Music News and Interviews

Songs That Have a Hold on Me – “Be Sweet” by Japanese Breakfast

Japanese Breakfast is an alternative-pop band led by Korean-American musician Michelle Zauner.

“Be Sweet” was released in 2021 and this song is a little different on my level of obsession compared to “Remember When” and “Amoeba.”

I am obsessed with Michelle’s voice and although the instrumentals are catchy as well, it’s her vocals that keep me coming back.

The track has an 80’s synth-pop vibe to it and is very different from other Japanese Breakfast tracks. The guitar riffs, drums, and Michelle’s vocals create a dynamic track that is very upbeat and energetic.

It’s a song about forgiveness and optimism. A track that blossomed from Michelle’s desire to write a positive and bright track that is stark in contrast to her past music which deals more with grief and mourning.

I think that’s why this song is so refreshing and lingers in your mind. It’s the culmination of personal growth and artistic growth that adds a spark. 

Especially the verse “So come and get your woman (come and get your woman) |  Pacify her rage (pacify her rage) | Take the time to undo your lies.”

Make it up once more with feeling |  Recognize your mistakes and I’ll let you back in |  Realize not too late, love you always” 

It’s almost like she’s talking to herself in a way, telling herself to keep her rage towards everything in control and that it’s not too late to start looking at the world in a different light.

The chorus is what hooked me the first time when I heard the song. “Be sweet to me, baby |  I wanna believe in you, I wanna believe (be sweet) Be sweet to me, baby |  I wanna believe in you, I wanna believe in something” 

She hits those high notes while maintaining a powerful voice. 

The music video of the song matches the alternative Kate Bush-inspired vibes behind the track. It’s straight out of an X-Files episode with J. Brekkie in the middle of a corn field looking for aliens.

Music News and Interviews

Praising Pentagrams with Sick Thought’s New Single

Sick Thoughts run rampant in the minds of punk rock lovers. Drew Owen, lead singer and sole member of Sick Thoughts, has captivated the ears and souls of punk rockers since 2013. 

His first full release, “Terminal Teen Age”, is full of rampant riffs and cheesy choruses. This first release is more grimy and crackly than his new releases, but what charm Sick Thoughts has lost in the at home production quality he has made up for it with creative energy and captivatingly edgy lyricism. 

I am very excited for Sick Thoughts’ new album. “Heaven is No Fun” as I have been listening to his releases for about a year now. Owen’s dry vocals worked some magic on me and got me invested in his music quickly. All of his tracks are thrash-able and make for fantastic mosh-pit anthems. 

Mother I Love Satan” 

This new track offers cheesy lyrics like, “Promise I’m not an evil man/ I’ll send you a pentagram” and some great guitar work that brings me back to sounds like a good mix of 80’s rock and early punk. 

The music video for this song is a mix of wonderfully awkward dancing from Owen himself, and has the classic VHS grain texture overlaid atop it. 

“Mother I Love Satan” by Sick Thoughts. Video posted on YouTube by Total Punk Records.

I found this song to be a great step and direction for this whole album. I am excited to see how much of Owen’s charm will pull me into this new release and how much will be enjoyable. 

Sick Thoughts has brought a lot of joy to the punk rock scene, at least for me, and I hope this new track will provide some brightness to your day too.

Music News and Interviews

Clinton Kane “Chicken Tendies” Song Review

I recently came to know the true meaning of “Chicken Tendies” by Clinton Kane. The title “Chicken Tendies” was given to this track as a joke, but once Clinton Kane decided to officially release this song he wanted it to sound as real as possible and the genuine message behind it to remain serious.

It’s about his mother, who he had a rocky relationship with and how he felt about not being close with his mom. However, the impact of her passing influenced the song that allowed Clinton Kane to jump-start his music career. 

The song is sweet and melancholic on its own. About hoping that his mom is in a happier place now. 

