Top 30 Songs for September 25-October 1, 2022

Photo by David Ascroft

I’m happy that The Killers are still together and making music more than 20 years after their formation, and their latest single, the beautiful, uplifting anthem “boy”, takes over the #1 spot on this week’s Top 30. About the song, band front man and vocalist Brandon Flowers said: “This was the first song written after we had to cancel the ‘Imploding The Mirage’ tour due to the pandemic. I had recently moved back to Utah and started to make trips to Nephi, where I grew up. I found that the place I had wanted to get away from so desperately at 16 was now a place that I couldn’t stop returning to. I have a son approaching the age I was at that time in my life. With ‘boy’, I want to reach out and tell myself – and my sons – to not overthink it. And to look for the ‘white arrows’ in their lives. For me now, white arrows are my wife, children, my songs and the stage.”

In other chart developments, Måneskin‘s “Supermodel” inches up a notch to #2, while Death Cab for Cutie‘s “Here to Forever” moves up three spots to #3. I can’t get enough of Beach Weather‘s “Sex, Drugs, Etc.”, which enters the top 10 at #10. The biggest upward mover is “My Babe” by Spoon, jumping seven spots to #20. And the lone debut this week is the delightfully delicious “Wet Dream” by quirky English duo Wet Leg. I couldn’t stand “Chaise Longue” but really like “Wet Dream” a lot.

  1. BOY – The Killers (2)
  2. SUPERMODEL – Måneskin (3)
  3. HERE TO FOREVER – Death Cab for Cutie (6)
  4. BROKEN RECORD – NAVE (1)
  5. BONES – Imagine Dragons (7)
  6. BAD HABIT – Steve Lacy (10)
  7. UNTIL I FOUND YOU – Stephen Sanchez (4)
  8. TEK IT – Cafuné (9)
  9. VIVA LAS VENGEANCE – Panic! At the Disco (5)
  10. SEX, DRUGS, ETC. – Beach Weather (14)
  11. PLEASE WRITE RESPONSIBLY – Granfalloon (12)
  12. PART OF THE BAND – The 1975 (13)
  13. BREAK MY SOUL – Beyoncé (8)
  14. FAILURE TO COMPLY – MISSIO (11)
  15. WHAT’S THE TRICK? – Jack White (15)
  16. SEASICK – The Rare Occasions (18)
  17. FREE – Florence + the Machine (21)
  18. CRACKER ISLAND – Gorillaz featuring Thundercat (22)
  19. SOMETHING LOUD – Jimmy Eat World (23)
  20. MY BABE – Spoon (27)
  21. GIANTS – WALK THE MOON (25)
  22. PARTY4ONE – dwi (26)
  23. SIDELINES – Phoebe Bridgers (17)
  24. CLOSER – The Frontier (16) 20th week on chart
  25. MISTAKES – Sharon Van Etten (19)
  26. SISTERS – pMad (29)
  27. BITTER – Wild Horse (30)
  28. LEMON TREE – Mt. Joy (20)
  29. ABOUT DAMN TIME – Lizzo (24)
  30. WET DREAM – Wet Leg (N)

Top 30 Songs for September 18-24, 2022

There are a ton of really outstanding songs out now, and I have to say that, having grown up during the 60s and 70s – which many consider to be the greatest years for music – I honestly never imagined I would still enjoy hearing new music at my advanced age in the year 2022. It keeps me hopeful about the future of music! Now, let’s get to the highlights of this week’s Top 30 chart. I love every song on this list, and wish I could place them all in the top 5. The haunting and topical “Broken Record” by British artist NAVE spends a second week at #1. The Killers‘ inspiring anthem “boy” closes in at #2, while Måneskin‘s “Supermodel” holds at #3 for a third week.

