Arms Akimbo – “Pitchfork”
-We first heard Arms Akimbo several years ago. They got my attention for having a clean guitar part and a really quality lead vocal. Really, does a rock band need much more than that? I like the enjoy, accessible style of the songs. “Pitchfork” has an easy going vibe as well, pulling me in from first listen. When the harmonies hit, the track really kicks into the next level.
Burning Pictures – “5 am”
-This might not be the type of rock you were expecting, but Burning Pictures make a sound that we adore around here. The easy comparison is Dr Dog, but honestly the unconventional plodding folk rock style is really enjoyable. I like how the repeated guitar lick accents the melody from the lead vocal so well. I could definitely enjoy jamming with these gents at a live show some day. It just feels good.
Wilder Woods – “Someday Soon”
-It’s a bit more relaxed than most indie rock, but trust me that there’s plenty of energy in this Wilder Woods track. It reminds me a bit of NeedToBreathe beginning with acoustic intimacy and growing into something more. There’s a soulful quality to the lead vocal that wins the listener over right away. It feels like the kind of song you’d hear at a big tent revival, with a little bit of gospel and a little bit of hopeful pop rock energy. I really love what this song does and hope that our readers will resonate with it as well.
Sea Girls – “Damage Done”
-I dig the atmospheric arena-rock style of Sea Girls. There’s an 80s vibe to this track that will make you wonder when the song was released. Rest assured it’s a 2019 release. That said, the fun energy will have you moving even if you “don’t wanna dance.” The song is about realizing that you are in love and explaining that it’s the motivation for art. “Damage” is used ironically here and it works really well with the powerful, clever lead vocal that allows the band’s sound to stand out.
Glass Dove – “Terrible Secrets”
-The understated vibe in the opening of this track is really interesting, but my heart melts when I hear the vocal harmonies in the middle of the first line. You can tell that the writer of this song believes the critique of modern society present in the lyrics. “How the hell can you sleep when the children die?” It’s about political secrets and the global pandemic of corruption that we live in the twenty-first century. As an American, I have to say that this resonates powerfully for me right now. It’s not for the dance floor, but this is certainly a rock n’ roll ethos and lyric.
Evan Castle and the Southern Tier – “Passengers”
-If I was running a summer festival, I would be booking Evan Castle and the Southern Tier right now. They seem like the perfect rock band for that sound that lots of people will love. It’s a dash of classic rock that could have come from the great rock bands of the 70s, yet they also feel fresh and exciting. The instrumentation and composition is classic, but the philosophical lyrics are something even the most esoteric (or stoned) rock fan can contemplate for hours. I dig the guitars, vocal, and harmonies. It’s a winner for me.
Roads – “Weak for you”
-It’s not every day that you hear a song about fatherhood, but here we have it. The sweet, loving lyrics are perfect (as a dad myself) I can totally relate. But there’s also a feel-good energy to the composition as well. This is a great anthem that this father will be able to play for his son in the years to come. It’s cool that instead of yet another song about heartbreak or fictional characters, this one focuses on a real rich personal relationship.
Of Monsters and Men – “Alligator”
-Most of the time we only feature artists that are “rising.” Of course this band are already MASSIVELY successful, but we were so dang thankful they sent us this track we decided to feature them anyways. The energy of this track is as much Thirty Seconds to Mars as anyone. But then again, OMM don’t really need a comp band. They have their own high energy, dynamic rock sound that works well. This track is definitely a banger in the vein of some of their earlier work. It’s definitely got a ton of commercial potential.
Anela and the Early Hours – “Get Out”
-This is probably the sound you were looking for when you clicked on an article about indie rock. Anela and the Early Hours have a wonderfully engaging sense of melody here. The vocal sits in the “pocket” of the song perfectly without being overbearing. The lyrics are relational, yet open enough that anyone can connect to the feeling of being obsessed with someone. It’s got mass appeal with a moving beat, quality lead vocal, and overall solid production. I enjoy this one in its indie rock purity.