Moving indie pop and rock for early May 2020

Clubhouse – “Weekend”
-Remember when getting together on the weekend was a routine part of life? Me either. It was like a lifetime ago. The groove on this track got my attention right away. I appreciate the cool beat, the creative lyrics, and the overall vibe that’s going to make its way on a playlist or two of mine for sure. It’s a little adult in its themes, but works for a “devil may care” attitude.

Sister Castle Theater – “Rome”
-The balance on this track is stunning. There’s the easy going, near-whispered vocal that takes everyone’s attention from the start. But then, as you listen, you’ll hear these Fleet Foxes style textures that emerge. The steel guitar makes it feel like a forlorn Americana tune. The chromatic chord changes put a sense of mystery to the piece, all while the rest of the track stitches together this familiar folk flavoring. This is a delightful and unexpected indie folk (dare I add “avant garde?”) track.

Talbott Brothers – “Dancing in the Dark” (Acoustic cover)
-Of course Springsteen is one of the godfathers of Americana music and we’re interested when we get a cover of his iconic music. But — if I’m honest — it usually pales in comparison to the magic of the original. This version by the Talbott Brothers does the Boss justice with expressive, almost romantic sensibilities to the song. Although it takes on a completely different flavor than the original, it’s still a powerful and dynamic song. We’re happy to support the Talbott Brothers again. Share this with your favorite Springsteen fan and see if they agree!

Matthew Pinder – “White Sunlight”
-We’ve covered Pinder’s unique folk-informed indie sounds in the past. When I clicked play on this one, though, there was a different sort of energy to it. Sure the layered vocals are a core of the sound, but I think there’s something with the lyrics on this piece that make it stand out from others in the indie folk world right now. The existential seeking, the desire to connect, resonates really well for me right now. The quarantine has transitioned from “something new and exciting” to something genuinely alienating; this song is a bit of salve and scream-out that helps me right now. Thanks Matthew Pinder.

Dear Moon – “Shadow on your sun”
-Back in the 90s (which sounds like ancient history), there was a rise of pop rock acts that dominated the airwaves. Of course it wasn’t just radio, it was also the music video pinnacle on MTV and VH1. The style of Dear Moon reminds me a bit of those glory years of alt rock, pop rock, and high energy rock aimed to get the money of the middle class CD-buying public. Now I’m not accusing Dear Moon of being after people’s money, but their sound certainly reminds me of that rush in major labels investing in this kind of guitar-heavy, up tempo rock music. It’s definitely an interesting sound I haven’t heard in a while.

Alexander Jean – “Nevermind”
-When I first clicked play on this song, I thought it was a good folk song. Then I heard the rasp on the high vocal and thought – oh no, this is a ROCK song! The tempo picks up, the energy rises, and even though the instrumentation isn’t metal the aggression of the song is as “hard” as a song can get. This song is about perseverance. The lyrics are a love song, the guitars and tough, but it’s the vocals that drive home the sincerity and depth of the track. Crank this one and feel it in your soul.

WILD – “Surround you”
-I’ve been a big fan of WILD since the first time I heard their creative, vocally driven folk music. There’s a real energy to the compositions that makes you want to stand up and join in. I bet they are amazing live! But in a world without live music, the best we can do is enjoy this studio version turned up to “I AM STANDING ON STAGE RIGHT NOW YAY!” which is the level I currently have mine on. The chorus is MAJESTIC! This is such a powerful, anthemic folk tune. Spin it, please.

Canyon City – “Catch fire”
-This is the first chance I’ve had to cover Canyon City in a little while, so of course I quickly approved the track. The lyrically driven folk style always makes me happy, even when it’s kind of a sad song (or bad time). I am not always good at interpreting lyrics, but I think this is about taking whatever situation is in your life and letting it fuel your passions. Catching fire is about pursuing valuable things no matter the circumstances. Put this one on a playlist and I guarantee you’ll find yourself enjoying it every listen. Canyon City’s work with melodies is amazing.

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