“Chicken Tendies” got its title inspired by the verse, “I thought I caught a glimpse of me and you |  In our kitchen, where I cooked your favorite food | And if I’m being honest, I was a fool |  So say the word and I’ll come running back to you”

He teased the verse on the internet and fans flooded the comments about naming the song chicken tenders as a joke. However, his mom’s favorite food was in fact chicken tenders.  

The sentiments and stories that go behind a lot of musicians’ songs it what I love about being a fan. Music can teach you so much about someone’s past and trauma without them having to sit you down and explicitly tell you. A lot of the time you don’t realize that an amazing song could have stemmed from a hard time in an artist’s life.

My favorite verse of the song is the beginning. “I saw someone who looks just like you |  In the back seat, with her hand out the sunroof | I swear it was the dress that I gave you |  And I wonder, is your favorite color still blue?“

It’s moments when you start seeing someone you lost touch with everywhere you go, that make moving on that much more difficult.

He describes that the dress he saw someone wearing was the exact dress he gave her. You can’t help but get lost in the past when you think you’ve seen someone you once had a strong relationship with. Especially in his case, if it was his own mother. 

The song is simple and sweet. Clinton Kane’s vocals are powerful and passionate and his pain is almost tangible. 

I’m looking forward to seeing what comes next from Clinton Kane and how his music journey progresses.

Check out the music video:

Blog Music News and Interviews

“Nana” (2001) – An Anime that Refined Rock Music

“Nana” is an anime that was released in 2001 which centered around two girls, both named Nana. They meet when they end up sitting next to each other on the train to Tokyo. Nana K. is on the way to Tokyo for art school and the other Nana O. Is on the way to Tokyo to pursue her career as a musician. 

Coincidentally, the two end up signing a lease to be roommates without knowing ahead of time. Their personalities are complete opposites and that dynamic is what makes the show so unique.

Nana O. Is the lead singer of a rock band called Black Stones, or BLAST, an up-and-coming punk band.  Nana O.’s boyfriend, Ren, is the guitarist of a famous pop-rock band called TrapNest. A band of which Nana K. is a huge fan.

Essentially to keep things short, Nana K. and Nana O. both get caught up in the music industry as the two get more entangled with the behind-the-scenes of BLAST and TrapNest. 

Centering around Rock Music?

Music is a huge aspect of this show and I want to dive a little deeper into it.

I was shocked when I first watched this show that both bands that are featured in this show are huge rock bands and they dress the part too with their abundant piercings, unique hairstyles, and immaculate fashion sense. 

Rock music is not heavily seen in anime and I was curious why the author of the manga decided to make a story about it.

Turns out there is a Rock and Metal fanbase in Japan. Of course, as we know Rock and Metal to be, it really focuses on the authenticity of the music. The instruments. Being able to break out of the typical conformity of a daily modest lifestyle. 

I wasn’t really into Rock music at all when I started this show, but as I continued hearing their voices and sound as bands grew on me.


Over the course of the show, we see Nana K. go from being Nana O.’s roommate and groupie to becoming an important part of BLAST’s life. She impacts each band member in a different way. What I love about the show is that we get to see BLAST grow as a band from newbies to selling-out shows.

The musical component of this show is amazing too. It really exposes what it is like to be a musician and how the lives of people that have relationships with these musicals are impacted. How the media influences public opinion toward these bands.

The Black Stones or BLAST has four members: Nana Osaki (vocals), Nobuo Terashima (guitar), Shinichi Okazaki (bass), and Yasushi Takagi (drums)

TrapNest also has four members:  Reira Serizawa (vocals), Ren Honjo (guitar), Takumi Ichinose (bass), and Naoki Fujieda (drums).

Although the anime is a lot more than what I covered if you’re in it for the music check out this video with the full soundtrack.

If the premise seems interesting and you want to watch the anime, check it out on any anime platform or read the manga too.

