5 Stellar Indie Singles

by Carly Schorman
Senior Editor

The Fuzzy Crystals

“The King is Dead”

Are you ready for the transcendental expierence that is The Fuzzy Crystals? These spaced-out pysch rockers from California (where else?) create a dynamic sound that will have you wandering through the acidic flower fields of our hippie parents’ memory mindspace with their new single, “The King is Dead”. If you feel like you might have missed out on Woodstock, I suggest delving into The Fuzzy Crystals right away.

Swellshark

“Numb + Insensible”

How should we describe the music of the musical duo known as Swellshark? Sweet and somber? Lonely but playful? Sad and happy? It seems like all the words apply when listening to “Numb + Insensible”. Shélan O’Keefe and Henry Kellam (aka Swellshark) fuse together a buoyant indie folk sound with pensive lyrics that seek to root out all those insecurities you sought to subjugate. The pair are heading out on tour this coming June so check with Swellshark to see if they have a stop in your neck of the woods. For us in Phoenix that means The Trunk Space on June 3rd so mark your calendar!

Joy Downer

“Stranger Places”

The husband and wife team behind Joy Downer [Jeffrey Downer and Joy Bishop] are originally from San Diego but they recently made the jump to Hollywood. “Stranger Places” takes that casual Pacific air and adds some L.A. production for a super fun summer single. This track comes to us from the duo’s EP, Radio Dreamer, which was recorded and produced by Rob Kolar at his Echo Park studio. Check out the single from Joy Downer below &/or head here for the complete Radio Dreamer EP.

Loyal Wife

“We Notice Homes When They Break”

There’s something nostalgic about that early indie sound “popularized” in the 90s by alt-rock bands that had too much buoyancy in their sound for grunge. It definitely feels like Loyal Wife has continued the tradition on their new single, “We Notice Homes When They Break”. Loyal Wife has that bright bummer rock thing down and I’m totally digging it. Check out the single, available through Sunset Alliance Records, below…

Shadowgraphs

“Eastern Holiday”

This psych-rock act from North Carolina is passing through Phoenix in June and all you locals are not going to want to miss out on the vintage sound of Shadowgraphs. “Eastern Holiday” starts off with a bit of Western amble before giving way to a mellow and nostalgic rocknroll that is quite enchanting. Give “Eastern Holiday” a spin below and then be sure to check in with the Shadowgraphs’ complete tour schedule (through Facebook).*

*This sentence was modified from its originally published content because some writer got a show date wrong. The jury is out on whether to blame the band or the staffer. Trial to begin at noon.**

**That was a joke. There’s no “trial” other than trial by combat and that always starts promptly as dusk.

5 Hawt HipHop Singles

by Carly Schorman
Senior Editor

2Reps

“Been Wild”

There’s a fun summertime feel on “Been Wild” that’s perfect for the over-25-crowd (uh, maybe over 30). You know, those of us who might have had our wild days but now we maybe just want to kickback and use all those bills we save on booze for tropical vacations. Of course, 2Reps throw enough bounce into “Been Wild” to keep the kids interested even if they haven’t crossed that “Still Wild” threshold quite yet.

Susspect

“Jelly”

At nineteen, Susspect might be a little green but you won’t be able to glean that from his new single, “Jelly”. This kid sounds pro. I mean, he’s got some serious lyrical prowess and a slick delivery. That’s a winning combo. But, right now, Susspect is doing the collegiate thing by day at Emerson so don’t start pressuring him to spit out singles faster than his schedule will permit. #StayInSchool

J. Reid Prime

“All Mine”

This slouchy single from J. Reid Prime brings a little chill to these increasingly hot days. “All Mine”, produced by Gage Green, features Sonny from Mars on the vocals. This is the first single Prime has released in a year so fans will be stoked to learn that this track is just a prelude to the artist’s forthcoming album, Braille Teeth. Roll around your city with J. Reid Prime and his single, “All Mine”.

