Happy Valentine’s day everyone. Given that this special occasion is tailored a little differently this year, for obvious reasons, we feel that this day is more important than many, when it comes to strengthening that sense of love.
This week, we were delighted to be faced with quite a few amazing tunes, made by independent artists, that had quite the emphasis on love. In this article, we have some of our favourite picks from this romantic musical week.
So without further ado, let’s dive right in.
Track Of The Week
James Michael Rodgers » Found a Reason
‘Found a Reason’ serves as a compelling and bittersweet love letter to Rodger’s ex-fiancée, and pairs that compelling story with a gorgeously warm melody.Indie top 39
The third single release from Scotland-based singer/songwriter James Michael Rodgers, ‘Found a Reason’ is also the first release listeners have received since 2019, in which Rodgers released both his debut and sophomore singles. In the wake of 2021, and with this new single, it felt clear to us that Rodgers’ soulful folk sound has truly blossomed. Creating a bittersweet, and incredibly warm feel through ‘Found a Reason’, this single triumphantly stands as a compelling love letter to an ex-fiancée. With the story behind the song being set on the streets of Berlin, where Rodgers and his ex-fiancée once shared a life together, we were completely pulled into this gorgeous track, as well as its themes of searching for an “anchor in an uncertain world”.
kiskadee » _DOWN
Absolutely brimming with depth, kiskadee’s debut collage of sound gives us the first taste of the artist’s colourful musical world.INDIE TOP 39
‘_DOWN’ is the debut single release from chillwave producer kiskadee, as well as the first track to tease his upcoming debut EP. Having begun the musical project in early 2020, kiskadee was forced to rethink how he would create such a deep and ambient collage of sounds after COVID struck. And by making the decision to reach out to friends and musicians, asking each of them to send over sounds and voice-notes that reflected their lockdown experiences, kiskadee not only succeeds in creating a meaningful sound with his debut, but also a deep and indulgent one of that. The chemistry that each sound has with one another feels incredibly seamless, and we are truly excited to see what atmospheric tunes kiskadee has up his sleeve for the future.
Kolby Knickerbocker » Over and Over
With a bright and powerful gospel-inspired harmony marking the start of ‘Over and Over’, the uplifting and loving feeling of this track rolls in instantly.INDIE TOP 39
Marking the start of US indie-folk artist Kolby Knickerbocker’s musical 2021, ‘Over and Over’ makes sure to start off this year with a musical approach that stands out from preceding singles. From the moment the song begins, we are hot with a bright and powerful gospel-inspired harmony that instantly brings a tonne of soulfulness to the table. And by blending said harmonies with Knickerbocker’s signature guitar-play, which feels especially intimate and warm, in the case of this single, and we are blessed with a track that feels genuinely uplifting and heart-warming. A musical love-letter to Kolby’s wife, and a reminder that love will not waiver, ‘Over and Over’ is brining with passion, and is a perfect Valentine’s Day listen.
Montrell » Simpler in the Dark
‘Simpler in the dark’ tackles a somewhat tricky subject. And while not made to be a completely relatable tune, stands as a compelling listen.INDIE TOP 39
Following their late 2020 single ‘Magnets’, in the lead up to their EP, the newest single release from power pop four-piece Monterell, titled ‘Simpler in the Dark’ successfully tackles a somewhat tricky subject, especially in the scope of Valentine’s season. Montrell’s first 2021 release reflects upon the effort to remain loyal in a relationship. With the mellow and nostalgic acoustic-focused tune serving as the backdrop for this track’s lyrics, we definitely felt an odd sense of intimacy, and we were able to pick up on just how genuine and heartfelt this track seemed. Despite not being written with the intention of being relatable, ‘Simpler on the Dark’ is surefire to serve as a compelling listen for many.
Numbers Don’t Count » Wholesome You
Presenting a warm, sunny, and nostalgic sound, the debut single from Numbers Don’t Count offers a tonne of promise from the dynamic duo.INDIE TOP 39
The debut single release from the Berlin-based nostalgic folk-rock duo Numbers Don’t Count, ‘Wholesome You’ presents a more humorous reflection of life’s contradictions and falling aspirations, primarily caused by the circumstances of lockdown. This light-hearted contextual tone pairs perfectly with the duo’s warm, sunny, and highly nostalgic sound. It’s the kind of track that, in a musical sense, reminds us of the day where we’d be seeing an awesome local band, in a beer garden somewhere, enjoying the warmth of summer with our friends. With that being said, we definitely thought of ‘Wholesome You’ fondly, as a track that is extremely…well…wholesome. We certainly hope that this brilliant duo continues to bless us with their amazingly feel-good vibes.
