Well here we are the LAST New Music Friday of 2017! Okay, honestly, ever. I know, there will be great sadness among the regular readers of the site. Why are you ending this wonderful contest? Well, for a few reasons. First, because it’s really difficult to keep up with the winners of a weekly contest. We still have probably 15 from the past year we still have to cover. And secondly because it was not clear that having open voting was really rewarding the best artist(s) in the batch. Don’t worry; 2018 will bring other reader/voter interaction but it will be a slightly different format. So stay tuned (as they say in the biz) for something to roll out next week!
Lavender – “Short on Time”
-Maybe you call it sultry or sweet, tender or tough, either way the vocal on this Lavender track is unlike anything you’ve heard before. I can’t come up with a good comparison, but it’s really a uniquely intimate style of vocal. You feel like you’ve heard her before… and you’re certain you want to hear more. It’s a nice chill rock vibe that makes the whole experience delightful and has you singing “come back to me” in unison.
Apollo LTD – “Heaven”
-Take some big synthesizers and add fantastic Maroon 5-style atmospheric vocals… mmhmm. It’s a delicious style. Once the verse starts you’ll have U2, Maroon 5, and 30 Seconds to Mars flashing in your ears. It’s an amazing kind of “big rock” music that has me smiling with every listen. The song almost begs to be played at your New Years Eve party. Apollo LTD are one of those bands that have you wondering, “why haven’t I heard them before?” Well now you have! Share widely.
Written Years – “Lost in You Now”
-All you 80s kids out there better throw this track in your 8-track and get to spinnin’. It’s a really fascinating blend of styles, with some repetitive synth work and creative layered vocals. The sound will have you thinking of some stranger things back when it was all in the family. Okay, but seriously, let’s get back to the future. This is an intriguing song that will have you enjoying your hoverboard with your side pony tail.
Loud Forest – “Out of My Head”
-This track (and this band) sort of defy categorization. Maybe they’re folk? Maybe they’re pop rock? Maybe we’ll just call them that nebulous term “indie,” which if you’re keeping track at home you know is not a genre. Hmm. Whatever you call it, the male-female duo style here is really endearing and the handclaps make it a lot of fun. The mental health sensibility of the song resonates really well in my own life, so I am a huge fan of this track. *claps along happily*
Lean – “Heatwave”
-This is an infectiously fun pop rock song. Seriously I haven’t heard a rock song I enjoyed like this since an old band called The Takeover UK. It’s that kind of pop core that drives the rock style, getting your toes tapping. If you stop and really listen to the lyrics, too, this is a heck of a song. It’s talking about how people are running from the cold, but one gets the sense that it’s about something more existentially frightening than mere atmospheric temperature. I love tracks with that juxtaposition of pop goodness mixed with deep meaning.
Mark Turner – “Addicted”
-I love that the credits for this track are Producer: Mark Turner, Cinematography: Mark Turner, Guitar: Mark Turner, Vocals: Mark Turner… etc. That said, this is just a really fun track from a clearly talented individual. I was stunned to see that he doesn’t have a massive YouTube following. If this track tickles your fancy, be sure to give him a share and follow. We’d love if he won this contest so we can just ask the simple question… HOW DO YOU DO IT? Great stuff. If you want to know about the song itself, I mean it’s about being addicted to love and it’s a really groovy blues rock track. For fans of BB King, Stevie Ray Vaughn, and Johnny Lang.
Lavid – “Infinity”
-Electro pop can be a real hit or miss genre, so when we cover it here you know it’s got to be good. There’s a fascinating style to this track that preserves the spirit of the original vocal, while using just enough effect and distortion in some places to make it a wholly new experience. The lyrics convey the sense of satisfaction being with the right person. The whole composition comes together well.
House of Spirituals – “Make that Money Long”
-Maybe I’m reading into the band name too much, but there is definitely a soulful or spiritual element to this song. It’s more true “soul” than most of the submissions we get in that genre. This electro pop track seems to defy easy categorization. The spirit of the thing – that is seeking new beginning – is fascinating and keeps me coming back for more listens. It’s a nice blend of something just to have in the background, but will also make you groove in your seat while you daydream about a better life.
Chris Haise – “Your Ugly Friends”
-IF you like funny lyrics and clever songwriting, give Chris Haise a spin. This song has a sort of Lumineers folk style to it, but it really captures a beautiful truth. It’s about getting along with someone, despite not really liking much about them, all because you’ve fallen in love. It’s funny and far too true for most people to admit. The Dylan-meets-Springsteen style of Haise’s vocal is interesting too. It’s just a fun experience to hear the track.
Munro the Band – “Drummer Boy”
-When I first saw this submission, I began writing a “we don’t accept holiday music” rejection, but against my better nature I clicked play and hear some glorious ear candy. If you’re a fan of the kind of early rock n’ roll that made bands like the Beatles and Monkees take off with fame, give this track a listen. It’s about a drummer boy (duh), but it has that storytelling element that is why we all love John and Paul’s songwriting. The “ahhhs” on the chorus will have you “ooh lalaing” with the band. This is a multigenerational good fun song.
bülow – “Lines”
-It’s hard to describe the chill that you feel listening to this song, but it’s definitely worth giving it a spin. I can’t be sure, but there’s a pretty decent chance it was written as a song to go with a certain recreational activity legal in only some of the United States. That said, it’s a super chill track. The poetic lines are really cool, laid over a simple and satisfying bass line. It’s definitely a song that captures our contemporary mood well.