Bad Poetry Club

“Victory Lap”

Bad Poetry Club throws out some mad energy into the mix of their new single, “Victory Lap”. BPC lays out fresh instrumentals on this single to support the wisely sparse lyrics. After all, with a beat like that, who wants to get too wordy. This is nu jazz, not your normal HipHop hit. Give “Victory Lap” by Bad Poetry Club a spin below…

Jaac

“Minutes”

Jaac recorded this track last year at the tender age of seventeen. On “Minutes”, Jaac proves you don’t always need to throw a lot down on the beat if you have the lyrical strength to carry your audience. Jaac does and you can hear that stripped-down style on “Minutes”. Let’s hope Jaac has more singles in the works this year.

7 Stellar Songwriters You Need to Know

songwritersThe SunPunchers

“Screwtop Head”

The SunPunchers released two singles in prelude to their new EP which comes out THIS WEEKEND. These songs have a sticky summer warmth, like laying on a screened-in porch on a day buzzing with mosquitoes. There is an aesthetic here of sun tea and swimming holes brought to life through stunning, and stunningly demure, musicianship. The release show goes down at The Newton on May 20. Once you hear “Screwtop Head” from The SunPunchers, I can’t imagine that there’s anywhere else you’ll want to be this coming Sunday. More info on that event can be found here.

Violetta Zironi

“Half Moon Lane”

Wait until you hear the ethereal voice of 21-year-old Italian singer/songwriter Violetta Zironi. It’s not just her voice that enchants listeners of “Half Moon Lane” but the charming narrative of her songwriting style.  The single has a stripped-down sound reminiscent of those swan-throated folk musicians of the 1970s like Vashti Bunyan. Just part my hair down the middle and wrap me in an afghan and I could listen to “Half Moon Lane” from Violetta Zironi all afternoon. I certainly hope to hear more from this artist soon.

Tuelo

“Saint Margaret”

“Saint Margaret” kicks off with just a minimal guitar line and the soulful voice of Tuelo Minah. That’s actually all you need. But, as the underlying instrumentation picks up, Tuelo continues to drive the single with those powerful pipes of hers. The song pays tribute to Minah’s mother in a way that I find both empowering and tinged with a certain sorrow that I feel many women hold for the experiences of our mothers. “Saint Margaret” by Tuelo is emotionally moving and sonically compelling so I suggest you check the single below…

Luca Chesney

“Maria, Promise Me the Next Life”

There are some really interesting things happening in the subtle sound permutations on “Maria, Promise Me the Next Life”; the new single from NYC-based singer, songwriter, and producer Luca Chesney. This alt-electro track is a disembodied but emotionally textured journey. “Maria, Promise Me the Next Life” is the first single from Chesney’s s/t debut EP. I’m hoping to get my hands on that release sometime soon. In the meantime, enjoy this new single from Luca Chesney.

Madeleine Dopico

“Me to Bleed”

This isn’t the first time we’ve featured the music of Madeleine Dopico in our publication and I’m starting to think that we’re going to build a lasting relationship. The promising young songwriter crafts emotionally powerful soundscapes that she meets head on with her robust voice. On “Me to Bleed”, Dopico creates a haunting atmosphere for her brooding lyrics and manages to throw in just the right amount of dramatic flair to keep things interesting. That’s a combo a mortician’s daughter like myself can get behind in her pop music.

Bradford Loomis

“Drive You Home”

Bradford Loomis (of The Banner Days) dropped his first solo album since 2013 in March. Bravery and the Bell features this gem of a single, “Drive You Home”. Loomis penned the album after learning that his father was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s. The soulful sound of Bradford Loomis’ folk style comes through with an earthy Americana that feels like it could easily find a home in Nashville, but the artist calls Washington (state… not that other one) home. Check out “Drive You Home” from Bradford Loomis here…

 Arpeggi

“Songs Don’t Help”

The Los Angeles songwriter who pens somber ditties under the name Arpeggi released her debut album, Senioritis, around this time last year. On that album, you’ll find “Songs Don’t Help” which delves into those Bell Jar moments when nothing seems to push back the skulking clouds of depression – not friends, not love, not even music (gasp). If you like your indie music stripped down and brooding, I suggest checking out “Songs Don’t Help” from Arpeggi. Or head here for the complete album.

