Molly Rankin and Alec O’Hanley of Alvvays, Billy Idol, Conan Gray
Where the hell have I been? Good question. Let’s just say I have been unmotivated by new(ish) music lately. I go through these phases where nothing speaks to me. But like every bad mood, my dolefulness evaporates and I can see the beauty in music again.
I give Beyoncé credit this time. Her single, “BREAK MY SOUL- (THE QUEENS REMIX)” jolted me back into action. The combination of her legendary vocals and Madonna’s iconic “Vogue” bassline is superb. It motivated me to load up a bunch of new(ish) singles to see what else would give me all the good vibes. I keep saying new(ish) as some of these songs may not be the latest single by these artists but they definitely deserve your attention.
Let’s see where this road will lead me…I hope you enjoy the ride.
Song: “Easy On Your Own?”
In A Word: Dreamy
Molly Rankin’s heavenly vocals are the deal. The music is a perfect mix of light and heavy with wandering guitar melodies and a hard hitting rhythm section. This track is off their upcoming third album, Blue Rev, which drops October 7th. This band reminded me of my love for The Sundays—one of dream pop’s greatest ambassadors. The groove is strong on this track.
Artist: Billy Idol
In A Word: Kick-Ass
If I am not mistaken, when Billy Idol played the 2015 LouFest, he mentioned onstage that the chicken wings Chef Liz Schuster (one of my all-time favorite St. Louisans) prepared for him were amazing. Like his legendary hits, that memory holds a special place in my brain. Idol is back with a brand new single “Cage” and let me tell you folks, this 66-year old grandpa is not showing any signs of slowing down. His vocals still capture my ear and his attitude gives me hope that I will be rocking into my 60s.
Artist: Conan Gray
In A Word: Smooth
Singer-songwriter Conan Gray caught my attention with his slick vocals and his sinister synth-pop vibes. This kid has charisma that made me look deeper into his repertoire and I have to say I was equally impressed with his other single, “Memories.” This talented singer is versatile as he gives off a completely soul-baring vibe on this ballad. Think if Annita and Diane Coffee had a lovechild—Conan Gray is very that.
Artist: Danielle Ponder
Song: “Some of Us Are Brave”
In A Word: Mesmerizing
I’m going on record now: Danielle Ponder is a voice for the ages. Her amazing vocals on this track transported me to another place, spiritually. Now c’mon, she is an icon, she is amazing, and she is the moment. She can’t be compared to anybody in the game today and that fact makes her a star in my eyes. Her album, Some of Us Are Brave, comes out September 16th. You can bet your bippy that if this superstar comes 100 miles near me, I will be in the front row.
Artist: Circa Waves
Song: “Hell On Earth”
In A Word: Refreshing
Circa Waves is a safe haven for me. Every time I see that they have a new song, I get all giddy like a teenager. Their music just makes me happy. The vocals are always fun and flirty and the music is bouncy while a bit cheeky. “Hell On Earth” serves more good vibes while making my head bop back and forth like I am a Peanuts character. The Liverpool lads have boosted my serotonin more times than I count and for that I will always be a fan.
Artist: Gin WIgmore
Song: “Man Like That”
In A Word: Sassy
I know this column is called The Found Five, but the internet is a mysterious thing and it often suggests artists that I may not have heard of before. Case in point, this sizzler from Gin Wigmore completely missed me in 2012 and I thought I would share it with you. For all my burlesque friends out there: this track was made for you. Wigmore’s unique vocals put me in a trance and left me wanting to hear more. She has had six singles since this one so I will be busy for a while as I peruse this singer’s catalog.
Well, it sure feels good to be back from the dead. Hopefully, the universe will keep serving up more jams for me to share with you all.
Click here to listen to these songs and others that have caught my ear in my own curated playlist called K-JIM 2020 on Spotify.
As always, you can follow me on Twitter @MusicManJim. | Jim Ryan