Jordan Hart – “The End”
-I’m a sucker for great harmonies, so you know I had to say “yes” to this track on the intro alone. The rest of the track is also incredible. Hart’s songwriting uses dynamics to really pull the listener into the emotions of the lyrical moments. It’s a song ultimately about devotion and working toward long term romance. The expressiveness of the vocal style balanced with semi-aggressive acoustic work reminds me a bit of Needtobreathe. The overall energy of the recording, especially the vocal harmonies on the chorus, makes this an instant LOVE for me.
Ogre Melodies – “The Balcony”
-If you listen to the lyrics of this track, you’ll feel a tangible darkness to it. It’s murky, muddy, yet moving. I really appreciate how it has the juxtaposition of dark lyrics but then a bouncy, energetic chorus like a mid 20th century pop song. The combination of these different elements along with a punk-like gruffness in the vocal makes for a sound truly unlike anything you’ve ever heard before. I appreciate the genuineness of the artistry here. I’m definitely a fan of the mix of styles and the overall mood that emerges from listening to the song. It’s a full emotional experience.
Red Moon Rounder – “Time”
-At first blush, you’ll think this is *just another* acoustic folk tune, but let me encourage you to wait for the whistle solo. That’s right… I said whistle solo. From good to really good, but then the folk duo harmonies enter the track and it quickly goes to GREAT! This is a beautiful piece of songwriting. I love the James Taylor vibe to the balance between guitar, piano, and vocal harmonies. There’s an endearing simplicity to the track that helps it to defy genre conventions. Just when you think you have it nailed down, there’s an instrumental break with a fiddle solo, piano break, and it leads to more great harmonies. I love how the structure feels like timeless folksy Americana. I could listen to this style all day.