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Nylophone – “Life goes on”
-I don’t know why, but sometimes I unwisely judge artists by their name rather than just clicking play. For some reason I always think Nylophone will be some kind of electronica sound, but instead this is a refreshing acoustic folk act. The phrasing on “Life goes on” is absolutely delightful. I find myself swooning on the chromatic chord changes in the chorus. It’s such a great song. You’re gonna like it.
Lucinda Belle – “My only lament”
-Lucinda Belle has a timeless voice. If you haven’t heard her before, the sit down and enjoy. Sounding like a jazz lounge singer from the 30s or 40s, Belle brings a characteristic and powerful vocal to this song. While it starts off subtle and narrative, it grows into a nearly tearful expression of pain and… well, lament. Belle sings this song straight off the stage. She’s one to watch in the jazz-pop scene for sure.
Tim Carr – “Green, Sky Blue and Chrystalline”
-I try not to throw around Beatles comps often, but this track from Carr sounds like something John Lennon would have written if he was still with us. It navigates a bit of a psychedelic space at times, while also branching into a nearly pop sensbility in other places. The shifting musical landscape within the track reminds me of another UK-based modern songwriter, Alexander Wolfe. This is a provocative and engaging piece.
Giant in the Lighthouse – “Frame”
-This song gives me chills and I can’t completely explain it. I think it’s because some of the first music I ever loved as my own had this sort of female-fronted folk style to it. The way the song was recorded, the vocal is perfectly in the middle and sounds close, like having a phone conversation with the lead singer. As a result, the listener walks away feeling like they’ve had an intimate conversation with the artist. It’s really a beautifully light song, evoking a bit of summer whimsy. It makes me dream of summer camp, where I first met those talented female folk singers…
Jessi Mac – “Facial Expressions”
-If you’re looking for a pop singer that is the genuine article, fall for Jessi Mac. Stylistically her music should fit right into the top 40 from era since the 60s. Unfortunately for our society, the sound doesn’t have enough blips, pops, and electronic samples (or trap beat) to make it onto the radio. But for those of us who love genuine melody and a powerful, expressive vocal, this is a wonderful song. The chord changes on the chorus remind me of “Something” by George Harrison. Honestly, it’s pretty good. Spin it.
Sheldoncole – “Fears”
-I am not supposed to play favorites, but I legit love this song and this new artist. The opening is good, but the harmonies that kick in at the 1:10 mark absolutely sweep me away. If you’ve liked other artists I’ve loved in the past like Fleet Foxes or Darlingside, you’ll love Sheldoncole. I like this one so much, I put the rest of their 2019 album on my album review list. I can’t wait to spend some quality time with the rest of this stellar folk songwriting and harmony.
Peter Saputo – “Maybe you will”
-It’s so hard to do what Peter Saputo has done with this song. It’s an expressive love song that doesn’t feel trite or cheesy. The writing is poetic and heartwarming. The melodies are stunningly smooth. The full composition is ripe for massive success. I wish that I had the power to broadcast this to a million people. There are so many who would love this song.
Melissa Mary Ahern – “Maria, Maria”
-This is a sweet little love song that feels like a tickle right under your ear. You know the one that makes you smile and crinkle up a little bit? It’s like that. It’s such a sweet, expressive song. I love the simplicity in the guitar composition and the subtlety in the lead vocal. This could easily have featured on one of our Americana playlists as a genre-defining tune. This is exceptionally good and I hope you share it with everyone you’ve ever loved.
Tyler James Bellinger – “Save Me”
-This is an amazing track in the vein of Bruno Mars. The purity in the lead vocal will move the most stoic of souls. It’s such a powerful and inspiring track that I am not sure there’s much I can say about it. The hand clapping part of the chorus is really fantastic. The impeccable range from Bellinger is something to behold. I feel like Bellinger has the type of talent that could absolutely blow up if the right execs in Hollywood or LA happened to catch his work. Let’s help him take off!
Josh Herring – “Caravans”
-This song is quaint. I don’t know of a better word for how I feel about it. The expressive lyrics are about enjoying being with someone you love (I mean, “not like I love you.”) It immediately made me think of some people from my own past. It’s quaint, ya know? It’s sweetly enjoyable, expressively melodic, and charming in lyrics. I could listen to music like this all day. Josh Herring has created something really delightful; let’s all take a moment to enjoy it.