New Music Spotlight (January 2023)
In this first New Music Spotlight post of 2023, we dive in and take a listen to six new tracks that caught the attention of my ears and have been keeping me good listening company. I hope you'll find something new and enticing in the featured songs from Tiny Microphone, Your Angel, Peter Gabriel, Maddie Regent, Mike Rogers, and Yella Belly.
Be sure to check out the SoundThread Music Blog Spotify playlist where you can stream the songs below and a lot more great new indie tunes!
Tiny Microphone | Holiday (new single)
Heading up the January New Music Spotlight is "Holiday," the stunning new single from Tiny Microphone, the indie/dream pop project of Portland-based singer-songwriter Kristine Capua. Nearly five years have elapsed since Kristine last released new music as part of Tiny Fireflies, her musical collaboration with Lisle Mitnik. The duo's last single releases were "Nothing" and "2040" that date back to early 2018.
Taken from her forthcoming album, Other Cities, "Holiday" is glistening, featuring Kristine's sweet, soothing vocals, catchy melodies and clean production throughout, along with a soaring chorus that will have you singing along to this slice of dream pop brilliance.
"Give me a reason to believe
That we are young and we are free
And I’ll open up, leave it alone and let it go
And I’ll open up, leave it alone, I’ll let you go"
"It's been over a decade since I put out a solo album and to say a lot has happened since then is quite the understatement," remarks Kristine on social media. "I started working on this album before the pandemic and am thrilled to finally share it with you."
And, in case you were wondering about Kristine and Lisle's Tiny Fireflies collaboration, Kristine reports that the project is not going anywhere and will continue. She comments, "I've been fortunate to be able to reinvent myself musically throughout the years and appreciate you all sticking around through the incarnations of my songwriting. Thank you for listening."
Your Angel | Misbehave (new single)
Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter and producer Your Angel (a.k.a., Maddy Boyd) releases her pulsing, lush, synth-driven single, "Misbehave," a track that will feature on Your Angel's forthcoming sophomore album.
Originally hailing from Sante Fe, New Mexico, Maddy got her start touring in indie rock bands like Current Joys and Surf Curse. After playing over 150 sold out shows, she left the bands in 2019 to pursue her own artist project, quickly growing a loyal following after releasing a series of hit singles and her debut album, Pipe Dream.
"I wrote 'Misbehave' when I met my now boyfriend of two years," Maddy comments. "It's about wanting to throw all of my boundaries out of the window and move super fast with him because I felt like I had known him for my whole life."
Peter Gabriel | Panopticom (Bright Side Mix) (new single)
It's my opinion that the long gap in between Peter Gabriel's album releases is always worth the wait. For anyone counting, it's been 20 (yes ... TWENTY!) years since the release of Up, his last studio album of all new, original music, and nearly 12 years since New Blood, which presented orchestral re-recordings of various songs from Peter's career.
Closing the gap and leading up to Peter's forthcoming tenth studio album, i/o, is his outstanding new single "Panopticom." "The first song is based on an idea I have been working on to initiate the creation of an infinitely expandable accessible data globe: The Panopticom." Peter explains. "We are beginning to connect a like-minded group of people who might be able to bring this to life, to allow the world to see itself better and understand more of what's really going on."
Featuring Peter's instantly recognizeable vocal delivery, distinctive songwriting style and production, "Panopticom" is yet another cinematic PG classic that gently builds from its quiet, near-spoken-word verses to its triumphant chorus. According to Peter's Bandcamp site, the lyrics to "Panopticom" are partly inspired by the extraordinary work of three groups: Forensic Architecture, Bellingcat and the Gabriel co-founded pioneering human rights organisation WITNESS.
Just as "Panopticom" was released on the first full moon of the new year, Peter explains that the lunar phases will continue to guide the release plan in 2023, with a new song to be revealed with each full moon. So keep your eyes to the night skies throughout the year to know when you'll be hearing more new Peter Gabriel.
Maddie Regent | Heavy Little Things (new single and video)
Toronto-born and NYC-based singer-songwriter Maddie Regent's new single, "Heavy Little Things," is a beautiful, honest reflection about all the little things that can often overwhelm many us in our lives, weighing heavily on our well-being. "Am I holding on to heavy little things, or are they holding on to me?" Maddie asks herself in the track's pre-chorus.
Musically, "Heavy Little Things" is light, melodic and upbeat. On social media, Maddie recounts the challenges in the creative process that led up to writing this important and touching song, co-written with partner and musician Cade Hoppe. Regarding the overall vibe she wanted to create, Maddie reveals that the goal was to create a song that sounded like Natalie Imbruglia - something that was "sad, but twerkable." Maddie took the track to the studio with Cade and producer Harper James (Eighty Ninety), and the results are truly stunning. Maddie comments on social media, "Since releasing it, I've felt a lot less alone and I'm really grateful for that."
I got every thing that's ever mattered
And I'm drowning in it
No one feels bad
For a princess stuck inside her tower
But she's dying in it
Oh I understand
I know its hard to see
All these heavy little things"
Be sure to watch the accompanying music video for "Heavy Little Things," which is directed, filmed, 'starred in' and edited by Maddie herself. And keep your ears tuned for more new music from Maddie. Her next single, "SIDE FX," will be released January 20.
Mike Rogers | Get High (new single)
Amsterdam-based indie dance trio Mike Rogers releases its new single and musical earworm, "Get High," an upbeat, hand-clapping anthem for living out loud and in the moment. Comprised of musicians Michiel Thomassen (Mike Mago), Micha De Jonge (Kita Menari) and Roger Van Der Zwan (TWR72), the trio is preparing to release their forthcoming debut album this autumn, which combines analog with digital, and retro with modern.
Lyrically, "Get High" speaks of a psychedelic experience. The band shares, "Mister tambourine man (a dealer) is speaking. He is convincing someone to trust him to take the drugs and experience how it will all unfold. It will be an adventure worthwhile."
Mike Rogers' collaborative creative process places emphasis on being bold and making big musical gestures without sensationalism. This overall theme is present in "Get High" and permeates the tracks on their forthcoming album. The band comments, "We encourage to ask questions out loud. To share your uncertainties out loud. To say, I don't know, yet I care. To forgive out loud. To live out loud."
Yella Belly | Sick For You (new single)
NYC alt-indie rock band Yella Belly releases their rockin', bluesy new song, "Sick For You," the second single from the forthcoming Yella Belly debut album. Described as "equal parts Texas grit and New York grime," the band is comprised of singer/guitarist William Thompson, bassist Connor Jones, drummer Steve Vannelli, guitarist Jack McLoughlin, and keyboardist Patrick Carr.
"I’m so sick, sick for you
Sick, sick for you
Yeah- I’m sick, sick for you
Ah won’t you be, be sick too"
With a lyrical theme that touches upon smashed dreams, locked down inside, and being sick of the mad world outside, "Sick For You" features William's raw, rebellious-sounding vocals and Yella Belly's rootsy, psychedelic alt-country vibe. While we await the band's debut album, also check out their previous single release, "The Two-Timin' Terlingua Tussle."