You want to know what I’ve done with my quarantine (I mean, aside from the endless amount of tv and taking to eating hummus with a spoon)? Putting together a puzzle — and it’s a hard one! I get that this declaration does nothing for my cred, but it does allow me to really breathe and focus on a task… while getting to listen to new music. Now, my musical taste is eclectic on a normal day, so you can imagine what poor Alexa is thinking of me these days. However, with new days full of the same ‘ol same ‘ol, I’m truly blessed to be in the business of hearing music from the ground up. Thanks to the artists on this list today, as you gave me a puzzle-domination soundtrack fit for a stay-home-and-flatten-the-curve-master.
Mark Diamond – “Rita”
Good LORD this song is gorgeous. It’s exactly the type of song that evokes a great deal of emotion within me. It has an excellent musical composition with piano/acoustic tones, effortless vocals (with the falsetto icing on the cake), storytelling lyrics, and a gloriously stunning sound. This song literally checks every box for me.
Toledo – “Lovely”
This song immediately makes me think of summer and the carefree feeling it brought me when I young. The beat is fun and the lyrics invite you on a journey. The additional voices and layered lyrics on the chorus are such a nice touch and help elevate the song overall. The harmonies post-chorus and horn elements also add a fantastic dynamic. If you want a unique go-to jam, look no further.
Carey Clayton – “Not of Plastic”
Nuanced and new, this song has so many different dynamics and structural tones that my initial reaction was intrigue and wonder. Whimsy while presenting out-of-this-world musical elements is not an easy task. It’s hard to create something so left-field but also pleasing and strong for the listener. I was simply swept up in the striking sound. It’s been a while since I was genuinely taken aback by an artist.
Llynks – “Patterns Through Seams”
If you’re going to use an electric piano, this is how you do it. With this song, it creates such a vibrant and melancholic tone. Lyrically, it’s telling and sad, but beautifully delivered. Vocally, she has this rich, textured vibrato and sound that is strong and soft at the same time. There is some great emotion here, which, in a time when emotions are heightened all around us, a song like this has a healing and almost uplifting experience, despite its darkness.
Alessandro Paganelli – “Awakening”
I feel like I very rarely found truly stellar (neo)classical hits, but lately, there have been some that have knocked it out of the park for me! This is definitely one of those times. This song has so much that it’s actually a little difficult to put into words. I can spout off a bunch of synonyms for gorgeous, or layered, or surprising, or dynamic, but it would just be words. Sometimes words just can’t describe the true beauty of a musical piece. There have been many songs to left me speechless over the years, but there have been very few that do so while instantly inspiring me to do more. I often write while listening to piano pieces or (neo)classical as they are great background storytellers, but this piece isn’t meant for the background. It deserves to shine.
Sasha Barbot – “Old Soul With a New Pair of Shoes”
My first thought was this song has an excellent title. Now, surely there are a lot of great titles out there, as there are some terrible ones. But it doesn’t hurt to grab attention whatever way you can. Thus, by clicking on this greatly titled song, I was so pleased to find it was also an excellent showcase of vocal and bluesy-sock prowess. Boy, does it ebb and flow where it needs to and it is an all-around strong and exciting song.