A playlist of singer songwriters to explore this weekend

Michael Baker – “Claire”
-Comparisons with James Taylor or Paul Simon might be easy with this track from Michael Baker. We’re happy to feature this articulate acoustic style. The lyrics are charming and thoughtful. “It’s love and we’re the same” is such a wonderful little lyric that captures connection so well. The song grows to more of a full production tune and it still works in the second half as well as the first. Once the organ enters, the track reaches its pinnacle and is oh so good.

LAPP – “Ride”
-This track bounces between introspective singer songwriter and a powerful pop song. It’s amazing how a divisive lyric like “there is no God” can be so unsettling. But stay with it. Because the song is about the purpose of life being about the meaning of love. Without getting too theological here, let’s just say that God is love. The simple and beautiful piano work here brings together what feels like a genuinely heart-wrenching seeking after love and acceptance. It’s not a dance track, but it’ll sure make you think.

Kane Miller – “All we need”
-This thoughtful, easy going song will make a lot of fans of Miller’s honest songwriting style. The acoustic energy is minimalist in the best way possible. If you’ve ever been in love, you will connect with the sweet sentiment of this track. It’s about contentment and making a point of making it work. It’s really nice.

Morgan Cameron Ross – “Everything Seems Quiet in the Dark”
-If you’re looking for a quality vocal, an authentic twang in the guitars, and some happy gang vocals on the chorus, then look no further than Ross’s exciting new song “Everything seems quiet in the dark.” I mean, there’s even a WHISTLING SOLO. It’s really an enjoyable track that feels like it could be on a tv show or video montage. The “I’ve got love” refrain is really powerful. Sometimes all we can do in life is to declare that we’ve got love and honestly… that’s enough to feel alive.

B Wood – “Pretend”
-Take an electric guitar and lay it over a nice groovy rhythm section… then bring in a quality vocal with a touch of reverb on it to let it soar over the whole thing. This composition from B Wood is really tasty to my ears. The whole flavor reminds me of what I like about Water Liars and other alt country and Americana style artists. I like how the lyrics are riddled with conflict yet go down so smooth. I bet this one is ever more delicious with a shot of whiskey before pressing play. I dig this a lot and will be watching for B Wood in the future as well.

Son of Swayze – “Love will come”
-I like the intimate vocal style in the opening of this song, but I have to say the organ is really what sets it apart for me. Once the innovative chord progressions (and fantastic female harmony vocal) enter the track, it really moves from good to great. I hear a bit of George Harrison in this track. But heck, I also hear a little Brian Wilson here. It’s a sophisticated yet still pleasing track that paves some new directions for modern folk music. I enjoy this so very much and am excited to cover Son of Swayze in the future.

SIRMA – “Put your faith in me”
-The detailed layers of this electronic pop song are really fascinating. Although we typically feature acoustic music, sometimes a track like this will cut through the noise. SIRMA brings a tenderness in her vocal and lyrics that make the song feel so genuine. The electronic flourishes work to highlight the core message of SIRMA’s songwriting rather than detracting from it. It sounds like something you might tell your crush in a dream… here, let’s go, let’s run away together. How sweet!

Keith Johns – “Hold on to me”
-When I clicked play on this track, I literally said, “now this is more like it.” It’s hard to explain the “it” factor to people who don’t listen to music like we do, but it’s just there or it isn’t. I’ll tell you that Keith Johns has “it” in spades. Listen to the phrasing here. Listen to the gentle articulation on the guitar work. This isn’t just another jaunty singer songwriter tune; this is an expression of deep and sincere love. It’s gentle and sentimental, meaningful and moving. What a beautiful composition.

Ed Prosek – “So Beautiful”
-This is a wonderful pop love song. It’s really sad about someone who is gone. If you’ve ever experienced loss like this, the song will probably be a salvo to you. The heartbreak evident in this track is really stunning. Prosek has this sense of “moving on” in the middle of the track that is wonderfully encouraging. The sense of melody and tempo actually changes the message and it works really well. It’s uplifting, so I hope that listeners will hear the whole thing. Prosek delivers the lines with compassion and conviction. It’s beautiful, so beautiful.

Mabes – “Gone”
-We get a lot of acoustic singer songwriter submissions so when one cuts through it’s really good. I love the quality of Mabes’ vocal and guitar as they blend together. It’s incredibly difficult to do what this artist has done in this track. There’s not a ton of overproduced noise to hide the wrinkles in her voice. In fact, the intimate vocal style makes the song stand out even more. Mabes has a Joni Mitchell style sincerity to her work and I’m thrilled to have found her. I haven’t felt this way since the first time I heard Billie Marten. I know she’s royalty in the UK, so hopefully Mabes can follow with similar success.

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