Music News and Interviews

Songs That Have a Hold on Me – “Remember When” by Wallows

I’m back with another installation of this series. Like I said in the first post in this series about Clairo – “Remember When” is Wallows’ third most listened-to song, and it’s popularity is well deserved. the reason it has taken over my mind.

I’ve written a lot about Wallows because they are my favorite band, so of course, I’m here to write about another one of their songs that has a strong grip on me.

It’s not just that this song is written by Wallows, the instrumentals in “Remember When” evoke a dormant nostalgia that feels like one specific moment in the past. It’s almost like reliving your favorite period of life through a song. 

“Pleaser,” which I wrote a post about, used to be my favorite song by them for years, but the second I heard “Remember When” live my entire perspective changed. 

From the start, the electric guitar and drum intro sucks you in entirely.  The rhythm is dynamic and upbeat–simple but so inventive.

It was released in 2019, however, there is a distinct 2016 or 2017 sentimentality to it. The instrumentals have probably the most simple composition when it comes to mind. Drums, electric guitar, and bass yet there’s something magical and melancholic about it. 

My favorite verse in the song is “I can still see you at the place out there when I close my eyes |  Do you remember when we felt like the only two alive? | Don’t let me be one of the people that seek a lost romance |  Would you go and do it all over again, given a chance?” 

The emotions behind these lyrics and the line ‘do you remember when we felt like the only two alive?’ are so powerful. It brings out this sadness and longing for such a happy time in your life. 

Along with the composition, the title itself, “Remember When” is nostalgic too. So many great stories start with the phrase ‘remember when’. 

Unfortunately, the only downside of this song is that it’s only 2 and a half minutes long; it’s short and sweet but easy to keep on repeat.

If you ever get the chance, take my suggestion and listen to this sound on full blast with the windows down at 2 am or midnight. It will for sure make you feel something.

Check out the music video for “Remember When”:

Miscellaneous Music News and Interviews

Songs That Have a Hold on Me – “Amoeba” by Clairo

I have a few select songs constantly on replay and I thought why not make a series covering them?

I’m starting a series about songs that have a death grip on my mind and we’re starting off with “Amoeba” by none other than Clairo.

Yes, it is one of her most listened-to songs and that’s probably why it has such a hold on me.

Initially, when Clairo’s sophomore album “Sling” was released, I was drawn to the song title as a Biologist. However, it was the meaning behind the song and the catchy guitar melody that got me hooked.

Aspects of the song were described as what it feels like to be drunk, with this bounciness of background instrumentals. 

What I particularly love about this song is the lyricism and how many of the lyrics could be taken in multiple ways. It’s a song that Clairo took a creative risk with compared to her first album with less direct lyrics and it paid off. 

Clairo describes the track as being about what it feels like to navigate a toxic relationship or an uncomfortable social outing.

Yet the song is also about how she got so caught up with her career when she was first put into the spotlight and how she often forgot to keep in touch with her family and friends because of how drained and chaotic her life got.

The title amoeba actually related to the single-celled microorganism as well as meaning to change or alter in Greek. As a result, the track about Clairo shifting her lifestyle after realizing it was not the healthiest was given a fitting title. 

The piano chords along with the bubbly guitar instrumentals and soft vocals give the whole track an airy feeling. The drums kick in during the chorus and give the song an overall groovy funky beat.

The lyrics that hit the most are the verse “Aren’t you glad that you reside in a hell and in disguise? |  Nobody yet everything, a pool to shed your memory |  Could you say you’ve even tried? You haven’t called your family twice | I can hope tonight goes differently, but I show up to the party just to leave” 

Especially when we get into a new routine or start a new opportunity for the first time like a new school year or a new job it’s not hard to immerse ourselves in it. 

It happened to me last Fall when I finally got to experience college in person again. I was so caught up with school and events that I would often forget to call my parents.

