The Hamptons – “The clouds”
-If you’re looking for an up tempo rock energy, check out the Hamptons. There’s a good sense of momentum to the track, which seems to soar. The lead vocal does a great job of giving expressive inflection without being unnecessarily theatrical. The energy of the track reminds me a bit of early 2000s pop punk a bit. The effect on the vocal in the interlude is jarring in a good way; it captures the attention of the listener for that extra bit of variety. The overall song ends up being a listening adventure about being absolutely infatuated with someone.
Ozwald – “The Boxer” (Simon and Garfunkel cover)
-We rarely feature covers, so you know when we do it’s because it brings something special. This track from Ozwald does a nice job of capturing the original intent of “The Boxer” while bringing some more contemporary production elements. The vocal harmonies are really impressive here. It’s a reminder that there’s such a thing as cerebral, meaningful rock music. Although the original was thoroughly folk, this version brings a dash of both grit (in the bassline) as well as whimsy (in the synth elements), creating a distinctly multifaceted contemporary rock flavor.
The Pop Kids – “Boston I”
-This track has a nice up tempo rock energy with some really well done electric guitar riffs along the way. The discordant elements are punctuated, allowing the main melody to soar over the more staccato aspects of the track. The juxtaposition between the lead vocal and the stabbing percussion gives it that punk-influenced edge. All things considered, this is a cool jam about that feeling when you move somewhere new and it makes you proud of where you grew up. As a western PA kid who lives in Ohio now, I can big relate to that regional pride of where you grew up. A lot of people are going to have some feels from this one.