Heather Jayne – “If the Stars Align”
-The dynamic recording of this song sets it apart. Jayne’s vocal is impeccable, adding to the overall commercial appeal of the song. There’s a powerful electro pop element to the song, but it also feels like softer alt rock piece in places as well. The two styles connecting in the same track is inspiring and moving.
Erik Jonasson – “Without Direction”
-This understated pop song has a lot going for it. The string work helps to set the mood, while the vocal provides a unique texture. Reminding me sometimes of a band like Coldplay, Jonasson’s artistry just feels pure. You get the sense that this is an authentic expression of his soul. It’s beautifully done.
Katie Buchanan – “Kansas”
-If you’re a fan of engaging singer songwriters, Katie Buchanan’s new song “Kansas” will be right up your alley. The driving rock rhythm keeps it moving while the guitars add some really sweet textures. The lyrical content about keeping moving but always having to catch your breath really resonates. Buchanan’s believable, sincere vocal vibe is what landed this song on our song of the year candidate list.
Night Traveler – “1984”
-One of our favorite running jokes around ETTG is the number of artists that claim to sound like Ryan Adams. Here is one that actually lives up to that billing. In fact, Night Traveler has a wonderfully refreshing spin for vintage 80s pop music. There’s a crispness to this recording that gets us moving. It feels like 30 years ago and yesterday, all in one. Put on a record tonight…
The Honest Heart Collective – “Separate Ways”
-This driving rock anthem is a really enjoyable alt rock listen. You might be wondering why it’s on a singer songwriter list… well, largely because they compared it to Frank Turner and we think that’s spot on. The song compares favorably with a number of rock singer songwriters. Even though the sound is a full band, we still want it included in this company. The lyrics are deceptively complex, focusing on the contingencies of how life takes us in so many different directions.