We’re almost at the end of the year! Tis the season for end of year lists and lots of reflection. But it’s also a time to project for the next new year. Which of these artists would you like us to feature in 2018? Vote in the poll at the bottom and we’ll make it happen!
The King Heat Ensemble – “Ten Years”
-This song has a chill Americana vibe. The vocal is understated, but the track overall is like you’re floating down a river in a canoe or rolling down mainstreet on a bike. The raspy rawness of the lead vocal lends creedence to the song’s overall ethos. The lyrics are poetic and inspiring, which work perfectly with the overall rawness of the composition.
Salvatore Manalo – “Rain”
-We find neosoul music fairly often around here, but Manalo is showing that the soul of music is still vibrant. Whether you like the punctuated guitar work or the saucy vocal flow, the whole track is solid. It is a commonly known fact that you can’t listen to this song and sit still. Your heart will make your body move involuntarily; trust me, it’s science.
Michael Jablonka – “I Found You”
-Jablonka’s vocal quality is really interesting. He can sing low and gruff, but also has an enjoyable falsetto tone as well. This versatility comes through on “I Found You” throughout the track. The guitar lick at the heart of the song and the driving rhythm make for a full rock experience. If you make it through this track without playing air guitar at least once, I’d be surprised.
Johan Danno – “Sunrise”
-Sweet, soft singer songwriters are difficult to find. Even though many attempt this style, it really takes flawless execution in vocals and guitar work. There’s no band to hide behind for Johan Danno, whose every line is on point in this song. The lyrics are poetic and inspiring, while the acoustic line is particularly relaxing. Danno is an artist we’ll be watching and supporting closely in 2018.
VITO – “Get it and go”
-Sometimes genres can be a bit complicated and hard to follow, but whether you call this postpunk or just modern rock, it’s a sound that we love to support around here. The lead vocal balances nicely with the lyrical content. The “stop x5, get it and go” just begs to sing along. We can tell that VITO are a heck of a good time at live shows. Take a dash of early 90s alt rock and shoot in some late twenty-teens energy… you get VITO.
Strangers by Accident – “Portland”
-Strangers by Accident have a wonderful pop folk sound. The male-female duo vocals work nicely. The song begins with a relaxing vibe, but it eventually picks up and feels a bit more like a “clap along and sing” kind of folk. The whole vibe is very indicative of our moment in folk music. There are acoustic instruments at the heart of the sound, but also an electric guitar that provides part of the core composition. All told, it’s modern folk in a single track.
Geowulf – “Hideaway”
-Geowulf is one of those bands that you hear and think, “wait, I know them.” But do you, really? You just think you do because the sound is so crisp it feels familiar. If I ran a college radio station, I would play this song every hour. This is what high quality rock production sounds like. The lead vocal is perfection, the harmonies highlight the message, and the overall composition is infectiously easy to listen to. “It’s a yes from me” as they say.
Shorelines – “Lies”
-Punk is, by its nature, a divisive genre. So we don’t always love the punk that gets submitted to us, often because it’s so hard that we can’t even understand what’s going on in the song. But Shorelines have a pop punk sound that will remind you of a band like the All American Rejects. It’s really good stuff and, frankly, reminds me of my younger days. There are plenty of good punk tricks to give a nice full, rewarding sound here. I dig it, even if the lyrics are about an ugly situation.
Inukshuk – “Moving On”
-The official genre for this track is EDM/dance, even though that’s not a genre we often cover. That said, this song is FANTASTIC. There’s a ton of raw energy here and it gives me chills. I mean, it’s about keeping your head up and moving forward despite what life throws at you. It’s inspiring and makes me want to have a big dance party with all my friends and blow the roof off the place. AHHH so much good vibes!
Belle Mt – “Loving You”
-Clutch your hearts close, friends. It might start to break listening to this song. This is an exceptional love song just waiting to be shared with the people that you care about. Just calm your spirit and take in this chorus. It’s a love letter shared with the world. “Loving you takes me higher… the only thing that keeps the fire is loving you.” This is an exceptionally good song. Share it with your lover.