One Last Great Playlist for 2018

Calembour – “Yours and Mine”
-There’s a gentleness to this song that speaks to me deeply. I think the easy comparison is Mumford and Sons, but really the sound stands on its own. The intimacy in the lyrics work really well with the captivating and inspiring string work. The vocal harmonies, though, steal my heart on this one.

Austin David – “L.I.B.”
-The first thing I did when I heard this song was dance. I mean – how can you not? But after I got done dancing, I started sharing it with my friends. It’s a really powerful, hook-laden dance pop track. It’s got some soul elements, but more than anything it’s about being with someone who makes you feel amazing. It’s a dash of that Mayer Hawthorne magic.

Nat and Jono – “Constellations”
-This pick is for the regular readers of our site who just LOVE acoustic folk music. This duo from Nat and Jono has been cropping up in our inbox lately and we’re so pleased. The authenticity keeps us coming back for more. The harmonies are sweet and endearing. It’s the kind of folk music that we are more than happy to support.

Esther Hazy – “Eggs”
-For another folk tune, Esther Hazy’s track “Eggs” will do the trick. Everything from gospel lyrics to easy going guitar work make it a timeless folk tune. The vocal harmonies and organ both cut through nicely with this track. Something about the repetitious acoustic riff is calming and keeps me coming back to this one.

Mile Twenty Four – “Massachusetts”
-This indie pop anthem from Mile Twenty Four has plenty of energy to it. Sometimes it reminds me of the energetic tracks on Ben Rector’s last album. I love the optimism and spirit of the song. The lead vocal is excellent quality, making it stand out in a crowded indie pop scene. It’s the kind of song that makes you wonder who really decides what should be playing in the top 40 because this could totally be there.

Jake Gunter – “Love Coming Down”
-I know you’re not supposed to judge an artist by his appearance, but when I first saw Gunter’s picture I thought he would probably sound like an old cowboy or Civil War general. Instead, he’s got a smooth, timeless country style more befitting of George Strait than George McClellan. This is what high production, pop country music could and should sound like. Gunter sings like he means every line; it’s great.

Roadkeeper – “The Creeps”
-Take a dash of glowing guitars and a muted yet engaging lead vocal… that’s what makes up the captivating sound from Roadkeeper. It feels like it blends together influences from a few different eras, most notably the grungy alt rock vibe of the 90s. There’s an unapologetic experimentalism to this sound that makes it stand out in a crowded indie rock scene right now.

T Fuller – “6 am”
-We’re suckers for easy going acoustic singer songwriters. T Fuller brings that kind of sound to bear with this track, with an acoustic riff that’ll make your ears smile. The vocal tone cuts through really well and the lyrics are delightfully approachable. Channeling a kind of Jackson Browne familiarity, it’s a sweet and enjoyable folk tune for everyone.

Tye James – “Try a Little Harder”
-We’ve covered James in the past and he’s back with a vengeance on this one. It’s about “making it work” with a loved one, of course. But there’s a believable sass to his writing style that will pull the listener in. The shifting dynamic from introspective singer songwriter to downright dance groove works really well. It makes me want to put it on a workout playlist or something. Let’s get moving (and try a little harder)!

Sulfur Brothers – “Dead at 35”
-The lyrics on this song are kind of jarring at times. It’s not a pretty situation what this feller is going through. Yet, at the same time, there’s a sort of “everyman” character of the depressive struggle in the song. The jangly folk style is reminiscent of what we loved the first time we heard the Wood Brothers. It’s fun and engaging musically while being soulfully crushing in the lyrics.

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