As May draws to a close and the seasons transition from Spring to Summer, we take a look at some of the month's outstanding new indie singles that have landed on our musical radar - from Of Monsters and Men, AURORA, DIVMOND, Eleven Point Two, Paul Moody, and Sea Salt. Read on and be sure to give these impressive tracks and artists a listen!
OF MONSTERS AND MEN | "Alligator"
It's been nearly four years since Icelandic indie pop band Of Monsters And Men released their stunning Beneath the Skin album, with a series of breakthrough singles, including "Crystals" and "Wolves Without Teeth," the latter being one of my all-time OMAM favorites. The Reykjavik-based quintet is back with the energized, drum-pounding "Alligator," the first taste of new music from their forthcoming album, Fever Dream, due out July 26.
On their Facebook page, the band remarks on the new single, "The song very much speaks to the excitement and energy that we feel about being back. We can’t wait to share more music and see everyone again." If you didn't see their recent performance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, be sure to catch Of Monsters And Men as they embark on their multi-city US tour that kicks off in September.
AURORA | "The River"
AURORA is the musical project of Norwegian singer-songwriter Aurora Aksnes. Her latest single, "The River," is an ultra-smooth, pulsing, synth-driven masterpiece that's destined to land on your music playlists. With its poignant lyrical of theme of letting go, being yourself, and never being afraid to cry ("You can cry. To where the ocean is bigger. Become a part of the river"), the track is a taste of new music from forthcoming album, A Different Kind of Human.
On her Facebook page, AURORA comments, "Feeling that you can’t talk about your emotions because pain is associated with weakness, here in my world it's not. Crying can be such a happy experience especially afterwards when you feel a bit lighter. That's what 'The River' is about…" Watch the song's accompanying cinematic music video for an impressive visual interpretation.
DIVMOND | "Carnival"
Following a series of impressive single releases and collaborations, Chicago-based singer-songwriter and producer DIVMOND (a.k.a. Chris Diamond) unveils his unique blend of rock, hip hop and rap with his captivating new single, "Carnival." With a sound reminiscent of soulful Dave Gahan (Depeche Mode), killer vocals and energetic vibe, Chris reports on social media that there are a handful more of forthcoming tracks in the same musical vein. Be sure to also check out DIVMOND's recent collaborations with Cafe Disko, including "Santeria" and "We Came To Dance."
ELEVEN POINT TWO | "Don't Wanna Spend the Night Alone"
Los Angeles-based Eleven Point Two, the dynamic duo of musical brothers, Taylor (piano, vocals) and Jon Siegel (drums), has developed their own take on an eclectic, alt-rock sound. Influenced by a vast array of artists, including Twenty One Pilots, Angels & Airwaves, and Coldplay, their music resonates with a style that touches on equal parts originality and familiarity, giving their audience a taste of something fresh, yet still identifiable and relatable.
Eleven Point Two's latest single, "Don't Wanna Spend the Night Alone," is an outstanding, atmospheric track that showcases the duo's tight vocals and solid songwriting, building to its yearning, infectious chorus.
PAUL MOODY | "Fly On My Margarita Glass"
Following his recent and impressive stripped-down, 18-track The Ghost Album, Chicago-based indie-folk singer-songwriter Paul Moody's new single, "Fly On My Margarita Glass," is an introspective, charming and laid-back composition and possibly the perfect soundtrack to late night, post-Margarita nights on the town. Paul comments on the track on social media, "I wanna thank Jimmy Buffett-inspired nightmares for helping write this song. A bunch more songs are to follow." If you haven't put Paul Moody (and Paul Moody and the Revelators) on your musical radar, you are missing out on one talented, creative musical presence in the Chicago indie music scene.
SEA SALT | "Frames"
Seattle-based dream pop band Sea Salt releases "Frames," the first single from their forthcoming debut album. Self produced by Kurt Roy, this ethereal dream pop number is filled with spacey guitar harmonies, and whispery vocals reminiscent of Sufjan Steven that coalesce to create a calm, yet upbeat breakup song. Lyrically, it's the push and pull of this unstable relationship that draws you in. "I'm an only child, I'm alone for now, it's as bad as it seems," Kurt sings during the chorus, over washed out guitars and synths. At one moment he's willing to be weak, and the next he's telling his ex-lover to never come back. The song was mixed by Mat Halliday at Minx Studios in Michigan and mastered by Rachel Field at Resonant Mastering in Seattle.