Entering the top 10 are “Here to Forever” by the ever brilliant Death Cab For Cutie, climbing five spots to #6, and “Bad Habit” by Steve Lacy, leaping eight spots to #10. British artist Granfalloon‘s delightful “Please Write Responsibly” and The 1975‘s enthralling “Part Of The Band” both climb four spots to #12 and #13, respectively. And Beach Weather continues their rapid ascent up my chart with their marvelous “Sex, Drugs, Etc.”, climbing seven spots to #14. Three songs make their debut this week: “My Babe” by Spoon, entering at #27, “Sisters” by Irish artist pMad, entering at #29, and “Bitter” by British trio Wild Horse, bringing up the rear at #30.

  1. BROKEN RECORD – NAVE (1)
  2. BOY – The Killers (4)
  3. SUPERMODEL – Måneskin (3)
  4. UNTIL I FOUND YOU – Stephen Sanchez (2)
  5. VIVA LAS VENGEANCE – Panic! At the Disco (6)
  6. HERE TO FOREVER – Death Cab for Cutie (11)
  7. BONES – Imagine Dragons (7)
  8. BREAK MY SOUL – Beyoncé (8)
  9. TEK IT – Cafuné (10)
  10. BAD HABIT – Steve Lacy (18)
  11. FAILURE TO COMPLY – MISSIO (5)
  12. PLEASE WRITE RESPONSIBLY – Granfalloon (16)
  13. PART OF THE BAND – The 1975 (17)
  14. SEX, DRUGS, ETC. – Beach Weather (21)
  15. WHAT’S THE TRICK? – Jack White (15)
  16. CLOSER – The Frontier (9) 19th week on chart
  17. SIDELINES – Phoebe Bridgers (14)
  18. SEASICK – The Rare Occasions (19)
  19. MISTAKES – Sharon Van Etten (13)
  20. LEMON TREE – Mt. Joy (12)
  21. FREE – Florence + the Machine (22)
  22. CRACKER ISLAND – Gorillaz featuring Thundercat (23)
  23. SOMETHING LOUD – Jimmy Eat World (24)
  24. ABOUT DAMN TIME – Lizzo (20)
  25. GIANTS – WALK THE MOON (26)
  26. PARTY4ONE – dwi (30)
  27. MY BABE – Spoon (N)
  28. GREY – Holy Coves (25)
  29. SISTERS – pMad (N)
  30. BITTER – Wild Horse (N)

Top 30 Songs for September 11-17, 2022

One of the most hauntingly beautiful songs I’ve heard this year is “Broken Record” by British artist NAVE, the solo music project of singer-songwriter, composer and producer Nathan Evans. The prolific and hyper-talented musician creates gorgeous and dramatic music incorporating a broad array of genres and styles, including alternative electronica, rock, ambient, trip-hop, orchestral and dark wave. He’s also front man for alternative rock band Native Tongue. He wrote “Broken Record” to address the powerfully addicting allure of social media and its impacts on our emotional and mental health. Nathan states “‘Broken Record’ focuses on the like, follow and share society we have transitioned into over the past decade. Likes release dopamine like a drug and we become addicted to the validation, attention and acknowledgment of our successes or happiness. We hide behind filters and fake smiles to show an inaccurate reality we wish was real.” The song is stunning, with mournful, contemplative piano keys overlain with arresting percussion, swelling strings and mysterious vocal effects. I love male singing voices in the higher ranges, and Nathan’s is especially captivating here. Not only is “Broken Record” a gorgeous song, it also resonates very strongly with me, and I’m thrilled to place it at the top of my list this week.

In other notable chart developments, The Killers‘ uplifting anthem “boy” leaps 17 spots to #4, Cafuné‘s “Tek It” advances a notch to enter the top 10 at #10, Steve Lacy‘s “Bad Habit” jumps 11 spots to #18, and Beach Weather‘s “Sex, Drugs, Etc.” climbs nine spots to #21. The lone debut this week is the delightful “Party4One” by the brilliant Canadian artist dwi, which enters at #30.

