My TikTok For You Page is a wonderful and confusing mix of music, frog cakes, @soupytime, and posts that call me out so well I swear that the algorithm is listening to my conversations. Somewhere among that mix, though, I came across a bluegrass cover of “Mr. Brightside.”
While the banjo isn’t an instrument I would have expected to enjoy in a cover of this song, it was upbeat and fun and inventive, and I was so pleased to find more bluegrass covers of popular songs on the creator’s page.
The artist in question? Theo Kandel, a singer-songwriter whose “About” page on Spotify labels him as a “post-happy pop singer-songwriter, but hey, that’s baseball, baby.”
Kandel’s bluegrass covers are great. They’re the perfect balance of fun and silly while also flexing real musical talent. However, his music beyond those short clips is the real reason why you should be including him in your playlist rotation.
I realized when I found Kandel’s video on my FYP that I already had a song by him saved in my music: “Everybody Else.” This pop tune is about feeling left behind and being the person who doesn’t want to go out when everyone else does. This is Kandel’s most popular song, so I definitely recommend it as a starting point for listening to his music.
Another personal favorite of mine is “Cheerios & Chocolate Milk,” a vibey tune about childhood nostalgia and wanting to turn back time. It would fit perfectly onto a playlist about homesickness, so if you are into making a countless amount of Spotify playlists, I definitely recommend keeping this song in your repertoire.
Of course, one of my favorite songs by Kandel has to be one that isn’t yet released. As he writes, on his TikTok he has been posting bits and pieces of his upcoming song “S.F.T.”
The song’s title stands for “Sucker For Trends,” and it describes the trends that Kandel buys into as he tries to feel better, like crystals, astrology, and chunky sweaters. Seeing as these three things felt like an intentional attack on my personality (I say jokingly), I am incredibly excited for this song to come out.