In this week’s instalment of What’s Going On, I’ve got new songs from The Scumfrog, Meet Me @ The Altar, Maximo Park, Inhaler and renforshort. Hopefully some of those names will be new to you and not currently on your radar. Regardless, they are the artists behind five new songs that you should be listening to this week. As always, if you dig what you’re hearing, be sure to stream and follow these artists.
The Scumfrog – Grammy-nominated DJ/musician The Scumfrog has dropped ‘Tiny Little Human’, his new single. The Scumfrog aka Jesse Houk wrote ‘Tiny Little Human’ during the quarantine while the world was at a global standstill. The song tackles the challenges of isolation and speaks to how important the human touch is, while still remaining a very funky and danceable track. On the meaning of the song, the DJ, who has remixed for New Order, Kylie Minogue, and Britney Spears says: “So many of us had taken human touch for granted until the virus came along. We as humans made it to the top of the food chain and essentially ‘won earth,’ but what is that worth when we cannot touch each other? The title ‘Tiny Little Human’ refers to how powerless we can feel without physical interaction, despite all of our technologies and distractions.” The music video was created by Emmy-winning film and video editor Bob Jenkis and features LEGO® figures depicting quarantine life and the struggles with social distancing. ‘Tiny Little Human’ is available now on all digital streaming platforms via Ethereal Subterranean Recordings.
Listen to The Scumfrog’s new single ‘Tiny Little Human’ below.
Meet Me @ The Altar – Prepare to meet your new favorite pop punk band – Meet Me @ The Altar. Newly signed to iconic label Fueled by Ramen, Meet Me @ The Altar consists of guitarist Téa Campbell, drummer Ada Juarez, and singer Edith Johnson fronting the band. As someone who was obsessed with Fall Out Boy, Panic at the Disco, Paramore and other bands that were on Fueled by Ramen while I was in high school in the mid-to-late 2000s, it is awesome to see an all-women band on the label, particularly one that is comprised of Black and Latinx women. Coinciding with their signing, the band has released a new music video for their single ‘Garden’. The straightforward music video is the injection of energy that we all need during these trying times, showing the band rocking out and highlighting Edith Johnson’s vibrant pink hair. A just under four-minute slice of perfect pop punk, ‘Garden’ serves as a great intro to what MMATA can do.
Listen to Meet Me @ The Altar’s new single ‘Garden’ below.
renforshort – Canadian singer-songwriter renforshort has released ‘afterthoughts’, her new song which is part of the soundtrack for Disney+ film Clouds. Lauren Isenberg, the 18-year-old singer from Toronto best known as renforshort, has been praised as one to watch by outlets like Rolling Stone, TIME, V Magazine, Billboard, Paper, NME, American Songwriter, Interview Magazine and more. In addition, she caught the attention of Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda, leading to him remixing her song ‘i drive me mad’. The combination of the sparse instrumentation, poignant lyrics and renforshort’s vocal delivery makes ‘afterthoughts’ the kind of song that will tug on your heartstrings. On how ‘afterthoughts’ came to be, renforshort says: “‘afterthoughts’ is a really different song for me, it follows a way different narrative than most of my other songs and allowed me to be more vulnerable than I have been in the past while making music. Immediately after I watched Clouds for the first time I was filled with emotion and all these thoughts were going through my head. It’s a very emotional movie, it touches on love romantically and familial, health, and fulfilling your life and achieving your dreams.”
Listen to renforshort’s new song ‘afterthoughts’ below.
Maximo Park – English alternative band Maximo Park have announced details of their new album, upcoming tour and also released ‘Baby, Sleep’, their new single. Their new album Nature Always Wins is due out on February 26, 2021 and the band will be returning to the stage with a UK tour that summer to support the album. The band wrote and recorded the album during lockdown, with Atlanta-based producer Ben Allen stepping in as the band’s temporary fourth member during the process. On the recording process, Paul Smith says: “I’m so happy we were able to make this album during lockdown, as it’s been a challenging time for everyone. After almost four years since Risk To Exist, we wanted to explore new musical territory (for us) without sacrificing our trademark melodic twists and heartfelt lyrics.” Their new single ‘Baby, Sleep’ is a swirling combination of infectious guitar riffs and Paul Smith’s signature vocals, coupled with the neo-psychedelic visuals of the accompanying music video, it’s clear that Maximo Park are back in peak form.
Listen to Maximo Park’s new single ‘Baby, Sleep’ below.
Inhaler – Dublin band Inhaler have dropped their new single ‘When It Breaks’ on Polydor Records/Universal. Inhaler consists of Elijah Hewson, Robert Keating, Ryan McMahon and Josh Jenkinson. The quartet formed as schoolmates in Dublin and bonded over their shared love of bands like The Strokes, Depeche Mode, Joy Division, Interpol and more. Despite being relatively new, it’s easy to hear how the band has quickly amassed a loyal fanbase. A soaring rock anthem, their new single ‘When It Breaks’ tackles the general sense of unease that has been felt in 2020 due to the pandemic. On the meaning behind ‘When It Breaks’, the band says: “The lyrics and the music communicate the anxiousness of how we were all feeling and still are now a couple months later. It’s definitely the most politically-driven song we’ve released so far. It’s our interpretation of this strange and imperfect world we’ve come to live in. Things are gonna change and we are gonna be there when they do.” These guys are the future of Irish rock.
Listen to Inhaler’s new single ‘When It Breaks’ below.