I feel the song’s most underrated verse is towards the end. “Pulling back, I tried to find the point of wasting precious time | I sip and toast to normalcy, a fool’s way into jealousy |  I mock and imitate goodbyes when I know that I can’t deny | That I’ll be here forever-while, I show up to the party just to leave.”

Though all the lyrics in this song are super relatable if you’ve experienced anything similar, this verse hits the hardest. When you’re trying to blend in at a social gathering mentally count the minutes you’ve been there. Pretending you’re having fun when in reality you want to leave. You’re jealous of the people leaving early but you want to put on a facade that you’re staying longer to enjoy your time there. 

What I learned from this track is to prioritize your mental health and check in with those around you even if you are having the time of your life. It’s easy to be distracted but it’s still important to prioritize your needs at the same time.

Music News and Interviews

What happened to The Growlers?

The future looked promising for the alternative/indie band The Growlers. So where have they been for the last few years?

Content Warning: This story contains mentions of Sexual Assault Allegations.

The Growlers

Between the years of 2009 and 2019 The Growlers released nine albums. The band started its career in Dana Point, California in 2006. The Growlers began as a duo of lead singer Brooks Nielsen and guitarist Matt Taylor, later to add Anthony Braun Perry on bass and John Kaiser on drums. Though a few others were in and out, Nielsen and Taylor were the only consistent members throughout the decade.

Each of the albums garnered thousands of listeners and a lot of support, leading The Growlers to tour with The Black Keys, Devendra Banhart, Night Beats and more. They have also performed at Coachella, Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza.

The Growlers are even credited for coining a new subgenre: “beach goth.”

It seemed like they had something great going. But they haven’t released an album since 2019 or toured since 2020 and have faded away from social media. A Google search will show you that longtime member and founder Matt Taylor is nowhere to be mentioned. What’s going on?


On July 30, 2020, Arrow De Wilde, the lead singer of the rock band Starcrawler from LA, made an Instagram post explaining in detail the sexual assault that she faced while on tour with The Growlers. During January of 2020, Starcrawler joined The Growlers for a leg of their tour in Australia.

Sparing details, De Wilde explained that while none of the Growlers themselves were directly involved with the incident, they were responsible for encouraging it and should be held accountable.

After De Wilde’s post, The Growlers’ Brooks Nielsen responded the next day with his own Instagram post. He expressed that the whole band was taking responsibility for their actions and bad judgement. In addition, Matt Taylor would be leaving the band, though the post has since been deleted.

Since these statements, we have heard very little from The Growlers and it seems that their future is doomed. Ironically, frontman Brooks Nielsen seems to have rebranded himself and is now playing solo shows all over California. He typically plays his original music, but still plays a few of The Growlers’ songs. Conveniently for him, he can get away with carrying the sound of The Growlers’ alone – his vocals – while removing himself from the image of the band.

As for Arrow De Wilde, she is still singing for Starcrawler and making music successfully.

Miscellaneous Music News and Interviews Playlists

“Gilmore Girls” and Indie Music

For those of you who don’t know, “Gilmore Girls” was a show on The CW that aired from 2000 to 2007. 

The show was about a quirky mom, Lorelai, and her daughter, Rory. It focused on their mom-daughter relationship as well as their relationship with Lorelai’s parents and the people in their small town. 

Granted that their characters were seen as witty, sarcastic, and super knowledgable in terms of pop culture, music, and movies, the references to underground artists often came off as snobbish at the time. I would never understand the music references they made and felt like I was somehow behind.

A lot of moments on the show felt like Rory and Lorelai constantly wanted to seem “not like the other girls”, however, after watching it regularly I grew accustomed to their rapid banter and uniqueness. 

Eventually, their quirkiness turned into their charm.

There are a handful of bands I discovered specifically through that show. Rory and her best friend Lane, a female drummer, both were huge music geeks and after hearing their music references, curiosity got the best of me.

I wanted to see if the bands they referred to were truly worth the snobbery. 

