Saturday Songs – Towne and Stevens, Dead Rituals, Eric Hagen, Arts Fishing Club, Thorin Loeks, Love Crumbs, Finds Gold, Dominque Fils-Aimé, Tom Costello and the Turnaround, and Lana Burford

Welcome back, everyone, to our beloved “Saturday Songs” segment here on! As the week concludes and the weekend comes alive, we’re thrilled to once again bring you a curated collection of the most extraordinary indie music from around the globe. Our team has scoured the furthest reaches of the music universe to handpick songs that encapsulate the spirit of the weekend. Whether it’s the euphoria of a Friday night, the leisurely pace of a Saturday morning, or the reflective calm of a Sunday evening, we’ve got a track to match your mood.

So put on your headphones, settle in, and let the rhythm of the weekend wash over you. We’re eager to introduce you to your next favorite song and the incredible artists behind them. Trust us; these are tunes that you’ll want on your playlist long after the weekend has passed. As always, we thank you for joining us in our mission to celebrate and support indie music. Let’s dive into the music!

Towne and Stevens – “Throwing Shade on Sunshine”

“Throwing Shade on Sunshine,” the striking new single from Towne and Stevens, strikes the delicate balance between buoyant instrumentation and soul-stirring lyricism. Featuring members of Blind Melon, Rogers Stevens and Nathan Towne, the duo explores a familiar sonic terrain with a fresh perspective. Drawing upon the nuanced arrangements of artists like Goose and My Morning Jacket, the song offers a compelling juxtaposition of the optimistic and melancholic.

The lyrics are a masterclass in emotive storytelling. Towne and Stevens take us on an introspective journey with lines such as “No more wasted time / Throwing shade on sunshine / You think I just wanna get high,” laying bare the struggle against ennui and the search for authenticity. The plea in the chorus, “So come on now…Oh…I’m roughing up the suspect / While you’re sitting on your treasure,” speaks to the dissonance between desire and reality. Amidst this exploration of personal tumult, the song’s catchy melodies and vibrant instrumentals bring a welcome levity, reminiscent of Spoon’s spirited indie-rock anthems. Just as Crosby, Stills and Nash blended harmonious vocals with impactful lyrics, Towne and Stevens brilliantly marry their emotive lyrical narrative with warm, harmonious soundscapes. “Throwing Shade on Sunshine” serves as a compelling exploration of the human condition, wrapped in a musically rich and delightfully catchy package.

Dead Rituals – “Faults” feat. Isadora Eden

“Faults,” the newest collaborative offering from Dead Rituals and Isadora Eden, delivers a deeply affecting sonic experience. Melding Dead Rituals’ gritty post-punk sensibilities with Eden’s hauntingly beautiful dream-folk aesthetics, the track captivates with its ethereal melodies and introspective themes. The fusion of spacious, resonating drums and effect-laden guitars create a lush soundscape reminiscent of Beach House’s dreampop brilliance, while Eden’s mesmerizing vocals cut through the mix, bringing an air of Clairo’s indie charm.

Andrea Caccese, the mastermind behind Dead Rituals, demonstrates his knack for capturing the dichotomy of life – angst and joy, solitude and connection – through his music. The lyrics in “Faults” delve into the complexities of human relationships, echoing the longing and nostalgia often encountered in works by Francis Moon and Letting Up Despite Great Faults. The song’s lyrical exploration of the struggle to find understanding and connection mirrors the artist’s own journey, reminiscent of a road journal entry filled with adventures. As haunting as it is uplifting, “Faults” is a testament to the synergistic magic that can occur when artists with distinct styles come together, ultimately creating a soundscape as grand and complex as the relationships it explores.

Eric Hagen – “Dying Alone”

Eric Hagen’s “Dying Alone” is a poignant journey into the heart of Americana music, reflecting its deep roots in American folklore, blues, rock, and country. From Door County, Wisconsin, Hagen weaves a poignant tale with his intricate lyricism and compelling musical hooks. The song, a semi-finalist in the International Songwriting Competition, captures the singer-songwriter’s remarkable ability to use his vocals as a storytelling instrument, reminiscent of the emotive power carried by artists like Jake Ybarra and Jarrod Dickenson. Hagen’s intimate, vulnerable lyrics are beautifully complemented by his powerful, evocative vocals, creating a musical narrative that resonates deeply.

“Dying Alone” unfolds a narrative of longing and emotional complexity, expressed through lyrics that echo the song’s Americana roots. The lines “She said touch me like you don’t wanna break me / And tell me you won’t take me home / Sometimes it feels like we’re faking / But it’s better than dying alone” expose a raw, human struggle, perfectly encapsulating the difficult dance between vulnerability and desire. Simultaneously, the lyrics “I thought we had love yet between us / You know it’s something to tend like a rose / But just cuz the bloom is unseen doesn’t mean that / The flower it ain’t gonna grow” offer a beautiful metaphor for the potential and fragility inherent in love and relationships. Hagen’s compelling blend of intimate lyrics and powerful musical hooks draws listeners in, tugging at the heartstrings while keeping the feet tapping, much like Jaimee Harris’ music. With “Dying Alone,” Hagen has crafted an emotionally resonant, deeply moving song that rings true to the soul of Americana music.

