Ess Bogale – “Addicted”
Sometimes when we question why we go through the struggle of writing about music for little more than an occasional “thank you”, we receive a track that affirms what we do. “Addicted” is such a track. The beauty and simple sway is balm for our battered souls. Ess Bogale has hit the perfect mix of piano and delicate vocals to create something we are almost speechless in describing. After searching for the right production, the artist ended up with a more raw recording. The result is vulnerable and intimate. If you have a heartbeat, then you will immediately fall in love with Ess Bogale.
WALDEN – “Alive”
“Alive” might be one of our favorite rock anthems we have heard this, or possibly any, year. The band chemistry is palpable and production is refreshingly balanced. WALDEN would fit in with mainstays like U2 and Coldplay with how they build and layer larger than life tracks. The track has the potential to be a summer hit, which is good for a band playing the festival circuit including Shaky Knees Fest in April. If you dig larger than life sounds, soaring vocals, incredible bass lines, and still find yourself attracted to the Brit Pop of the ’90’s, then this Georgia act is right up your sonic alley.
Hembree – “Almost”
After being hailed last year by Rolling Stone as the “best artist we saw at SXSW” and praise from NPR, Hembree is ready for a scorching year. This is by far one of the catchiest tracks we have came across recently and is guaranteed to have you dancing in your cubicles. We were reminded of the first time we heard Mutemath when we heard Hembree. The energy, the confidence, and the layered instrumentation is similar and are due for a similar ascent into the mainstream. Their House on Fire EP is a must hear and keep an eye out for some major touring this summer as the Kansas act continues to endear themselves to adoring listeners.