Pavit Sanghera » Fake Love
With all of the elements you’d expect from an R&B classic, ‘Fake Love’ is a track that is bound to be enjoyed by many this Valentine’s.INDIE TOP 39
The first 2021 single release from Birmingham-based artist Pavit Sanghera, it was clear to see that ‘Fake Love’ was released with Valentine’s season in mind. With a slow, moody, and lustrous sound, ‘Fake Love’ also serves as a true exploration of a more R&B-inspired sound, in comparison to her previous releases. This sexy, slow-burning melody pairs perfectly with the focal sentiment of this track; that being that intimate relationships don’t necessarily always have to pin love up as the ultimate goal. This ultimately gives the track a very fun, enjoyable, and accessible vibe. With all of the lustrous production and ranged vocals you’d typically expect from an R&B classic, ‘Fake Love’ is a track that anybody, in a relationship or otherwise, can enjoy.
Sarah Carton » Beautiful Boy
While posing as a typical love ballad on the surface, the narrative behind ‘Beautiful Boy’ presents a much more deep and meaningful piece.INDIE TOP 39
Following up from her 2020 debut single ‘Beaches on the Thames’, singer, songwriter and producer Sarah Carton grabs Valentine’s day by the horns with her sophomore single. On the surface, ‘Beautiful Boy’ will likely come across as a typical love ballad, that’s simply bursting with gushes of passion. But what we especially love about this track, is the deeper narrative that lies beneath. Exploring a saviour complex of sorts, as well as addressing themes of mental health in a relationship, this narrative is truly compelling on its own. However, the fact that accompanying merch for this track will be sold to help donate to the mental health charity CALM, this track really puts its money where its mouth is. ‘Beautiful Boy’ is a gorgeous track, with a gorgeous cause behind it.
Seaker » Ashes
‘Ashes’ stands as the result of Seaker’s experiences in 2020, as well as a musical reflection of the artist’s deep appreciation towards music itself.INDIE TOP 39
After releasing her last batch of singles in 2019, singer/songwriter Kiran Hungin’s musical project, named Seaker, went through a period of reflection through the daunting and uncertain times of 2020, as many other artists have. This week saw Seaker make a return to releasing music, and with her brand new track ‘Ashes’, her experience has been completely squeezed into the heavenly and highly atmospheric melody of this track. We found ourselves being easily whisked away in the vibe of this track, and its melody carried us throughout. But at the real heart of the track, is Seaker’s deep appreciation for the music itself, and how it has both broken and fixed her countless times. And with ‘Ashes’ carrying as much depth as it does, it is clear to see said appreciation.
Tertia » Emily
‘Emily’ successfully blends both vibrant production, with the bedroom-pop feel of Tertia’s 2020 releases, mixing it all with a compelling story.INDIE TOP 39
‘Emily’ is the second 2021 release from synth pop artist Tertia, and follows on from her previous single ‘Overly Emotional Women’, in the lead-up to her upcoming EP. Having already taken a more deep and atmospheric departure from her 2020 bedroom mixes earlier this year, ‘Emily’ carries this deeper sound forward. Written to be a song about the need for someone else to forgive you, in order to forgive ones-self, this contextual sentiment pairs incredibly nicely with the bittersweet feel carried by the tracks fluttering and dreamy production. And much like with Tertia’s previous track, ‘Emily’ successfully blends both a more vibrant production, and the bedroom-pop feel of her 2020 singles; ultimately giving it a mood that feels perfect for the imminent Spring.
New Music Sunday » Best Songs Released This Week
Jagara » Into The Night
Those who follow our blog might recognise Jagara. They were one of the first artists we had an-depth conversation with. We are super thrilled to see the return of this project. Looks like there were many changes as in all the artwork and socials only one sister is running the show. Also the sound after moving to Berlin sounds edgier. This is definitely the return of the year and we can’t wait to hear their story!
New Music Sunday » Best Songs Released This Week