||"you should see me in a crown"
||It's fun to know that Billie Eilish is only 16, and this song was co-written and produced by her older brother Finneas, who is 20. I was only looking Billie up to find out where she was from. It's possible to want to know where people are from without hoping they're from somewhere you can send them back to.|
||"Amas la playa / Odias la playa"
||Cuento de verano (Interludio) 2
||Hazte Lapón are from Madrid, and the fluttery cascades in this song make me think of the Kinks' "Come Dancing", and when our better selves get ahold of our mouths, this is what we say: "Join us!"|
||Francisca Valenzuela is a Chilean electropop singer, but also the founder of the Ruidosa music festival, which features only Latina artists. You learn something about your character when you hear about a thing that involves people who are different than you and you feel either excluded or excited.|
||Balún are a Brooklyn band originally from Puerto Rico, and this is a good opportunity to mention that it's still hard to be an electro-latin indie band in Puerto Rico because they're still trying to fix the electrical grid after it was smashed by Hurricane Maria, and they're still trying to fix the weird half-rights status of Puerto Rico as a non-state part of the United States, and although it's appalling that you still have to remind some people that Puerto Rico is part of the United States, on the other hand it shouldn't actually matter. Electricity is a feature of human civilization, not a delicate local tradition to be guarded and apportioned with deliberation and parsimony.|
||YONAKA are a 18-member music- and insurance-collective from Nagoya, Japan, originally started as a way for the members to practice speaking English with clearer accents. Surely you're curious about that. Or would be. They're actually an English dark-pop quartet, which is less exotic, but true curiosity is not limited to the exotic.|
||Although in the hipster context where "Going Down to Liverpool" has been supplanted by to "Moving to Brooklyn with a laptop to start an indietronica duo", I guess rock-quartet is mildly novel.|
||You can still find some in Sweden, though. And pretty much everywhere else.|
||"Baby It's You"
||I don't know who "Patricia" is. Her Spotify presence consists of two songs and 184 monthly listeners, and essentially all the Google results for her are the existence of those songs on various platforms. But her label, VocalFun Productdions, has one other artist ("Aya"), who also appears to have just two songs, and those are in Indonesian. And all four of those elegantly epic songs are credited to songwriter Adrian Warouw, who also seems to own VocalFun, and be from Jakarta. So I'm going to say a) Indonesian, and b) terrible at picking artist names. But good at writing songs, and artist names are easier to fix.|
||"Kinders van die wind"
||Karen Zoid is a South African singer. She has a weekly talk show on South African TV, and in each episode she and her guests sing a song. Spotify is live in South Africa now, and there are five volumes of these songs. This one is an older South African hit originally by Laurika Rauch, sung here by Karen and Johan Stemmet, another South African TV personality who also went to the same music school as Rauch, and is the author of at least one book of music trivia. In Afrikaans.|
||Aimyon is a 23-year-old Japanese singer. "マリーゴールド" is "Marigold" in Katakana, the Japanese alphabet used for spelling out non-Japanese words in Japanese syllables. Japanese doesn't distinguish between R and L sounds, and doesn't have syallables that end with consonant sounds, so "marigold" comes out "ma rii goo ru do". There's a lot of English in Japanese music, and the navigation header on Aimyon's web site is in English, even though "BIO" leads to a biography actually written in Japanese. By American standards Aimyon sounds like a structurally-unremarkable pop-rock singer, but by J-Pop production standards this is practically lo-fi.|
||Dear Jane is an anthemic pop-rock band from Hong Kong. Imagine The Script rasied on Gackt songs.|
||Keel were a grandly terrible hair-metal band. Google works in Japan, so this Japanese visual-/nagoya-kei band also called "Keel" has no real excuse for not knowing this.|
||Sang ~君に贈る名前~ 6
||Kamijo is the solo project of the singer from the visual-kei bands Versailles, Lareine and New Sodmy. Visual Kei is kind of the music of pre-Revolution French nobility reimagined as cyberpunk metal futurism, and involves a distinctive operatic singing technique that sounds a little like you have found a golden-egg-laying duck on palace grounds and are attempting to impress the Queen by killing it with only your fashion sense and your neck muscles.|
||"Kleise To Stoma"
||Panos Kalidis is a Greek pop singer, and the exuberant melisma in Greek and Turkish singing styles would work great in Visual Kei, which I can easily imagine recast from the Antoinettian to the Helenic.|
||Trad.Attack! is a kinetic post-folk-rock band from Estonia, which is an excellent thing to know if you have to cross-check lists of regionally-popular music as part of your job, and especially if you ever have to listen to them.|
||Ethernity are a progressive power-metal band from Belgium. It used to be that power-metal with a female singer was almost automatically gothic symphonic metal, but there's now a sizable counter-trend of bands pushing more towards pop-chorus catharsis rather than gothic operaticism.|
||"Dedicate Your Heart!"