Arts Fishing Club – “hello heartbreak”

Arts Fishing Club’s latest release, “hello heartbreak”, is a riveting exploration of emotional vulnerability and the addictive allure of toxic love. This Nashville-based band, fronted by Christopher Kessenich, approaches heartache with a refreshing frankness. Kessenich’s open discussion about the song reveals an appreciation for the bittersweet nature of diving into a “bad idea,” where two individuals knowingly embrace the rush of an ill-advised romance despite the inevitable heartbreak. Tracked live with minimal overdubs, this song from their debut full-length album, Rothko Sky, is testament to the band’s energetic live shows and seasoned musicianship, echoing the earthy charm and relatability found in the works of similar artists like Mt. Joy and Caamp.

From the first line, “Hello heartbreak / Oh fuck, here we go again,” the song unveils a raw, unabashed confrontation with the tumultuous cycle of heartache. The lyrics elegantly depict the irresistible lure and subsequent destruction of a love doomed from the start. “Oh come heartbreak won’t you stay with me / And we’ll slip right back into it / Like nothing’s ever changed / In heartbreak,” resonates with an earnest confession of emotional recklessness. As the narrative unfolds, the urgency grows, culminating in a desperate plea: “Before all our love is wasted / Come on, come on, come on / Before all our love is faded.” The song, in its entirety, is a poignant testament to the paradox of pain and pleasure in love and heartbreak. Arts Fishing Club captures the beauty, torment, and complexity of such relationships, creating a track that is both immersive and profoundly relatable.

Thorin Loeks – “Threads”

Thorin Loeks, the Yukon-born singer-songwriter, is known for embedding his spirit of exploration and connection with the natural world into his music. In his latest track, “Threads,” Loeks continues this tradition, delivering a captivating blend of indie-folk, pop, and rock that reflects his extraordinary life adventures. The song is one of many inspired by Loeks’s journey across North America, where he bicycled and canoed over 20,000 km with just a guitar on his back. His musical style is deeply influenced by this odyssey, creating a unique sound that aligns with artists like Ben Howard and Roo Panes.

“Threads” is a musical journey in itself, harmoniously interweaving elements of contemporary indie-folk/pop/rock. The acoustic guitar serves as the song’s backbone, setting a rhythm that feels as expansive and unfettered as the landscapes Loeks traversed. The song’s overall tone and composition impart a sense of unity and shared human experience. The melody ebbs and flows like a river, inviting listeners to embark on an auditory adventure and connect with Loeks’s experiences. Much like the artist’s nomadic lifestyle, “Threads” is rich with life, energy, and a profound sense of wanderlust, further solidifying Thorin Loeks’s place in the indie-folk scene.

Love Crumbs – “Vacant Dream” feat. Cloudbelly

Love Crumbs has emerged as a powerful voice in the folk-rock and indie music scene, and their latest offering, “Vacant Dream,” featuring Cloudbelly, continues to uphold their reputation. This deeply personal track, an exploration of the heartbreaking reality of loving a family member struggling with addiction, is characterized by its intensely emotional lyrics, beautifully haunting melodies, and a poignant narrative. There are distinct echoes of Radiohead’s “High and Dry” in its melody, yet the song transitions seamlessly into a folk-infused landscape, defined by Love Crumbs’ signature impactful female vocals.

Singer Ali’s voice is a driving force within the track, resonating with raw emotion that reflects the deeply personal narrative. Lyrics like “I am the holder of a distant dream / That ties the love you had for me / Untethering / That dream from my reality” eloquently convey the heartrending duality of hope and despair that colors the experience of supporting a loved one through addiction. The song’s lyrical depth is complemented by its emotive music, building a soundscape that mirrors the trials and emotional turmoil explored in its narrative. “Vacant Dream” paints a vivid picture of personal struggle and familial love, showcasing Love Crumbs’ uncanny ability to create music that is both profound in its exploration of human emotions and exquisite in its sound. In this track, the Massachusetts-based group proves once again why they have been deemed an act “fizzing with potential” by Keep Walking Music.

Finds Gold – “Extremes”

In a commendable exploration of the psyche’s highs and lows, dream pop and indie artist Finds Gold strikes a resonant chord with their lead single “Extremes” off the eponymous EP. This poignant track offers an introspective journey into the artist’s personal experiences following a Bipolar 1 diagnosis. Through the skillful blend of introspective lyrics and shimmering dream-pop production, Finds Gold lays bare the complexities of bipolar disorder, embodying the manic highs and depressive lows that the diagnosis often entails. Reminiscent of artists like Frank Ocean and MUNA, “Extremes” navigates the volatile terrain of mental health with grace and authenticity, using the track as a platform to shine a light on mental health issues and to extend a hand of understanding to others grappling with similar challenges.

