Islands in the Stream: 3/21/24

Giving some love to artists who oughta be streamed more often than they are

Islands in the Stream: 3/21/24
Islands! In a stream!

Islands in the Stream is a periodic series that highlights songs I've liked by artists who have a relatively low number of monthly listeners. It's like a public service with a dash of the thrill of discovery. What else could you ask for?

"Be My Saviour," Shader
According to their bio, these guys "deliver an eclectic swirl of huge melodic guitar riffs and northern grooves colliding with addictive arena-sized choruses." I don't know what a "northern groove" is, but the riffs are indeed huge and melodic, and the noise the band makes on "Be My Saviour" is approximately arena-sized. This sounds to me like something an alternate-universe Buffalo Tom might have knocked out in 1993, which I mean as an enthusiastic compliment.

"Talk All Night," Oddity Road
Speaking of arena-sized choruses, Oddity Road serves up a fat one with "Talk All Night." With its moody, pulsing verses leading into soaring Technicolor melodrama, it's the kind of song that makes you want to punch the gas while you're singing along on the highway. Again: Enthusiastic compliment.

"Is This Déjà Vu?," The Mukherjee Development
This Copenhagen-based group claims to blend Coldplay, Tom Petty, and Kurt Vile in its music; I don't know about all that, but this particular track strikes me as something that might have found a home on the Top 40 in the late '90s, when pop acts had permission to chuck slide guitar, bicycle bells, and programmed beats into a blender and come up with come up with something that'd burrow into your brain for weeks. Like "Better Days" by Citizen King or "Great Life" by Goat, only not as diabetes-inducing.

"Shapeshifter," Shan
Shan is apparently a prog band from Oslo, which would intrigue me even if the music didn't. I don't hear anything particularly progressive here, and if you know me, that isn't necessarily a bad thing; that being said, I will cheerfully concede that the arrangement is more intricate than it had to be, which is also not a bad thing. There's an enjoyable tension here between the knotty "progressive" heart of the song and the more melodic moments that peek out during the chorus. Also, horns!

"Scooter," Jack Droppers and the Best Intentions
There are a lot of things to like about this song, arguably chief among them the way it makes me feel like I'm listening to a previously unreleased track from an artist I love but can't quite name, but the thing that might delight me the most about this band is that they release their music through a label dubbed Bird Fight Records, which makes me chuckle. More importantly, to reiterate something I said just a few moments ago: Listening to "Scooter" makes me feel like I must have put this song on a mixtape or mix CD at some point in the past, even though I know that isn't true. Also, horns!