||Epica vs. Attack on Titan Songs
||Epica, for example, are one of the definitive gothic symphonic metal bands, and the massed choirs on the chorus of this song are a quinessential gothic flourish, but covering anime songs is unapologetically pop.|
||And the intersectional queen of gothic symphonic metal and pop and unapologeticality is definitely the Norwegian cover-singer Minniva, who releases near-weekly gothic-metal-ish covers of virtually anything, but often either classic older progressive metal songs or current pop hits. "Africa" is technically neither, but qualifies as an implicit current pop hit due to Weezer's recent cover of it. I hated the Toto original, and I hate Weezer's version, but I accept them as the prices for this version. Part of the fascinating genius of Minniva's cover-series is that she produces them quickly, so they tend to have cheerfully undisguised studio shortcuts like the sputtery drum-machine blastbeats in this one. I find these charming.|
||"Nata vimpi cvrmid / Ira Sancti (When The Saints Are Going Wild)"
||The Sacrament Of Sin
||Power metal bleeds into folk metal, and where power metal tends to invoke fantasy tropes, and mythology as fantasy, folk metal sometimes edges closer to anthropology, and thus can cultivate bands with an interest in period instruments and musicology. Eluveitie are a Swiss Celtic-folk-metal band who use hurdy-gurdy and bagpipes, and here they are covering a song by the German power-metal band Powerwolf, for the bonus disc of the new Powerwolf album, which has ten other bands covering Powerwolf songs.|
||The Sacrament Of Sin
||Powerwolf themselves are essentially a caricature of a power-metal band, but caricature is kind of the native idiom of power-metal, to begin with. If Eluveitie were archaeologists, Powerwolf would be their friend from high-school, inexplicably brought along to the excavation site, who grabs the just-exhumed ancient relic and climbs on top of something with it, yelling "With this sceptre I am now the rightful King of the Underworld!!!!" And it's probably not even a sceptre, but still, maybe he's right.|
||Anaal Nathrakh's original gimmick was "extreme-metal band with programmed drums", which at the time was a dramatic microtransgression. Programming has become a steadily less unusual element in black metal, and Anaal Nathrakh's use of it has become steadily more atmospheric and textural.|
||"Black Rites in the Black Nights"
||Vreid are a Norwegian black-metal band formed by the surviving members of an earlier Norwegian black-metal band called Windir, after Windir's singer died of hypothermia in the Norwegian wilderness, which is definitely the black-metalest way to die. (Deaths involving Cthulhu are a respectable but distant second place.)|
||Black Tusk are a sludge-metal band from Savannah, Georgia. Sludge metal is what you end up with if you take the embryo of a black-metal band and raise it on grunge records in a warm climate.|
||Horrendous are a death-metal band from Philadelphia who seem to be exploring what Voivod might have sounded like if they'd grown up in Sweden instead of Canada.|
||Bosse-de-Nage are a blackgaze band from San Francisco. Blackgaze is the indie-rock version of black metal.|
||"Devouring Radiant Light"
||Devouring Radiant Light
||Skeletonwitch are an Ohio thrash-metal band in the process of evolving into a more expansive black-metal band. Which is what you do if you're the ones who realize the song-title "Devouring Radiant Light" is not taken yet.|
||"A Mirror in the Forest"
||Letters from the Edge
||Sear Bliss are an atmospheric black metal band from Hungary. A black metal band can qualify for "atmospheric" status by including basically any element of production competence. Synthetic tuba moans, for example.|
