Top 30 Songs for January 16-22, 2022

I just can’t get enough of those exuberant jangly guitars, driving beats and soaring vocals on the marvelous “Good Friend” by Canadian artist dwi, and it remains my favorite song for a second week. Closing in at #2 is “Crutch” by Band of Horses, and climbing four spots to #4 is the beautiful “Time in Disguise” by Kings of Leon. It’s not doing particularly well on the Alternative charts, which is perplexing to me, especially given that “Bandit” was the top song of 2021 on the Adult Alternative Airplay chart. The ebullient dance-pop tune “Starts With You” by L.A.-based singer-songwriter Shimmer Johnson climbs three spots to #6, and Tears for Fears’ “The Tipping Point” also climbs three spots to #7.

Three songs debut on this week’s chart: Though it’s been out for over three months, “INDUSTRY BABY” by Lil Nas X featuring Jack Harlow finally enters my chart at #28. Bringing up the rear are new songs by two of my favorite acts from London, England – “Just Like Always” by Oli Barton & the Movement and Maella, and “Redchurch Street Blues” by Philip Morgan Lewis, which enter at #29 & #30, respectively.

  1. GOOD FRIEND – dwi (1)
  2. CRUTCH – Band of Horses (3)
  3. I DON’T LIVE HERE ANYMORE – The War on Drugs featuring Lucius (2)
  4. TIME IN DISGUISE – Kings of Leon (8)
  5. LOVE LOVE LOVE – My Morning Jacket (4)
  6. STARTS WITH YOU – Shimmer Johnson (9)
  7. THE TIPPING POINT – Tears for Fears (10)
  8. BEGGIN’ – Måneskin (5)
  9. I DON’T WANNA TALK (I JUST WANNA DANCE) – Glass Animals (6)
  10. LOVE IN OCTOBER – Ships Have Sailed (7)
  11. I SEE THE SUN – Solar Eyes (12)
  12. TWO CAR FAMILY – Apollo Junction (13)
  13. LEFT BEHIND – a million rich daughters (14)
  14. SMILE – Wolf Alice (15)
  15. JOURNEYMAN’S BALLET – Sam Rappaport (17)
  16. U&ME – alt-J (18)
  17. ONE AND THE SAME – Future Theory (19)
  18. WAKE ME UP – Foals (20)
  19. THE HARDEST CUT – Spoon (22)
  20. UNTIL I COME HOME – Two Feet & grandson (23)
  21. CHAPSTICK – COIN (24)
  22. HEAD IN THE CLOUDS – Thunder Fox (25)
  23. THE OUTSIDE – twenty øne piløts (26)
  24. DON’T BRING ME DOWN – Two Feet (11)
  25. THE ONLY HEARTBREAKER – Mitski (30)
  26. JUSTIFIED – Kacey Musgraves (16)
  27. KALEIDOSCOPE – Soda Cracker Jesus (21)
  28. INDUSTRY BABY – Lil Nas X featuring Jack Harlow (N)
  29. JUST LIKE ALWAYS – Oli Barton & the Movement & Maella (N)
  30. REDCHURCH STREET BLUES – Philip Morgan Lewis (N)

Top 30 Songs for January 9-15, 2022

I’m thrilled to place the lively but poignant song “Good Friend” by Canadian artist dwi at #1 on this week’s Top 30. The music project of insanely creative and talented Vancouver-based singer-songwriter Dwight Abell, dwi was one of my favorite new music discoveries of 2021, and his brilliant debut album Mild Fantasy Violence is among my favorite releases of the year (read my review here). “Good Friend” is about discovering after the fact that a friend had been going through some hard times, and wishing you’d known more at the time so you could have helped them through it. I love the song’s infectious hard-driving melody, colorful guitar work and dwi’s expressive vocals lamenting about his shortcomings as a friend: “Had I known you were broken inside. Had I known you were empty inside. If I was a good friend, I’d a known better. If I was a good friend, I’d have done better./ I’m done with the drugs, but there’s still some left inside.”

In other chart developments, “Crutch” by Band of Horses jumps four spots to #3, Tears for Fears’ “The Tipping Point” enters the top 10, and Mitski debuts with “The Only Heartbreaker”, her first-ever appearance on my Weekly Top 30 chart.

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

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)

SODA CRACKER JESUS – Single Review: “Kaleidoscope”

Soda Cracker Jesus is the solo music project of the wildly imaginative and enormously talented singer-songwriter and producer Regan Lane, who’s also become a regular of this blog. The Tacoma, Washington-based musician has been actively involved in the Pacific Northwest music scene for nearly 40 years, with his hands in many projects, including serving as front man and ringmaster for psychedelic punk-rock band Strangely Alright, whose music I’ve written about numerous times. Earlier this year, he created Soda Cracker Jesus to express his more punky power pop side, calling the project “the spiritual and creative personal space that he goes to just be his musical self, a space where no matter which creative juices flow, whatever sonic creations are born, he knows that they come from an honest and personal place.”

Regan’s also been honest and candid on his social media about his former struggles with alcohol and substance abuse, and the happiness and joy that sobriety now brings him. With an undying sense of optimism, he creates music that looks to the future, but also understands the power of the past, and that duality helps shape his unique and signature sound. Since April 1st, he’s released four singles, beginning with the foot-stomping power pop banger “My Anthem”, followed by “Drug My Soul”, “Kill it Tomorrow”, and now his latest single “Kaleidoscope“. I reviewed the first two singles, which you can read by clicking on the links under “Related” at the end of this post. He released “Kaleidoscope”, along with a lyric video, exclusively on Bandcamp, on October 27, but the song will be officially released on all music streaming platforms November 2nd.

