If you’re a fan of exciting new music, you really should make a point to check out this list we curate every week. These are some amazing rising stars in the music world. Maybe you won’t love every track, but pick these from hundreds (literally) of demos, choosing only the best for our loyal readers. You are sure to find one you like.
Evan Bartels – “Tattoo”
-I am not even going to front; I immediately put this song on my song of the year list. I love everything about the style and substance of Bartels’ writing style. The vocal drips with authenticity and power. The songwriting style is easy to compare with Noah Gundersen and David Ramirez, but when you hear that “sometimes I wanna watch you burn” and the lick that follows it, you will hear that Bartels is the next big thing.
Mute Choir – “The Pedestrian”
-This is a grooving rock song. The vocal does a nice job of rolling along close to the main melody of the song. The guitars tend to steal the show, but the cutting vocals in the high range really give the song a full and rewarding sound. If you like infectious indie rock music, Mute Choir are a band to watch.
Parker Twomey – “Candles”
-It’s hard to listen to Parker Twomey and not think of Bob Dylan. The slide guitar might pull you a little more in a country direction, but honestly it just feels like a sincere troubadour singing his heart out. The vocal is earnest and the melody rewarding. When the vocal harmonies enter the track, you’ll feel that soft tingle on the back of your neck. Trust us.
Sara Phillips – “Rich and Famous”
-Whether you call it electro pop or some offshoot of R&B, this is a fascinating chill beat-driven song. The fame aspiration at the heart of the song feels both genuine and incredibly vapid. As the listener, you kind of want more for her. But you know that deep down you’ve wanted the same thing. It’s far more deeply human than what it feels at first blush.
Chappell Roan – “Bad for you”
-One of my favorite things about running this site with a co-editor is that I don’t approve all the songs. Sometimes Matt finds a good one and shares with me. His note for this one “sounds like a hit… words are a little dirty.” Color me interested! (This is funnier if you know us personally.) The song itself is fascinating, with a deep melody and some lilting vocals. But the lyrics are pretty intimate. Listen closely and enjoy.
Creamer – “Magic”
-All you rockers out there turn this one up. Seriously this is such a fun groove and jam. It sounds like it was directly infused with the spirit of 60s rock music, but with a nice modern sound update. The vocal is on point and the track feels like a roller coaster. It goes to some unpredictable but wonderfully harmonious places.
This is Water – “Ghost”
-My note on these guys says “kind of a U2 vibe” and you can’t make it through the first verse without hearing that. The cool thing about this song, too, is that it has a lyrical simplicity that gets more interesting the more you think about it. Playing on the notion of the supernatural and human love, it really has a nice philosophical dimension. The open, airy guitars allow the lyrics to seep in where some more raucous rock songs can’t.
Landlights – “Sleeping Dragon”
-This is the kind of folk music that gets me out of bed in the morning. I know that sounds like hyperbole, but really I legit love this kind of music. You’ll hear some Bon Iver at times, but also some freaking “Puff the Magic Dragon” at times, too. You know what I mean? It feels classic and new all at once. I really want to hear Landlights live. I am sure this isn’t the last time we’ll cover them here.
The Soft White Sixties – “Brick by Brick”
-Some might not like the political message of this song, but I doubt many of them are reading this site. LOLZ. No but seriously this is an amazing song about social progress and how some people might want to stem the tide of global development, but ultimately progress wins out. The optimism in the track channels a considerable amount of 60s raw energy and the effects here will have you dancing. Seriously play it at your hipster party.
Bradford Rae – “Good Things”
-This is a thoughtful, soulful track. The wisdom of “all good things must come to an end” is the heart of a message of basically breakup blues. The piano ballad helps provide a solid base for an earthy vocal. The whole composition comes together for an intriguing, gripping performance. There’s common folk wisdom here that will help you through the hard days.