In the Spotlight

In the spotlight: Riley Whittaker

Riley Whittaker is a 17-year-old indie alternative musician/songwriter currently living in Nashville (USA). In addition to playing guitar, she also plays the keyboard, ukulele and violin. Riley grew up in a small town called Sedona, Arizona. She lived in the same town her entire childhood, and didn’t move out of it till about a year…

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In the spotlight: the Vain Travail

The Vain Travail is a five-piece collective from the Netherlands, whose members are top Dutch session musicians. They started in 2018, and only ever rehearsed once: it’s all about writing and arranging beautiful songs, and they do so from their home studios scattered across the country. The project started in 2018 as a new way…

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In the spotlight: Joe Peacock

Joe Peacock is a prolific singer-songwriter from Birmingham (UK). Joe grew up in rural Herefordshire. The family house was a long way from anywhere. It was hard to get to see other children, so Joe spent a lot of time on his own. Boredom was quite a good spur for creativity and he began writing…

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In the spotlight: Daniel Scarsella

Daniel Scarsella was born and raised in Peterborough, Ontario (Canada) and is part of a growing band of modern DIY musicians. He is a husband, father, guitar teacher and lifelong student of all things music. “Peterborough is a mid-sized town North- East of Toronto, Canada and very much cottage country. Growing up near water meant…

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In the spotlight: The Future Us

The Future Us are a two-piece rock band formed in Glasgow (UK), comprised of Gary Hendry and Joe Gorman. Their first EP ‘Fear and Progress’, a collection of five songs inspired by untypical times, was released in January 2021. Since the release of the EP they have also released several singles of varying themes that…

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In the spotlight: Dead Mass

Dead Mass are an alternative/progressive rock band from Tāmaki Makaurau, Aotearoa (Auckland, New Zealand). The band comprises David Donaldson (drums, vocals, percussion), Ivan Segedin (bass and synth) and Corey Walden (vocals, guitar and piano). The band formed in late 2018 and recorded an EP named ‘The Last Judgement’ in 2019. Early this year they released…

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In the spotlight: Abi Nav

Abi Nav is a 24-year old Boston (USA) based singer-songwriter and recording artist. Abi weaves stories with his songs. His influences include John Mayer, Pink Floyd and Radiohead. His raw, self-aware lyrics, coupled with his ability to write unforgettable melodies make him a songwriter to look out for. I always like to ask artists about…

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In the spotlight: Avi Wisnia

As the son of a rabbi and grandson of a cantor, Avi Wisnia learned to be comfortable on stage at a young age, composing melodies on the piano as soon as he was tall enough to reach the keys. After the release of his first album in 2010 he wasn’t sure he was ever going to release music again. “I…

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In the spotlight: Fake shark

Fake Shark is a Canadian electronic indie-pop band from Vancouver (Canada). The band originally formed in 2005 and changed their name after shifting from punk to a more commercial pop sound in 2015. These days the band is located in Vancouver and LA. The band’s current line-up consists of Kevvy, Louis, Tony, Alex and Jake.…

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In the spotlight: Joe Adhémar

We all know British songwriter Joe Adhémar has made some great songs including our current number 1 in the chart ‘Be My Coastguard‘. (And if you didn’t, it’s time to check him out!) “Last time I was number 1 at something was the 25m butterfly at my school swimming gala.” So Joe, what else is…

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In the spotlight: Mark Cokes

Mark Cokes is a singer/songwriter and marathon swimmer. Mark was born in Dublin (Ireland) where he lived till his early twenties before emigrating to Australia, New York and Los Angeles finishing his travels in Bosnia and Italy. “I returned home with a head full of cultured madness and a heart full of exciting opportunity.” “I…

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In the spotlight: Sean Buckley

Sean Buckley was born in Hope, Salford (UK). He writes descriptive melodic electronica and is known for his successful collaborations, but little is known about Sean himself. Time to ask him some questions… Can you tell me a little bit about yourself? “Hello from Little Cottage, which is near Ironbridge in Shropshire, England. I was…

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In the spotlight: Sky Diving Penguins

Sky Diving Penguins are an indie band from Tbilisi (Georgia). The band is the brainchild of Gia Iashvili. He is influenced by acts as The Beatles, Beck, Elliott Smith & Nirvana. “I formed Sky Diving Penguins after leaving the band I played with. I realised that I want to do my own thing. I prefer being…

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In the spotlight: Anger Bang

