Jailbox – “A Fork Inside”
These guys from Maplewood, Missouri craft Washed Out style jams that are delicate and affecting. This personal track is deep in its exploration and impressive in its production. It comes to an impressive build as the vocals repeat a chilling refrain. This is their first release of the year and hopefully shows big things to come from the artists. This is dream pop done right.
Exit – “Familiar Ground”
We get the weariness in the pop punk scene. Yet, you have to admit that when it is done well, like the well-crafted tunes of Exit, it is a blast to listen to. The Connecticut alt-rockers released a pretty stellar EP this year entitled Best Foot Forward and yes, it is a huge step forward for the engaging quartet. If you dig acts like All Time Low and even All-American Rejects, then do not delay in giving Exit a much-deserved spin. It is a modern blast of nostalgic goodness that will bring a much-needed hope back to your weary and cynical soul.
Jump the Shark – “Sooner Said”
Okay, so first off let us say how much we dig this name. The four-piece psych rockers have a flare for all things good and refreshing. Frontwoman Natasha Jones plays double duty by singing and drumming, while guitarists Jon Murphy and Theo Williams play riffs that range from alt-rock to psychedelia to shoe gaze, while balancing an impressive bass by Matt Gregory. Accompanied by the often-poppy melodies of Jones, the act shares a sound with Sonic Youth and The Cranberries. This track has been featured on a BRIT Awards compilation album and with one listen, you will hear why.
Perfect Families – “Reminders”
Seattle duo and brothers Joel and Micah Smith create dream pop that celebrates the DIY work ethic of the scene the espouse. “Reminders” is a part of their recently dropped EP, Gradients, which was recorded and produced by the brothers in the spring. The guitar is engaging and complements the ethereal vibe the band creates. Think Toro Y Moi meets Wild Nothing. They do not fall into the trap of many young artists who try to layer their sound until it is cramped. Perfect Families simply let the sound roll out into a beautifully captivating landscape in which the listener will not want to exit.
VHS Collection – “Fire”
With over 20 million streams and appearances at Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits, it is hard to make the case that this NYC act is undiscovered. Yet, many of you have slept on these guys; it’s okay, we are here for you. Their sound is accessible to listeners with discriminate tastes. Mixing Daft Punk with The Bravery, if they played in the ‘80’s, VHS Collection will only become more popular. Their two EP’s are explorations in pop and synth rock and will give fans a great catalog to look back on when their debut full length is released in the fall.