  1. BROKEN RECORD – NAVE (2)
  2. UNTIL I FOUND YOU – Stephen Sanchez (1)
  3. SUPERMODEL – Måneskin (3)
  4. BOY – The Killers (21)
  5. FAILURE TO COMPLY – MISSIO (5)
  6. VIVA LAS VENGEANCE – Panic! At the Disco (8)
  7. BONES – Imagine Dragons (9)
  8. BREAK MY SOUL – Beyoncé (10)
  9. CLOSER – The Frontier (4)
  10. TEK IT – Cafuné (11)
  11. HERE TO FOREVER – Death Cab for Cutie (14)
  12. LEMON TREE – Mt. Joy (7)
  13. MISTAKES – Sharon Van Etten (6)
  14. SIDELINES – Phoebe Bridgers (12)
  15. WHAT’S THE TRICK? – Jack White (13)
  16. PLEASE WRITE RESPONSIBLY – Granfalloon (19)
  17. PART OF THE BAND – The 1975 (20)
  18. BAD HABIT – Steve Lacy (29)
  19. SEASICK – The Rare Occasions (22)
  20. ABOUT DAMN TIME – Lizzo (15)
  21. SEX, DRUGS, ETC. – Beach Weather (30)
  22. FREE – Florence + the Machine (23)
  23. CRACKER ISLAND – Gorillaz featuring Thundercat (24)
  24. SOMETHING LOUD – Jimmy Eat World (26)
  25. GREY – Holy Coves (18)
  26. GIANTS – WALK THE MOON (27)
  27. LIN MANUEL – Onism E (17)
  28. THE FUNERAL – YUNGBLUD (16)
  29. COMPLIANCE – Muse (25)
  30. PARTY4ONE – dwi (N)

Top 30 Songs for September 4-10, 2022

Not a lot of changes from last week on my latest Weekly Top 30. Stephen Sanchez‘ beautiful retro love ballad “Until I Found You” holds the top spot for a second week, while “Broken Record” by British artist NAVE, and “SUPERMODEL” by Italian band Måneskin, each move up a notch to second and third place. “Bones” by Imagine Dragons and “BREAK MY SOUL” by Beyoncé enter the top 10 at #9 and #10, respectively. The biggest upward mover is “Boy” by The Killers, which climbs seven spots to #21.

Debuting this week are the charming funk-pop song “Bad Habit” by Southern California artist Steve Lacy – the song has already reached #1 on the Billboard Hot Rock & Alternative Songs chart, and is at #3 on the Hot 100 – and the enchanting “Sex, Drugs, Etc.” by Massachusetts alternative pop-rock band Beach Weather.

  1. UNTIL I FOUND YOU – Stephen Sanchez (1)
  2. BROKEN RECORD – NAVE (3)
  3. SUPERMODEL – Måneskin (4)
  4. CLOSER – The Frontier (2)
  5. FAILURE TO COMPLY – MISSIO (7)
  6. MISTAKES – Sharon Van Etten (5)
  7. LEMON TREE – Mt. Joy (8)
  8. VIVA LAS VENGEANCE – Panic! At the Disco (9)
  9. BONES – Imagine Dragons (11)
  10. BREAK MY SOUL – Beyoncé (12)
  11. TEK IT – Cafuné (14)
  12. SIDELINES – Phoebe Bridgers (15)
  13. WHAT’S THE TRICK? – Jack White (16)
  14. HERE TO FOREVER – Death Cab for Cutie (17)
  15. ABOUT DAMN TIME – Lizzo (10)
  16. THE FUNERAL – YUNGBLUD (6)
  17. LIN MANUEL – Onism E (13)
  18. GREY – Holy Coves (17)
  19. PLEASE WRITE RESPONSIBLY – Granfalloon (21)
  20. PART OF THE BAND – The 1975 (22)
  21. BOY – The Killers (28)
  22. SEASICK – The Rare Occasions (24)
  23. FREE – Florence + the Machine (25)
  24. CRACKER ISLAND – Gorillaz featuring Thundercat (26)
  25. COMPLIANCE – Muse (25)
  26. SOMETHING LOUD – Jimmy Eat World (27)
  27. GIANTS – WALK THE MOON (30)
  28. UNCONDITIONAL I (LOOKOUT KID) – Arcade Fire (23)
  29. BAD HABIT – Steve Lacy (N)
  30. SEX, DRUGS, ETC. – Beach Weather (N)

