Matt Van – “Gossamer girl”
-I appreciate the relaxed acoustic style of this track. It is a soothing style. The familiar vocal style of Matt Van feels like someone you’ve heard before but I can’t quite think of any specific comparison. It’s a relaxing vibe overall, which I think is the perfect way to ease into a new weekend under these unique circumstances in 2020.
Jenny Plant – “Coming home”
-The phrasing of this track is excellent. Jenny Plant’s vocal stands out from the crowd in a clear, genuine way. The orchestral background gives a perfect canvas for Plant’s artistic vocal lines. The entire composition, which surrounds a lyrical ethic about returning to home not as a physical place but rather a personal identifier, has a calming, zen-like presence about it. This is a song for all of the seekers out there who are using the quarantine as a time to ask good existential questions. This is powerful.
House Above the Sun – “Time I got goin'”
-The easy going folk energy of this track is really rewarding. I think the easy comparison here is probably Dylan. The song rings true of a lot of the 60s Greenwich Village style folk music. I appreciate the balance between the vocal and the string work. The whole composition is a thoughtful and approachable style.
Belle Shea – “Art of Years”
-This is a remarkable little acoustic song. At first it seems like “just another” strummed acoustic tune, but then Belle Shea’s vocal fills the room with warmth. The combination of a relaxed guitar element and a quality lead vocal goes a long way. By the time the more avant garde elements enter into the track, there’s a distance between the sweet and melodic parts with the plinking in the background. I appreciate that it ends up being so very different than my first impression — in a good way.
Outsourced Feelings – “Outsourced feelings”
-This is a love song of a sort. It’s also a blues song of a completely different sort. The chord structure and overall style all defy typical genre definitions. But what I like about the song most is that it seems to capture an aesthetic. If you’re looking for something a bit off the beaten path but still holds a core bit of lyrical truth, give this a spin.
Willow Robinson – “Cold”
-A few years ago I found an artist called Alexander Wolfe who blew me away with this kind of atmospheric yet still grounded sound. Willow Robinson has captured that same kind of energy in this new song “Cold.” I don’t know if it’s some magic in the recording or if Robinson’s vocal really has this powerful resonance. I like the poetic message of the lyrics as they pair with the energy of the acoustic and vocal. This is so good.
Jack Burn – “Timezones”
-I sent this track to a friend and told him it was “Mumford-esque.” I think that comparison makes a lot of sense, especially given the feel-good hand claps on the chorus especially. I appreciate the connection between the distance and intimacy of the lyrics. I think it’s about being restricted at a distance, but maybe I’m just reading the current circumstances into it. No matter, the song has a bright energy that I’m happy to support.
Abi Farrell – “The only way I learn”
-I’ve been a fan of neosoul music for a long time, so I was thrilled to get this quality submission from Abi Farrell. The vocal is outstanding! The whole composition echoes those tried and true gospel roots of soul music. You can hear the expression in Farrell’s vocal here. The vibrato is just perfect. The song’s about telling yourself the truth. We could all use that message right now!
Henry Black – “Too Old to Count the Ways”
-I’ve covered Henry Black several times in the past few years. He’s an old soul, creating some really fascinating timeless folk music. His lyricism blazes an incredible trail in the Dylan and Townes Van Zandt way. This is no hand clapping excitable modern folk music. This is thoughtful, evocative, put it on and sip a fine beverage kind of folk. And I am absolutely HERE for it.
Karin Fransson – “Sister soul”
-I am not quite sure what genre to call Karin Fransson’s music, but it definitely stands out in a crowded overall music scene. Fransson’s vocal alone makes it really interesting. There’s a dash of another Karen in her sound, that is Carpenter. The pure quality just drips from each vocal line. The unconventional melody definitely bounces between vintage 70s sounds into even some modern pop/R&B sensibilities. If you’re looking for a mixed aesthetic with a great lead vocal, spin Fransson’s latest “Sister Soul.”