If you’ve been following this series for a while, you realize that each week there are some pretty incredible artists. You might not love them all, but you can find a few to love in every collection. After you vote this week, consider sharing this post with a few of your friends so you can discuss which of these upcoming artists you love.
Jimmy Gaughan – “Fear”
-This might seem like a sad place to start, but it really is a powerful introspective track. It will make you think about how you define yourself in some really important ways. The backing track doesn’t even feel like it’s there, but gives the acoustic track considerable depth.
Nick Ralg – “Til the Bitter End”
-Here’s an acoustic singer songwriter who knows how to pour his heart onto the track. The accompaniment is delightful, but it’s the lead vocal and softly expressed acoustic guitar that win the day. The phrasing is really interesting, unfolding a careful classic folk sound that is rewarding on repeated listens.
N()VA – “Find You”
-This pop synth ballad is satisfying. It feels like it will take off at any moment into a typical electro pop jam, but it just stays in this pocket of comfortable tension. It’s a beautiful track with lyrics that are more complex than it might feel at first blush. It’s worth a few spins for sure.
Austin Armstrong – “Turn You Out”
-This is a clever soul song that will have you moving in no time. It’s about… well… let’s go with “dating.” In any event, the track is full of sensuality and passion. It’s got that classic soul smash to it with some really nice modern synth and electro elements. It’s the kind of thing that Mac Ayres is spearheading right now and Austin Armstrong certainly deserves to be in that conversation.
Hillside Spirit Revival – “Soul Revival”
-I didn’t live through the Second Great Awakening, but I’d like to think it was something like this. People singing in harmony, full of the Spirit and just working as one. It’s a beautiful recording that fans of NeedToBreathe will feel like they’ve heard before. It’s one of my favorite songs of the year, frankly.
Brandin Reed – “If the Road Gets Hard”
-Brandin Reed is an exceptionally talented artist. His style is cool and satisfying. The song feels a bit like Jason Mraz and a little like Ray Lamontagne. Pretty decent company. But Reed’s artistry is all his own and shows the heart of a true songwriter. The guitar work is worth the price of admission; the vocal will send you over the edge.
Shlomo Franklin – “January Eyes”
-This is an incredible folk song. It harkens to an old school style that is more Townes van Zandt than most anything we hear in music today. The plaintive lyrics are, in a word, adorable. The way the melody rolls in deceptively complex chord progressions makes it an enjoyable track. It’s infinitely listenable.
Synesthete – “Weekender”
-This is a dynamic electro track that will get you moving for sure. The track just rises and rises, but there’s not really a fall for it. As a novice in the electro style, I’m not sure I know the right word for the style, but I know that it’s super easy to listen to. The sound really helps you vibe out, with a bit of a video game adventure to it.
Antonio Lulic – “False Positives”
-This is an incredible, breathtaking acoustic track. The guitar part is really relaxing. The Frank Turner-style vocal lays over a delightful overall track. The lyrics, unsurprisingly, will pull you right out of your seat. As the rock part picks up, the track really moves into a more progressive space.
Up Down Go Machine – “Gambler”
-This song is the epitome of dynamic. From the energetic handclaps, to the dark gang vocal, and the soaring lead vocal, the whole sound is deeply theatrical and pleasing. The story is fascinating about the risks that we take in life, especially in love. That said, the whole track is something we can all appreciate.