We’re a month and a half into 2013 and it’s already proven to be a spectacular year so far for music, from Pop to R&B to Rock. We’ve seen big returns and great new artists, all with solid singles. Here are three more from a mix of folk and soft rock acts, all chart veterans in their own right and looking to score on their Alternative scene.
“Chasing” down another hit single.
SNOW PATROL – “The Lightning Strike (What If The Storm Ends?)”
Release Date: February 25 (U.S. AAA radio)
Here’s a bit of a surprise from the Scottish band, who haven’t announced any news in terms of a brand new studio album. Likewise, this isn’t going to be the leadoff single from it. “Strike” originates from the band’s 2008 album, A Hundred Million Suns, where it stands at sixteen minutes in length and divided into three segments. Part one of it, given the subtitle that you see above, encompasses about the first five minutes of the song, though even that will likely be reduced further for radio. So, why is a five-year-old song finally being released like it’s new? Well, it’s being promoted with an animated movie entitled Epic, featuring the voice of stars like Amanda Seyfried and Colin Farrell, along with musicians Beyoncé and Pitbull. The film isn’t in theaters until late May, so it looks like their label wants to, ahem, ride out the “storm” (admit it, that one wasn’t as bad as usual) and try to hit the top ten with it, at least on AAA radio. It sounds like a Coldplay record, especially if you go back to their X&Y album, but considering that this was recorded in the summer of 2008, I can see where the band would have drawn from them as an influence. “Strike” is a mellow turned hard and energetic turned mellow again track, where lead singer Gary Lightbody questions, “What if this storm ends/And leaves us nothing/Except a memory/A distant echo?” It’ll do well enough, perhaps providing for a good transition until the band’s next full-length release hits stores.
“King” of anything.
OF MONSTERS AND MEN – “King And Lionheart”
Release Date: March 4 (U.K.)
Iceland is famous for hot springs, volcanoes, and a really bad banking system, but the music of the country hasn’t made a significant impact on the charts here beyond Björk or Sigur Rós. Last year, we finally had our first mainstream breakthrough from an Icelandic act: Of Monsters and Men, a quintet that first founded in 2010. Their newest release is the third European single from their album My Head Is An Animal, which has already been certified Gold here in the U.S. as well as in several other countries. “King” gets issued as download single in the United Kingdom on March 4, though no Stateside release has been announced yet as their label is busy crossing over “Little Talks” to mainstream radio and promoting “Mountain Sound” at alternative radio. It’ll likely get here just in time for summer. For you history buffs out there, I don’t think this song has anything to do with England’s Richard I, who was sometimes referred to as King Richard the Lionheart. It’s told as more of a fable or a myth, where “howling ghosts they reappear” when “the world comes to an end”, but the protagonist and his companion find a beacon of light in these troubling times that “you’re a king and I’m a lionheart.” It’ll no doubt be another Alternative smash for these rising stars after already hitting #1 in their native country.
Oh say, can’t you “See”?
THE SCRIPT – “If You Could See Me Now”
Release Date: March 4 (U.K.)
I always like a new track from these guys, one of my favorite bands to get their start in the past few years. “See” is the third single in the United Kingdom for our Irish rockers, who have only seen one of those three hit the U.S. charts so far: their collaboration with will.i.am, “Hall Of Fame”. It appears that song now has a second wind at radio and retail after extensive placement in advertisements for the recent Super Bowl, and even though the game’s long done, the song just keeps on chugging along. Over in Europe, a second single, “Six Degrees Of Separation”, charted a few months ago. It’s unclear if that will be their next single for the States or this song, which gets a download release in the United Kingdom on March 4. It sounds like one of the group members is a fan of Bruce Hornsby & The Range, because the piano melody in this song sounds too close to “The Way It Is”, but I’ll give them a pass for having a good taste in music. Beyond that, it’s a heavily emotional song for the guys about the loss of loved ones and the questions and concerns that exist when thinking about their presence on the other side. For instance, “If you could see me now, would you recognize me?/Would you pat me on the back or would you criticize me?/Would you follow every line on my tear stained face?” It’s a little rap heavy for the trio, which makes me think that it won’t get released here, but it’s still a great song that strikes a chord with a large audience who have been through the same sort of experience.
Do you have a favorite of these three releases? Maybe another song or band that I should take a look at? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter: @AdamFSoybel.