In this – the age of the Coronavirus – many of us are stuck at home, isolated with only TV screens and the glow of laptops and phones to keep us connected. In other words, there isn’t much to do.
However, one thing that is available to us all is the wide world of recorded music. And now is as good a time as ever to get to know some bands you may not have heard of but ones that you will assuredly enjoy, dear reader.
So, buckle up and get ready for a digital ride around Nashville, Chicago, Bellingham (Washington), New York City and Sydney (Australia).
Ben de la Cour, “God’s Only Son,” Nashville
In these dark and difficult times, it can help to hear someone scream over some hammer-strummed chords. Ben de la Cour’s voice sounds like the American Heartland witnessed through the window of a car going 80 mph. Here, he sings of bank robberies, death and god. What’s more American than that? His raspy voice and powerful guitar strikes prove to make for excellent catharsis.
Jules Esquire, “Sucka 4 Love,” Chicago
The Chicago-based singer finds himself in the lineage of the great R&B singers that have come before him, specifically those who can master the gooey hook. Jules Esquire could charm the flame off a candlewick. Esquire’s voice sounds like David Bowie died and was reincarnated under his tonsils. The crooner’s latest single, “Sucka 4 Love,” sounds like a summer rain echoing through a beating heart.
Apology Wars, “Better,” Bellingham
Recorded with engineering legend, Jack Endino, of Northwest grunge fame, “Better” is about the criticism affixed to those who are different. We’ve all had fingers pointed at us during our worst times and Apology Wars captures that difficult encounter fluently. When you’re feeling your worst, you think everyone is better than you, knows more than you. Screw that! the band demands.
Public Practice, “Compromised,” New York City
This indie-pop anthem from The Big Apple implores those who will listen to choose a side. Just. Choose. Those who sit on the fence, the song bops along, are living lies. This message seems more and more poignant as, with each day, the world seems to crumble a bit more. Many are forced into making a choice when it comes to politics or ethics. If you’re not one of those, then do us all a favor, and just DECIDE, says Public Practice over a bouncy bass and bright guitars.
Gordi, “Aeroplane Bathroom,” Sydney
“Do you see yourself unraveling,” Gordi asks with the opening line of this song. Could the proverbial nail have been struck any cleaner? With her forlorn tone and heart-piercing lyrics, the singer from Down Under offers a sense of sonic empathy in her present vulnerability. It seems a necessary note to leave you with, dear reader. Let it be dark before the dawn. But the dawn will arrive.