Top 30 Songs for August 28-Sept 3, 2022

A year after it’s release, the gorgeous throwback love ballad “Until I Found You” by adorable 19-year-old Nashville crooner Stephen Sanchez reaches the top spot on my Weekly Top 30. With it’s wonderful retro 50s doo wop vibe, highlighted by Sanchez’ beautiful jangly guitar and vibrant vocals, I cannot get enough of it! The song quickly went viral on TikTok, and has reached #1 in Malaysia, #5 in the Philippines and on the Billboard AAA chart, but only recently began climbing the Hot 100 Chart, where it currently sits at #88. The song is included on his 7-track EP Easy On My Eyes, which dropped August 19th.

For the marvelous official video, which came out in late June, Sanchez channels his inner Elvis, also pairing himself with a Marilyn Monroe lookalike as his love interest with whom he sings the song in a duet (although the layered vocals on the track are all his, from what I can tell). He told Rolling StoneI was obsessed with the style of the 50s when I was growing up. The glamorous cars, movie theaters, mom & pop shops. I romanticized all of its visually stunning colors and sleekness. I wanted to implement all of that beauty into my dream of being a 1950s singer debuting his ‘hit’ song on the Ed Sullivan Show.”

In other chart highlights, the hauntingly beautiful “Broken Record” by British artist NAVE, and “SUPERMODEL” by Italian band Måneskin, each climb three spots to #3 and 4, respectively, and “Viva Las Vengeance” by Panic! At the Disco enters the top 10 at #9. Making their debut this week are “boy” by The Killers, at #28, and “Giants” by WALK THE MOON, at #30. As an old geezer myself, it’s heartening to see songs by veteran artists and bands over 40 like Sharon Van Etten, Jack White, Muse, Death Cab for Cutie, Jimmy Eat World, the Killers, Damon Albarn of Gorillaz, and Brian and Marc of The Star Crumbles, all of whom are still at the top of their game.

  1. UNTIL I FOUND YOU – Stephen Sanchez (2)
  2. CLOSER – The Frontier (1)
  3. BROKEN RECORD – NAVE (6)
  4. SUPERMODEL – Måneskin (7)
  5. MISTAKES – Sharon Van Etten (4)
  6. THE FUNERAL – YUNGBLUD (3)
  7. FAILURE TO COMPLY – MISSIO (8)
  8. LEMON TREE – Mt. Joy (9)
  9. VIVA LAS VENGEANCE – Panic! At the Disco (11)
  10. ABOUT DAMN TIME – Lizzo (5)
  11. BONES – Imagine Dragons (13)
  12. BREAK MY SOUL – Beyoncé (15)
  13. LIN MANUEL – Onism E (14)
  14. TEK IT – Cafuné (16)
  15. SIDELINES – Phoebe Bridgers (17)
  16. WHAT’S THE TRICK? – Jack White (20)
  17. GREY – Holy Coves (18)
  18. HERE TO FOREVER – Death Cab for Cutie (21)
  19. COMPLIANCE – Muse (19)
  20. SYNCHRONIZE – Milky Chance (10)
  21. PLEASE WRITE RESPONSIBLY – Granfalloon (25)
  22. PART OF THE BAND – The 1975 (26)
  23. UNCONDITIONAL I (LOOKOUT KID) – Arcade Fire (12)
  24. SEASICK – The Rare Occasions (27)
  25. FREE – Florence + the Machine (28)
  26. CRACKER ISLAND – Gorillaz featuring Thundercat (29)
  27. SOMETHING LOUD – Jimmy Eat World (30)
  28. BOY – The Killers (N)
  29. DESPERATELY WANTING – The Star Crumbles (23)
  30. GIANTS – WALK THE MOON (N)

Top 30 Songs for August 21-27, 2022

The Frontier with his trusty sidekick Atlas

Northern Virginia-based artist The Frontier (the music project of enormously talented, funny and gracious singer-songwriter Jake Mimikos) is a long-time favorite of mine. Drawing from elements of pop, folk, rock and electronica, his music is incredibly pleasing, relentlessly catchy, and flawlessly crafted. The prolific artist has released an impressive amount of music both as a band and a solo artist under The Frontier moniker since around 2015, and I’ve featured quite a bit of it on this blog. Several of his songs have appeared on my Weekly Top 30, with two – “Dark Places” (from 2019) and “Can We Go Back” (from 2021) – going all the way to #1. He now reaches the top spot for a third time, with his lovely, upbeat song “Closer”. I find that the more I hear his songs, the more I grow to love them, and “Closer” is no exception.