Here is a brief list of the bands and artists that were mentioned in the show: The Bangles, Paul Anka, Sonic Youth, The Shins, Arcade Fire, The Go-Gos, New Order/Joy Division and The Libertines. 

The “Gilmore Girls” show writers were big music connoisseurs as well and wanted the music to be on the forefront to give the show its own vibes and sound.

Since the show’s primary audience was mothers and daughters, the music references in the show made pre-teen and teen girls get into music that Lorelai and Rory found to be cool.

A handful of the musicians they reference throughout the show actually made cameos as well.

The band Lane was a drummer for, Hep Alien, performed a lot of cover songs on the show too. They performed “London Calling” by The Clash, “Fell in Love With a Girl” by White Stripes, and “I’m the Man” by Joe Jackson along with many others.

The show is an acquired taste so I would only recommend watching it if you’re open to an eccentric family-centered show.

It’s a show that was revolutionary for its time making underground pop culture references seem like the ‘it’ thing and music was a huge part of Rory and Lorelai’s characters. 

If it’s not for the characters, there are a lot of great tracks found throughout the show.

Here’s a playlist if you’d rather skip straight to the music!

Music News and Interviews

Delightful Dessert Tunes for Your Free Time

Light, pop styled tunes create a dessert-like euphoria for my ears, which feed my soul a bit differently than the rage and chaos of punk and metal. I enjoy listening to bright, intoxicating melodies just as much as the metal and hardcore bands I dive into in my previous article. 

Sweet melodies bring new types of joy to my ears that can consist of light, beautiful vocals. The intoxicating factor of dessert flavored tracks is how an artist or band’s instruments emphasize and support their vocals. Heavy drums would lead to a heavy, forced rhythm, light electronic noises might cause a vocalist to create a dreamier tone and sharp guitars could influence the vocals to have a syrupy, smooth effect. 

I Am the World Trade Center

So what are some examples of these sugary rhythms and addicting tracks? 

Well, I have been unable to stop listening to I Am the World Trade Center. They are a duo from the late 1990’s who unfortunately stopped making music due to their name and a split in the partnership. Their three studio albums all have electronic, danceable beats and silky smooth vocals. 

Out of my favorite tracks, I think “You Don’t Even Know Her” and “Pretty Baby” are the most addictive ones. 

The airy vocals and deep, techno instruments in “You Don’t Even Know Her” create a soothing ambiance like a cloud covering the sun. In “Pretty Baby” the instruments are more rhythmic and the vocals more apparent. I equate the emotions that I get from “Pretty Baby” to the way an other-worldly being might get by smelling the emotion of jealousy. 

I don’t really understand my attachment to I Am the World Trade Center. I don’t think their music or beats are extremely unique from a lot of modern electropop, but my brain drives me to listen to their music often. 

Jens Lekman

Lekman is a Swedish pop artist who released two albums this year, “The Linden Trees Are Still in Blossom” and “The Cherry Trees Are Still in Blossom”. I still have only listened to “Linden Trees”, but with how much I enjoyed it I will definitely be getting into “Cherry Trees” soon. 

A storyteller in music is always one of my favorite types of musicians. People that convey morals, humans and emotions through songs and albums are able to draw in listeners because of the story. Lekman is one of these artists. 

In “Shirin” off “The Linden Trees Are Still in Blossom”, Lekman shows off his vocals, storytelling and emotions. The epic combination of drums and string instruments adds an ambiance to the sound waves. Lekman explores love and rejection in a quick four minute track, which is done with grace and loving personal anecdotes. 

Jans Lekman is able to offer a different type of intoxication than that of I Am the World Trade Center. His is more focused in the heart, while the latter focuses on driving you to move your feet in rhythm.


How do I describe what makes SPELLLING’s (Chrystia Cabal) music so beautiful? Is it the way her voice puts every single one of my brain cells in a perfect bliss? It’s like every single nerve in my body twitching out of excitement and joy. Every moment of her songs pounce on you unexpectedly. They feel golden, epic and full of never ending joy. 

