Pale Houses – “The Ocean Bed”
This one has some major feels. The first single released from their new Songs of the Isolation EP, the group rushes into nostalgic shoe gaze territory that hits every heart longing imaginable. We got a little hint of War on Drugs during the track, but it covers a lot of musical territory in its brief three and a half minutes. Part dream pop, part dad rock, the band finds a beautiful blend of genre and style that will compel many listeners to take notice.
Søren – “Animals”
One of our favorite artists from the last few years, Justin Hulsey, is back with a new and unique project. It is a major risk for an artist who has found success in some capacity like Hulsey has, to go a completely fresh direction, but it seems to pay off on the new single. Drawing inspiration from the likes of Elbow and Doves, Søren creatively launches into grunge territory with guitar crunch and melancholy vocals. We appreciate art that breaks out and pushes boundaries like this, without worry or hesitation. More music will be on the way this year (Hulsey hinted at a 4 EP output), but if “Animals” is indicative of what to expect, then we fully support the new direction.
Launder – “Annie Blue (Ft. DIIV and Soko)
This is quintessential indie rock. A near perfect expression of the subdued energy and limited lyrics, the track is something you can easily find on a plethora of playlists by hipster tastemakers. Mixing chillwave with dream pop, the track explores the popular resurgence of shoe gaze as well. The end result is an intriguing piece of work that will be made available on a soon to be released EP. We can only hope for more dream inducing tracks like “Annie Blue”.
Timothy – “Fly”
The artist from Sweden is often compared to Bon Iver. It is fair in one sense. His minimalist style leaves empty space to fill in with your own nostalgia like the indie mainstay. However, there are also some more rock style vocals similar to an act like X Ambassadors. The artist has a refreshing blend of floating melodies with grounded lyrics. This is definitely “mood” music. It is perfect for late night drives or contemplative star-gazing.
Ashley Koett – “Lover”
We are looking forward to hearing Koett at SXSW in March. Her vocals are jazz infused emotion we cannot get enough of. She is definitely going to receive comparisons to Lana Del Rey and Angel Olsen, but trust us when we tell you she is an original talent. The lovelorn crooner plays guitar, writes, and even directed her first music video. Her talent is found all over her emotive shoe gaze infused track. It beautifully unfolds without limit or restraint. “If you’re laughing about something sad, that instantly makes it not as shitty,” explains the artist who prefers delving into the sadness of life lyrically. We appreciate her earnest melancholy approach.