Midweek Mixdown // Knocking Off that Vacation Rust – feat. Dan Mangan, The Beaches, twenty one pilots, The Knocks and 5 Seconds of Summer

After a two-week vacation, I’ve just started getting back up to speed. It felt good to unplug a bit, and take a few road trips while listening to far too much pop music, as some of it started to sound good. I’ve been jamming on a few new tunes, so I’ve put together a few to keep your ears busy. Let’s get into it!

“Troubled Mind” – Dan Mangan

I don’t know how I’ve missed out on Dan Mangan’s early work, as his tracks remind me a great deal of the work of Wintersleep and Postdata, and had I not tracked down the song via its lyrics, I would have bet large sums of money that this was in fact Wintersleep. This is a definite ear worm, as I heard it once and I was clamouring for more. Highly recommended!

“Ride or Die” – The Knocks feat. Foster the People

Foster the People may have brokered a deal with the devil, as their last handful of singles have been amped-up slices of indie pop that find their way into your ears, worming their way into your heart. This collab with The Knocks is no different, with the infectious nature of Mark Foster’s vocals leading the way. This for me is in the running for song of the summer.

“Highway 6” – The Beaches

2018 is poised to go down as the year of The Beaches, as they started out the year supporting Matt Mays and July Talk, then hit the road on their own headlining tour. All of which started to whip up the buzz surrounding this talented 4 piece rock-act, garnering interest from Sir Elton John, and the Grohl himself, as the band opened up the recent Foo Fighter’s show in front of close to fifty-thousand rock fanatics. Now the band has dialed back the amps on their latest single “Highway 6”, a taut-simmering number that is ethereal and alluring. This only goes to show that the band is more than an in-your-face rock n roll outfit, and they are all showcasing more facets of their talents. Their quest for world domination continues, lead by the indomitable Coach Dad.

“Youngblood” – 5 Seconds of Summer

I’m the last guy who thought I would be including a 5SOS track on one of my Mixdowns, but at some point running the roads over the past two weeks, the former(?) Australian boy band cracked the armour and snuck a song into my ear. I think by the 3rd or 4th time I heard it, I started to sing along, I can’t explain how it happened but it did. It’s certainly not the most complex tune, but man is it undeniable. It’s the anthemic cadence of the lyrics, coupled with a strong EDM bass line that is nothing if not infectious.

“Jumpsuit” – twenty one pilots

Say what you will about Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun, but these cats know how to harness their talent into a cinematic vision. Last month the single “Jumpsuit” was dropped, as was its b-side “Nico and the Niners”, and both have accompanying videos that seemingly paint a picture of how Tyler ended up with the black ink which envelopes his neck. The song itself is a dynamic slice of alt-rock that seems to strike a balance between twenty-one pilots’ usual sound, and a bit of that Linkin Park sound. My interest is piqued as to the impending release of their album Trench, and if it can live up to these initial singles.

About the author


A proud and over-caffeinated husband, father, runner and writer. I've written for the local weekly The Coast for over a decade and have since taken to creating and writing for HAFILAX for even longer. I hope you enjoy the musings of a guy who has loved music for the better part of 4 decades, and has an album of concert tickets to show for it.