We first heard of Anger Bang when they submitted their track ‘The Stones’ in September 2020. Anger Bang is currently in our chart with their song ‘Shiit’. We know they like the Beastie Boys sound, but what else is there to learn about the band? Who are Anger Bang? “Anger Bang consists of 4 members,…

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In the spotlight: Ivory Lake

Ivory lake is the brainchild of 25-year old Josh Watts, drummer and singer/songwriter. Josh is originally from Sheffield (UK), but is now based in Alicante, Southern Spain. “I think spending my childhood in Northern England, greatly impacted the lyrical side of my music. Northern England for me is characterized by grey skies, rain, and a…

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In the spotlight: Twelve A.M. Flowers

Twelve A.M Flowers are a band originally hailing from New York led by Kevin McGinnis, who tends to describe his music as “a bright reflection off a black window”. The name Twelve A.M. Flowers is a product of catching a tiny gift from the universe out of the corner of his eye. Two newspapers sat…

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In the spotlight: Matte Martin

Matte Martin is a multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter obsessed with the dark and complex edges of rock and pop music. Matte channels the disparate influences of classical music, punk rock, the avant-garde, horror films, and the great English poets into deep, dark, dramatic rock-infused pop songs. The dark woods of his rural northern California upbringing cast their…

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In the spotlight: Alvinos Zavlis

Electronic music producer Alvinos Zavlis writes, records, produces, mixes and masters songs for himself and the artists he develop. Alvinos grew up in Cyprus, but is currently living in Bristol (UK). Can you tell me a little bit about yourself? “Hey! So, my real name is Alvinos and I’m born and raised in Cyprus. I’ve been producing…

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In the spotlight: Fendahlene

Fendahlene was formed in Sydney in late 1994 by Paul Whiteley, Ashley Hurst and Ben Felton. After a long run as a live act round Sydney, with two albums and two EPs under their belt, Fendahlene relocated to Europe in 2006 and both Paul and Ashley ended up living in England. After a break they…

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In the spotlight: Just Leo

Leo Düzey aka Just Leo (NL) released his self titled debut album in February 2021. The album was as written in a short period between 10th October 2019 and 9th December 2019. Signature sound on his album is an Irish Bouzouki. Leo grew up in Zutphen. He wrote his song ‘I Am Home’ about his…

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In the spotlight: Portraits of Sawyer

Portraits of Sawyer is a two-man rock band consisting of Ben Wiggins (lead vocals, keys, guitar) and Adam Garcia (guitars, vocals, percussion). Adam and Ben started the band in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn in 2008. They’ve both been hailing from Vermont since 2017. How did you meet and how did your collaboration come about? AHG: “We…

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In the spotlight: Dean Dovey

Dean Dovey is a singer/songwriter from Birmingham (UK). He didn’t pick up a guitar until his early 30’s. Dean writes songs about everyday life that reflect his emotions and feelings at the time of writing and recording them.  “I grew up in a Birmingham suburb, Great Barr, about a 25 minute bus ride from the…

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In the spotlight: Fedbysound

Fedbysound is Mark Grider, a multi-istrumentalist from Southern California. He began his musical journey at 15, when he first picked up guitar. Can you tell me a little bit about yourself? “For starters, I think too much. I consider myself an outcast, but not the kind of outcast that begs to be noticed. I prefer…

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In the spotlight: Interstate Drive

Interstate Drive are a Southampton and Portsmouth (UK) based Indie-Rock band. Frontman Cameron Davidson grew up playing guitar and violin, and working in a studio as an assistant. He used to write and record songs in the spare time there, finally forming a band and eventually touring. Bandmembers Andrew Syson and Paul Irwin went to…

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In the spotlight: Sugartown Slim

Sugartown Slim are a modern Country Rock duo hailing from the South of England, consisting of Andrew ‘Windy’ Mills (vocals, acoustic guitar, harmonica, backing vocals) & Andrew ‘Billy’ Giddings (other sounds, backing vocals, production). Windy & Billy have been musicians and friends since the ’80s. In 2019 they joined forces to produce a catalogue of original…

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In the spotlight: Colm O’ Mahoney and The Hot Touches

Colm O’Mahony & The Hot Touches (Ireland) released their self-titled debut album last year, which features the single ‘Preacher’s Daughter’. I spoke to frontman Colm about their debut album and how Bruce Springsteen played a significant role in his musical career. Colm is a full-time musician playing acoustic covers in Killarney, a town in County Kerry,…

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In the spotlight: Anchor Detail

