As we continue to develop these New Music Friday playlists, it becomes increasingly difficult to decide who can make the cut. There’s a ton of great music out there. Maybe you’ve even sent us one of your tracks. We’re working on it, honestly. But what we’re hoping is that a culture forms around this contest. We’re hoping that people enjoy the process of listening to these ten unique tracks and making a pick; who is your favorite? Pick them, share them, and follow them. It’s rewarding! Trust us, we know.
Jenna Lotti – “My Oh My”
-This is a nice poppy piece to jump us off here. The guitar and organ work nicely together but it’s Lotti’s vocals that really sell it. Sometimes she reminds me a little of Haley Reinhart, which is pretty high praise. The bluesy quality of the organ really sets the track apart. I even enjoy the harmonies. As it all fits together with some counter cultural lyrics, one gets the feeling that it is a classic song just waiting for massive discovery.
Jordan Woods-Robinson – “Go”
-This track has a lot of powerful pop energy. It feels like it should be on the credits of a really trendy, fun streaming TV show. But honestly the lyrics and overall pop feel make it have a mass appeal. The lead vocal sounds both like a classic voice but also something fresh and new. It all comes together for a cool pop feel that will certainly have you singing along and trying to time that clap perfectly (which I haven’t yet perfected after several listens).
Octave Lissner – “Wildflower”
-I really like this song; it’s about the coolest single track I’ve found in weeks. I mean the glowing feel on the guitar is enough to get me to enjoy it, but then Lissner’s vocal comes and absolutely blows you away. It’s a little bit of blues mixed with some sort of heavenly folk goodness. This is the kind of music that keeps me going on rough days. The lyric about the summer breeze just further accentuates my accusation that this is the coolest song in a long time. There’s a sultriness to it that I find absolutely addictive.
Tom Mackell – “Home Roads”
-Tom Mackell reminds me of another artist with the same first name, Tom Petty. There’s a genuine Americana flavor to Tom Mackell’s songwriting. He even has the harmonica in the song just to make it feel like a quintessential American rock song. The lyrics talk about miracles saving souls and seeking after a lost love. It’s a rambling, wandering, traveling song that dances around cliches with gently delivered melody lines and some high quality production.
Ricky Vazquez – “More Heart Than Sleeve”
-A lot of singer songwriters are good writers and mediocre singers, but Vazquez is actually a phenomenal singer. There’s a certain quality to his vocal that sounds like has both soul and weight to it. The lyrical content of the song is inherently romantic, but the pop angles and perspectives of the music make it move into a different zone. In other words, it’s not just a guy with a guitar crooning about a partner. This is a deceptively complicated track that expresses heartfelt desire with intricate pop songwriting.
Dad Legs – “Trash Island”
-This track has a punk flavor and some really intriguing guitar licks. The vocals sound like something from Weezer back in the day. The song might not be the typical harmonic style that we feature around here, but the song has an aggressive side that smacks of sarcasm and the right kind of anger.
The Visions – “White Dress”
-If you like Mutemath and an energetic electronic-influenced pop music, The Visions will appeal to you. This track “White Dress” is full of all sorts of vintage energy. The romantic sentiment at the heart of the track propels a driving rhythm reminiscent of the 80s.
Woodes – “Rise”
-The vocal on this Woodes track is really at the next level. There’s such an intimate energy to it that you’ll find yourself going a bit weak in the knees. Carrying on an emerging tradition like Maggie Rogers, Woodes presents an electro-infused folk pop sound that is captivating. The message is hidden deeply in some complicated lyrics, but the cathartic style communicates plenty.
Paul Cook and the Chronicles – “Keep Trying”
-I really like the energy of this track. The comparison isn’t really easy because these guys can carry their style in different directions, but honestly they remind me a bit of one of my favorites, Relient K. There’s a fun and free style with the hand claps and beat, but despite the sweet harmonies the message of the track is actually pretty serious. It’s about reconciling in the wake of a rough relationship. But those harmonies win the day for me!
King Neptune – “Thrown in Reverse”
-If you’re a fan of hand claps and gang vocals over a killer rock song, this track is for you. Also, the lyric, “she’s got me thrown in reverse” is this perfect blues sentiment wrapped up in a pop rock vibe. It’s such a snazzy, unexpected style that I really find myself enjoying it. What might come across to some as just another indie rock track is, to me, one of the quintessential jams of the genre I’ve heard so far this year.