by Carly Schorman
“Haunt, The Cartoon Heart”
Get ready for the one-off here, folx, and that’s because Bear Ghost can’t be crammed into any genre or boxed-in to a style. They are unto themselves like a nerdcore Queen for the video game generation. “Haunt, The Cartoon Heart” is apocalyptic and operatic, but, you know, fun. This new single was released through 80/20 Records earlier this month and Bear Ghost is out on tour with Simpsons-famous Okilly Dokilly through the end of the month, but we’ll hopefully see some PHX shows on the flipside of that tour (hint hint).
Simen Mitlid has a new album in the works which means fans have been getting a steady stream of singles from the songwriter this year. The singer-songwriter hails from Os, Norway and I’m wondering if maybe it’s something to do with these old and icy places that caters to the creation of such soft-spoken, but vibrantly beautiful music, like Belle and Sebastian or Simen Mitlid. Then again, Belle and Sebastian are notoriously nerdy and “Chaotic Good” is, well, a song about D&D. Maybe the correlation lies somewhere else, i.e. music nerds make the best music.
Lauren Ruth Ward
I’ve been a longtime Lauren Ruth Ward fan now so you know I’m not blowing air up your skirt when I say this new single might be her best yet. Sure, it’s not the next radio smash (although we will definitely play it on our radio show), but “Hungry Barber” has a realness to it, a breath of life, that will make it an instant fan favorite. The stripped-down single clocks in at 90 seconds so it feels more like a stolen moment; an intimate glimpse into the creative partnership between LRW and Eduardo Rivera, her songwriting partner. Listen below..
Snake and the Rabbit
The psych-folk duo known as Snake and the Rabbit has a dusty outlaw Americana sound that feels a little bit homey and a little bit dangerous on their new single, “Harquahala”. Combining the songwriting talents of Brett and Leanna Patterson, Snake and the Rabbit comes across like the Sonoran cousin of The Handsome Family and I’m totally about it. “Harquahala” marks the first single from the wife-husband duo’s new EP which should be coming out soon. Check out “Harquahala” and then follow Snake and the Rabbit on your preferred platform to stay current on their releases.
“I’m a Hikikomori”
Hikikomori, for those who might be wondering, is a “psychological condition which makes people shut themselves off from society, often staying in their houses for months on end.”  Or, in other words, my daily introvert daydream. And, it looks like I might not be alone in this quest for unceasingly isolation (ahem, husband excluded… maybe). Keith Cooper’s “I’m a Hikikomori” has me hyper aware of that post-human pull but my anxiety is assuaged by that danceable indie energy Keith puts into his music. Pensive needn’t be drab, fellas, just because you’re sad. Keith Cooper gets it.