A variety playlist for this holiday weekend

Mile Twenty Four – “Heart is home”
-I have listened to this song several times. Each time I hear a different wrinkle that makes me love it even more. There’s a cool tone on the guitars that highlights the quality on the lead vocal perfectly. Rarely do I find music that takes itself seriously enough to feel this good. I’m not sure if it’s spiritual or existential, but it’s certainly the kind of song worth your time enjoying the placid melody as well as the rewardingly introspective lyrics.

Orla Gartland – “Flatline”
-Orla Gartland is one of our favorite indie darlings. Let’s face it; she’s consistently one of the best songwriting voices making music. The 80s snappy vibe of this track after the break is amazing. I love that Gartland and Dodie Clark remind me so much of each other. If this doesn’t make you want to get excited this weekend, I don’t know what will. It’s about living an abundant and joyful life.

Johnny Stimson – “Flower”
-Well, well, well Johnny… this is quite the sultry little anthem, isn’t it? I appreciate the way that Stimson transitions from his smooth vocal into a delicate falsetto. The easy going neosoul vibe here is something that is extremely rare and always welcome. Maybe just maybe you’ll find yourself with your own “flower” this weekend and might have occasion to spin a song like this. “All I see are tulips and I’m a hummingbird…” Spring is in the air, as they say. This is equal parts clever and sensual. Enjoy responsibly.

Lost Apollo – “Molly”
-If indie rock is your bag, give Lost Apollo a spin. This track specifically has kind of a Ben Folds attitude to it. In fact, you’ll find yourself wondering if it was written in the mid 90s. But we’re not mad. It’s a really fun loving song with absolutely clever lyrics. Pay attention to the narrative style and you’ll find yourself smiling to the lyrics and tapping your toes to the overall experience. Fans of Matchbox 20 and that brand of alt rock will love Lost Apollo.

Dylan Rockoff- “You’re the one that I want” (feat. Caroline Kole)
-I rarely approve covers, so when I do it’s got some kind of extra flair to it. I absolutely hear that in this track from Rockoff and Kole. The male female vocal blend is good like the Grease original, but the remix on the beat here is what makes it feel relevant. This isn’t a copy of the original, but a genuine reimagination of the message. It’s got more of a loving communication to it. It’s like having a conversation about how they can make it through. The energy between the artists here is also really electric. I am happy to support this one for sure.

Julian Taylor Band – “Gone”
-This blues song from Julian Taylor Band is really good. It’s clean like an Otis Redding track. I could listen to this kind of music all day, honestly. It’s not grounded in any era at all. You could have heard this from Stax in the 60s and it works in the modern era as well. The heartache in the lyrics drips through as it should with a blues track. Around the midpoint of the song the horns enter and the track elevates from “pretty good” to “oh yeah, get it!”

Wintersleep – “Forest Fire”
-Every once in a while an understated voice just has the ability to cut through the noise. In a world of so many fabricated tracks, it’s nice to hear someone sing from the depths. The whole composition brings together a sort of Americana rock vibe that works really well. The cutting, deeply personal lyrics have a Wilco-like feel to them. In fact, the whole product will resonate with fans of Wilco or even old school Neil Young style folk rock. It’s an intriguing vibe for sure.

The Painted Roses – “I’ll be your mellow man, darling”
-Speaking of Americana rock, the Painted Roses have a really chill vibe to them. I can totally picture this song being played at a summer festival. It’s got a Summer of 63 feel to it. The overall style is really fun, like the inhibitions have been completely stripped away. The lyrics are clever, but the real star of this show is the piano that holds it all together. It feels like a recording that could have come straight from San Fran in the mid 60s. Very cool.

Archie Faulks – “Wonderful”
-I thought about saving this track for a singer songwriter collection, but honestly it’s so good I wanted to cover it here. It’s the kind of song that deserves to be included with a fun weekend playlist. The easy going slow dance rhythm works well with Faulks’ authentic vocal depth. It’s about being in love and that sort of drunk feeling you get when you’re in the arms of someone you love. It’s a beautiful love song.

The Starlings – “Never alone”
-Are you ready to clap your hands and move a little? This song is uptempo fun folk music. It reminds me a little of the Oh Hellos, who our readers continue to love. The overall style is really fun and engaging. The vocal shifts between the male and female lead, but in my opinion really works best when the two sing in harmony. I described this band to a friend as the “German Lumineers.” They’re really good and we plan to follow their rising career closely. Have some fun with this one!

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