Welcome back to another edition of What I’ve Been Listening To, a series of posts I make quarterly about what’s new in classic rock influenced music. In this post I’ll be sharing some new songs I’ve been digging from September to November. Enjoy!
1. Geno Samuel – And Vienna
I found out about Geno Samuel from his documentary series about the infamous Chris Chan. He is more than just a documentary maker and he’s really into progressive rock, making his own music. He was born in Lithuania, previously lived in Ireland, and now is living in Japan. You can find his music channel here.
On 15 October, he released his album, And Vienna. The sounds are a mix of pop, jazz, acoustic rock, and a pinch of prog rock. I love the harmonies and guitars. My favourite tracks on the album are “(You Might Call It) Sailing”, the 50s sounding “Givin’ It All I Got”, “It’s Not You, It’s Not Me”, “Till The End”, and the 15 minute long closing track “Travelling”. Overall, it’s a great album to listen to if you want something relaxing.
If you’re more into the electronic side of his music, check out his albums Tokyo Computer Music and Cabbage.
2. The Darkness – Easter Is Cancelled
If I had to describe 2019 as anything, it was the year of cancelling, but I don’t think that started this year, I noticed that in 2018 too with many a dramageddon. My introduction to The Darkness was like pretty much everyone else’s: their smash hit, “I Believe in a Thing Called Love”. That song came out in 2003 and stood out in a time when rock was starting to decline in popularity and hip hop and pop skyrocketed. It was a breath of fresh air and took us all back to the 70s. This was before your Struts and Greta Van Fleets.
Sadly for The Darkness, “I Believe in a Thing Called Love” was a one hit wonder. To quote Todd in the Shadows, “Why didn’t we believe in them?” I guess because the average person’s music taste in the noughties wasn’t Led Zeppelin like music. Not a surprise since chart music has been getting worse and more monotonous as time goes by, but I’m basically a boomer stuck in a millennial shell. However, the band still have a following and are still releasing music. Easter is Cancelled was released on 4 October.
Guitarist Dan Hawkins told The Rockpit that the theme of the album is “What if Jesus lived?” and if he did, would we be in the same political situation with the far right rising in the US and Europe. It also has themes about the birth and death of rock and roll, a once dominant genre that some people say is dead now and others say is going through a rebirth.
I would say this album shows that the rebirth is strong. The one good thing about the politics of today is that some good protest music can come out of this. Still, I’d rather if we didn’t have Trump and Brexit. This album has some throwback 70s and 80s sounds, but still sounds modern and fresh. This band are more than “I Believe in a Thing Called Love”. I believe with any good band, look beyond the hits and you’ll get a real understanding of what they’re about. Overall, this is a great album, give it a listen.
3. The Daybrakers – “Bluesbreaker”
The Daybrakers are a London based band influenced by blues, soul, and R&B. The band’s lineup are guitarist Aidan Connell – who has been praised by Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page, bassist Conor Cotterill, and Anthony Paine on drums. The band are multicultural and diverse with Jamaican, French, and Irish roots among the band members.
The band released their latest single, “Bluesbreaker” on 15 November. It’s awesome to hear some blues rock in 2019. Makes me wish I was in London so I could see them live. Looking forward to hearing more from The Daybrakers.
4. Micky James – “Crybaby”
I found out about Micky James because of fellow music blogger and classic rock fan, Carmela, who runs The Generation Clash. Glam rock has been a classic rock subgenre I’ve been falling more and more in love with. Such an energetic genre. If 70s-esque glam rock is what you’re craving, you might like Micky James. I’m really surprised that he isn’t talked about more.
5. Brasko – SEXDREAMSUPERSTAR
I also found out about his music through Carmela. Her music recommendations are always spot on. Brasko’s sound is a mix of glam rock, pop, and electronic music. A modern twist on glam. What’s really cool about this decade is all the new sound that people in the classic rock era would never have imagined existing. My favourite songs on the album are “Get Me High”, “Lipstick Stains”, the funky “Sexdreamsuperstar”, “Take Me”, and “Vertigo”.
6. Storm Calysta – “Space Cadet”
Storm Calysta is a model who has worked with Gucci, Rachel Zoe, Jeffrey Campbell, Free People, American Apparel, ASOS, Psychic Clothing, and more. I absolutely adore her retro style and she’s one of my favourite accounts I follow on Instagram. She also is a singer/songwriter. In September, she released her second single, “Space Cadet” which has a country pop sound and a beautiful music video to go along with it. I love her glam rock meets Gram Parsons style in the video. Can’t wait to hear more from her!
7. Little Quirks – “Cover My Eyes”
I found out about this Australian indie folk band from the blog Rearview Mirror. As soon as I heard their beautiful music, I thought of my husband and the kind of music he likes listening to. Absolutely loved the song “Crumbled”. Folk wasn’t always my favourite genre, but over time, I’ve warmed up to it and I really like it. Not everything has to be hard rock all the time. The band’s latest single, released in October, is “Cover My Eyes”. Another great song from them.
8. The Shivas – Dark Thoughts
I believe I found out about The Shivas through some Spotify playlist. Probably a psychedelic one. The cool thing about the present day is you can always find a band that’s playing music of any genre and get exactly what you want if you search for it and it couldn’t be easier. My favourite songs on the album are “Turn Me On”, “Start a Fire”, “Sometimes II”, “Can’t Relax”, “Feels Surreal”, and “It’s All In Your Head”. If you like a mix of surf, psychedelic, and garage rock, you might like this album.
9. The Babe Rainbow – Today
The Babe Rainbow released their third album, Today, in September 2019. Overall a relaxing, feel good album perfect for chilling at the beach. Brings back memories of my recent travels to the Caribbean: swimming, going to the beach, and chilling on a boat. My favourite songs on it are “Morning Song”, “Us and the Rainbow”, “Funky I Like It”, “Electrocuted”, and “Many Moons of Love”.
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