If you’re like me, someone who is always on the hunt for new music, you end up listening to a lot of mediocre artists. But once in a while, you’ll encounter an artist that blows your socks off, and makes the hunt all worth it. You sit up and question yourself, how many bands out there are this fucking good and just waiting to be discovered? For me, this happened last week with the band Mike Mains & The Branches.
I was listening to Matt Carter’s podcast, Labeled: “The Stories, Rumors, & Legends of Tooth & Nail Records” when during one of the ad rolls, there was a song by Mike Mains being promoted – Breathing Underwater. I instantly fell in love with the hook of the song, looked it up on Youtube and listened to the song in full, many times.
Coincidentally, the next episode was a feature with the lead singer/writer of the band, so I listened to him talk about songs that inspired him, and how he went about his songwriting process. Towards the end, they shared a bit of the song called Swamp and holy shit, I was blown away. From the poignant opening line sung over the somber piano chords, the build up, to the way Mike (the vocalist) belted out “Everyday feels like waking up in a swamp”. I knew this band was special.
After the episode ended, I immediately listened to their latest album and grew enamored with each track. I kid you not when I say every song on When We Were In Love is fantastic. I continued checking out their discography (which stretches all the way back to 2010) and was not disappointed.
While, in my opinion, the band isn’t artistically ground breaking like Dance Gavin Dance (also – completely different genre), they remind me a lot of California Wives, Walk The Moon, and a hint of later Taking Back Sunday. If you’re looking for some chill, indie pop rock, you can’t go wrong with these guys.
Here are some of my favorite songs from the band.