And speaking of love, I’ve fallen head over heels for the gorgeous “Until I Found You” by 19-year-old Nashville crooner Stephen Sanchez, which climbs three spots to #2. The song is included on his new 7-track EP Easy On My Eyes, which dropped August 19th. Entering the top 10 is the wonderfully complex “Lemon Tree” by L.A. indie folk-rock band Mt. Joy. Big upward movers this week include “Viva Las Vengeance” by Panic! At the Disco, which climbs six spots to #11, “What’s the Trick?” by Jack White, also moving up six spots to #20, and “Here to Forever” by Death Cab For Cutie, jumping seven spots to #21. Three great songs finally make their long-overdue debut: “Free” by Florence + the Machine, “Cracker Island” by Gorillaz featuring Thundercat, and “Something Loud” by veteran rockers Jimmy Eat World, entering at #s 28, 29 and 30, respectively.

  1. CLOSER – The Frontier (2)
  2. UNTIL I FOUND YOU – Stephen Sanchez (5)
  3. THE FUNERAL – YUNGBLUD (3)
  4. MISTAKES – Sharon Van Etten (4)
  5. ABOUT DAMN TIME – Lizzo (1)
  6. BROKEN RECORD – NAVE (7)
  7. SUPERMODEL – Måneskin (8)
  8. FAILURE TO COMPLY – MISSIO (10)
  9. LEMON TREE – Mt. Joy (12)
  10. SYNCHRONIZE – Milky Chance (9)
  11. VIVA LAS VENGEANCE – Panic! At the Disco (17)
  12. UNCONDITIONAL I (LOOKOUT KID) – Arcade Fire (6)
  13. BONES – Imagine Dragons (15)
  14. LIN MANUEL – Onism E (14)
  15. BREAK MY SOUL – Beyoncé (18)
  16. TEK IT – Cafuné (19)
  17. SIDELINES – Phoebe Bridgers (21)
  18. GREY – Holy Coves (20)
  19. COMPLIANCE – Muse (23)
  20. WHAT’S THE TRICK? – Jack White (26)
  21. HERE TO FOREVER – Death Cab For Cutie (28)
  22. IN THE MIRROR – The Interrupters (11)
  23. DESPERATELY WANTING – The Star Crumbles (16)
  24. WARNING SIGNS – Band of Horses (13)
  25. PLEASE WRITE RESPONSIBLY – Granfalloon (27)
  26. PART OF THE BAND – The 1975 (29)
  27. SEASICK – The Rare Occasions (30)
  28. FREE – Florence + the Machine (N)
  29. CRACKER ISLAND – Gorillaz featuring Thundercat (N)
  30. SOMETHING LOUD – Jimmy Eat World (N)

Top 30 Songs for August 14-20, 2022

Lizzo remains at #1 for a second week on my latest Weekly Top 30 with her infectious dance song “About Damn Time”, while The Frontier‘s delightful “Closer” and YUNGBLUD‘s wonderfully frantic “The Funeral” both move up a notch to #2 and #3. respectively. Climbing four spots to enter the top 10 at #10 is the darkly beautiful “Failure to Comply” by MISSIO. Some big upward movers this week include “Lemon Tree” by Mt. Joy, which jumps eight spots to #12, “Viva Las Vengeance” by Panic! At the Disco, climbing seven spots to #17, and “Break My Soul” by Beyoncé, which leaps 10 spots to #18. Making their debut this week are terrific new songs by three great pop-rock bands: “Here to Forever” by Death Cab For Cutie, “Part of the Band” by The 1975, and “Seasick” by The Rare Occasions, which enter at #s 28, 29 and 30.

