New Music Friday – Episode 15 – All Singer Songwriters! (Vote in the Poll to decide who wins a full review)
If you’ve been following (and voting in) these polls, you’ve heard some pretty remarkable music over the past few months. There are so many talented artists out there, we cannot possibly cover them all. This gives us a chance to let you all give a listen to some of the really exciting ones. Check out these artists, vote in the poll, and give it a share with your friends who love music. Look at it this way – it’s an election where your vote counts and you won’t lose any friends over your choice!
Koan’s Pass – “Adam and Eve”
-This track is everything I love about listening to singer songwriters wrapped up in a song. There’s a solid lead vocal, an easy and enjoyable melody, all coming together for a song that keeps you coming back to listen one more time. The lyrics feel both familiar and challenging. There’s a feeling of nostalgia and newness both at the same time. It’s romance teetering on cliche, but staying on the good side.
Dan Owen – “Made to Love You”
-This piano-driven song is breathtaking. Owen’s vocal has just the right amount of rasp to drawn the listener into the emotion, without seeming overly performative. The lyrical concept is powerful in its own right, drawing on the sense of creation and romance. The backing vocals provide a layer of texture to the song to make it feel like a chorus song. It’s a really good romantic piano ballad.
Dust to Dust – “Alone”
-Along with the morbid band name, “Alone” carries a melancholy feeling and sound. I am so drawn to this texture and form, from the understated vocal to the soft acoustic guitar picking. There are even some backing chords that fill in the piece nicely. But the “now that I’m alone” sentiment of the song resonates so deeply for me that it conjures real, raw emotions for me. I’m sure I’m not the only one.
Autrey – “Big City Love”
-At first listen, you’ll hear a bit of Ruth B in this performance. But the more you listen, you’ll hear that special “it” factor that many in the industry look for. It’s in the phrasing, the sonic construction, and definitely in the delivery of the lyrics. If you wonder how hits happen, it’s someone like Autrey making an honest reflection with something that millions can relate to in deep, profound ways. “Stay awake big city love… I’m leaving the light on for you.” Yep, adventure and wanderlust… well played.
Chris Wills – “Since You Said Goodbye”
-Imagine the lyrical ethos of Bob Dylan combined with more of a pop rock sensibility like Bruce Springsteen. That works together nicely on this track from Chris Wills. Sometimes the production fades, but the song stands on its own merits. The lyrics speak of a former lover and it soars nicely on the chorus with a meaningful pondering that we’ve all had about a past love.
Corey Harper – “Keeping Me Alive”
-I don’t know much about Corey Harper’s fan base, but I bet there are lot of young ladies who like him. There’s a sort of sultry quality to his voice. It’s like the best of pop country and light rock all rolled into one. He doesn’t exactly sound like a “bad boy” but he definitely can deliver a heartfelt lyric. The melody of the tune is enjoyable, but the confessional nature of the lyrics are really captivating. This is what would be on country radio if I had the keys to that kingdom.
Morgan Wilson – “Fine”
-Wilson’s vocal quality is velvet perfection. It feels soft, smooth, and comfortable. The thoughtful lyrics sound like they’re pulled right from the diary of an intellectual empath. The puzzling but accurate lyric “I’m not fine I’m fine” is far too relatable for so many of us. The perseverance and strength of the protagonist of the song is inspiring while the song keeps a contemplative, engaging style.
Preston Perry – “Stargazer”
-This is really a songwriter’s song, with a nice solid driving acoustic guitar part and well-delivered lead melody line. The vocal sounds a bit like the Tallest Man on Earth, which I love. The phrasing is nicely done. “Love wasn’t perfect, it was love all the same.” There’s definitely a romantic thread throughout the song that is reflected both in the optimism of the music as well as the complexity of the lyrics. It’s just an excellent song for the genre.
George Banda – “Just for Love”
-This song gives me chills. Fans of George Ogilvie or Joshua Hyslop really need to give George Banda a shot. His vocal is a bit raspy, which works perfectly when layered over the electric guitar’s glowing tones. The lyric writing style and even some of the delivery remind me a bit of Marcus Mumford without the jangly banjo coming into the song. It’s soundly in the “singer songwriter” world, but has shades of a bygone emo era. Sometimes the vocal gets a bit loose, but the softer near-spoken lines are too juicy to ignore.
Adam Torres – “Morning Rain”
-Every once in a while I find a song that is so wonderful I really have a hard time giving it words. This track “Morning Rain” is one of those. I hope it also helps that I happen to love working in my office on rainy mornings. There’s just something so beautiful about a nice steady rain for setting a relaxing, contemplative mood. The acoustic guitar on this track does the same sort of thing. Of course the lyrics address a bygone relationship, but the whole ethos melts together not unlike rain pouring into the runoff and into the river.