Canyon City – “3 Hours”
-We’ve covered Canyon City in the past, so our regular readers are familiar with this incredibly talented artist. In fact, not long ago we did an interview with him. This track “3 Hours” adds to that already-successful work of this talented artist. The optimism in the melody of this song ties everything together. It’s a beautiful and uplifting sound.
James Lloyd Smith – “Desert Ridge”
-The understated composition from James Lloyd Smith is fantastic. The acoustic work ties together a subtle theme of naturalism in the song. The vocal just dances across the string work with a gentle presence. This is what we mean when we tell people we like listening to folk singer songwriters.
Dustin Tebbutt – “Love is blind”
-It’s hard to explain the production decisions that make a song sound the way it does if you weren’t in the studio. But here’s what I hear with this song; the composition is pure and delightful, the effect on the vocal makes it cut through the air, and the atmospheric keys make me feel like I can climb the tallest mountain. Call it what you will, but this is an inspirational song that defies genre and demands repeated listens.
Jacob Cook – “It’ll be fine”
-Cook has a presence about his music that I find absolutely fascinating. It’s not rash or hard driving, but there’s a feeling of permanence to it. His reassuring lyrical message, “it’ll be fine you will always be mine” is gospel for anyone in a long term relationship. The simplicity of the string, drum, and vocal makes it a timeless track.
Zack Ely – “Bonfire”
-If dynamic pop singer songwriters are of interest to you, Zack Ely is a sure hit. Imagine that feeling you had the first time you heard artists like Ed Sheeran. That’s what you’ll get with Ely’s crooning voice and sense of melody. Writing quintessentially 21st century optimistic anthems, Ely’s message in “Bonfire” is about the hope of a promising potential relationship. It’s sweet and sure to win him a lot of fans.
JC Stewart – “Medicine” (Live acoustic)
-If you’ve been following the site for the past few months, you’ve heard JC Stewart. This track in particular blew me away and immediately shot up my “song of the year” list. This live acoustic version shows just how good Stewart is. Despite some backing vocals that are not completely “on,” Stewart is able to carry the performance with aplomb. When he hits the soaring chorus at 1:36 you can hear his limitless potential.
Danny Starr – “Double Red Line”
-Starr has some power in his songwriting style. This track has some unpredictable lyrics about drugs and violence that you might not expect from a song of this type. It’s a hard listen in some ways, but it helps to cast a vision of a better world. The guitar and vocal work are both on point, allowing the lyrics to seep deep into your soul.
Julia Johnson – “Collarbone”
-Imagine the charm of Maggie Rogers mixed with some of the bygone folk influences that were at her root. That’s what provides the dripping authenticity of Julia Johnson’s music. It’s like Joni Mitchell arrived in 2018. The surrealistic backing track provides a fascinating backdrop to the stunning gravitas of the vocal melodies here. This is one of the most unique songs we’ve heard all year and you have to hear it to believe it.
Padraig McLoughlin – “At Sea (Reach Out)”
-The melody line from McLoughlin on this song feels a bit like Bon Iver. But more than that, it’s the rich lyricism here that pulls us in. It’s about a journey toward truth and understanding. The nautical sensibility of the song ties together the various elements from the strings to the vocal and lyrics. The juxtaposition between to soft acoustic solo parts and the desperate vocal cries makes the song permeate a depth of soul we rarely hear.
Alexander Wolfe – “Your love is a wheel”
-I’m not going to lie I pretty much accept everything Wolfe sends us at this point. He has quickly become one of my favorite people making music – full stop. The fact that each track continues to push boundaries and develop out this unique style… simultaneously cinematic, rock, and gritty… well, that’s just icing on the cake. I’ve run out of people to compare his music to and even ways to describe it. Just allow yourself to focus on this song for the next few minutes and you will connect with a raw emotional music experience.