Jeff LeBlanc – “Way You Are”
This track is smooth. The artist knows how to craft a seductive slow jam that stays with you. Taking cues from John Mayer and Ed Sheeran, LeBlanc sings smoothly and slowly as he intentionally builds into the soulful jam. The industry has taken notice of him, earning opening spots for Tori Kelly, Gavin DeGraw, and Chris Stapleton. His sound has the rare ability to connect to many different genres and listeners. He is a definite talent.
Chase McBride – “The Color Blue”
McBride has a knack for crafting inventive and extremely catchy tracks. Starting with a War on Drugs style intro, he then works into a lower synth based beauty of a track. There is a certain sense of intentionality and deliberate sound to his art and it is extremely fun to listen to. Every sound carries a sense of intrigue and speaks of a master talent. “I wrote the initial parts for this song while house sitting in Joshua Tree,” explains McBride. “I had a pared-down recording studio taking over a guest bedroom and was indulging myself by experimenting with electric guitar tones and staring out onto an empty portion of the desert. I was listening to a lot of JJ Cale at the time and speaking with a friend of mine who was struggling with a new relationship, continuously getting ahead of himself and projecting too far into the future. It was a reminder for me to enjoy the present moment, and resist attaching myself to my own expectations. The chorus lyrics reflect that sentiment, ‘I don’t want to move too slow, if this is touch and go, I want to feel it too’. It’s about truly living in a moment–taking life, relationships, or whatever else is happening one step at a time.” His album Green Shade is out now.
Tia Gostelow – “Giants”
Gostelow is garnering major buzz from her Status Anxiety EP, and has gained comparisons to legendary acts like Bjork and Fleetwood Mac. This definitely grabbed our attention. There is a sweet simplicity within her sound that inspires as it grabs ahold of your soul. She is expected to release a full-length album soon as she readies appearances at SXSW, followed by a US tour. The Australian songstress is one to keep an ear out for. She has a beautiful mix of indie pop that will endear her to many regardless of preference.
Northern Heirs – “Quiet Company”
This is a compelling sound indeed. The Toronto act blends folk, rock, and dream pop to form an art all their own. Vocally, it reminds us of City & Colour while instrumentally, it can vary depending on what point of the track you are currently listening to. Lyrically they are surprisingly talented and relevant, mixing a variety of life and dreams. With one EP under their belts, the act are currently working on crafting more well received tracks for their next anticipated effort. We cannot wait to hear more from the guys.
Dane Joneshill – “Long Way Around”
Joneshill is a talented storyteller. This track grabs listeners with its engaging narrative immediately. Armed with a classic piano, slide guitar, and cello, he creates one hell of a track. Vocally, he might receive Train comparisons, yet his sound is anything but pop. He is classic Americana, through and through. There is something for everyone on this track as the talented artist croons. His influences are expansive and exciting. We love this track on so many levels and believe you will too. It’s catchy gospel tinged climax is something special too.
Matthew McNeal – “Rumorosa”
The first single off his new Good Luck album, “Rumorosa” is a brilliant blend of genre and sound. Bouncing between country, pop, and psych rock, McNeal is able to produce soul-stirring sounds with ease. Raised in a rural Texas town, and learning to play in his church band, the artist veered from this path to open a DIY punk venue as a teen that networked his style with many around him. He has a compelling background and a just as compelling sound that will land with many across the musical spectrum.
Olivia Kuper Harris – “Sensitivity”
There is much to like in the sultry sound of Harris. It is easy to hear her biggest influences of Erykah Badu, Joni Mitchell, and Fiona Apple. Like these acts, her ability to blend various genres is spot on. She could be blanketed as pop, but with waves of jazz and neo-soul throughout. The end result is something special. She has also worked with accomplished musicians who have been drawn to her creativity and passion. Her first EP, Lonestar Heart, is a further exploration and maturation of her style, which will only benefit from a continued commitment to her craft.