  1. ABOUT DAMN TIME – Lizzo (1)
  2. CLOSER – The Frontier (3)
  3. THE FUNERAL – YUNGBLUD (4)
  4. MISTAKES – Sharon Van Etten (5)
  5. UNTIL I FOUND YOU – Stephen Sanchez (6)
  6. UNCONDITIONAL I (LOOKOUT KID) – Arcade Fire (2)
  7. BROKEN RECORD – NAVE (9)
  8. SUPERMODEL – Måneskin (10)
  9. SYNCHRONIZE – Milky Chance (7)
  10. FAILURE TO COMPLY – MISSIO (14)
  11. IN THE MIRROR – The Interrupters (8)
  12. LEMON TREE – Mt. Joy (20)
  13. WARNING SIGNS – Band of Horses (11)
  14. LIN MANUEL – Onism E (16)
  15. BONES – Imagine Dragons (17)
  16. DESPERATELY WANTING – The Star Crumbles (15)
  17. VIVA LAS VENGEANCE – Panic! At the Disco (24)
  18. BREAK MY SOUL – Beyoncé (28)
  19. TEK IT – Cafuné (21)
  20. GREY – Holy Coves (22)
  21. SIDELINES – Phoebe Bridgers (26)
  22. SEVENTEEN GOING UNDER – Sam Fender (12)
  23. COMPLIANCE – Muse (27)
  24. A LITTLE BIT OF LOVE – Weezer (13)
  25. AS IT WAS – Harry Styles (19)
  26. WHAT’S THE TRICK? – Jack White (29)
  27. PLEASE WRITE RESPONSIBLY – Granfalloon (30)
  28. HERE TO FOREVER – Death Cab For Cutie (N)
  29. PART OF THE BAND – The 1975 (N)
  30. SEASICK – The Rare Occasions (N)

30 Day Song Challenge, Day 17 – “Seasick” by The Rare Occasions

The subject for Day 17 of my 30 Day Song Challenge is “A song released this year“. This was another tough one, as there are literally thousands of songs to choose from. To help narrow my list of possible choices a bit, I decided to choose a song I like by an artist or band who follows me on Twitter, and who I’ve not yet written about in 2022. And the very first act that popped into my head is L.A.-based trio The Rare Occasions, and their terrific new single “Seasick“. I love their music, a glorious cornucopia of colorful melodies, sparkling arrangements, exuberant instrumentals, compelling lyrics and endearing vocals. With songs that are immediately memorable and delightfully addictive, it’s not surprising they’ve earned a massive following, with over 5.7 million monthly listeners on Spotify alone.

I first wrote about them in September 2020 when I reviewed their fantastic single “Alone”, so I won’t repeat a lot of background information about them that can be found in that article. But to summarize, with origins in New England, and based in Los Angeles since 2017, The Rare Occasions now consists of three very personable and talented guys: Brian McLaughlin on lead vocals and guitar, Jeremy Cohen on bass, and Luke Imbusch on drums. They’ve been putting out great music since the release of their debut EP Applefork in 2013, and last summer (of 2021), they released their outstanding second album Big Whoop. When I wrote about them two years ago, their song “Notion” had garnered approximately 1.7 million streams on Spotify. But after the song went viral on TikTok late last year, it’s now racked up more than 237 million streams! With their explosion in popularity, nine of their other songs have earned between 1-9 million streams.

Their latest single “Seasick” is a fun romp, with a bouncy, lighthearted groove set to Jeremy’s galloping rhythm, and highlighted by Luke’s thumping drumbeats and Brian’s exuberant surf guitars. Brian’s plaintive vocals are wonderful too, rising to electrifying wails in the lively choruses. The lyrics, which feature lots of nautical metaphors, speak to struggling with fears and insecurities that hold us back, preventing us from moving forward in life, living our truths and reaching our goals: “I can’t keep pushing back the plans I got, impersonating something that I’m not. / We get caught up in the little things, displaced from what we know. Though I’m not too fond of traveling, there’s a long long wake behind me.

