The past few months have been nothing short of devastating for music lovers around the globe. From the attacks at the Bataclan back in November to losing legends like Bowie, Lemmy, Glen Frey, and Maurice White, it seems that we’re in a strange section of time where this art form is suffering from loss after loss at an alarming rate.

As you’re already aware, we hadn’t posted anything about any of those losses, as it’s not something we typically do. We don’t write about industry news, choosing to embrace new music that intrigues and excites us. Our hope is simple – we want to continue that life-long infatuation with music, and we do so through sharing our discoveries with you.

Today, we’re stepping outside our norm. Or, rather, I am.

Last August, I was introduced to a sensational new act and their debut single, “Swings and Waterslides.” It came to us from a PR firm that always brings sensational new artists our way, so it already had an alluring glow about it.

’Viola Beach – Swings & Waterslides’
I know The Music Ninja are big fans of Lisbon and this band are very similar; it’s the debut single from Warrington indie pop four-piece Viola Beach called ‘Swings and Waterslides’. – Supercat PR 8/18

The song instantly latched on with its playful guitar work, catchy hooks, and summery, feel-good vibes. I immediately accepted the offer, becoming the online premiere partner for the debut song from Viola Beach. From there, the song played over and over again at TMN HQ, so much so that I listed it as one of our favorite songs from 2015. Keep in mind, I could only choose 15 songs, so you can start to get the idea of how influenced I was by just a single track from this budding young band.

We kept in touch with the band’s publicist and manager closely, covering both of their next songs, “Cherry Vitmo” and “Boys That Sing.” With each release, we could feel the band picking up momentum, showcasing a next-level amount of talent that was set to cross over into the US by way of SXSW.

’Viola Beach – Cherry Vimto’
’Viola Beach – Boys That Sing’

This last weekend, things took a tragic, heart-wrenching, and deeply saddening turn. Members Kris Leonard, River Reeves, Tomas Lowe and Jack Dakin and manager Craig Tarry passed away after a car accident in Sweden. The news came to us on a comment on our premiere, as fans scoured the internet, leaving their condolences wherever they could.

To say the least, we all were deeply affected by this. As bloggers, we feel a direct connection with the artists we write about, especially when they’re just emerging onto the scene. In a way, it feels like you’re a part of their team, quietly cheering them on from behind a glowing laptop screen. While we had never met in person, nor had spoken on the phone, there’s still this lingering feeling. In all honesty, it’s one of the reasons why we all keep doing this. It’s our tie to the bands we love and the industry we cherish.

All five of these young men had a tremendous career in front of them, boasting both the swagger and polish of a well-seasoned act. You only need a few listens through their handful of releases to know that their gift was cut far too short, leaving the world with a sizeable hole in its music-loving heart.

We highly encourage you to dive in and celebrate their music in whatever medium you’d like, whether it be here, on Soundcloud, Spotify, or iTunes. If you’d like to take your support to the next level, you can purchase Swings & Waterslides and help move them up the popular chart. Each purchase brings them closer to a #1 spot, introducing more and more people to the music they worked so hard on, and were so passionate about.

Until we see you on the other side, thank you for your contributions Kris, River, Tomas, Jack and Craig. We’ll cherish these songs dearly, holding the joy they bring us close to our hearts each and every time we listen.

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