New Music Friday – Ep.11 – 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 give them all a listen and share with your friends.
Melody Federer – “Standing”
-Meldoy Federer’s country pop sound is infectious. Her sound is crisp and clear. She’s one of the more talented vocalists I’ve heard all year. The composition of the song brings together both acoustic guitar elements of traditional country along with the strings reminiscent of the Nashville sound. Aficionados of bygone eras of country music will appreciate Federer’s countercultural style that upholds tradition in its own right.
Pearla – “Waking Up”
-This is a really exciting indie pop song. The lead vocal on this track is exceptionally strong. It reminds me of a theatrical or musical performance, but it does so with a style and grace that isn’t always easy to perform. There are intricate inflections in the melody that come across like no big deal. Think Olivia Newton John in Grease. Seriously give it a listen and you’ll hear what I mean. It’s romantic and emotive in all the right ways. Good stuff.
Happy Daggers – “Need Your Love”
-My note on Happy Daggers says “upbeat soul” and that’s pretty much spot on. If you were a fan of the King of Pop once upon a time, you’ll enjoy this band. It’s a different kind of soul music, sure, but it is really effective. One part dance track, one part heart-melting romantic tune, it all comes together for something that just drips with authenticity. Something about the tones in the track feels like a sweltering summer night in the streets and I love it.
Matt Rouch – “Bus to Chillicothe”
-Honest, it’s not just because we’re Ohio based that we really like this song. But it sure doesn’t hurt. The song is melodic and pretty gosh darn perfect folk songwriting. The comments about cruising past “sleepy little towns” is so indicative of a drive of Ohio it’s crazy. Even the “mountain road” comment is so true for southern Ohio. I love the instrumentation, which feels a bit like new folk and a really nice, easy feeling. It’s honestly one of my favorite songs of the year.
JONES – “Melt”
-This is some of the chillest folk soul music ever. It’s a snappy, crisp style of soul music. The intonation on the vocal is absolutely perfect. The quick, climbing guitar is well placed throughout the song. Oh and the lyrics are fire. “We got the heat… melt with me.” Ooh lala. It’s an intimate style song that is made for… well, you get the idea. It’s a nice mix of romance and sultriness.
Gina Royale – “Brain Waves”
-Sometimes all uke songs sound the same, so what makes one stand out compared with the others really comes down to the vocal. I know that might sound reductionist, but honestly that’s the difference. And Gina Royale is a world class vocalist. She could sing ANYTHING and sound great. The way her voice fills the space shared only with a small uke gives you a feeling that she’s just as talented as she wants to be. I’d love to hear her on some big time ballads from musicals or something like that, but this song is no slouch in its own right. Some of the lyrics are surprisingly complex. It’s not your average twee uke track, that’s for sure. Prepare to use your brain.
Dead Country Gentlemen – “Wake the Dead”
-This is a rock song for sure! From the clever, solid vocals to the rousing guitars, Dead Country Gentlemen are a rock music act to keep in the crosshairs. They can definitely bring some great songwriting and style. There’s a hard edge to this song, especially on the bridge, that makes me grit my teeth and really dig in. It’s a cool song reflecting on some complex ideas about dealing with your past. It’s definitely not a “chill” rock song like we so often feature.
Maria Kelly – “Black and Blue”
-I really hesitate to use the term “adorable” in serious music criticism, but seriously Maria Kelly’s vocals are adorable. Her vocal quality is so clear and precise that you can hear every word like it’s spoken truth right to you. But at the same time there’s a whimsy to this song that makes me feel grounded. It’s sort of like a mix of Vanessa Carlton and Ingrid Michaelson. I see absolutely no reason why Maria Kelly’s music should not be all over pop radio across the world. She is exceptional.
Inspired and the Sleep – “Sweet Company”
-In the continuum of “types of rock” Inspired and the Sleep are on the softer side, but they really pull it off with panache. It’s like they walk out on the stage in power outfits, ready to wow the crowd. They have an upper register soaring quality about their vocals, coupled with some really fun and light guitar work. When the vocal harmonies enter the fray, it feels like an updated version of what made the Beach Boys into superstars.
HOAX – “Beach House”
-This is a clever, sweet song. It’s about taking it easy with a lover, even if it’s probably not that great of an idea. I feel like this is the hazey anthem that will resonate with a lot of people making fateful mistakes this summer. But the song is just so stylish and chic. It gives me a vivid image of some early 20-something beautiful people partying away the summer, much to the chagrin of their elders, trying out some substances and behaviors they may later regret. But gosh, what a beautiful panorama of color and light for those glorious moments of bliss…