7 Rowdy Singles from Around the World

Lauren Ruth Ward

“Blue Collar Sex Kitten”

Usually it’s Lauren Ruth Ward’s sultry Americana swagger that has us all wound up, but this week it looks like Ward is ready for rowdy and rocking. “Blue Collar Sex Kitten” is the latest hit to come out the songwriting partnership between L.A.-based musicians LRW and guitarist Eduardo Rivera. There’s so much sass on this single, you’re going to want to skip it on the drive to work and save it for that cruise home… unless, of course, you want to arrive at your job ready to burn the whole fucking place down. Consider that your warning.

The Great Malarkey

“Gaffa”

London-based band The Great Malarkey dares to ask the question, “Why did the Irish artist, the Canadian surfer, the Portuguese London tour guide, the Gloucestershire gardener, two UK Guild Hall students, a Latvian paralegal and an androgynous cockney, walk into a bar?” Apparently, the answer is create some riotous folk punk of orchestral proportions. Of course, with eight members listed as part of The Great Malarkey, I would imagine this band brings the party every time they show up to perform. If you dig “Gaffa” (and you will), I suggest checking out more of the online musical offerings The Great Malarkey released last month (here).

Sturdy Ladies

“Secret Weapon”

This garage rock trio from PHX adds some colorful kitsch to their punk rock punch bowl. Yes, Sturdy Ladies throw out the feisty fun on “Secret Weapon” that will have you shouting along so you might want to consider your location before you smash that play button. Luckily you’ll get your chance not once but twice. Not only are the Sturdy Ladies playing this Saturday, May 13, at the Yucca Tap they’re also opening for Shonen Knife (from Osaka, Japan) on May 24 with Shovel and The Pübes! More on that event here. Until then, spend some time with “Secret Weapon” and also their campy classic, “Cat Olympics“, available online as well. Both singles comes to us from the Sturdy Ladies’ debut EP, Brut Force, which you should pick up at a one of the previously mentioned shows because, so far, that’s the only place you can get ’em. Enjoy.

Dolly Spartans

“It’s Not Easy”

Okay, so when “It’s Not Easy” kicks off, you’re probably going to worry that I might be confused about what the word “rowdy” means, but give it a minute. The NYNY quartet known as the Dolly Spartans turn up the energy and the angst for this indie rock single. The vocals call to mind club scene kids like The Strokes while the accompanying instrumentation has an emo tinge that reminds me a bit of Jimmy Eat World. This single comes to us from the band’s latest EP, Time Sides with No One, which came out last month. Give “It’s Not Easy” by the Dolly Spartans a spin below…

Round Eye

“Billy”

Shanghai-based act Round Eye is comprised of “American ex-pats and Italians” which might seem like a bit of a metropolitan muddle, but rocknroll is a transcendent language that cold-crushes culture divides. “Billy” has a feisty punk energy and catchy hook that might just lodge into your brainspace and never leave again. Twenty years from now, a routine traffic stop could result in you screaming “Billy was a cop! Billy was a cop! Billy, Billy, Billy, Billy!” if you let the music of Round Eye take hold. And you definitely want to.

Annabel Allum

“Eat Greens”

Britain’s Annabel Allum first landed on our radar with her single, “Rich Backgrounds”, and this new single proves Allum is more than a one-trick pony. She has some chops. “Eat Greens” rips into that impetus toward better health that hits many of us as we move toward full-time adulting, but the song is more about finding balance than just clever witticisms. Allum has a gritty sound and a dry tongue that reminds me of Courtney Barnett. “Eat Greens” came out on April 28 through Killing Moon Records. Give the new single a spin below and, if you haven’t already, check out “Rich Backgrounds” from Annabel Allum as well.