||Manimal are a neo-traditional heavy-metal band from Gothenburg, Sweden. Back when metal was only one thing, before the speed/thrash/death diaspora began, this is what all metal bands sounded like. Or, at least, this is what we now think they all sounded like, bellowy and rifftastic.|
||"Fear The Unknown"
||Michael Romeo is the guitarist for the American power-metal band Symphony X. If you liked Symphony X but wanted to hear the same kind of music played by all but one different people, your use-case has been prioritized.|
||If you measure musical love by the constancy of presence, Erik Ekholm is my favorite artist. There's something viscerally not exactly right about this, since I couldn't hum a single one of his songs and basically never listen to any individual one after the week it comes out. But he puts out new songs at a relentless rate, and he's a legitimate master of the bombastic faux-movie-trailer style I've taken to calling "epicore", and I like having a little epicore mixed into my listening weeks. When somebody asks you what your favorite restaurant is, do you say the one you ate in once in Paris in 2003, or the one you have to stop yourself from suggesting to your family because it's the one you always say?|
||"I'll Carry You"
||I'd say 2-5 epicore songs is about the weekly amount I'm after. Phil Rey is a French trailer-composer with a little more inclination to recruit vocalists.|
||2WEI are a German duo. This is basically an epicore-pop song.|
||A Way Out
||Distorted Harmony are an Israeli progressive metalcore band, but this instrumental track from the middle of their new album is basically epicore-core.|
||Not What You See, Not What You Feel
||Maenad Veyl is Italian electro-industrial epicore.|
||"Once and for All"
||Parasite Inc. is a German semi-industrial melodic death-metal band. Germanic metal has one wing stretched out towards industrial, one towards oi.|
||"Long Live Death"
||There must be German tax advantages for incorporating your gothic-industrial metal band.|
||"Veri Kiehuu Hymyillen"
||Tuulenhuuhtomat - EP 4
||Viikate are actually Finnish, but sound Germanic in exactly that industrial-plus-oi way.|
||"Dorn im Ohr"
||Saltatio Mortis are officially a medieval rock band, which is another subcultural way of saying "folk metal", but if there were an "oi metal", this would be the start.|
||And this would be more of it.|
||Volkor X are a retro-synth/outrun band, which is what industrial bands become after they are accidentally crushed by a falling tower of 80s sci-fi movie DVDs. We need to be more careful about handling those.|
||"Leave Behind Your Empty Walls"
||A Future Nostalgic
||Circadian Eyes is an atmopheric post-rock project. If epicore is music for movie trailers, atmospheric post-rock is music for melancholy mid-film emotional-retreat montages.|
||"Nearer My God - German"
||Foxing are an indie-rock band from St. Louis, but the kind of indie rock that seems to have substituted Sigur Rós inspirations for Pavement ones.|
||"Yolk in the Fur"
||Yolk in the Fur
||Wild Pink are kind of the New York indie-pop version of that.|
||The Trews are a hard-rock band from Nova Scotia. This is a sturdy, straightforward pop-rock song, but at any moment it might break into pan-Atlantic Celtic glory. It doesn't. But it could.|
||"Take Me Home"
||From The Sea To The City
||And if it did, it might sound like Trail West, a Scottish Celtic dance-rock band from Tiree in the Inner Hebrides.|
||"Ships That Do Not Return"
||And if you got lost in a storm, or sucked into some other existential void in between the Hebrides and your personal mainland, this is the sound of your limbo. You can bend a week into an arc, and you can pause and dwell for a few minutes in the possibility of stasis. But the rest of the music is piling up somewhere. You can't ignore it forever.|