Luke Gittins – “To be alive”
-If you’re looking for an upbeat near-pop style anthem, this song from Luke Gittins will connect for you. It’s got a style that feels like it SHOULD be pop, even if it isn’t the style of pop that dominates the top 40 in our world. The toe-tapping energy has a cosmopolitan energy to it. “Tell me how it feels be alive” is such an interesting lyrical concept. Is it jealousy? Is it sincere love? Is it impatience or brilliant and genuine patience waiting for love? The lyrics, the energy, and the performance are all top notch on this one.
Amy Hopper – “Before we all go under”
-This is a remarkable song; the piano is subtle and important, but the vocal is absolutely amazing. Hopper brings a jazzy flavor to the intonation and expression. The lyrics are like Lennon’s “Imagine” with a hopeful hypothetical dream. Yet, at the heart of the song is to say that we only have so much time on this earth so let’s make the most of it. The almost spiritual expressiveness and sincerity in the vocal make this unlike anything we’ve received in a long long time, so I had to feature it here. This is really something special.
Ryan Dunlap – “Just got beat”
-The acoustic guitar on this song feels familiar and comfortable. Once the vocal enters, there’s an intriguing lyrical theme. My favorite part is the electric guitar as it brings in kind of an Americana/alt country flavor. The full composition grows into a narrative style that makes the listener lean in for a bit more. “I know you didn’t lose you just got beat” is one of those lyrical concepts that reminds me of John Prine or Waylon Jennings. It feels simple, but it’s a rhetorical distinction that makes all the difference to the person experiencing the emotion. This one stands out in that people just don’t write like this anymore.