Our favorite part about hosting these contests is seeing how different artists do. It’s a completely level playing field. Everyone finds out at the same time. Some weeks, bands you expect to win in a landslide register few votes. But all of that aside, we really hope whoever you are however you got here that you’ll vote for the track you like the most and come back when the coverage goes up. 🙂
Fetherstone – “Don’t Look Back”
-This is a powerful set of electro harmonies that are really captivating. The song doesn’t really have a clear era to it. In fact, it might actually be perfectly fit for the 21st century. There are some ethereal sounds here that are sure to help some people zen out pretty nice.
Andrea von Kampen – “Let Me Down Easy”
-This is, hands down, one of the best songs I’ve heard so far this year. It will probably show up on my song of the year list. So yeah, what more can I say? Von Kampen’s vocal is exceptional, truly. She is a fiercely important songwriter, crafting songs with depth and sincerity. I get chills EVERY time I listen to this song (which is a lot). I can’t wait to hear her live. Fingers crossed for an interview, too.
Orange O’Clock – “Get it on”
-If you like Arctic Monkeys style rock music, you need to give this track a listen. There’s a real hedonistic sentiment here. But it works, honestly. The crassness of the rock lifestyle drips through some pretty killer guitars and seething, devil-may-care vocals.
Brian Dunne – “Don’t Give up on me”
-I enjoy the acoustic guitar style here. The song overall is a delight. I couldn’t believe we hadn’t covered Dunne before because his sound is so familiar. He’s definitely the kind of pop singer songwriter we often cover. The message of the song is about perseverance and loyalty, something we all can appreciate.
Shallows – “Matter”
-Okay from the opening of this song I know you’re going to see flashes of Phil Collins standing at a keyboard with some epic 80s hair. It’s not going to happen. I promise. Just white knuckle past that nostaglia and wait for the crisp female vocal to come in… you’ll be snapped back to the present where you feel a genuine electro pop track. But go ahead and bust out those 80s dance moves. Those are still totally cool.
Jackson Griffith – “The Gardener”
-If you miss the old style of narrative folk music, you’ll love this track. Griffith’s style is much like Vance Joy. His lyrics are easy to follow and the ethos of the music is really enjoyable. It’s comforting and timeless in all the best ways.
Kid Astray – “Fall to my knees”
-If you like big electro pop like MGMT, you have to give this Kid Astray track a listen. There’s so much swagger on this song it’s impossible not to dance. I am not sure the target demographic on this track, but based on the gang vocal they’re a bit younger than me. That said, it’s still really good beat and an interesting tune.
Maggie McClure – “Coming Home”
-Matt’s note on this track said it sounded like a song that would be on a commercial. I laughed, clicked play, and laughed harder. IT TOTALLY DOES! I feel like I should be looking at iphone 430 (or whatever they’re up to now). SO trendy. It’s also (not to insult poor Maggie) a wonderfully sweet pop song. I love the sentiment, too. As someone who “left home” many years ago, I appreciate the nostalgic sentiment of returning to your roots.
Alzara and Brother Spellbinder – “Speed of Sound”
-This is an exceptional folk song with a lead vocal that puts me in mind of Joy Williams. The act call themselves “gypsy folk” and I think that’s pretty much spot on. The feeling of the song is both sultry and old-fashioned. It feels like the kind of place I want to be, contemplating literature in smoke-filled rooms or something. I love the mystery of it all.
Grace Freeman – “Oliver”
-There’s a romantic, sweet reality to this track by Grace Freeman. I love the notion of someone’s features being a blur. Yes, absolutely. This happens all the time looking back on something that was beautiful… or maybe you just wished that it was. I really admire what Freeman’s doing with this song. The lyrics wander and pine, sometimes fitting and sometimes not, but that’s the point I think. This is a creatively shapen song, crafted and complete with imperfect realities and broken memories.