Her newest album “Turning Wheel” is produced masterfully. New artists worked with her to perfect the back up instrumentals, vocals and effects. How could I ever tire of something as elegant as smooth silky vibrations sliding up and down my spine to sedate me into the perfect rest. 

I can’t say I fawn over many artists, but Cabal is different. In “Emperor with an Egg”, Cabal uses unique metaphors to describe the actions of a determined emperor. Epic instrumentals spring forth and add to the absolute treasure hoard of sounds, and that’s only 3 minutes of music. 

I lay awake at night thinking about the hours and hours worth of B-Sides, new projects, off shoots and mistakes that might exist. My greedy fingers need to tear through the sublime worlds brought to life through Cabal’s evocative music

Post-Dessert Coffee Thoughts

SPELLLING, Jens Lenkman and I Am the World Trade Center all make dreamy music that spawned physical requirements for me to continuously listen to them. Syrupy tunes end up making beautiful, epic representations of life worth living. 

In the constant darkness that surrounds many of our daily lives, it’s great to feed that rage and chaos, but getting your daily dose of Vitamin D in the form of intoxicating, electro-pop tunes is extremely healthy.

Music News and Interviews

Conan Gray “People Watching” Song Review

Conan Gray’s sophomore album “Superache” was recently released and there is a single on there that I haven’t gotten out of my head since 2021 when it was initially released.

“People Watching” is one of his most relatable songs to me personally. Although, most of Conan’s songs hit super close to home for me.

At first, I was skeptical of Conan being such a famous artist who writes so much about love and yet somehow has notably never been in a relationship in his whole life. But watching interview after interview, I realized we both might be similar regardless of his status as a celebrity; we both have high standards and are super picky about almost everything. 

“People Watching” is an indie-pop track about how Conan is a people watcher and he observes all these couples and people wishing he could feel and experience the things they are. 

The swelling of the piano instrumentals and drums builds as the passion in his vocals does and gives such a distinct depth. It stays upbeat while maintaining this light energy to it.

As I discussed in the blog about “Yours”, Conan has strong vocals and isn’t afraid to showcase them in his bridges. The bass kicks in as the piano and drumming get more intense and instead of sounding chaotic the whole piece comes together to get this angst and longing across. 

For the lyrics themselves, Conan never hesitates to write about thoughts we all have.  The lyrics have a way of storytelling, not just to portray emotions but play a scene in our minds as we listen.

The song starts off with the lyrics ‘That wasn’t funny but she laughed so hard, she almost cried |  They’re counting months they’ve been together, almost 49 | He’s making fun of how she acted ’round the holidays | She wears a ring but they tell people that they’re not engaged.” 

It’s a simple people-watching scenario including the small details that those who don’t people-watch might not notice. It’s subtle but it highlights from the get-go that Conan is already micro-analyzing their relationship. 

The chorus hits the hardest and is the part of the song where he is the most vulnerable singing “I wanna feel all that love and emotion |  Be that attached to the person I’m holding |  Someday, I’ll be fallin’ without caution |  But for now, I’m only people watching” 

Personally, this hits the hardest because it’s so easy to watch people in relationships and think they are happy and living their dreams but we’ll never really know what their relationship is like. 

My favorite line in the whole song is “Someday, I’ll be falling’ without caution.” Overthinking often leads to problems and when you’re in a secure relationship, it’s something you don’t need to worry about or be afraid of.  Falling without caution. Being able to fall in love without worrying about yourself too much.

Anyway, before things get too sappy, the concept of People Watching is so interesting to me too.  Being able to observe people’s lives and imagine scenarios about them in mind for fun. It’s an easy distraction from the mundane every day.

Check out the music video:

Music video for “People Watching” by Conan Gray.

If you want to listen to the full “Superache” album check it out on Spotify.