A ten-song playlist of emerging singer songwriters

Albert Jones – “See you when you get there”
-I really like the cool mix on this track. I guess you’d say it’s bluesy, even though the message is more optimistic than sad. I keep coming back to the term “cool” when I listen to this track. Everything from the guitar to the vocal balances out with this late-70s rock vibe. I dig it.

Sam Calver – “River”
-I became an instant fan of Sam Calver the first time I heard his voice. When you combine his incredible pipes with some really nice open, atmospheric acoustic guitar work… well, it was too good to be true. I definitely think this track “River” by Sam Calver is a standout performance. The energy on the chorus when the other voices enter is fantastic. I really enjoy this one.

Matthew Frederick – “Dust cloud”
-I usually don’t approve songs that take a long time to get to the vocal, but this one is a really delightful payoff. The piano and guitar in the opening are gentle and meaningful; then the vocal enters and steals the show. This is the kind of track that is for fans of William Fitzsimmons and similar acoustic folk music. If I’m hearing them right, the lyrics are a little bit on the sad side but the overall vibe is optimistic. I love the energy more than anything. It’s sooo calming.

Joe Nolan – “Kisses in the Dark”
-Joe Nolan hits us first with some really high quality finger picking, then the gravelly vocal takes center stage. The easy comp with Nolan is probably Springsteen, but I think we need to look past that gut reaction. Beneath the layers I hear something more along the lines of Willie Nelson. Joe Nolan has a “well travelled” vibe to his songwriting that elevates it to another level. It’s an intimate song written with an accessible style.

B.A.D.A. – “This might be the time”
-I am not sure how to pronounce this band name and I have no idea what it stands for. But here’s what I know — this sounds really good. I appreciate the mix on this track. It’s atmospheric and glowing in places, but it allows the melody to shine through. If you’re looking for something you can vibe out to while running or walking or meditating, this tune will fit right in. Put this on a playlist and I bet it will impress you with every listen.

Aurora D’Amico – “A Sentimental War”
-The acoustic energy meeting a quality vocal is ALWAYS the alchemy that brings me back to new music. Aurora D’Amico’s style reminds me of a mashup of songwriting styles for the past 40 years all rolled into one. There’s a dash of Sarah Bareilles, some Natalie Merchant, and so many others in here. But mostly what I like about D’Amico’s style is that it’s familiar and engaging. It’s worth a spin for sure.

Ian Miller – “Seasons”
-This is such a powerful song I’m not sure I want to say much here. The easy going acoustic work in the opening is a nice way to establish a relaxed perspective before the incredibly moving lyrics. If you’ve ever felt like you’ve been around people who “love” you who don’t understand you very well, listen to this song. I… um yeah… this one gets me. But the point is that time moves on even when it’s difficult. It’s about grief and it’s going to hit some of you really hard. I’m sorry and you’re welcome.

Will Killen – “The Outside”
-“Sorry if I seem cold, I’m just six feet under.” WOW. Welcome to Will Killen’s lyrics. This song is one of those tracks that seems to fit the lyrics in perfectly with the instrumentation and overall composition. I’m sure Killen carefully crafted this piece, but it feels like something that was just discovered whole. The longing, desperate effect on the vocals really gives the song an aching quality. It’s emotional for sure.

The Karmanauts – “Amelia”
-There’s a unique energy to this track that’s part of why I wanted to cover it. On the surface it seems like a standard acoustic folk track, but the electronic influence here seems to bump it into a different category. But unlike so much of electronic music it doesn’t have some kind of rave beat to it. It’s still chill, still engaging, but the acoustic elements are highlighted with this swarming static-type energy. Since it’s a song about loving someone, it makes sense to capture an inexplicable dynamism with these unique sonic elements. Give it a shot!

somegirlnamedanna – “Kitchen table”
-I think some people will compare this style of music with Billie Eilish, and I guess it does fit into this musical moment, but I really think there’s a lyrical theme here that’s worth exploring. If you’ve had a less-than-stellar upbringing, this song will connect with you deeply. It’s the kind of thing that people just don’t sing about; they usually repress these kinds of memories. I appreciate how somegirlnamedanna has this killer, smoldering hot production style and these deep introspective lyrics, but it all comes across like it’s no big deal. This is a BIG deal. Spin it. Like it. Share it.

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