Otherkin

“Bad Advice”

The Irish rockers known as Otherkin have some “Bad Advice” to offer up to fans. The four-piece describes their sound rather accurately as “Grunge Pop” so I could easily seeing them sharing a bill with Phoenix favorites like Fairy Bones or maybe Harper and the Moths.  This single comes to us from the band’s forthcoming debut album. Hopefully, we’ll be able to get our grubby mitts on that release in the not-too-distant future. Until then, enjoy “Bad Advice” from Otherkin…

7 Mellow Singles for Your Morning

Joel Porter

“St. Anthony”

Sometimes beautiful things reach us from unexpected locales… like the breathtakingly beautiful “St. Anthony” from Bismark [North Dakota] artist, Joel Porter. This slow-burning indie-folk single just might break your heart so enter aware. Porter is the musician son of musician parents, and a multi-instrumentalist (from violin to french horns and a whole lot in between), so I went into this single expecting quite a bit, but “St. Anthony” still manages to blow me away. Subtle yet orchestral. Restrained yet deeply emotional. Listen to “St. Anthony” below and then I definitely recommend diving into the complete EP that Joel Porter put out last month, Mountain Twin.  

Vansire

“Pale Blue”

The dream pop act known as Vansire released their EP – The Rolling, Driftless North – a few months back and that album included this sweet single. “Pale Blue” almost has a BritPop sound (à la Belle & Sebastian) so the track’s basically been on repeat all day. Maybe its something about that snowy weather up in Minnesota that gives Vansire its Glasgow glow, but the band manages to sound buoyant and sorrowful at the same moment and the effect is lovely. Give “Pale Blue” from Vansire a listen below &/or check out the band’s complete EP: The Rolling, Driftless North

Say Anise

 “One Sound”

London-based singer-songwriter Emily Barnett performs under the moniker Say Anise; a name you’ll probably want to remember after you hear this dreamy number. Barnett has a sweet-tempered voice that floats over the easygoing indie folk instrumentation of “One Sound”. It’s a subtle charmer that pairs well with a relaxing morning at home and maybe some quiet reflection about where you are in the world and where you want to be going. Give “One Sound” from Say Anise a listen below…

Simen Mitlid

“I Don’t Care”

This new track from Simen Mitlid has a lithe indie-folk sound that will invigorate you, mind and body. Mitlid’s effervescent voice meets the symphonious instrumentation and sprightly harmonies of “I Don’t Care” with anything but apathy, no matter what the title suggests. Mitlid comes to us from Os (in Norway), but I’m hoping his music lands him stateside sooner rather than later. I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on this artist in hopes of new tunes on the approaching horizon. In the meantime, enjoy the blithe sound of Simen Mitlid’s “I Don’t Care” below…

SCHWARZ

“Home”

SCHWARZ is the new musical undertaking of Roland Meyer de Voltaire (formerly of the band Voltaire). “Home” takes us to the somber side of mellow for this introspective exploration of what it means to belong. SCHWARZ takes a stripped down approach on this acoustic single, but he still packs the emotive charge of an ensemble. SCHWARZ’s “Home” just dropped on Spinnin’ Records a couple months back. Give the track a listen below…

Tega

“Love Is”

The Canadian act known as Tega shared “Love Is” and this indie-folk single has a neo-soul slant I really love. The vocal layers that float above the tranquil melody on “Love Is” create a haunting sound that will stay with you long after you listen. If you dig this track, I suggest delving further into Tega’s online offerings [here]. But, first, check out “Love Is” by Tega below…

Jynjo & R E L

“A Little Bit Sometimes”

LA-based singer/songwriter R E L teamed up with the producer known as Jynjo to craft out this chill single. The indie-electro “A Little Bit Sometimes” has some fun bounce to it without ever breaking its relaxed atmosphere. And you gotta love the supple vocals of R E L. Kick it with “A Little Bit Sometimes” from Jynjo & R E L…

7 Eclectic Summertime Singles

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by Carly Schorman
Senior Editor

Exxxtra Crispy

“Scumbag” 

Exxxtra Crispy might be a new band on the Tempe scene, but this rowdy bunch is comprised of some pretty prominent players. The band just dropped their debut album, They Don’t Think It Be Like It Is But It Do, on 4/20 which includes this sweet single. “Scumbag” kicks off with Latarian Milton talking up that hoodrat life before some “totally danceable minimalist-pop-power-funk/punk” takes over. This single is a superb example of that Exxxtra Crispy sound: smart sample selection, horns, and some seriously riotous punk vocals all smushed together. This band might just be for you if your idea of summer fun includes late nights, loud music, recreational drugs, and, well, you get it…. Smash that play button below and don’t forget to delve into the full Exxtra Crispy experience here.

