But even the end of the world needs a soundtrack.
This isn't the end of the world, of course. Maybe the end of the world as we knew it for a while? Things will be different on the other side -- we just don't know exactly how yet.
In the meantime, we are all rightful quite anxious. Some are extremely bored stuck at home. Some of us are unsure of our income, housing, or continued access to basic goods. Many musicians are out of work and do not know when they will be able to get back on stage or into the studio again.
Down Time is an indie rock band based in Denver, Colorado. They've been featured by NPR, CPR, Westword, Paste magazine, and more. Indie 102.3 recently featured their tune "Not a Complicated Person," and I loved it so much I looked them up. Since then I'm digging their tune "Hurts Being Alive" even more. If you like hazy, dreamy indie rock like Wye Oak and Great Grandpa, you should check them out.
Way back in 2014, Hollow & Akimbo released their debut, self-titled LP. I became obsessed. I went and saw them live at 7th Street Entry, and talked with them afterwards, gushing over how great I thought their music was and said I could not believe they weren't getting more attention! Well, fast-forward a few years, and half of that duo known as Absofacto is not a chart-dominating indie artist. His single "Dissolve" from 2015 -- yes five years ago -- now plays on Top 40 stations. He's taken that new attention and released a new EP for us all to enjoy. I'm still just as obsessed as I was 6+ years ago with his work.
Cayley Thomas, however, was one of these emails. And I cannot get enough of her new single "Two Minds." It's a folksy, indie rock tune that sounds a bit like Lissie, Courtney Barnett, Wye Oak, and Stevie Nicks. I can't not be in a good music when it starts playing. The instrumentals are gorgeous and her voice is a perfect match. I also loved what she wrote (or her publicist wrote) in the email about the song:
“Two Minds” is all about the negotiation and mental drama that the primitive part of my brain likes to produce when faced with a challenge. Negative emotion does not produce positive action. Criticizing yourself and telling yourself that you should be better than you are just makes you feel worse and act in ways that manifest more of the behaviour you are criticizing.
This is one of the tragedies of perfectionism. Making it seem like the destination is too far to even bother. Because it keeps us thinking that doing a little bit is pointless. But doing a little is everything. You don’t get anywhere with ambitious perfect plans. You get there little bit by little bit.
And right now "little bit by little bit" sounds like a plant. Her full album How Else Can I Tell You? will be released on May 1, 2020.
Wait! you ask -- isn't Riz Ahmed the actor from Star Wars' Rogue One?? Why yes, yes he is. But before his breakout role, he was an accomplished musician. And he still is.
Just this month, Ahmed released The Long Goodbye -- a breakup album that's a bit different: dealing both with rejection and parting ways emotionally with a person, and with a a country in the middle of Brexit.
"Any Day" and "Karma" are my top favorites, but I'm loving the whole album. It's got an interesting concept, alternating tunes with spoken word voicemails left on his phone by friends -- including one I'm pretty sure is Hasan Minhaj.
If you're daring, check out the short film / music video for this album. I mean, you probably have time.
One of my all time favorite indie artists is now Half Waif. I only started listening to her music two years ago when she released Lavender, which helped me through a rough emotional time. But since then, I have been unable to forget her musical craft, her vocals, her lyrics, and how much I connect with her style. Luckily, very soon she is releasing The Caretaker, out on March 27, 2020.
"Ordinary Talk" is the first single off this new album.
"Baby don't worry about me, I don't worry about you" repeats throughout the track, a new mantra for me as I try not to text my ex and ask how they're doing during all of this. If you like this track, you can listen to two other singles out now, and pre-order the album on Bandcamp.
Sadly, her sold-out album release show was cancelled :(