Paper Lions – “Fireworks”
-We often get tracks with a nice catchy beat, but what sets Paper Lions apart is the quality vocal that allows the rest of the production to soar. I actually like this song so much that it puts a smile on my face every time. You can clap your hands, whistle, or hoot in your kazoo… whatever feels right, ya know? It’s a great time. Enjoy it!
Dan Sadin – “Sucker”
-So the beat on this song is up tempo, but it’s the killer vocal that really won my heart over with Sadin’s music. The lyrics feel raw and genuine, in an almost Springsteen kind of way. But beyond these details, the vibe of the track works in the way that it seems to mesh 80s influences with a modern pop moment. If you’re not singing the hook at the beginning of the chorus at the top of your lungs, are you even trying to music!?
Bootstraps – “Whenever you’re around”
-There’s a haunting humanity to the sound that Bootstraps produces on this track. The rasp in the vocal just fits the mood of the track perfectly. It kind of reminds me of what I first loved about William Fitzsimmons and Iron and Wine. That’s rare company, but deserved in the case of Bootstraps. If you’ve ever been in a relationship with someone who just makes you feel better when they’re around this song will resonate. It’s beautiful, layered, and more complex than meets the ear.
Lucy and La Mer – “Discover”
-If you’re a fan of feel-good hand clapping folk, you need to know Lucy and La Mer. Fun fact: this is one of the first artists that I shared with my wife when I became a blogger. She loves them! You should love them too. It’s such an optimistic tune about making the most of life. It encourages adventure, which is something we could all use in our lives. Even if the lyrics weren’t so great, I just love the vocals. High fives all around!!!
Phoebe Hunt and the Gatherers – “Baba Vanga”
-I appreciate the intriguing energy of this track. It’s like an amalgamation of American music styles. I hear a bit of Appalachian, a bit of western folk, and a lot of joyful celebration. The entire mix makes for something both pleasing to the ear and infinitely interesting. I can’t quite explain every detail of what I like about the song, but it resonates with me.
Carleton Koldyke – “The River”
-There’s a positivity to Carleton Koldyke that works really well. I think his brand of positive pop music is much needed on the radio today. I don’t understand why a track like this isn’t in the top 40. It has a quality, easy to relate to lead vocal, an exceptional vocal style, and an overall fun style. Put this track on your favorite up beat playlist and I guarantee you’ll nod with approval every time the track plays. It’s just flat out good!
Highasakite – “Can I be forgiven”
-If it’s any indication how much I like this track, I immediately shared it with my friends on social media. The harmonies in the opening of the track are otherworldly good. But then the dynamic electro elements enter the track later and I find myself just floored by it. No one makes music like this. It’s about the abandon that happens when you’ve loved and felt something. It’s about opening up and daring to love and mess up… it’s the mess of emotions involved in living an unguarded life. This kind of song taps into something in my soul that doesn’t have words — that’s why we have music.