moonweather

“Drying Out”

Moonweather might only count three official members amongst their ranks, but for the making of the new album, they called upon friends near and far until the list of participating artists and musicians became a bit too long to print. The band describes their sound as “kind of like Sufjan Stevens and Modest Mouse had a child they’re both disappointed in,” but I think moonweather harkens back to even earlier indie. “Drying Out” has a bit of a Pavement feel to me, particularly during the early part of the song. The single has a bit of a listless feel – you know, that lazy hazy feeling that you get on a sticky summer afternoon when you have nothing to do bit listen to records and stare at the ceiling fan. That is this song.

Call Me Karizma

“Zombie”

If you missed Call Me Karizma when they passed through Tempe back in March, you missed out but you can correct that with a little at-home listening. Call Me Karizma opts for a more pharmaceutical application of the term “Zombie” on their chill new single. This “emo-pop” number has a slouchy feel but the production is tight. That just might be the modern mode of psychedelia for the pill-poppin’ generation. Danceable and sometimes depressing. I dig it. Zone out to “Zombie” from Call Me Karizma below…

Cooper Claire

“Pedaling”

Michigan musician Cooper Claire wrote this indie ditty about riding a bike with a friend. How cute and summertime is that?! Claire takes us back to a a time “when friendship was effortless” and bicycles were our sole means of transport. There’s a lot of variance within the soundscape here so make sure you park it for the long-haul with “Pedaling” or, at the very least, hold out past the 90-second-mark when we catch that downhill speed.

Amariszi

“Va T’en Fou”

This riotous act from the Netherlands combines Balkan influences with klezmer, folk, pop, and even a touch of reggae. Yes, folks, you read that right. Their new single “Va T’en Fou” is just a taste of what can be expected from their new album, Babel Fish. I just love this track. “Va T’en Fou” feels like a gypsy riverboat party on the Seine in Paris. Amariszi is definitely one of those bands I want to see live so let’s hope they’re ready to talk U.S. tour.

Syntax Club

“Mississippi, Come and Take Me”

Despite the carcinogenic amount of sunlight in my early days, there’s a little bubble of nostalgia that gains extra glow when the weather warms. The Oklahoma City duo known as Syntax Club manages to capture that seasonal buoyancy in their beach pop sound on “Mississippi, Come and Take Me” despite their distance from the ocean. There’s carefree school-vacation feel on this single that calls for flipflops, cutoffs, and a boombox down by the river. Check out “Mississippi, Come and Take Me” by Syntax Club below…

The Apaches

“Pistoleros”

When it comes to The Apaches, don’t just stop at one song. My suggestion is to start with “Pistoleros” and then work your way through all of Musica Surfica Vol. III & IV; the followup to 2016’s Musica Surfica Vol. I & II, of course. In fact, you could just go all the way back to Vol. I  & II to partake of the complete set (thus far). The Apaches add a splash of desert garage to their beachy surf sound. If you’re getting ready to light the tiki torches and grill up some Sonoran dogs, The Apaches have your playlist covered. You can sample “Pistoleros”, the opening track from Vol. III & IV, or you can just head here to score that complete album.

7 Chill Indie Electro Jams

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by Carly Schorman
Senior Editor

The Fontaines

“Vacancy”

The Fontaines might describe their sound as “New-Wop from L.A.” but I would definitely cite more New Wave influence than Do-Wop on their latest single, “Vacancy”. Ethereal vocals and a chill pop vibe make for a seriously catchy number. “Vacancy” comes to us from The Fontaines’ forthcoming LP which is currently in the works and the Los Angeles act just made their SXSW debut this year so this is one of those band’s you’re going to want to pay attention to. Big things in the works for The Fontaines.

