Lov Li – “Sorry”
-At first glance it’s a bit difficult to understand the lyrics of this track, but if you listen… I mean really lean in with your soul, you can hear the thoughtful, emotional lyrics here. Besides that, the emotive electronic work is actually phenomenal. The inflections in the vocal layer beautifully with the backing track. It’s a style I didn’t know I need in my life, but now I do.
Wild – “This is our time”
-The up tempo energy of this track is exactly what we mean by “indie pop.” There’s a nice folk core to the sound evident in the string work and the vocal harmonies. This track has “me” all over it, honestly. Once the singalong chorus hits, I feel like I’m standing in the middle of the band and I absolutely love it. I am going to cross my fingers that I get to sing this live with these kind folks some day. The energy is lovely!
November Blue – “Runaway Betty”
-If you’re a fan of those tightnit country harmonies that define bands like Rascal Flatts, you’ll dig this song. It’s got that gospel-like core that seems to be present in a lot of country music. The track rolls along nicely, with an easy to follow narrative format. It’s nice to hear that people are keeping this subgenre of country music alive.
Kate Vogel – “The Cycle”
-We’ve covered Vogel a good bit here lately and with good reason. Her music is so pure it continues to impress with every submission. She reminds me a little of another ETTG favorite in Emily James. The message of this song about breaking the cycle of destructive behavior – “the cycle ends with me.” It’s beautiful and inspiring. If you know someone who needs to hear this song, share it with them. It’s stunning in its message. Listen carefully.
Parker Ruud – “20/20”
-If acoustic singer songwriters are your favorite, you will love this song from Parker Ruud. The polish on this track is absolutely stunning. Ruud’s vocal is just about perfect and the acoustic guitar work lays a beautiful basis to the track. The “hindsight” sense of the track hits me really deeply (maybe a product of entering middle age). Ruud has tapped into some fundamental truth with this song. Listen carefully and share widely.
Erica Bitting – “I thought I knew myself”
-There’s a little bit of genius in this song. It’s a delicate melody that lets us into the soul of the artist, Erica Bitting. It’s like being invited into someone’s sacred space. This is extremely rare. The questions Bitting asks in the lyrics match the intimate style of the recording overall. This is a delight.
Backline – “Salem Town”
-One of my frustrations about the music scene in the past few years is that we’ve lost touch with good grassroots bluegrass bands. Hearing a band like Backline gives me hope that there might be more people making this exciting, timeless style of music. The vocals are excellent and the picking is fun. It’s a mix that’s as old as the mountains are tall. That said, I’m happy to support this music in the Americana and bluegrass world. Let’s get those toes tapping!
Simon Alexander – “Brother”
-Simon Alexander is one of those artists who always seems to be able to impress me. Every new track takes on a slightly different texture in the acoustic singer songwriter world. Alexander’s tone and style is consistently meaningful, no matter the message he’s conveying. If you’ve ever had your heart ache for a dear friend, you’ll connect with this track in a deep way. I can’t believe the way it captures intimacy in such a unique way.
Pond Diver – “Over the Hill”
-There’s a relaxed sentiment to this track that’s sure to win over a lot of fans. The lead vocal is solid, giving the song a good basis for conveying its message. The genre-blending style makes it stand out. I’m not even sure what to call the style, but the accent electric guitar moves it toward something more like folk rock than anything else. It’s worth hearing just because of its fusion of disparate styles.
The Mowglis – “Wasting Time”
-The Mowglis have an evocative neo-80s vibe that is sure to put a smile on the face of anyone who grew up watching Alf. If you recognize the Cosby Show living room on first glance, this track will connect with you. If you think of The Wonder Years as a show your little siblings watched, this song is for you. Now go get more hairspray you have a date at the roller rink tonight! (Kidding aside this is a great tune. The wasting time concept about purposelessness is actually quite valuable to reflect on. In a season of resolutions and planned self improvement, this is worth contemplating.)