Song of the Day

Song Of The Day: Svalbard – Listen To Someone

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What’s in a name? Shakespeare wrote that, and while he was talking about a couple of lovestruck teenagers, the question could also be applied to band names. Take Svalbard for example.

With a name like Svalbard, one’s first thought would be to assume that they’re some Scandinavian black metal types, all grim and menacing and hanging out in the forest with swords and stuff. Nope, they’re from Bristol. Still heavy as hell though, with a sound that falls somewhere between hardcore, metal and shoegaze. They are named after a Norwegian archipelago though, so I wasn’t too far off with my initial black metal assumptions.

The band released their latest, When I Die, Will I Get Better?, back in September and were just announced as part of next year’s Roskilde Festival lineup. Will things be close enough to normal by that point so that the festival can take place as planned? Who knows? But in the meantime, you can check out the video for Svalbard’s “Listen To Someone” below.

Song Of The Day: Shitkid – baby roulette

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2020 has been a shit year for everyone, but all things considered, it’s also been a pretty good year for Shitkid, at least from a productivity standpoint.

ShitKid (aka Åsa Söderqvist) has been a favourite of mine ever since seeing her live a couple of years back and while there certainly won’t be any live shows on the horizon any time soon, Söderqvist has certainly kept busy regardless, having already put out three releases so far this year before following them up with her fourth, the soon to be released CROTCHROCK (recorded in the Spring/Summer of 2020, partly with former bassist Lina Molarin Ericsson).

While Söderqvist’s most recent full length, 20/20 ShitKid, delved into more synth-based sounds, the CROTCHROCK EP sees Shitkid bringing things back to a more guitar-centric style. Check out lead single “baby roulette” below.

CROTCHROCK is out December 11 via PNKSLM Recordings.

Song of the Day: Casper Skulls – Ou Va la Chance

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A good cover song can take the original song and frame it in a new light as the artist puts their own spin on it, but just as often a band’s choice of cover song can reveal something new about them as well. Casper Skulls’ “Ou Va la Chance” manages to do both.

The Toronto indie rockers’ recently released cover of Francoise Hardy’s “Ou Va la Chance” (itself a French language version of Phil Ochs’ “There But For Fortune”) hits the sweet spot between the gentle sounds of Hardy’s original version and the band’s own sound. And the song itself has a special significance to singer Melanie St. Pierre, who has dedicated it to her mémère:

“When I was young my mémère used to sing a French song to me called “Melanie” by Mélanie-Chantal Pary & André Sylvain. I specifically remember the lyrics going “Mélanie on a besoin de toi” which translates to something like “Melanie we need you.” Now as an adult I realize how sweet that was. This song is now dedicated to her.”

Give it a listen below:

Song Of The Day: Happyness – Vegetable

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I hope you’ll forgive me for paraphrasing the title track from the soundtrack to Todd Solondz’s 1998 film Happiness, but when I learned recently that London’s Happyness had put out an album back in May of this year, I couldn’t help but think, “Happyness, where were you? I didn’t have a clue.”

It’s true – somehow I managed to miss out on the news that the band had put out a new album. I’d imagine the fact that the most direct way for a band to promote a new release – touring and playing live – has pretty much disappeared in the past several months, but beyond that, it’s on me – I just wasn’t paying attention. Luckily, I did finally find out and the band’s latest release, Floatr, is a solid addition to their catalogue – while the band may have lost original member Benji Compston in the time since releasing 2017’s Write In, they’ve lost none of what made their sound so enjoyable in the first place.

“Vegetable” is one of the more memorable tracks off of the new album, with a melody that brings to mind Elliott Smith. Check it out below.

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