Songs, songs and more songs #70: Tessa Violet, Dagny, Alfie Templeman, Metric, Marshmello + Khalid … and the latest ABBA lyric videos + Eurovision 2023 news!

(via Shutterstock)

Life is tricky to navigate – that’s hardly a newflash.

But as we grind our way through the ups and downs of life, we often have to remind ourselves of the good and the wonderful, or if they are in short supply, that it’s okay to embrace life’s lows because one day, hopefully, there will be highs.

We get all of that marvellous journey with this post’s five songs, all of which face up to life’s lesser moments while acknowledging, even if it’s just admitting they’re there, that if nothing else we have music to get us through.

It may not fix things but it make the ordeal easier to handle, and maybe, just maybe, lead to something happily buoyant in the offing …

“BREAKDOWN” by Tessa Violet

(courtesy official Facebook page)

Inventive music artists are always a delight.

Artists just like American singer-songwriter, video blogger, actress, music video director, and former model (phew! She’s amazingly talented, right?) Tessa Violet who We Are: The Guard neatly observes “is a great example of an artist that pushes the boundaries of pop by experimenting with other styles, yet consistently keeping her trademark sonic sound”.

Her song, “Breakdown” is a piece of gently propulsive pop that is as as strong in the verses as it is in the compulsively listenable chorus, all anchored by vocals that carry the song perfectly and with great emotional vivacity.

The music’s giddy swing to the upbeat sits brilliantly with a lyrical intent which acknowledges life can get low, very low, but which seeks solace in the community of everyone embracing the truth and standing shoulder-to-shoulder with each other.

Great honest message with punchy music? I feel better already …

“Brightsider” by Dagny

(courtesy official Facebook page)

If you need a buoyant lift, and life is a LOT right now so you likely do, Norwegian singer Dagny’s song “Brightsider”, which comes roaring with pop effervesency from the gates, is just what the heartsick doctor ordered.

Possessing what We Are: The Guard describes as “lush synth arrangements [and] refreshing vocals”, “Brightsider” is true to its title, gushing with understandable fervour about finding new love and how gloriously good it feels.

It’s a JOY, and Dagny captures the thrill of romance born anew with a kaleidoscopically expanse of a thousand different good and wonderful feelings.

Listening to this song is guaranteed to make you feel like it’s sunshiney all year long, with We Are: The Guard beautifully observing that the “belty chorus make what she’s singing about so relatable, whether you’re actually living your summer fantasy of falling in love on the weekend, or are just sipping wine alone on a Thursday night.”

You can’t help but fall in love with this song about falling in love which sweeps away the gloom and makes you feel like the world is all over new again.

“Candyfloss” by Alfie Templeman

(courtesy official Facebook page)

Hailing from England, English singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer Alfie Templeman describes his sound as “indie R&B”, a luscious bringing together of genres that works a treat.

It’s gloriously evident on “Candyfloss” which, while it admits that life can be “sour in the centre” and “frozen in the middle, nevertheless is filled with a hopeful enjoinder to give it a try.

It’s a brilliant balancing of tantalising possibility, all coated in candy yumminess, with the tasteless nothingness of reality which doesn’t always live up the sweetness you expect when you’re younger.

It’s a brilliantly catchy song from its opening vocals to a guitar-driven melody that captures the duality of life to a tee, acknowledging how hard it can be to get through but even so, asks “Don’t you want to make it out alive?”

“What Feels Like Eternity” by Metric

(courtesy official Facebook page)

I have long loved Metric, an indie band from Toronto, Canada comprised of Emily Haines, James Shaw, Joshua Winstead and Joules Scott-Key, who have always had a knack for serving up musically rich, emotionally intense songs, all of them anchored by idiosyncratically lush vocals so smokily dense that you feel as if you are disappearing into them.

There’s an electric sense of intensity to each and every note and word and that’s on fulsome display on “What Feels Like Eternity”, one of the single releases from their just-released album Formentera (named, notes Stereogum, “after an island off the coast of Spain — a fantasy destination for the members of Metric, who, like most of us, couldn’t go anywhere during the pandemic.).

It’s proof positive that the band are still very much in their musical prime with Stereogum describing the song thus:

“The new song “What Feels Like Eternity” kicks off with a jittery stop-start groove before locking into something bright and anthemic. The track has a nice sense of tension and release — almost like Metric are trying to capture the uncertainty of everyday life but still can’t resist the urge to rock out.”

“Numb” (feat. Khalid) by Marshmello

(courtesy YouTube)

If it worked spectacularly once, then surely it’s hoping it’ll happen all over again, right?

That seems to be the idea behind the reuniting of American singer Khalid and American electronic music producer and DJ Marshmello who lit up the world’s charts back in 2017 with “Silence”, which was, of course, danceably anything but, and who are back with new irresistibly infectious song “Numb”.

A loping piece of gorgeously alive pop, describes the song as “[gliding] along to a breezy four-on-the-floor rhythm [with] Mello [producing] a breezy deep house track designed for poolside lounging.”

It’s proof that musical lightening can very much strike twice and honestly whether you’re at the pool, at home or commuting to work, it’s going to life your mood, sense of place and remind how nice it can be to be a little numb for a while.


The lyric videos continue from ABBA and while you might ask yourself if they’re really needed since we have very fine videos produced back in the day by the band who were leaders in this form of self promotion, it’s fun to see the songs given a new visual accompaniment, with “Thank You For the Music” the next cab off the rank a little later today. Today’s pick, “The Winner Takes It All”, is one of ABBA’s most heartrending songs, a rumination on the fact that even though it looks like there are winners and losers when a couple breaks up, no one really wins with pain shared equally all around.


It is heartbreaking to see what is happening to the beautiful people of Ukraine. Of the many things this war has cost them, and the toll has been savagely brutal in ways too awful to fully comprehend, they are now unable to host the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 in their homeland. In normal circumstances, the winning country hosts next year’s event – Ukraine won this year with Kalush Orchestra’s “Stefania” – but that is not possible as the war triggered by Russia’s invasion grinds on, and while it’s nothing compared to the death and destruction meted out to the country, it’s sad to see them denied this chance to stride Europe’s musical stage on their own. Thankfully second-place winner UK, fronted by their 2022 entrant, the wonderful Sam Ryder, are stepping up to host with a promise that this will be Ukraine’s event, just hosted in another country.

Read here for more on this story.

Related Post