Night Flight – “God Knows”
-This UK-based indie rock band has a ton of charm to their style. The cool groove feels a bit like 90s alt rock at times, but then the positive vibes leak in with the backing vocals and it feels like something a bit more timeless. One thing’s for sure – the production quality on this track is outstanding. What it lacks in theological rigor, it makes up in existential questions.
Kodaline – “Shed a tear”
-I know, I know. Yes we’re an indie blog. But my goodness when you get a submission from a band like Kodaline you don’t pass it up. This track is full of the kind of luminescent brilliance that keeps us coming back to indie rock. The clapping gang vocal on the chorus is inspiring and powerful. This song is about dedication and purpose; we can dig it.
Austin Ward – “2 of us”
-You might be inclined to call this pop as much as rock, but Austin Ward deserves to be more widely heard so we’re tucking this track onto this list. What’s that? You think it’s soul? Okay, that works too. The crisp lyricism and emotional drive move the song in a complex direction. Anyone who has ever been foolishly in love with someone, especially a hot and passionate short term love, will relate to the pure fire of this track.
Gabrielle Marlena – “Mississippi”
-The blues don’t always have to be “raw” and “gritty.” The blues can be sweet and saucy, too. The blues are all about having a broken heart and this track captures that perfectly. The muddy waters of the Mississippi, the wandering of being in different cities, the lonesomeness of looking for a place to be… these themes just in chorus alone show a dynamic lyricist. Then listen to her voice. Gabrielle Marlena is an important artist and we’ll be watching her rise!
Delorentos – “Islands”
-The lyrics in the opening of this track are unexpectedly beautiful and thoughtful. One one hand they’re about love, but they’re also about how when we find a partner we often find that we’re asking the same kinds of questions about meaning and purpose. The unconventional harmonies and early 90s vintage-MTV vibe really set Delorentos apart in a crowded indie rock scene. The layered vocals on the chorus were the clincher for us on a truly special new rock act.