Well, this month, I have one band on repeat and it is – wait for it – Blue October (pun intended!).

In their music, you can find everything your heart could desire – from shimmering melodies and artistic album covers to heart-string pulling lyrics. My all-time favorites are Hate Me and Say It if you are in for something poignant and passionate. But, today, I am all about light-hearted and cheery vibes, so I am toning down the dark and listening to Oh My My (I might be the only one who thinks that it’s not so depressive because their music video says otherwise: it’s waaaay too artsy and peculiar). But it’s still very simple, catchy, and mellow – a perfect tune to turn your day around and put a smile on your face. You might even start dancing around and singing into your hairbrush (if it’s still a thing, but you get the idea).


Sometimes it’s nice to take a fresh look at a good old retro. In October I couldn’t help listening to mind-blowing covers by indie band Chernikovskaya Hata. These guys rethink Russian and Soviet pop songs, turning joyful compositions into melancholic stories in a surprisingly organic way. Isn’t what a love song should give you for real – a nearly crying sound of the guitar, muffled voice of a frontman, and awareness of the fact you’re actually doomed? There’s no room for a happy vibe as even the band’s name comes from Chernikovka – an industrial polluted district of a Russian city. My acquaintance with their songs began with Nochnoe Randevu (Night Rendezvous), originally performed by Kris Kelmi. What I like about the new version is that it makes me forget this song was meant for a bus driver's radio, so I could finally pay attention to the lyrics and feel it in a new frame.


Ramleh, a British noise-rock band, accompanied me this month. I’ve known about them for a long time but truly fell in love with their music only now. I specifically related to the Grudge For Life (1990) album – I think it’s very honest and straightforward. If I have to pick one song, it would be the distorted and trippy There Must Be More Than This.


With so many releases and trusted oldies on repeat this month, it was a hard choice but I’ve settled on Extended Play, an album by Fyfe (Paul Dixon) and Iskra Strings (who, I was pleased to find out, have collaborated with, dear me, Ólafur Arnalds himself among others). Discovered thanks to Spotify, this one has a lot to offer, from simultaneously thoughtful and dynamic Nørrebro and Two One, Four – to what some would call “absolute bops” like Gold. Sometimes, I wonder how those pieces could even be on the same album, and yet, miraculously, they are, sparking their own world into existence as you listen to them.


Going by the title, The Phoenix Foundation’s Give Up Your Dreams doesn’t exactly sound like the cheeriest song out there. But listen closely to these underappreciated New Zealanders’ trippy take on career choices, dreams, and fate, and you might well change your mind. To me, it appears like a valuable reminder to contextualise your aspirations – and learn to appreciate the little things, good and bad. Give up your dreams… and find some better ones! Perhaps you’ll have a different take, and that’s alright. That’s the whole beauty of it!