Callum Pitt – “Away From the Rousing Parades”
If the sound of Pitt is any indication of the current state of folk/Americana, I would say the genre is in no fear of slipping past the public consciousness any time soon. The way the songwriter crafts lyrics makes it sound easy and effortless, but we have had enough experience with pedestrian art to know how rare it is. The beauty of his sound is how it breaks genre stereotypes, while delivering some of the best lyrics of this year. It climaxes with a definite summer time foot tapper that will further cement his place in your heart.
Far Caspian – “Let’s Go Outside”
The Leeds act has major dream pop tendencies with indie cred that is sure to win friends and listeners. Explaining their sound is as fun as the hooks they create. Bright and energetic, the band crafts a hopeful Grizzly Bear style single that will resonate with many. “We recorded and mixed the track, along with the rest of the EP in our basement,” explains the band. “When we were doing ‘Let’s Go Outside’ there was a crazy snow storm going on, I think it was about 1 degree in that room. That’s probably why it’s a bit faster than the rest of the tracks.” The band describes their sound as “melanjolly”, which might be also our favorite description of the act.
Kylie Diehl – “SUPER HIGH / super low”
This new LA songstress has a compelling sound we dig. We don’t typically get “super high” (we had to) on pop sounds like hers, but there is simply something unique and refreshing that speaks to us. Her clever and sometimes funny lyrics give her credibility with us, and her catchy sound just seals our affection for her style. While her catalog is limited, we think as she matures and gets some musical tread on her, she will be a force to reckon with in the near future. Fun, energetic, and honest, we are smitten with this track.
The American Classic – “Losing Years”
Yes! This is what we love. A gentle nod to the rock of our youth, while still being able to punch the souls of the modern youth. THIS could be the best Vans Warped Tour band not to play Vans Warped Tour. They have a corner on the alt rock/pop punk market right now. The Maine act has everything you could ever want from a band. Energetic guitars, dynamic instrumentation, and passionate vocals. Done. Sign us up for whatever they are selling. We are ALL in! Their EP Blossom is further proof of the band’s palpable talent.
Moon Panda – “Rabbit”
First things first, we love this band name. Coming from a career path that has shown us the best and worst of band monikers, this one is a definite first category act. With “Rabbit”, the act shows a fun and catchy piece of modern shoe gaze which will have you dancing at your desk. The UK act is looking to make some major noise this year, and we are attentively waiting patiently for more dream pop goodness.
Niterunner – “Stay Tonight”
Few tracks grab our attention with the first vocal utterance like this one. “Stay Tonight” has the makings of a breakout single to us. Vocally, it is incredibly compelling, with two of the members trading duties. The sibling trio from Australia have built a dynamic indie pop sound here, complete with a nostalgia inducing guitar solo toward the climax to win over even the more cynical of listeners. It is a definite talent to be able to mix the sound of yesterday with today, but the trio does it with flare and purpose on this highly endearing single.
Native – “Slowly Fading”
I dare you to listen to this track and not fall in love. We had to pause and give it our earnest attention in order to truly appreciate. The layered sound of “Slowly Fading” is remarkable. With understated guitar, and rising backing vocals, the track is rich with carefully crafted layers of beauty and intention. “I don’t want you to go” pleads the Swiss artist who now resides in LA. His songwriting style is a fantastic blend of vulnerability and triumph. His Departure EP shows an artist at the top of his expression.