Krantz – “Run Away With Me”
-We love rich harmonies around here, so the first time we heard the vocal blending of Krantz we were pumped. The song feels like something you’ve heard before, but in the best way possible. Some of the structures feel like pop punk, other times like conventional rock. No matter what you call it, the chorus around 1:25 will get your head bobbing and make your energy peak.
Ellie Schmidly – “Where to Begin”
-At the start of this track you will not think it’s a rock song, but bear with Schmidly. I promise you when the bass hits you will feel 100% like you’re listening to an authentic rock song. Schmidly brings the sweetness of Mariah Carey and the power vox of Grace Potter. When the two meet in the genre blending track, you will feel the hair on the back of your neck stand right up. I’d love to hear her with Rachel Price of LSD fame.
Lost Colours – “Technicolor High”
-Lost Colours describe their sound as psychtronica and we’re not going to argue with that at all. It’s a really intense psych rock vibe to be sure. The guitars and drums do a good job of keeping everything moving, but it’s the fascinating electronic sounds in the background that give it a truly unique sound. The lead vocal is legit and the lyrics will get you to think about new beginnings and a hopefulness for the future.
Monks in the Wood – “No Love”
-The harmony on this song is really fascinating, feeling a bit hip hop in the mood of the syncopation. The lyrics really pop on this one, highlighting a fundamental difference of opinion. I mean it’s a break up song and has all that sass and attitude of a song with that message. The atmospheric guitar breaks really split up the song in a good way.
Sea Girls – “Eat Me Whole”
-Despite having the word girls in their name, the lead vocal of this song is definitely from a male voice. That said, the infectiously uptempo rock style here is really exciting. This is pretty much what’s in my head when I tell people I “like indie rock.” Fans of bands like the Takeover UK and other quintessential indie rock bands will love rocking out to this anthemic rock track.
The Collier – “I’m Older”
-One thing we use to evaluate artists is whether their name is cool and make sense. Sure it’s a bit like judging a book by its cover, but when your name is The Collier, we’re already interested in the music. And this bro does not disappoint one bit. The atmospheric rock style draws easy comparison with a band like Coldplay, but really it stands on its own. The vocal sounds like he’s singing for his life… and who knows, maybe he is. The urgency of this performance is really remarkable and worth a listen for sure.
The Gray Vines – “You Don’t Know”
-I don’t like to throw around comparisons with the Beatles just anywhere, but you’d be a fool not to hear it in these guys. The influence of the Fab 4 is obvious in both the harmonies and the chord structure of this song. It’s fascinating. The phrasing really makes me wonder if these gents somehow tapped into the ghost of John Lennon. John if you can hear us, we can imagine.
Mt Joy – “Mt Joy”
-Every once in a while we get a title track as a submission, but Mt Joy sent us the song that their entire BAND is named after. How cool is that? Anyways, we like it because the guitars are good and the vocal is outstanding. Do you know how hard it is to sing this kind of melody with such precision? It’s nearly impossible. The lead reminds me of the Head and the Heart and that’s pretty high praise in the indie rock folk world. This is definitely a band that we’re watching (or hearing?) with intense interest. I hope to catch them live one of these days.
Madus – “Play Pretend”
-Sometimes we call vocals too “theatrical” and this lead vocal is right on that line, but it errs on the side of amazing. There’s a precision to this track that we really enjoy. The meter of the song changes several times, but if you FEEL it as much as you hear it you’ll feel yourself moving with it. There’s a complex groove in the heart of the track. I’d love to move with a crowd to this one at a live show; it’s got an incredible energy to it.
Northern Faces – “Firecracker”
-Do you hear that resonator on the lead electric guitar? Oh my how tasty! Then the vocal has just the right amount of effect on it, making this snazzy vibe. It’s really a cool song by Northern Faces. I hadn’t heard of them before this submission, but the hook-laden rock style and deeply harmonic chorus have them on a shortlist for me in 2018. It’s yet another good groovin’ rock song from a fascinating emerging band.