They describe themselves as “Charlotte’s favorite sons”, Anchor Detail is a quartet composed of Jeff Tatu (vocals & songwriter), Travis Brown (guitar & production), Christian Loebs (drums & samples) and Seth Telles (bass). Their sound blends the riffy swagger of grunge with the austerity of post-punk. Learn more about the history of the band and…

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In the spotlight: Morningside Lane

Morningside Lane is a five piece alternative/rock band from New Jersey consisting of Marc Del Giudice (lead vocals), Frankie P (bass), Brian Morelli (drums), Dennis Matusche (keyboard) and Brandon Broderick (lead guitar). The band was formed in 2009, but the lineup as changed over the years. How did the band get together? “The band members…

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In the spotlight – LEAVETAKING

LEAVETAKING is a pop songwriting duo currently based in NY and LA. Founding members Tony and Matt first began making music together in 2011. Tony moved out to Los Angeles and Matt remained in New Jersey. They remained close friends while pursuing individual careers in music. In 2020 they began writing and producing songs together…

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In the spotlight: Chasing Records

Chasing Records was formed by Andrew Fernandes and Nathan Henderson from London, Ontario (Canada). They met playing baseball and really didn’t connect with music until about 5 years later. They formed the band during the start of the pandemic and finally decided to start recording some ideas leading to their first single ‘Fix Me‘ and debut…

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In the spotlight: Fisj

Fisj is a musician from a small village near Ghent, a beautiful middle-sized historical town in Flanders (Belgium). He used to play in various bands, but these days he’s only playing from home. The first time we heard from Fisj was when he released his song ‘Mellow Moon‘ and I’ve been wondering “who is Fisj?”…

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In the spotlight: Katanak

Katanak is the brainchild of Dylan Cattanach, an Australian musician based in Brisbane, Australia. Early 2019 he opened for fellow Australian artist, Pete Murray, on his Summer Sessions tour 2019. Katanak released his first single ‘Life‘ in September 2019. His latest release and very catchy tune ‘Sunday’ can be found in our chart. Time to learn…

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In the spotlight: Blake Sonnet

Blake Sonnet is a singer-songwriter from Canterbury, UK. He’s always on the search for the magic that surrounds us and articulating it into a song. In 2021 he will be releasing a song every month. As you’re about to find out, he wasn’t always known as Blake Sonnet. Can you tell me a little bit…

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In the spotlight: Dev!n

“What’s up! It’s me, Dev!n, and I am a singer/songwriter currently living, bi-coastally, between Los Angeles, CA and Tampa, FL.” Can you tell me a little bit about yourself? “I began my journey into the entertainment industry at a young age by training in Musical Theatre as early as 3rd grade. After getting a few shows under…

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In the spotlight: Temper Row

Temper Row is the alternative music project of British songwriter, Bill Randall. His first EP is available now. Bill grew up in Aylesbury, a small market town in south-east England. “There was a club called Friars in the 70s, that attracted well-known artists from that era. It was before my time, but it was fun talking to people…

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In the spotlight: Harry Pane

Harry Pane is a British indie folk singer/songwriter. Growing up in a crooked old farmhouse with his dad in a peaceful part of the UK, Harry was always surrounded by music and creativity. How did growing up on a farm shape you? “I did indeed grow up in an old farm house in Northamptonshire in the…

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In the spotlight: The Electorate

The Electorate is Eliot Fish, Nick Kennedy and Josh Morris from Sydney. “Eliot usually plays the bass. Nick usually plays the drums and Josh usually plays the guitar. We all sing.” Eliot and Josh went to high school together and formed a band called The Templebears. After school they gigged around for a few years…

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In the spotlight: Jack Francis

Jack Francis is a Southampton (UK) based Americana/folk singer-songwriter. “I grew up in Southampton, which is on the South coast of the UK. I’ve always enjoyed the local music scene here – there were lots of venues when I was growing up and there still are a few good ones. I’ve met many close friends on…

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In the spotlight: The Frontier

The Frontier are an unsigned indie-pop/alt rock band from the Washington D.C. area. The Frontier is the brainchild of Jake Mimikos, who formed the project in 2016. After years of playing in different bands he felt ready for a solo project he could control completely. Jake describes his younger self as a “pretty lonely and weird kid” that “naturally just gravitated…

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About me

I’m Lean and I’m a music addict from the Netherlands. Although I’m the face of the website, I don’t run it all by myself. I have a team behind me to host the website, organize the playlists, select tracks and albums for our (long) shortlist and publish the charts.

Our mission is to bring musicians and listeners together and share the love for music made by independent artists. All because we love music!

Don’t forget to follow my personal Twitter account @LeanCoolTop20 for the latest interviews.

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