Pushing the limits on “indie rock” – Spring 2019

Calista Garcia – “Stuck in your head”
-Calista Garcia’s songwriting is unique in that it can fit into about three different categories. It’s a slice of indie pop and even a dash of folk. We’re including it here because it definitely challenges traditional notions of indie rock music. The beat is steady, the lyrics creative, and the overall style is rewarding. You’ll find yourself singing along on the chorus because… well… it gets stuck in your head very easily.

Model Citizen – “Feel so good”
-I love the intensity from the very first chord of Model Citizen’s latest “Feel so good.” I can picture this one being used in commercials and TV shows as a way to hype the crowd. It’s got that poppy blues rock style that descended (I think) from the Rolling Stones. I definitely feel “so good” jamming out to my air guitar with this impressive track. It’s optimistic and all about catching some good vibes.

Maybird – “To you”
-This track hits pretty close to the center of what indie rock is all about. It’s got a cool guitar sense to it with some soaring falsetto vocals on the chorus. What I love about it is that it can stand on its own as an interesting reflective track or it can be a background track to something else that you might be doing. I digt the way the lead vocal is perfectly imperfect; it’s an incisive tone for the kind of music Maybird make.

Toledo – “Some Samurai”
-I’ve come to have a new appreciation for the glowing dream pop style of Toledo. I’m including this track with an indie rock mix because dream pop is its own subgenre that deserves credit. The glowing guitars are only surpassed by the incredible vocal harmonies. There’s really nothing like this in traditional pop music, yet it feels like the perfect glowingly optimistic pop rock sound. This would do well on the radio if people would only give it a shot.

Micky James – “Walk the line”
-If power pop rock is your thing, Micky James is one of the best making this type of music right now. Just listen to the way the lead vocal soars over others. It’s a fantastic, energetic, intense pop rock style. Lyrically it has the common refrain of making a decision to change your ways for the sake of the love of another. So many of us have been there! This anthemic track will have you singing along with James and those soaring pop rock vox.

Trapdoor Social – “Truth”
-The aggressive beat here meets some really solid vocal harmonies. It’s as if someone took the traditions of rock music from the mid-60s and meshed them with more recent late 90s and early 2000s rock. It all makes for an energetic, harmonic, and deeply envigorating sound. I can almost smell the sweat from clubs full of enthusiastic folks singing along to this track. It’s abstract in places, yet rewardingly fun in others.

Needshes – “Pain”
-Well this track is certainly the most unconventional on our list for today. There are some electronic elements that pull it away from the more traditional blues rock tracks we often feature. But what I enjoy about this innovative track is that it still holds a sense of mystery. Once the chorus kicks in around the 1 minute mark, you get this snarled up look on you face like “bro that is FILTY” and you mean it as a compliment. SO nasty it’s beautiful. Once it moves to the bridge with the minimal vocal, you’ll find yourself moving to a transcendent place. I don’t always like experimental rock, but this track absolutely friggin SLAYS.

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