It’s not really spring yet, but some warmer temps around here has us seeing the sunny side of life. We eagerly anticipate flowers and warm breezes. Here’s a playlist that celebrates the optimism of the coming season. They’re not all lyrically positive, but each one has a quality of optimism that brings us hope.
Grace Gillespie – “Restoration”
-This is a deep track in terms of both lyrics and tone. The vocal reaches some really interesting places. The lyrics will make you reflect on your heart and soul, the you that is you beyond the surface. The acoustic guitar part provides a solid basis for a rewarding track. It’s contemplative and interesting folk music.
Mamas Gun – “Strangers on a Street”
-We tell submitters all the time that we’re picky about the kind of soul music we cover. This is it. THIS is the kind of soul that we love. Listen to this guy sing his heart out. It’s an incredible song. If you didn’t know any better, the average listener would think this came out of Motown or Stax, vintage about 1968. It’s genuinely that good. I’ll be spinning this one all year.
Jae Jin – “Ain’t About Love”
-Easy comparisons might be folks like Michael Buble, but Jae Jin has a style that we find really enjoyable. This finger-snapping, fun-loving song is really good. It’s about a certain kind of undying love that is more than romance. It’s about soulful restoration and the brokeness deep down. But the poppy jazz style of the song will have you smiling through the whole thing.
Dillon Carmichael – “Made to Be a Country Boy”
-Carmichael has that “extra deep” level to his vocal that is all-too-rare in country music these days. He reminds me more of the Stapleton turn in country music far more than the typical pop country music style. But Carmichael’s lyrics should resonate with the deepest of country music’s fans with patriotism and hard work taking center stage. It’s tried and true American country music.
Rumour Mill – “Would You Follow”
-This indie pop song is an excellent example of the genre. The vocals are quality and when they blend together, they make magic. The uptempo style has this feel that is somehow serious and adventurous. This is not some type of twee pop; this is cinematic vocal folk and it packs a real punch. The central question of the lyrics is basically – are you willing to go wherever it takes? It’s a fascinating and rewarding song if you listen and really dig your heels into it.
Justin Nozuka – “Warm Under the Light”
-Years ago before I became a blogger, I fell for the creative songwriting and standout vocals of Justin Nozuka. At that point I struggled to find his music anywhere and always considered it a joy to hear him when I could. I was thrilled to receive a submission from him, hearing that his amazing voice is still as soulfully endearing as it always was. This song has a beautiful indie pop build, while still capturing his island-inspired rhythmic folk style. It’s a sonic experience that you’ll enjoy many times over.
Kristen – “Therapy”
-It’s hard to categorize Kristen’s music. You could call it pop rock at times, but there’s definitely a blues rock element to it as well. The best word for her style, though, is energetic. Kristen can sing with some raw, powerful energy. It absolutely defines the song and we love that.
Me Like Bees – “Long Gone”
-This is an infectiously good rock song. You might put them in a category with the White Stripes or similar bluesy rock, but no matter how you slice it these cats can play. The raw rock style, punctuated rhythm, and saucy guitar lyrics keep me coming back for more. The Floyd-esque choral bridge is absolutely out-of-this-world good. I have no idea why this song isn’t on every modern rock station right now. It’s phenomenal.