New Music Friday – Episode 18 – Vote to Decide who wins a full album review!
This series has brought us some really talented musicians over the past several weeks. We’re excited to keep bringing more to you here. Please continue casting votes and sharing these lists to help these folks keep making music. If you feel so inclined, follow the link and buy their music!
Sunday at Noon – “Brain Damage”
-This track is an exciting brand of upbeat indie rock music. It’s a bit harder than what we usually cover, but it has just the right kind of jam style balanced with some really harmonic sections later in the song. The lyrics really seem to wrestle with the confusions of the rock n’ roll lifestyle. It feels like a fusion of different eras in rock history, staying true to the genre with some killer guitar riffs and quality lead vox.
Art Block – “Starlight”
-My favorite thing about Art Block is that he reminds me of singing songs at summer camp. There’s an intimacy to this track “Starlight” that literally reminds me of laying out in a field looking at the stars. The chromatic chord changes really do it for me. The intimacy in the vocal makes the song a lofi classic from the very beginning. The sense of soul searching and dreaminess takes me back in profound ways.
The Last Honest Fool – “No Tomorrow”
-This is not conventional indie rock; in fact some might even call elements of it indie pop. But the Last Honest Fool is absolutely the kind of band we like to cover around here. The song is contemplative and engaging, while also being pretty darn fun. It mashes together 80s synth sounds with groovy more contemporary rhythms. It’s a fun song that would fit right in with your chill rock playlist.
The New Royales – “Travellers”
-This song reminds me of a cross between Pink Floyd and a legit pop rock band. There are some positively glowing sections of the song, but then some really dark, morphing harmonies. The sounds range from handclappy folk music to synth-heavy pop. As it all blends together you really feel a sense of adventure. The tight harmonies on the melody lines are unexpectedly good for the genre. This is a treat, friends.
Duck Duck Ghost – “Small Town”
-This is a grooving indie pop song. The vocals are really chill, with a sort of mid 90s alt rock style to them. But the overall sound occasionally sounds like an early 2000s Matchbox20 style. In any event, the song keeps your head bobbing to the beat. The lyrical content is a bit of a challenge and really doesn’t seem like it was written for the casual outside observer. That said, it packs a punch and has a cool energy that matches the instrumentation nicely.
The Mud Howlers – “Alchemist Gold”
-All ya’ll “they don’t make music like they used to” folks really need to hear The Mud Howlers. These cats can play real rock music. From the structure of the song to the quality of the guitars, this is a quintessential rock song. Seriously this could have charted in the 60s alongside of the bands they sound like, especially the Stones. The unique, riddling lyrics are perfect for the sound. This is a song to be sipped, not chugged.
Pigeon John – “All Eyes on Me”
-Okay so generally speaking we don’t cover hip hop, but with a song this catchy we’ll just cross our fingers and call it indie pop. It’s a great song though. It makes me think of everything I like about, say, John Legend’s instrumentation and sense of melody combined with Ludacris’s ability to entertain and create a hook. When you splash these styles together, even the gratuitously selfish lyrics are not enough to scare me away. The irreverence of the “Good Sinner” album title was a nice nod, too.
Ross Nicol – “Vera”
-I like how Ross Nicol writes songs that interest me. That sounds like such an understatement, but in some ways he reminds me of Jeff Pianki in that I am just constantly intrigued by the sound and structure of the song. Nicol has obvious comparisons with folks like Elton John, but there’s so much going on in his music he also has a Ben Folds side. The song is one of those contemplative love songs that sometimes feels like it’s the type of music David Foster Wallace would have written. I don’t mean that in jest, either.
Crawford Mack – “Central Station”
-Crawford Mack writes and sings a sort of melodic pop music that, for some reason, I just picture being played at a supper club. It’s like part lounge singer, part legit rock band. When it all comes together, though, you find yourself sort of grinning along with the beat. I am not really sure what kind of music people who drink Michelob listen to, but I think it’s this. It’s a nice chill rock sound. My fav part, by far, is the chord progression on the bridge. It’s just an interesting song in more ways that is easy to explain.
Bear Hands – “Boss”
-If you look up “dynamics” in a musical dictionary, there’s a little arrow to play this song. Seriously the dynamic style here is pure indie pop music, complete with an almost whispered lead vocal that leads to a big percussive chorus. The language, even, comes across as fundamentally dynamic. There are unique sounds here, from the claps and shouts to chill electric guitars. It’s equal parts indie folk and punk. I’m certain that’s why I like it so much.
Desi Valentine – “Eyes on Me”
-Soul is not dead; if you had any doubt, listen to Desi Valentine absolutely shred this track. The vocals are elite, truly. The track has a killer beat and high level production. It’s seriously ready to roll out at your next dance party. Who is THIS? Your friends will wonder. But seriously Desi Valentine can sing and the song has a narcissistic quality to it, but it is inherently romantic. He wants his lover to notice him so they can be together. It’s cool.