Kit Kazar – “Spell”
-This track has it all; there’s a quality lead vocal, an optimistic melody, and strings to give that classic 60s pop song vibe. The whole composition comes together with these candy-sweet lyrics about falling in love. The track feels positively timeless and we’re not even mad. The distortion on the guitar breaks shows that it’s not pure cotton candy, but the mixup is part of what we like about the track.
Linney – “The Hurt”
-You might be wondering why a song about pain is on a playlist that’s supposed to be optimistic. Well it’s about the feel of the song. Do you hear that redemptive vibe? It’s totally there. The moving beat and the crispness in the vocal communicate so much more than just pain. It’s about waiting patiently for that moment when everything starts to get better again. The 80s pop vibe is not overdone (like so many we hear), but it feels fresh and interesting.
Emma McGrath – “Silent Minds”
-Do you hear those hand claps? Do you hear the gang vocal on this track? This is a really fascinating track. The energy on it is absolutely electric, making me want to go for a run or max out in the weight room. The moving, dynamic style of this track makes it absolutely perfect for a radio hit. If I ran an indie rock station, I would put this one on rotation. Get it!!!
Emily James – “Nobody’s Baby”
-Okay you have to get through the introduction to the actual song. It’s fun to watch the video, but the reason the track is here is not for the 20s intro. It’s for the saucy pop style in the modern track. The lyric “I ain’t nobody’s baby, I ain’t nobody’s fool” is wonderful. It’s got this feminist edge to it without being over the top. It just says that she’s not going to put up with some player. And to that I say GOOD FOR HER. It’s such a great song in both composition and performance. I hope to catch her do this one live some day soon.
Echo Nebraska – “Follow Me”
-Here we go with another Lumineers pop folk band, right? WRONG! Echo Nebraska are so much more than that. Honestly the beginning of the song reminds me of the soundtrack to the game Planet Coaster. But then it morphs into this powerful modern folk band that has tons of production and energy. The lyrics are charged with romance, of course, but they are also about doing life together. It’s a wonderful optimistic anthem about how life is wild adventure but it’s best enjoyed when we work together and have fun!