Paper Lions – “Rhythm and Gold”
-Since one of my favorite bands of all time is Relient K, I was thrilled to hear this harmony-driven up tempo rock from Paper Lions. I love everything about the production from the quality of the guitars to the sing-along harmonies. Even the lead vocal reminds me some of Matt Thiessen. I’m definitely going to be following Paper Lions in the future. I really like this song! It sets such a happy mood.
Dionysia – “Capsize”
-It’s really hard to say what makes indie rock have that “it” factor, but when I first heard Dionysia I couldn’t help but think there’s something special going on here. The phrasing on the verses, the use of clever dynamics, and some genuine rock n’ roll lyrics all come together for a fantastic song. If I ran a rock radio station, I’d be featuring this every few hours. I love the energy. It’s a timeless pop rock flavor that would take off if people would give it a shot.
Stone Irr – “All we want anymore”
-The comparisons with classic 60s rock outfits come pretty easy with this band Stone Irr. You can hear some early Beatles, sure, but also bands like Buffalo Springfield or CSNY. It’s really a remarkable feat to create something with such magic that harkens to the past yet feels brand new. Stone Irr have created an absolute gem of timeless rock work. I feel like it’s 1966 all over again… and I’m not even old enough to have experienced it the first time.
Benee – “Want me back”
-The easy comparison for Benee is someone like Maggie Rogers or even Lorde. But I’ll tell you what Benee is a fantastic stand alone artist. I like the crack in the vocal. There’s an intensity in the beat of this track that makes it feel a little grimy (in a good way), so the listener can feel the underground vibe of the song overall. I could definitely feel this one dancing with someone that maybe… you shouldn’t be? It’s got a vibe is all I’m saying.
Alexander Mills – “Get out your head”
-This is admittedly more indie pop than straight rock, but it definitely gets you moving and would be perfect for a weekend barbeque. It’s ultimately about moving on from those insular conversations that can drive us crazy. It’s a tad hedonistic, but mostly about just letting go of things that are harmful for us. I dig the freedom in the vocal and looseness in the backing track; it makes for a consistent message that puts me in a little of a Dave Matthews party vibe.
Too Many Chiefs – “Round Round”
-This up tempo rock track is just good all around. It’s hard to explain what stands out for me about this song because it’s just so well composed. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts, perhaps. The lead vocal is quality, the harmony keeps things interesting, and the rhythm section keeps it all moving. The perpetual motion implied in the lyrics seems to be a characteristic of the song as a whole. It just works.
St Arnaud – “A sweet song”
-Honestly, I hesitate to put this track this far down on a playlist article because I hope people don’t skip it. This is one of the most exciting indie rock anthems I’ve heard in a long time. The horns take center stage and do my heart proud. But beyond that, the overall energy of the track is perfectly optimistic. I like the truthful, grounded lyrics and the innately human connection in the message.
Royal Teeth – “Get a load of this one”
-I really dig the drums on this track. I mean the harmonies are amazing, don’t get me wrong, but when the drums on a track like this stand out SO MUCH, I can’t help but be drawn to them. It’s an invigorating, energetic track. Something about the overall style makes it feel genuinely caught up in our historical moment rather than being derived from earlier eras. Even the variety of vocal styles and lyrical delivery are perfect for this modern moment.
Zoe Zobrist – “Guns”
–Zoe Zobrist is an absolute force. Her talent in the entertainment industry fulfills many different categories. But if we keep the focus on this track specifically, it’s a hard driving rock anthem that will have you putting your windows down to sing out loud. The verses are substantive, talking about the importance of independence and moving on. The chorus is inspiring, with a message of toughness and perseverance. Zobrist’s energetic vocal is the focal point of this powerful anthem.
Dan Moxon – “Where you gonna sleep tonight?”
-Let’s slow it down to bring the club to a close tonight, shall we? Dan Moxon’s “Where you gonna sleep tonight” will absolutely make you think of someone you want to slow dance with… and maybe take home. Nawm sayin’? “I wanna be the man that you want me to be…” He’s trying. But things are complicated and these two need some counseling. But hey it makes for a great romantic track with tons of soul.