Carson James Argenna – “Budding Romance”
-This is a lovely song. If you were a fan of great singer songwriters in the late 50s or early 60s (or grew up listening to them on “oldies” stations) you will love this song from Argenna. The vocal is top quality, of course, but the writing is also pretty amazing. It’s about that moment of looking back on a relationship (or potential relationship) and all the promise it once had. The piano ballad style and exceptional lead vocal is endearing and sweet, even if the lyrics will make you a tad sad and nostalgic.
Matt Hartke – “Wonderful (the way I feel)”
-It takes a lot to impress us in the folk genre these days, but Matt Hartke has managed to do just that. His songwriting is delightfully interesting. This song evokes emotions of depth and connection, yet also seems to echo the flippant early conenction of a new relationship. The mix of strings and lead acoustic guitar sound like they were taken right from the heyday of James Taylor’s chart-topping music in the 70s. This one’s a winner and will connect for a wide audience.
Ay Wing x Shuko – “Drive by”
-This might not be the kind of song you think of as an intentionally throwback tune, but it is. This is retro for sure. If you like George Clinton and the Parliament Funkadelic, give this track from Ay Wing x Shuko a spin. It’s fully of spirit and excitement. It’s also likely to get you dancing a bit. I like how it’ll make you think about going rollerskating while also feels brand new. What a fabulous juxtaposition!
Paul Loren – “Right on time”
-If classic vocalists like Frank Sinatra and Michael Buble are of interest to you, then Paul Loren’s music is right up your alley. Loren can sing with the best of them. Not only can he croon, he can also handle the lower notes with an endearing gravelly quality to his lower register. The combination of that with the soaring, soulful lead notes works perfectly. Loren is the quintessential, timeless pop vocalist. He’s a star!
The Blue Winter – “California/Ohio”
-I thought about saving this track for a singer songwriter list, but honestly The Blue Winter is perfect here representing the early 70s folk rock singer songwriters. You could hear this track on a David Crosby album fifty years ago. It’s got some timeless folk rock chops to it, making it an instant hit for me. The mix on this song and the quality in the vocal win me over without a doubt. I’m definitely putting the Blue Winter on a short list of artists to watch throughout this year.
Shoals – “Polar Bears”
-One of the bands Shoals compare themselves to are the Byrds. If that doesn’t tell you about this band, I don’t know what does. It’s great to have someone cite a classic band that’s not just the Beatles or Zeppelin. The Byrds had a definitive style to their sound that Shoals definitely give a nod to with this track. The subtle vocal harmonies stole the show for me. The combination of vintage and modern works perfectly on this track. I will always have room in my heart for this kind of vintage and captivating rock music.