Black Fly

“I Don’t Know”

So, when I first heard this track, I saw that it was demarcated as bedroom recordings of “goth synth music”. Perhaps, it goes without saying that I was wary going in, but thank goodness we have that strident “listen to all things” policy here or I might have passed right over the jewel that is Black Fly. The somber, but also uplifting, single from the Vermont artist known as Black Fly combines an elaborate synth soundscape with brooding vocals as the songwriter ruminates on toxic persona. “I Don’t Know” carries a sense of ponderous isolation and the emotional highs and lows that can be found in that secluded space. I’d tell you to follow Black Fly to keep watch for new singles along with me, but he’s not playing that social media game. Maybe the isolation fuels the music-making.

VVAVES

“Fall Apart”

VVAves, not to be confused with WAVVES, is 21-year-old Canadian musician Emma Sophia Rosen. The self-taught songwriter and producer shows some tremendous potential on “Fall Apart”, her first original single. The mellow beat and nimble vocals will entrance the listener so they might glaze right over the production’s crisp, radio-ready sound – an accomplishment in and of itself. During those first fifteen seconds of “Fall Apart” you might think you’re in for a grrl’n’guitar, but this song offers much, much more. I expect this is just the first I’m hearing of VVaves’ Rosen.

I M U R 

“Swirl”

The Canadian trio known as I M U R creates hallucinatory electropop perfect for drifting out of mind and body on those sweltering summer afternoons drawing ever near. On their new single, “Swirl”, it’s the dreamy vocals of Jenny Lea that drives the song and its musings on love. The underlying music is minimal but smartly layered to give shape and structure to “Swirl”. Chillax with “Swirl” from I M U R on those hot and hazy days of summer. If you dig this single, I suggest checking out the band’s LP, Little Death, which came out in March and features “Swirl”.

PARC

“4U”

French artist PARC now calls Los Angeles home. For his latest single, “4U”, PARC explores the terrain of his locale and the population that peoples its streets. The music on “4U” comes across as bright and buoyant with an easygoing energy. Basically, it’s everything SoCal. I can already tell that PARC is going to fit right in. Float in the relaxing atmosphere of PARC’s “4U”.

Foxgluvv

“crush”

The London songbird known as Foxgluvv dropped her sultry single, “crush”, earlier this month. Fusing sedate and smokey vocals with a hypnotic sound will put you into mellow mode after just one listen. The lyrics are more cool than confessional; giving on space to appear both interested and aloof at the same time. “crush” marks the first single from Foxgluvv but I’m hoping there are other tracks in the works. Until then, kickback with “crush”…

Bea Box

“I am quiet”

Bea Box is the stage name of Montréal artist Joannie Labelle. There is a lot of tension in the sound at the start her new single, “I am quiet”, that will wax and wane as the track progresses. This tension works well with the sense of calm that pervades the whole song. Bea Box seems to lean more toward avant-garde end of electropop rather than seeking to scratch out radio hits and I like that about her. You’ll find more than a calm and dreamy number on “I am quiet” (even though it’s that too). There are some interesting aural elements Bea Box cultivates within the sound of “I am quiet”. Experience it for yourself below…

7 Flavors of Folk

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by Carly Schorman
Senior Editor

Old Nobodaddy

“Bury the Hatchet”

I like my folk music tall, brooding, and murderous which, thankfully, is waaay different from how I like my men. Well, all except the tall part, I guess.  Old Nobodaddy sounds like his roots run deep, down into the sludgy wetland woods of Louisiana, but it’s New Orleans he currently calls home. “Bury the Hatchet” offers listeners back-porch gospel subtly refined so as not to lose that salt-of-the-earth feel. This is gospel for the for the soulless and god-fearing alike. Give “Bury the Hatchet” from Old Nobodaddy a spin below…

Ola Sweet

“Strange Lately”

All you music fans who prefer your Americana mellow and bluesy, make sure you check out Ola Sweet. This Boise quartet has a retro rock vibe that calls to mind 70s dad-‘staches and snap-down shirts. And, I mean that in the best way possible. Ola Sweet isn’t just another Band of Horses/Black Keys revivalist act. There’s something earthy and authentic that comes through in their sound on “Strange Lately” that has me hooked. Take the single for a spin below…

Jessica Frech

“Already Won”

