Published on February 1st, 2021 | by Robert Barry Francos


The Feedback Society’s Week in Music

Robert Barry Francos goes through some of the indie singles he’s been listening to, bringing you some dang hot recommendations to fill your earholes with.

Anya Marina
“Notice Me (Live from Rockwood, NYC)”
This is off her sixth album, Alive and Alone in New York, which was recorded at the great Rockwood Music Hall on the Lower East Side, which has sort of become the CBGBs of singer-songwriters (with cleaner bathrooms). “Notice Me” is one of her signature songs, and on the original album, it is produced with a wall of sound that accentuates the mood with overdubs, and a much larger group behind her. For this recording, it’s just her and her guitar, and feels way more personal. With a chantable “do-do-do” chorus, it can easily be a pleasurable ear worm as she feels neglected by her lover. It’s a bit of an upbeat song and doesn’t actually feel as desperate as the topic sounds. It’s coyer and sexier, with a hint of frustration, with Anya’s lovely falsetto voice playfully calling out. The album has 17 tracks covering her career, and this is the first single.

Ben Howard
“What a Day”
Republic Records
From the upcoming album, Collections from the Whiteout, Ben’s fourth full release is a “pastoral” sound as the singer reminisces about where the time goes. It’s a nice, light sounding ballad that has some deep thoughts imbued with a mild, melody backed up by what sounds like a drum machine (though I could be wrong). The production is high, but it doesn’t necessarily overwhelm here. It’s also pretty catchy, which is always a good thing. His British inflection is also endearing. I might actually go listen to the album, at some point.

Carla Geneve
“Dog Eared”
Dot Dash; Remote Control Records
Australian 22-year-old music teacher hits the pop rock trail on her solo album, Learn to Like It. Filled with encouraging girl power – as one can see in the song’s video – Carla has a strong voice and belts out on choruses, hovering the line between alt pop and rock. Dealing with finding self-worth because she “always feel so useless,” but acknowledges she “still has something to lose,” meaning there is some possibility of positivity. It’s a really good song, the production is tight without being overbearing, and it’s lyrically smart. It is cheerful, as she pulls herself up. Liked this one a lot.

The Cavemen
“Am I a Monster”
Pig Baby Records
Thematically, what if the early Cramps had been a hardcore band instead of voodoobilly? That is one way to look at New Zealand “ghoul punks,” The Cavemen. The song is a three-chord mosh fest with a horror motif. I have seen picture of them, and they seem quite energetic, which is definitely present in their music that seems highly influenced by the early 1980s H/C and garage scenes. The melody of the song is certainly catchy, though it’s hard to tell what they’re saying much beyond the chorus, which is the song’s title, and a few snippets here and there about loneliness, due to a garage-rock level of vocal fuzz. This definitely harkens back to a minimalist period, pre-extended guitar solos by the likes of Ginn and Mascis, but that’s okay with me; there is a brief and raucous burst, though. A Ramones-ish slagging of basic chords and speed is just what I like. These guys sound like they’re a lot of fun, and this one will get some more listens by me over time.

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About the Author

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has lived in Saskatoon for over a decade, having spent most of his life in New York City. Part of the New York punk scene from nearly its inception, he has been known to hang out with musicians, artists and theatrical types. His fanzine, FFanzeen, was published from 1977 through 1988, giving him opportunity to see now famous bands in their early stages. Media, writing and photography have been a core interest for most of his life, leading to a Masters in Media Ecology from New York University. This has led to travel to Mexico, England, the Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Israel and Egypt, and recently he taught a university class in media theory in China.

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