The animated lyric video, with sweet artwork by Rhea Hanlon of Lost Lines Studio, and animation by Arianna Soto & Mamasoto Design & Media, shows the band floating in the sea on a small inflatable raft.

Follow The Rare Occasions:  Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

Stream their music:  Spotify / Apple Music / Soundcloud

Purchase:  Bandcamp

THE RARE OCCASIONS – Single Review: “Alone”

I recently got a notification in my inbox for the new single “Alone” by an indie rock band called The Rare Occasions. Being the dutiful music blogger that I am, I gave it a listen and liked it so much that I started delving into their impressive music catalog. Well, I’m happy to report that I love their music and am now a big fan. Fashioned with colorful melodies, sparkling arrangements, exuberant instrumentals and endearing vocals, but with contemplative and often biting lyrics, their songs are immediately memorable and deeply addictive. It’s not surprising they have a sizable following; their song “Notion” has been streamed over 1.7 million times on Spotify, with another six of their songs garnering between 100,000-800,000 streams.

With origins in Providence, Rhode Island and now based in Los Angeles via Boston, The Rare Occasions was formed by childhood friends Brian McLaughlin and Luke Imbusch after they moved to Boston to form a band. They soon met bassist Jeremy Cohen and guitarist Peter Stone, and with McLaughlin on vocals and Imbusch on drums, their lineup was complete. In 2013, they released their debut EP Applefork, then followed up a year later with Feelers. Their song “Dysphoric”, one of the tracks from Feelers, won the ‘Song of the Year’ award in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest. They released more singles and a third EP, the wonderful Futureproof, in 2016.

Fiercely independent, the band has always recorded and produced all their own music, getting help only with final mastering. Wanting to devote their full energies and earn a living from music by doing studio session work and songwriting, they relocated to Los Angeles in 2017, and would go on to record their exquisite full-length album Into the Shallows, which they released in 2018. After a national tour to promote the album, The Rare Occasions saw the amicable departure of guitarist Peter Stone. Now forced to reinvent themselves as a three-piece, they continued writing and recording new songs featuring, in their own words, “three-part harmonies, wall-of-sound instrumentation, and a pointed sense of cheekiness.”

Since becoming a three-piece, they’ve released three singles, “Control”, “Set It Right”, and their latest “Alone” which dropped September 16th. It’s an infectious, anthemic banger, highlighted by an aggressive foot-stomping beat and explosive instrumentals. The thunderous mix of jangly and gnarly riffs, punctuating by lunging guitar notes, and driven by Jeremy’s powerful buzzing bass line and Luke’s smashing percussion, create an electrifying wall of sound that serves as a dramatic backdrop for Brian’s wonderful plaintive vocals. I especially love the soaring vocal harmonies in the choruses. It’s a fantastic song.

The lyrics are a defiant repudiation of an affluent and controlling parental figure who wants their son to toe the line and adopt their status symbol-based materialistic lifestyle, or face being cut off from the family fortune:

I take time kicking it down the line
I don’t know where I’m going where I’m going
I think twice before taking your advice
‘cause I can see your ignorance is showing

you say “real estate is what you need
a little place beside the sea
if you don’t fall in line
then you’re no son of mine”

so I swing my shoulder through the thick of it
and face tomorrow alone
because you own me and I’m sick of it
but you don’t own me no more

where’ve we seen this before?
the age was gilded; cronuts weren’t to blame
your world is purely transactional
why don’t you look around and think
before you blurt out gems like:

“jewelry is what you want
a sterling piece that you can flaunt
if you don’t fall in line
then you’re no son of mine”

so I swing my shoulder through the thick of it
and face tomorrow alone
because you own me and I’m sick of it
but you don’t own me no more

And here’s a cute video of them performing the song at their virtual release party:

Follow The Rare Occasions:  FacebookTwitterInstagram

Stream their music:  SpotifyApple MusicSoundcloud

Purchase:  BandcampGoogle Play