1. The Calamity – “Pagans”
I love thoughtful lyrics. (I mean, most people do… or should, anyway.) But what I love even more than thoughtful lyrics are words that are also clever and metaphorical, yet still fun. The Calamity has done a wonderful job with this in “Pagans.” “Pagans are walking through the streets in the evening. They are taking the bull to the sacrifice.” Well, sure… on paper, the words may seem bleak, but the light-hearted guitar strums and jovial bongo drums demonstrate something not rooted in violence, but rather in the vein of revolution. The revelry behind it all only made stronger with a building over-arching crescendo and the addition of some wonderful piano overtures. Yes, the song may be a think piece about people being followers, blindly following the leaders to the slaughter, but it’s also strangely hopeful and redeeming! It’s rare to find a simple rock tune that can take you on such a strange and beautiful ride.
2. FREAKABOUT – “Wolf Woman”
It’s been a while since I clicked on a song and instantly had a gut reaction to it. I was IN IT from the instant FREAKABOUT’s “Wolf Woman” started. Holy moly does this song have it all; vivaciously bona fide lead vocals, wonderful musicality… especially from the drummer and that high-hat/snare groove that is just so in the pocket on the verses. Then, after a rock chorus to save them all, that bridge with a musical interlude/guitar solo makes you just want to close your eyes, ball your fists, and make your best “this song is so good” stanky-face. (Don’t act like you don’t know what I’m talking about. You all have a music-so-good-stanky-face, too. Don’t @ me, bro.) This is a band to watch. I sure am…(AKA, come to Ohio.)
3. Sunset Sons – “Running Man”
His voice. That’s all.
Just kidding… I have to review more.
His voice is smooth, sultry, perfect. The end.
Alright, alright. Now that we know where I stand with that, let’s talk about the rest of the song. It’s catchy, crisp fun. You can hear their easy-going surfer lifestyle in their sound but I don’t want to discount the deep, uplifting lyrics and intricate instrumentation. It’s an enlightening and animated in all the best ways.
4. Ocean Potion – “In The Grass”
A nostalgic piece about childhood and memories perfect for summer, “In The Grass” makes me feel all the feels about life, now and then. Vocally, it’s warm, airy, and comfortable. Musically, it has an electro-pop sound with a hint of cheer, but still strangely melancholic. I don’t know how that’s possible, but that’s how I’m feeling and I’m running with it. I want to play with my friends in the grass, listening to this song. I want to picnic with the people I love, listening to this song. I want to camp out at a music festival, listening to this band (and song). It’s such a lovely morsel of musical goodness.
5. Cathedrals – “Behave”
Yummy vocals. Upbeat, fun electro beats. Sexy lyrics. Yes, please! What we have here is a great tune for when you’re having a good time. It’s a well-thought-out and executed pop song with rock roots. My favorite part is the vocals on the chorus. I love octave singing. No harmony, just two simultaneous vocals in two different octaves. It always adds a unique depth, yet it’s such a simple concept. However, with that being said, I don’t want to take away from the harmonies throughout the rest of the song that are too, super fantastic. It’s well mastered, dramatic, and addicting. I really can’t ask for anything more!