Noah Derksen and Brooke Palsson – “Look at me now”
-Fans of the Chris Stapleton vibe in country music will find a lot to like about this song from Noah Derksen. That is to say it’s more Americana than country. It’s more soul than anything in country top 40. There’s a great emotional core to the song about self confidence while also thumbing your nose at someone. It’s about surviving meeting thriving. The vocal harmonies, the bluesy guitars, and the overall soulful groove of the track definitely make the track stand out from the crowd.
Sam Johnston – “Congratulations”
-It’s a little fuzzy, a little buzzy, and full of attitude. This track from Sam Johnston carves out a unique niche with a rock-infused lyrically driven singer songwriter track. Every lyric is understandable. The percussive rhythm keeps things moving while the chromatic chord changes make the melody go down smooth. The attitude in the electric guitar solo perfectly mirrors the sarcastic congratulations at the heart of the track. It’s a very sweet way of telling someone to… uh… “shove off.”
The Hope, The Fear – “Scars”
-This is a song about vulnerability. It’s about letting someone know where you’ve been and what you’ve experienced. It’s really a fantastic track that brings together elements of folk and rock for something that feels special. The expressive lyrics are going to connect with a lot of listeners because all of us have scars. We all have these things that we are afraid will be “deal breakers” with the people we love. We are afraid to let them in but we know it has to happen for growth and intimacy. The lush guitar work in the background does a nice job of washing over the track with an emotional basis. It’s a really well written song with excellent cohesion between instrumentation and message.
Image courtesy: Sam Johnston IG