Katie Bird – “Put You Away”
-The songbird’s voice on Katie Bird is absolutely beautiful. I love the way the lines of this track lead so easily into one another. The acoustic guitar provides the base to a thoughtful track. The lyrics will make you think about past breakups, so get ready for some emotion here. Perfect for the rain.
Canyon City – “Bluebird”
-Very few artists have a pretty much “automatic yes” from me when processing submissions, but Canyon City is pretty close. I just love all of it. The peaceful, thoughtful songwriting is always good. The expressive lead vocal cuts right through the rest of the composition. The lyrics are clamoring for connection, complete with natural imagery that is perfect for this season.
Angela Aux – “Dreamt of the death of a friend”
-The melancholy of this track is something to behold. The way the track feels minimal at times, while also so rich in the vocals… stuns me every time. I like the way the vocals emerge as conversational rather than sing songy. There’s a darkness here that feels appropriate to the dark and dreary days of mid April.
Noah Derksen – “Hoping you would stay”
-Derksen is one of the songwriters that always cuts through the acoustic noise for me. He sometimes reminds me of classics like Neil Young or Tom Petty, while other times standing on his own artistry. Derksen’s songwriting feels like a comfortable folk rock perfect for this contemporary moment. The lyrical style on this track could have been written in the 70s, yet works perfectly for right now as well. It is, in a word, timeless.
Native Harrow – “Something you have”
-Comparisons with Joni Mitchell are all too common in lazy music journalism, but Native Harrow honestly deserves that comparison. The folk soul of this track is absolutely magical. You can almost picture this coming straight from the late 60s. I love the easy going two-step near-blues style of the track. If you’ve ever felt a special connection with a friend or lover, this track will resonate with you.
Elsa Jayne – “Civilized”
-There’s a quirky core of this track from Elsa Jayne that feels a bit darker than you might expect. For a major portion of the song I kept expecting the minor to resove, but it doesn’t really. It sort of stays there. Then you hear the lyrics, “I want to go home.” It’s about the listless feeling of realizing you can never go back to the stability you once knew in your life. It’s about the swirling chaos of our political and historal moment. We all want things to go back to stability but we can’t agree on what that looks like. It’s fascinating and profound and DEEPLY unsettling.
Darryl Rahn – “Talk”
-The main lyric of this “It’s not that I don’t wanna talk to you. I don’t wanna talk at all” is so perfect. The first thing I did after hearing this was share it with friends who I know can relate. It’s such a fascinating philosophical reflection. Rahn impressed us with a previous track, so this one wasn’t a total shock. But there’s a sincerity in Rahn’s lyricism that we don’t hear enough in music right now. It’s clear in its articulation while being perfectly ambiguous in how we might apply it. Give this one a spin.
Nate Currin – “Guilt and Grief”
-We covered Nate Currin in the past. He’s one that always reminds me of David Ramirez, so that puts him in pretty good company. But this song… whew. Just listen to these lyrics. If you’ve ever been a spiritual person, you’ll find a lot to like with this one. If you are used to thinking of church music as being tired old hymns or modern pyro-technic worship songs, then give Currin a spin. The gritty, raw real approach he has toward seeking the truth is well worth your time.