank Joshua (12)
  11. TROUBLE WITH THIS BED – Beach Weather (9)
  12. THE WALK HOME – Young the Giant (14)
  13. I WANT YOU DEAD – Two Feet & Allie Cabal (15)
  14. KID – The Revivalists (16)
  15. PAID OFF – Oli Barton & the Movement (17)
  16. WOLF – Yeah Yeah Yeahs (18)
  17. PAGES – White Reaper (11)
  18. YOU GOTTA DO WHAT YOU GOTTA DO – Darksoft (13)
  19. THE PERFECT PAIR – beabadoobee (22)
  20. NOT STRONG ENOUGH – boygenius (25)
  21. GO DOWN RIVER – The Heavy Heavy (26)
  22. DUMMY – Portugal. The Man (28)
  23. EAT YOUR YOUNG – Hozier (N)
  24. ESSENCE – Refeci & Shimmer Johnson (27)
  25. EYEZ – The Arcs (19)
  26. WEIGHTLESS – Arlo Parks (20)
  27. ANGELICA – Wet Leg (29)
  28. 1982 – Morgendust (30)
  29. RESCUE ME – Dirty Heads (N)
  30. LEAVING – Au Gres (N)

Top 30 Songs for April 9-15, 2023

Photo by Josh Goleman

My gosh, what a stellar week for music! Great songs by The National, Sea Power, The Zangwills, Death Cab for Cutie, Fall Out Boy, Gorillaz, Tame Impala & Bootie Brown, and Depeche Mode, and that’s just the top 7! The National’s captivating “Tropic Morning News” ascends to the top of my chart this week. The song is the lead single from their ninth studio album First Two Pages Of Frankenstein, due for release on April 28. For those unaware, The National consists of Matt Berninger (vocals), twin brothers Aaron Dessner (guitar, piano, keyboards) and Bryce Dessner (guitar, piano, keyboards), and brothers Scott Devendorf (bass) and Bryan Devendorf (drums). I love their sophisticated songwriting and rich, complex sound, especially Matt Berninger’s beautiful baritone vocals.

According to an article by Leah Degrazia for the website Genius, the album came together while Berninger was emerging from a period of crippling writer’s block (something I can strongly relate to). “Even though we’d always been anxious whenever we were working on a record, this was the first time it ever felt like maybe things really had come to an end,” Berninger said. The song’s lyrics, written by Berninger and his wife, Carin Besser, speak of how constantly inundating yourself with negative news can pull you into a dark hole of isolation and sadness, making it hard to reach out and form deep human connection.

In other chart developments, the gorgeous “Soften” by exceptionally-talented Canadian singer-songwriter Alex Southey enters the top 10. Entering this week’s chart are “Angelica” by the delightful English duo Wet Leg, at #29, and “1982” by Dutch alternative rock band Morgendust, whose wonderful self-titled album I recently reviewed, at #30.

  1. TROPIC MORNING NEWS – The National (2)
  2. TRANSMITTER – Sea Power (3)
  3. BACKPATTERS AND SHOOTERS – The Zangwills (1)
  4. PEPPER – Death Cab for Cutie (6)
  5. LOVE FROM THE OTHER SIDE – Fall Out Boy (4)
  6. NEW GOLD – Gorillaz featuring Tame Impala and Bootie Brown (7)
  7. GHOSTS AGAIN – Depeche Mode (8)
  8. FLOWERS – Miley Cyrus (10)
  9. TROUBLE WITH THIS BED – Beach Weather (5)
  10. SOFTEN – Alex Southey (11)
  11. PAGES – White Reaper (9)
  12. BLUEBELL WOOD – Frank Joshua (15)
  13. YOU GOTTA DO WHAT YOU GOTTA DO – Darksoft (12)
  14. THE WALK HOME – Young the Giant (16)
  15. I WANT YOU DEAD – Two Feet & Allie Cabal (17)
  16. KID – The Revivalists (21)
  17. PAID OFF – Oli Barton & the Movement (22)
  18. WOLF – Yeah Yeah Yeahs (23)
  19. EYEZ – The Arcs (18)
  20. WEIGHTLESS – Arlo Parks (19)
  21. MODERNISE – The Slow Readers Club (20)
  22. THE PERFECT PAIR – beabadoobee (26)
  23. JUST BEFORE THE MORNING – Local Natives (13)
  24. SUREFIRE – Wilderado (14)
  25. NOT STRONG ENOUGH – boygenius (27)
  26. GO DOWN RIVER – The Heavy Heavy (28)
  27. ESSENCE – Refeci & Shimmer Johnson (29)
  28. DUMMY – Portugal. The Man (30)
  29. ANGELICA – Wet Leg (N)
  30. 1982 – Morgendust (N)

Top 30 Songs for April 2-8, 2023

British indie pop-rock band The Zangwills remain at #1 for a second week with their achingly beautiful song “Backpatters and Shooters”. “Tropic Morning News” by American alternative art rock band The National slides into the #2 spot, and “Transmitter” by British alt-rock band Sea Power holds at #3. Miley Cyrus’ “Flowers” enters the top 10.

Four songs make their debut this week: “Not Strong Enough”, from the new album the record by American indie rock supergroup boygenius, comprised of Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers, and Lucy Dacus, entering at #27; “Go Down River” by Brighton, UK duo The Heavy Heavy, consisting of Will Turner and Georgie Fuller, at #28; “Essence” by Danish DJ and electronic house music producer Refeci and Canadian singer-songwriter and musician Shimmer Johnson, at #29, and “Dummy”, the latest single by Portland, Oregon-based alt-rock band Portugal. The Man, bringing up the rear at #30.

  1. BACKPATTERS AND SHOOTERS – The Zangwills (1)
  2. TROPIC MORNING NEWS – The National (4)
  3. TRANSMITTER – Sea Power (3)
  4. LOVE FROM THE OTHER SIDE – Fall Out Boy (2)
  5. TROUBLE WITH THIS BED – Beach Weather (5)
  6. PEPPER – Death Cab for Cutie (8)
  7. NEW GOLD – Gorillaz featuring Tame Impala and Bootie Brown (9)
  8. GHOSTS AGAIN – Depeche Mode (10)
  9. PAGES – White Reaper (6)
  10. FLOWERS – Miley Cyrus (14)
  11. SOFTEN – Alex Southey (13)
  12. YOU GOTTA DO WHAT YOU GOTTA DO – Darksoft (12)
  13. JUST BEFORE THE MORNING – Local Natives (7)
  14. SUREFIRE – Wilderado (11)
  15. BLUEBELL WOOD – Frank Joshua (19)
  16. THE WALK HOME – Young the Giant (18)
  17. I WANT YOU DEAD – Two Feet & Allie Cabal (20)
  18. EYEZ – The Arcs (16)
  19. WEIGHTLESS – Arlo Parks (17)
  20. MODERNISE – Slow Readers Club (21)
  21. KID – The Revivalists (23)
  22. PAID OFF – Oli Barton & the Movement (27)
  23. WOLF – Yeah Yeah Yeahs (28)
  24. NIGHT BUS – Caitlin Lavagna (15) 20th week on chart
  25. SLEEPWALKING – All Time Low (22)
  26. THE PERFECT PAIR – beabadoobee (30)
  27. NOT STRONG ENOUGH – boygenius (N)
  28. GO DOWN RIVER – The Heavy Heavy (N)
  29. ESSENCE – Refeci & Shimmer Johnson (N)
  30. DUMMY – Portugal. The Man (N)

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