Brandon Jenner – “Face the World”
-Jenner’s acoustic style is delightful, soothing, and engaging. I found myself instantly pulled into this interesting song. It’s got a John Denver relaxation to it with some thoughtful, William Fitzsimmons style vocals. The combination is electric and much appreciated around here.
Phillip Whitehead – “Winter”
-Whitehead’s acoustic work is dynamic, moving, and chilling. The title “Winter” works perfectly for the season but also describes the song in and of itself. The repeated expression of being “so tired” is a sentiment that will connect with our readers. Life is a drain, especially when coping with unrequited love.
Madeleine Kelson – “Pieces”
-You’re not going to believe that this is a modern song. Honestly, Kelson’s style sounds like it could have come out in the mid 70s. It’s a beautifully retro country pop sound that will feel instantly familiar. The overall vibe of the track is nostalgic and the lyrics will help you connect with an old flame. It’s a great tune from a promising, rising voice.
Skinny Living – “I Still Love You”
-This song defies categorization in the most amazing way possible. Sometimes it reminds me of Amos Lee, other times a song from the Toy Story soundtrack. It’s a beautifully melodic tune, that’s for sure. What I like about it most, though, is that the vocal is soulful and expresses a love that doesn’t even need a genre. Call it pop if you must, but this is a heartfelt, poetic song and we adore it.
Empty Isles – “Quiet”
-Harmonies can be generated in a variety of a ways, so when I found these digitally altered harmonies I almost clicked away but they kept me listening. As the song unfolds, I got more and more interested. There’s something simply magical about the way this composition tickles your ears. It’s intimate without being about romance. It’s a song that challenges your human nature and pushes you into silence in a good way.
Glenn Echo – “Bedsheets”
-It’s okay you can say “tehee” about this one. It’s cutesy and fun. It’s a song by a lover about his lover. Listen responsibly, friends. No, but seriously it’s so sweet and more than a little bit sexy. If you’re having a little staycation this time of year, you would be alright putting this one on a “turn the lights down” playlist. It’s classic jazz and sultry without being crass, so we dig it quite a lot.
The Strumbellas – “Salvation”
-I absolutely, unabashedly love this song. How’s that for editorial detachment? No, but really this song is SO GOOD. The energy and positive vibes are oozing from it. The harmonies get you singing along in a minute, the lyrics will make you feel really good. It’s about knowing who you are and pushing through life’s struggles. I love it, genuinely.
Carter Gardner – “Shirley”
-The mood of this track is captivating. It’s got almost a music box sensibility at times with the high piano part, yet other times feels like a sincere blues track. The blend of styles is unconventional, but is held together by a genuine Americana lead vocal. The whole track stands out as something truly unique.
The Hails – “Stay”
-They say that rock music is changing, that everyone uses sythesizers and auto tune these days. Well you know what? Here’s an authentic rock band giving us a timeless rock sound. I really like the rawness on the chorus and the crispness in the verses. The combination is really powerful. If you’ve ever been in a long term relationship, you’ll relate to being happy when someone goes and when they stay. What a lyrical concept! This is fantastic!
Human Barbie – “nineteen80”
-If cool nostalgic rock is your vibe, you will love Human Barbie’s track “nineteen80.” It’s about look back on the past and wishing things were as they used to be. It’s a great concept and the band pull it off well. I get kind of a Fleetwood Mac vibe, personally, but I know that others might hear other influences here. No matter what you call it, it’s a fun listen.