The show-stoppin’, toe-tappin’, make-the-most-of-your-quarantine New Music Variety Playlist – Episode 1

Compiled by Co-editor Greg Jones, who is completely not at all even close to losing his mind.

Dylan McCarthy – “Mosquito”
-So you’re saying you like bluegrass? Americana? Old timey music? Well spin this pickin’ and a-grinnin’ tune about the most annoying insects in the Western Hemisphere. I think they call this style a “reel.” (Correct me all you bluegrass hardcores out there). It’s got a nice step and will make you think about a gal you met at a square dance. Wait, what year is it? Anyways, I genuinely like this song and look forward to hearing more good string music like this from McCarthy and his gang.

Marvett – “The Forest”
-I really appreciate the use of dynamics on this track. I don’t often accept music in this electronic subgenre, but this one really spoke to me. There’s a subtlety that builds in the opening, allowing the more pop rock style later in the track to take off. You have to be patient with this one, but if you allow it to develop you’ll find your toes tapping for sure. There’s something positively enchanting about the idea of going to a forest to be yourself. So cool!

Candace Ruby – “A Time Will Come”
-It’s not every day that I get a song with an organ that catches my attention, but that definitely did on this track. The lead vocal kept me around to hear what the rest of the song had to offer. I appreciate the subtle, poetic energy of the song. It’s got an inspiring message about enduring trials (hmm, could anyone use that right now?) The vocal harmonies on the choral break will make your soul smile.

Marin Patenaude – “Cold Front”
-Everything from the slide guitar to the lead vocal on this is delightful. You can call it Canadiana or just plain old fashioned folk music. I appreciate the narrative style that invites the listener into the life of the main character. May be all be blessed to acknowledge the blessings of the life we’re living, not the one we wish or hope or dream might have happened. The “cold front” metaphor for a life left hits a little close to home on this one.

Raynes – “Come my way”
-There’s a real creative energy to the opening of this track. It feels like a massive pop hit ready for take off. It’s both a pick up line and a point of leadership – come here and follow me! It’s an inspiring style with the choral vocal style on the chorus. It’s rare to find this kind of charisma in a song that makes the listener want to learn more about the artist right away. I find this one captivating in the way I felt when I first heard Greg Holden.

Innomuno – “Home”
-I have a running joke about the number of songs called “Home” in the world. But right now with so many of us restricted to home, it hardly seems a time to joke about such matters. The comforting, chilled out soulful style here is absolutely captivating. The lead vocal sits perfectly in the mix, allowing the listener to feel that cool energy. I really like this track and am excited to follow Innomuno in the future.

Palmer Anthony – “These hands of mine”
-This is the closest thing to “pop country” as you’ll hear me support. Anthony has a real All-American quality about him. I appreciate the sense of self-sufficiency in the lyrics. There’s an evident self-reliance that meets humility in this track. It’s definitely got Big Nashville hit potential, but has the bonafides to resonate with the alt country crowd. I dig it.

The Vitriots – “Rabbit hole”
-Any song with a punk beat and a shouted countdown at the start of the track is already scoring points with me. Once we get to the vocal, though, I am sold on the Vitriots. It is a remarkable skill to be able to sing with aggression and stay on key, which this track does. It reminds me of the music in the early 90s that introduced all of us suburban kids to the idea of grunge and underground punk music. If you’ve ever gone on a mental tailspin as a result of rejection, listen to this song.

Hera – “Awake for hours”
-This is a gentle, beautiful song. I like it so much I shared it on my personal social media for my friends. The sweet energy and message are perfect for our moment of collective uncertainty. Struggling to sleep is a pretty common side effect of life upended the way it is right now. Take a moment to calmly reflect on being present and enjoy the beautiful vocals from Hera (and the harmonies in support). It’ll calm your spirit.

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