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Better Than Before

Exploring the best of quality modern indie music

Guitar player

The music

Below, click the icon which looks like this Youtube playlist list icon to see our complete song list.

drummer

The discussion

(Transcribed and shortened from a recording of our round table session.)

Hello again everyone, and we have our team ready to introduce some more top-class music in the pop, indie and rock mainstream which you may not have heard before.

We should note that we usually aim to review music from the last few years, to give us scope to find the cream. But our one classic selection can be from any era.

  • Escondido – Crush on Her
  • Diskarnate – Seven Sorrows
  • Chitra – Better than before
  • Deep Sea Arcade – Learning to Fly
  • Justin Dean Thomas – Standing in the Door
  • Chastity Brown – After You
  • Small Feet – All and Everyone
  • Another Sunny day – You Should All Be Murdered

We have been talking about our unique ranking system based on Spotify listens and it occurs to us there is a flaw in it – some artists may have a rank of 5 or more but are hardly known outside of their home country. This means there is a huge audience out there who have never had a chance of hearing some great artists. One example is the Mexican group Reyno, who are deservedly huge, but not much listened to beyond their own country. We’ll feature them soon I’m sure.

This also applies to lower-ranked bands too of course – we had the band Neuman in the last post, who are huge in Spain but not much appreciated elsewhere.

So, RP, what have you been listening to?

She lit the place on fire

RP: Well, here is a song from Escondido’s 2018 album warning bells called ‘Crush on her’. Their music is lush and tuneful and the production puts Jessica Maros’ powerful voice to the front, where it should be. The layered guitar work gives the song a really rich sound.

MB: a fine choice!

In the forest of the night

QD: The plan is to find and feature mostly unknowns right? I’ve got synthpop act which currently gets 31 listens a month on Spotify: Diskarnate, and the song is called Seven Sorrows. When the song begins you don’t know what you are going to get – robotic and repetitive beats, then suddenly at one minute the voice comes in and the melody breaks through. Plenty of variety in the synthesiser work to keep you interested as the song goes on. Sounds like the theme to a sci-fi series.

Not caring must not be my thing

MB: Another artist with very few monthly listens is Chitra. Her song ‘Better Than Before’ is a good sample of her talents. She carries the melody through so well, varying her voice, and varying the song’s pacing, until it slows down gently to a stop. The tune really gets into your head.

PJ, these have all been mellow so far. Do you have something a bit heavier?

Is it physical, is it chemical?

PJ: I’m glad you asked. Here’s a band which is big in Australia, Deep Sea Arcade, who put out great songs. Check out ‘Learning to Fly’ off their 2018 Album Blacklight. As you listen, follow the clever bass playing and the multiple guitar and orchestra melody lines behind the vocals. Warning for those of a nervous disposition - lyrics have a naughty word. Somehow the song’s style reminds me of the Moody Blues, if anyone remembers them.

How we used to sing

RP: And that’s a good thing. Next one of mine is Justin Dean Thomas – ‘Standing in the Door’. This is a really atmospheric and poetic singer-songwriter type track, with an interesting guitar break in the middle. I always imagine it’s the last song of the dance, with the last couples swaying about together. I look forward to a lot more of his songs. Three thousand monthly listens? Let’s change that.

The place I headed to

MB: My next one is by Chastity Brown, from Tennessee and her song ‘After You’. This seems to combine folk and gospel elements into a wonderful pop song with a driving rhythm, and I think she could do anything she wanted with that voice. She just sounds so real compared with current chart music.

They’re killing unicorns for fun

PJ: So I have yet another example of the way good music gets unfortunately localized. Small Feet, which is a Swedish band, only seems to get listens in Scandinavia and Germany. The song is ‘All and Everyone’. If you like songs which you can whistle along to you’ll love this.

(All begin to whistle along to the chorus.)

So QD, do you have some classic quirky track to finish off our session today?

Those are the people who do not deserve to live

QD: I do and it’s an old one from 1993. I’ve always thought the song should be called ‘Paranoid’ since the character singing is obviously that way. The band is called Another Sunny Day but it was really just an English guy called Harvey Williams who recorded the whole thing himself – maybe in his garage by the sound of it – ‘You Should All Be Murdered’. The whole song is a musical hook, like an Abba song, though Abba would never have sung anything like this. The second half of the track just becomes an instrumental, but it still works.

Thanks all, see you next time.

Concer crowd and lights

Artist pages

 Escondido

Escondido official home page

Official page for the band, with photos, videos, tour news and a store.


Diskarnate

Diskarnate's Facebook page

Facebook page with the latest on the Progressive Electropop band.


Chitra

Chitra on Bandcamp

The Bandcamp page for Chitra with her latest music.


Deep Sea Arcade

Deep Sea Arcade - band home page

They are a 'psychedelic rock band' and their striking official page has their latest music and tour news.


Justin Dean Thomas

Justin Dean Thomas, musician - Facebook page

His Facebook page - give him some likes!

Chastity Brown

Chastity Brown home page

Her home page has news, tour dates and a biography.


Small Feet

Small Feet - their Facebook page

Official Facebook page for Small Feet.


Another Sunny Day

Another Sunny Day - Harvey Williams - Wikipedia page

The Wikipedia page for Harvey Williams' indie pop band Another Sunny Day.