Ben Matchett – “Damn this feeling”
-The easy going guitar work on this track is just the access point, but the more you listen the more you will be impressed by the pickin. Matchett’s vocal is also really good quality. The combination is a wonderful experience that will have you connecting with your own personal emotions. If you’ve ever had to deal with a dark and difficult feeling, this song will resonate. I appreciate the optimism in the guitar work while wrestling with some pretty heavy emotional content. It’s a good one.
Shay Martin Lovette – “Upstate”
-It’s hard to find an Americana/folk artist that can hold a candle to Jason Isbell these days, but Lovette is making a strong push for that comparison here. The layered production on this track is really impressive, but it’s Lovette’s vocal and storytelling that make it stick. This is the kind of alt country music that makes me sit up and pay attention. If you’ve ever spent time in the American southeast, the visceral descriptions of these places will permeate as you listen to this song. It’s perfect for the coming summer season with just the right amount of ominous threats to keep it appropriately dark and mysterious.
Tommy Ashby – “Ceremony” ft. Lydia Clowes
-If you were a fan of the Oh Hellos a few years ago when they rose to superstardom (in indie circles), then you’ll really like this track from Tommy Ashby. I have grown to really love Ashby’s articulate, higher-pitched vocal style. He really puts me in mind of Bon Iver’s early work with some of these vocal runs. The lyrics are quaint and befitting of a wedding. I really adore the depth, layers, and overall straight up beauty of this recording.