When the Pandemic began back in 2020, we all thought it would be nipped in the bud and we could carry on with our lives as if we weren’t undergoing some sort of paradigm shift. Unfortunately, that has not been the case, and we’re well over a year into this. People still don’t fully grasp the importance of social distancing, or wearing a mask, or getting a vaccine injection. Personally, I think recently it’s all started to really catch up and weigh on me, as words have been hard to come by, and it’s all I can do to power through my full-time job, and be present for my family at the end of the day. It leaves little room to sit and hammer out a few words on what I’ve been listening to and enjoying, and as live shows are scarce, there isn’t the opportunity to shoot and talk about the show like there used to be.
While my posts may be spaced out, we’re still here listening to new music as much as we can, and I’d love to say I’ll be posting more consistently, but the truth is, shit is hard at the moment. I hope you are out there, still reading this, and getting some enjoyment from our Mixdowns. Summer is around the corner, and hopefully, things will ease up a bit, and we can all breathe a bit easier. For now here are some tunes that I’ve been enjoying as of late.
Arkells feat. K.Flay – “You Can Get It”
For a band that is one of the best live acts presently on the scene, they have pivoted to the digital realm to really amp up the self-promotion, while drawing back the curtain to reveal some of their behind-the-scenes magic. If you follow Arkells on TikTok or Instagram, you’re more than familiar with Max’s recent acquisition of these deadly New Balance kicks, or the inspiration for the band’s latest jam “You Can Get It” (feat. K.Flay). This is every bit the monster jam that “Relentless” or “People’s Champ” were, and has even been picked up by sports affiliates to soundtrack some of the recent March Madness highlights. This is a track that will get you pumped up, no matter the situation.
Sonreal – “Bank On Me”
Since he broke onto the scene with the infectious “Everywhere We Go”, Sonreal has proven that he knows how to craft these ridiculously cool videos that are surreal and hilarious, all the while placing the focus squarely on the music. The proud papa recently bought a new home, and much like the Arkells has harnessed the power of social media to stay in touch with fans and regularly sends out messages via SMS to let folks know of a new single, or new merch design. “Bank on Me” is one of those tracks that grows on you, and gets better with each listen. Looking forward to seeing where this West Coast emcee takes us next.
Mother Mother – “I Got Love”
The Vancouver-based Mother Mother was warmly embraced by TikTok in 2020 and saw a resurgence in their back catalogue thanks to the streaming platform. Mother Mother has returned in 2021 with the lead single from their forthcoming aptly-titled album Inside. This is another bright shiny indie-pop jam from Mother Mother, looking forward to the new record.
Aurora – “Running With the Wolves”
There is nothing better than when you discover a track that just resonates within you, and that is 100% what happened when I was introduced to this six-year-old track from AURORA by way of American Idol (which is a show that I have religiously watched since its inception). When contestant Cassandra Coleman broke this track out with a distinct Florence Welsh-esque etheral quality, it was hard not to go digging to hear the original. This track is every bit as ethereal as the version performed on Idol, but it is also a great tune that will be in my listening rotation for some time to come.
Delta Spirit – “How Bout It”
This is a band that I tripped over while enjoying an indie-folk playlist on Spotify, and immediately fell in love with. This track is from 2020, but it sounds as good now as it did when I first heard it. There is a bit of a Cold War Kids vibe here, but with heaps of Americana piled on top. It’s one of those tracks that is great to put on and chill out to around the firepit. If you haven’t heard of these guys yet, it’s definitely worth your time.
St. Vincent – “Pay Your Way In Pain”
There are few acts the carry the same mystique or intrigue of a David Bowie, or a Prince, but in that upper echelon, you will find acts such as Jack White and St. Vincent, both of whom transcend time and place. St. Vincent’s latest is a perfect demonstration of this, as it feels both vintage and modern all at once, all the while feeling like it was ripped straight from the 1970s. After perfecting the edgy and hyper-modern looks of her past couple of album cycles, it’s an interesting turn to bring in a distinctly retro flair for this record. Fans of Prince will feel right at home here, as this bears all of those slinky sexy tones that the Purple One used to great effect throughout his career. St. Vincent’s forthcoming album is easily one of the most anticipated of 2021.