New Music Friday – Ep.5 – Vote in the poll to decide who wins a full album review
Each of these artists has an incredible amount of talent, so let’s give them all a fair listen. After clicking on each one, please vote in the poll posted below. The winner (after one week), will receive a full album review here on EarToTheGround Music. Please share these outstanding artists with your friends, too. Everyone wins!
October’s Child – “Empty Hourglass”
-There really aren’t words to describe what this track does to me. I guess the closest phrase I could use is that it gives me the sensation of “melting.” But that said, the lead vocal is beyond soft; this is one of the most beautiful songs I’ve heard in recent memory, complete with just the right amount of minor key changes to keep it feeling mysterious. The lyrics are difficult to follow, but the melancholy softness is well worth your time.
Novocaine – “Paradox”
-To make atmospheric music work well, there really has to be something more than just synthesizers. In the case of Novocaine, not only is the underlying music good, but the vocals are absolutely outstanding. Rather than going the route of being overly theatrical (with an almost Phantom of the Opera vibe), the vocalists manage to keep it feeling raw and real. There are emotions captured here that feel deep and complex. This is contemplative and rewarding.
Lola Rhodes – “Blue Bird”
-From the beginning of the track you’ll hear piano and ukulele working in perfect harmony. When Rhodes’ vocal enters the piece, you’ll feel an immediate sense of joy. Although the theme of the song is a serious reflection on a relationship, the easy rhythm makes it feel good. To me, the song feels like spring time with the optimism of hearing birds outside. I appreciate the entire composition and supposed that a lot of our readers will enjoy the quality of the recording and performance.
Jonah Smith – “Make Me Change My Mind”
-Jonah Smith makes good old fashioned rock music. The attitude and swagger of this song is absolutely tangible. It feels like how it feels when you get out on the dancefloor with someone you’re into… you just feel it. This song is about that feeling of being in dialog with someone where there just aren’t a lot of words being said. The vocals and music are all strong, coming together for an inspiring composition. Ha! Who am I kidding – this isn’t a composition, it’s a challenge!
The TVC – “Now You Know”
-The groove on this song is absolutely outstanding. It’ll get your head bobbing and your feet moving. Imagine the funky flavor of the 70s brought up to a fresh take in the 21st century. The repetitive “keep it cool” lyric is perfect for this early summer season. But I’ll tell you the balance of the beat and the groovy instrumentation does it for me. The lead vocal is just saucy enough to keep it interesting without being too Tom Selleck ‘stache. This track could have definitely been on Magnum PI, though.
Charley Crockett – “I’m Workin”
-To give some indication of how I feel about Charley Crockett, I should say that I just shared it with three friends on my personal Facebook account. I feel like Charley just gets what music means to me. He has this ability to authentically communicate love and lust and life and adventure in words. There’s just enough of a drawl to his vocals to keep it unique, while the sincerity of his lyrics steal the show.
Quaker City Night Hawks – “Mockingbird”
-The guitars at the beginning of “Mockingbird” immediately remind me of the best of Led Zeppelin and Lynrd Skynrd. There’s just enough southern rock flavor to this recording that I am totally drawn in. The blues rock feel is dripping with raw, unadulterated attitude. The story of the song is puts me in mind of something like Skynrd’s “Ballad of Curtis Lowe.” This is the kind of track that’s made for people who want more of what they love about classic rock, but what a fresh take on it.
The Dead Ships – “First Mistakes”
-The high soaring vocals of The Dead Ships immediately set them apart from other rock acts, creating a flavor that is unique and draws the listener in. There’s a tangible sense of joy when the full vocals enter the track. The melodic style ends up feeling like something from the mid 60s rather than the modern world. That’s not a bad thing! The blending of the sounds feels like something we might have heard from Fleet Foxes – high praise indeed.
Ethan Burns – “Homeward”
-If you’re a fan of the old Stax or Motown recordings, Ethan Burns is keeping them alive. The rhythm and soul of this track are so restorative, so redemptive, and so blatantly powerful that I almost don’t know how to take him. This is an old fashioned “shout it cuz I love you so much” track in the tradition of greats like Sam Cooke. Give it a spin and Burns definitely will not disappoint.
Mark John – “Long Time Coming”
-The singer songwriter world is so crowded that it really takes something spectacular to stand out… and frankly, Mark John has that “it” factor in spades. He reminds me of an early John Mayer, or more recently Joey Verskotzi. There’s a ton of legitimate pop power in his voice and writing style, but beyond that it’s just an enjoyable listen. I can picture a lot of people throwing this on their listening device of choice for listening while working, running, or sharing with friends. It’s got that mass appeal and addictive pop feel.