Lyrically, “Extremes” reads like a poignant diary entry – heartfelt, raw, and deeply introspective. Lines like “Been chasing Extremes / Like all the time / Been bursting the seams / And blurring lines” articulate the erratic and cyclical nature of the bipolar experience. The repetitive chorus is a powerful representation of the relentless pace of bipolar disorder, mirroring the ceaseless ebb and flow between manic and depressive states. But despite its melancholic undertones, the track radiates a certain resilience, imbuing listeners with a sense of hope and camaraderie in shared struggles. Unquestionably, “Extremes” serves as an emotionally charged harbinger for the forthcoming EP, an exploration of mental health that manages to remain deeply personal, while resonating with anyone who has faced their own mental health battles.

Dominque Fils-Aimé – “My Mind At Ease”

Dominique Fils-Aimé has once again graced us with her unparalleled artistry with her single “My Mind At Ease,” a preview of her much-anticipated upcoming album, “Our Roots Run Deep.” Fils-Aimé’s distinctive approach to contemporary soul music is in full bloom here, with richly layered vocals creating an atmospheric landscape that is simultaneously lush and charged with tension. Fils-Aimé, renowned for her emotive blend of R&B and soul, evokes a sense of introspection, subtly transforming her song into a personal spiritual journey. The track, further enhanced by the stunning visuals of the accompanying music video, marks a majestic reemergence of one of Canada’s most compelling voices, reinforcing her reputation as a musical innovator.

Lyrically, “My Mind At Ease” centers around themes of self-reflection, introspection, and emotional liberation. Fils-Aimé’s refrain “What I gotta do what I gotta do / Get some peace and quiet / What I gotta do what I gotta do / Get ridda you” encapsulates a fervent desire for inner peace and the ongoing struggle to quieten disruptive thoughts. The song’s persistent invocation to “Leave, leave bad thoughts” embodies an individual’s yearning for mental tranquility. The lyrical journey is mirrored in the composition, with the pulsating rhythm providing a backdrop for Fils-Aimé’s potent vocal delivery that harks back to soul icons like Billie Holiday and Nina Simone. The result is a riveting musical experience that offers listeners a nuanced exploration of personal strength and resilience in the face of internal turmoil. Fils-Aimé’s “My Mind At Ease” is not only an auditory treat but a testament to the therapeutic potential of music.

Tom Costello and the Turnaround – “Fighting in Philly”

With a nostalgically raw and energetic single, “Fighting in Philly,” Tom Costello and the Turnaround take us back to the beloved 90s rock vibe. A sonic homage to bands like Traveling Wilburys and Counting Crows, this two-minute track tells a compelling tale inspired by the namesake short story of a boxer readying for a significant fight. This evocative narrative is brought to life by the vivid interplay of guitars, drums, bass, and a strategically used harmonica, all of which join forces to create an immersive experience that pays tribute to the endurance and tenacity inherent in the human spirit.

Drenched in the ethos of resilience and determination, “Fighting in Philly” lyrically articulates the anticipation, fears, and aspirations of its protagonist. Lines such as “32 years old, and I’m laying it down on the line / Seizing the moments” and “I’m not a kid anymore, and it’s only a matter of time” underline the relentless ticking of time, a reminder of mortality and the pressing need to seize the moment. The refrain “I’m sticking to the plan to take what’s mine” serves as a fervent declaration of intent, an ode to unwavering resolve. This tale of an aging fighter encapsulates a universally relatable struggle against time and adversity, and the relentless pursuit of personal glory. Both sonically and lyrically, “Fighting in Philly” is a testament to Tom Costello and the Turnaround’s ability to craft stirring anthems that encapsulate the human spirit’s unyielding resilience.

Lana Burford – “angel”

With her latest release, “angel,” Lana Burford delivers a captivating neo-soul single that resonates with lush romanticism and evocative melancholy. Similar to the stylings of contemporary R&B pioneers like Solange and Snoh Aalegra, Burford seamlessly weaves together elements of funk, neo-soul, and contemporary R&B to deliver a track that is both ethereal and grounded. At its core, “angel” is a tale of longing and yearning, steeped in the liminal spaces of love and heartbreak.

Burford’s lyricism is refreshingly poetic, painting vivid imageries of “Timeless nights spent / Wide awake with the moon,” and “Moonlit craters / Maybe we could create it.” These dreamlike visuals are mirrored in her complex musical arrangement, where the subtly funky undertones blend effortlessly with the soaring neo-soul elements. The chorus – “I just gotta know need to know / When to take it kinda slow / When to stay, when to go” – is a beautifully poignant meditation on the uncertainty of love, encapsulating the complex dance of attraction, hesitation, and hope. In the song’s closing lines, “I’d do anything for you, all I want is you / Just imagine if you saw me too,” we are confronted with the raw vulnerability and hopeful yearning that Butford channels so expertly in “angel”. This release solidifies her status as an up and coming voice in contemporary R&B, capable of encapsulating human emotion with a musical maturity that belies her years.

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