Here are the top 4 songs from the week of Aug 16-22.
W a V E – Bilmuri
Bilmuri (pronounced Bill Murray. I Know, so great) has been a band for a little over a year now, started by ex-Attack Attack! Clean vocalist/guitarist Johnny Franck. It’s unclear whether this is a solo project or an actual band, but either way, it’s incredible. This song showcases the songwriting ability of Franck extremely well. The most interesting part about Bilmuri is that no song sounds the same. Johnny plays around with different genres, and it’s amazing what he’s able to do. Wave is incredible instrumentally, but also lyrically. Commenting on depression and feeling useless combined with the abuse of prescription drugs is timely, and something not many talk about. I love the approach of mixing shoe gaze-esque guitar with a more driving drums/bass in almost a deftones-type of instrumentation. The use of autotune and other effects on the vocals doesn’t feel out of place or cheesy in any way, and the production is amazing. Johnny is gifted in so many ways, and this song is easily my favourite he’s put together.
RIYL: The Cure, Circa Survive, Balance & Composure
Future Me – Echosmith
Echosmith continue their move towards pop stardom with this song. It sounds like the songs I wish Taylor Swift was making instead of whatever crap she just put out. This is a positive, uplifting and empowering song that continues where the last album left off. Being happy with who you are is an important message to push forward. Instrumentally, the band show they know how to keep with the times, adding an EDM influence akin to other pop stars like Halsey, Hailee Steinfeld, and others, while still maintaining their singer-songwriter style with guitar picking and clear songwriting chops. This will be a big release for them, and I can’t wait to hear this song on the radio or hear it in a commercial for some dish soap or something like that.
RIYL: Taylor Swift, M83, Us The Duo
Playing Fiction – Roam
Roam had a big year last year, releasing their debut LP in January of 2016 and touring non-stop on it. While that album was good, their greenness shone through and it was clear their songwriting wasn’t quite up to their potential. This lead single for the dreaded sophomore album clearly shows that progression. Steps have been taken forward, and this is a far better song than anything on their last album. I loved that album, don’t get me wrong, but this makes me excited for what’s to come. The bouncy riffs are more calculated, the dual vocals are much more planned and the song has an ebb-and-flow to it. Right from the very beginning, you can tell these guys have grown. Progression and maturity look good on you, Roam.
RIYL: Seaway, As It Is, Rarity
Maroon – Zoology
Emily, the girl in this project, is a friend of a friend, and is from my home in Kelowna, so there may be a partial bias. However, I think this song, and band, really stand out on their own, and having songs hitting the viral charts both nationally and globally is definitely a testament to that. This duo is able to capture this summer vibe with the bouncy vocals and beautifully noodling guitars that would make John Mayer blush. They are able to blend shoegaze, indie pop, and house/electro music with such ease that there’s no way you’d believe this is only their third song released. The world is their oyster, and only time will tell what heights this pair can reach. In the meantime, they’ll continue to be the soundtrack to everyone’s summer.
RIYL: Ember Island, Flume, Lany