The song has been beautifully described by Mark Platt of online radio station Radio Candy as “Lennon-meets-Bowie-meets-Peter Gabriel in a dark alley“, which I cannot argue with, as I definitely hear the ghosts of John Lennon and David Bowie. Regan states that the song was influenced by “late-era Beatles psychedelia and Pink Floyd’s Syd Barrett years”, which is strongly evident in the beautiful, though somewhat spacey, atmospheric soundscapes. The soothing, ballad-like feel of the song is a departure from the harder-driving punk and power pop sound of Soda Cracker Jesus’ previous singles, and I like it! I love the lush, shimmery synths and gorgeous keyboards, which were played by Lee Gregory, as well as Regan’s chiming guitar notes. The subtle bass was played by Ray Hartman, and backing choruses were sung by fellow Strangely Alright bandmember Sean Van Dommelen. Regan produced the track, which was mastered by his longtime collaborator Todd Ensminger.

Regan wrote “Kaleidoscope” after his father passed away. He told me “My dad and I had a complicated relationship, but before he passed we were good. This song is about the emotions and feelings that come with that. I think anyone at any age can relate to dealing with loss. I don’t usually bare my soul but this is as close as it comes.” The lyrics are filled with meaning, but written with enough ambiguity so that each listener can interpret them as they see fit. In spots, the lyrics display a youthful innocence that seems to come from a child’s perspective: “I sure love my bicycle. It takes me where I need to go. And all the raindrops let me know the wind is at my back.” But later in the song, the wisdom that (hopefully) comes with age is apparent: “Father’s ghost has let me know I’m okay, we all get broken. What we get is just a token of what we give away. Kaleidoscope inside my head. Reflections of the hope I have. I look back but now is where I stand.”

Connect with Soda Cracker Jesus:  Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

Stream/purchase his music on Bandcamp / SpotifyApple MusicYouTube

New Song of the Week – SODA CRACKER JESUS: “Drug My Soul”

Soda Cracker Jesus is the brainchild of the wildly imaginative and enormously talented singer-songwriter and producer Regan Lane. The Tacoma-based musician has been involved in the Pacific Northwest music scene for nearly 40 years. Previously a member of Tacoma punk band Baby Knockors and 80s rock band Strypes, he’s currently front man and ringmaster for psychedelic punk-rock band Strangely Alright, who I’ve featured numerous times on this blog. More recently, he helped produce the wonderful debut album Butterfly Hand Grenade for young up-and-coming rockers Stargazy Pie (which I reviewed), and is an active mentor in the successful Ted Brown Music Program, where he helps aspiring northwest musicians hone their craft. 

Lane created Soda Cracker Jesus to express his “more punky power pop side”, with music influenced by acts like the Beatles, Kinks, Robyn Hitchcock, Julian Cope, XTC and more. He’s also been honest and candid on his social media about his former struggles with alcohol and substance abuse, and the happiness and joy that sobriety now brings him. The seasoned artist makes music that looks to the future, but also understands the power of the past and that duality helps shape his unique and signature sound. On April 1st, he released his Soda Cracker Jesus debut single “My Anthem” (which I also reviewed), and today he returns with his follow-up single “Drug My Soul“, which I’ve chosen as my New Song of the Week. The timely song explores the addictive nature of social media, and the alternate realities we can become immersed in if we’re not careful.

Lane further elaborates: “‘Drug My Soul’ is my perception of social media, at least for me. And it can be very seductive. I have a 12-year-old daughter who is very engaged in it, and I’ve seen it be a very good tool for information and exchanging ideas for her, but at times it exerts a pull that is similar to whatever one’s drug of choice is. (That’s based on my personal experience as a drug addict who’s been in recovery for a while.) And I’m no different. I can get lost in that shit if I’m not careful. And the fact that one can create a narrative of a reality that does not exist is weird and fascinating at the same time. I believe when all is said and done we are judged by our actions in the real physical world. As for the recording of the song, I again did all instruments, voices and production. I’m just trying to get better. Another cool thing for me was to play some slide guitar on this track. I played it a lot as a youngster and this was the first time in many moons that I’ve done that.”

As with “My Anthem”, once again Lane serves up a rousing post-punk banger, replete with a crushing mix of gnarly guitars layered over an assertive bassline and the kind of explosive, foot-stomping percussion that really gets the blood pumping. His instrumentation, arrangement and production values are all first-rate. The song opens with an ominous drumbeat and a teenage boy’s voiceover saying “I made a new friend“, followed by a woman (who could be his mother) asking “Real or imaginary?“, to which he replies “Imaginary.” Lane’s colorfully expressive vocals enter the proceedings as the music ramps up to an electrifying, almost menacing soundscape that continues for the remainder of the song. Things end rather abruptly with graphic sounds of a speeding car violently crashing into something. Wow!

All my friends are just pretend
Nothing more than spreadsheets
All my friends won’t let me send
A different point of view
Stumbling down the rabbit hole
Chasing the feeling and all I want is more

Yeah Yeah
Drug My Soul
Yeah Yeah
Fill In the Hole

Follow Soda Cracker Jesus:  Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

Stream/purchase “My Anthem” on BandcampSpotify