Sometimes we forget that rock music itself was a subversive genre when it emerged. Now it’s become passe. But let’s spin some of the newest stuff we’ve gotten here; everything from synthesizers to classic rock guitars, from beepbop machines to high screaming strings. Let’s goooooooooo!
Friends at the Falls – “Graffiti”
-There’s something inspiring about the open sound of Friends at the Falls. It’s not really arena rock, per se, but it’s really an engaging sound. The guitars are layered for a fun sound and then the vocals cut through that. It’s got a bit of U2 vibe sometimes, but definitely stands out as its own unique sound.
Mac Murray – “That Look”
-I dig how this track rides right on the edge of pure rock and maybe even a bit of folk rock. The vocal style feels familiar but I can’t quite place who he sounds like. No matter what you call it, though, Mac Murray has a groovy up tempo style. It’s sit back and chill rock, not get up and dance rock, even though it has a heavy tempo. We’re totally cool with it. I feel like fans of 90s alt rock will dig this.
Sean Cleland – “Dig”
-For fans of traditional rock music, Cleland might not totally fit. But for fans of Americana that has a heavy blues rock influence, this guy is a dream come true. You can almost picture hearing him on Beale Street or a similar iconic venue. I can smell the BBQ pork from here. Such a thoroughly American sound and an overally saucy attitude (see what I did there?). Anyways I dig it. (Ok, I’m done now)
Henry Chadwick – “I can stick around”
-If it’s any indication how I feel about this song, I immediately shared it on my personal social media. I want people to know about this fun loving rock sound. The easy comparison, I think, would be the vintage bands from the 60s. But honestly there’s a delightfully complex sound here. I am eager to sing along and follow Chadwick’s career as it grows.
Arts Fishing Club – “Icarus”
-The ETTG OGs will remember me covering this guy, “the walking guy” with an interview a few years ago. He’s a superbly talented songwriter and a totally likeable guy. I was pleasantly surprised to see he had a new project. The raucous folk rock party song of “Icarus” has deceptively complex lyrics for a get up and dance folk track. It’s right on the line, so we put it with the rock list to maybe get him some new fans. He’s a riot, so follow this new full band sound from Arts Fishing Club.
The Bandicoots – “Shady Lane”
-The lyrics to this track remind me of an early 20th century novel, pointing out the absurdities of how we live our modern lives. the cutting cynicism and intricate imagery here are indicative of the core truths of what makes rock “rock.” Let me tell you the easy going style of the music itself should not make you take this track lightly; the lyrics will hit you hard if you concentrate.
The Blancos – “We’re Tired” ft Joyner Lucas
-Lest you forget that rock is a kissing cousin with soul music, give this incredible track a spin. The attitude here is dripping with truth and conviction. It’s ultimately about murder and gun violence, “we’ve been climbing up this mountain way too long.” Amen brother. We’re happy to support this music, even if the message breaks our hearts.
The Habits – “Robber in a Dress”
-I dig the snappy pop style here. It’s a lot of fun to listen to the groove and get your dance on, but honestly the lyrics are amazing as well. If you’ve ever been on a dancefloor and thought, “whew” about a girl twirling by, you’ll totally get this song. I love that not only does it make me dance, it also reminds me of some of the best nights of my life. This is pure pop rock gold.
The Spinning Stillness – “Happy Times”
-I love this infectious rock sound from the Spinning Stillness. These guys can really rock. The lead vocal is outstanding, setting the band apart from other indie rock bands with a similar groove. There are some modulations here that remind me a bit of what Chicago was doing back in the 70s. It’s a cool, experimental, but still moving sound. I am intrigued to learn the story behind these cats.
Looking for Lucas – “Anne Marie”
-One of the central tenets of running a music blog is to be wary of a song named after a specific person. It has the tendency to be pretty unpredictable whether it will be really good (i.e. she was inspiring) or really bad (i.e. she broke his heart). In this case, there’s a Beatles-esque moving energy with great vocal harmonies. This, to me, is what rock music is all about. I don’t know this girl, but I feel like I understand why he feels this way. “Like TNT… like destiny.” Mmmhmm