Jessica Frech comes to us from the indie-folk side of the spectrum with her new single “Already Won”. The song possesses an effervescence in its sound that will lift your spirits as the lyrics empower you to face the challenges of your everyday. Frech has a lissome voice that lends itself well to the uplifting charge of “Already Won”. This artist has already developed a bit of a following for her quirky folk-pop but you’ll hear a more serious, but never sullen, sound on this new single. Give “Already Won” a listen below…

John Timothy

“The Longest Line (Daniel)”

The SoCal songwriter has a straight-from-the-heartland sound that could easily be at home in Nashville or Amarillo, but it’s Los Angeles where John Timothy resides. Timothy’s alt-country style has a rusted edge that adds to the authenticity of his sound. This song “was recorded in conjunction with ‘Words Uncaged’, a graduate class that worked with inmates on Life Without Parole at Lancaster State Penitentiary,” so maybe that authenticity is also derived from the narrative recounted in the lyrics. Whatever the case may be, “The Longest Line (Daniel)” by John Timothy is a powerful number that will continue to resonate long after you listen.

Johnny Stimson

“I’ll Be Fine”

Songwriter and self-proclaimed time traveler, Johnny Stimson, will take you from anguish to acceptance on his new single, “I’ll Be Fine”. Stimson’s emotive voice drives this pop-infused indie-folk single with its heart-wrenching realness. The track is stripped down to just the vocalist and his guitar, but it suits the self-revealing lyricism quite nicely. Check out “I’ll Be Fine” by Johnny Stimson below, and if you like what you’re hearing, delve further into the online musical offerings of this Dallas artist here.

The Solars

“Potter’s Field/Dockery”

For those of you who feel you might have been born in the wrong era and would have been better suited to prancing through fields with the Flower Children of the 1960s, we have the band for you. The Solars from Boston (MA) craft a folk rock sound chalk full of nostalgic for the days of Jefferson Airplane and Jethro Tull (organs included). Their meandering single “Potter’s Field/Dockery” is a dynamic journey of sound and sight; of rich harmonies and oscillating energy. Hit play below to take the trip that is “Potter’s Field/Dockery” with The Solars.

The Four Corners Quartet

“I’ve Just Seen the Rock of Ages”

For those of us in Arizona (where we’re based), the “Four Corners” refers to the northeast region of our state and its surrounding areas that all meet in an intersecting, four-corner border. In the case of The Four Corners of Quartet, however, the moniker refers instead to the Four Corners of the Globe from whence the participating musicians originated: Jordan, the United States, Palestine, and the United Kingdom. The quartet is not just a meeting point for people of different cultural backgrounds, but a merging place for various musical traditions, including middle-eastern, jazz, western classical, and American-folk. Sink into the orchestral folk of The Four Corners Quartet and their song, “I’ve Just Seen the Rock of Ages”.

7 Awesome Alt-Rock Singles

by Carly Schorman
Senior Editor

Welles

“Life Like Mine”

The Nashville band known as Welles is set to break big so you should check out this single so you can say you knew them when. The band performed at SXSW and they’re on the bill for Bonnaroo, but it might be this single that pushes them into the mainstream. “Life Like Mine” offers a slouchy vibe and sharp musicianship while catchy, Sgt. Pepper-made-modern vocals (provided by Welles’ frontman, Jehsea Wells) seal the deal on this hit-in-the-making. Give “Life Like Mine” a listen below…

 The Edisons

“5 Reasons I Stopped Drinking Tequila (and Why I Started Again)”

Woah, did we almost miss the bus on this release or what? Phoenix 4-piece, The Edisons, released their debut, Space Whales, back in October and we’re just getting to it now. Don’t judge. We’re busy. These feisty alt-rock get downright gritty at moments on “5 Reasons I Stopped Drinking Tequila (and Why I Started Again)”. But The Edisons like to keep their sound dynamic so expect some shifts, not only on this single but on Space Wales as a whole, as you move from start to finish. They are seeking to explore their sound on this first release, not to define it. Make sure you check out this single and, if you dig what you’re hearing, I highly recommend diving into Space Wales

Slowkiss

“Forever Together”

This alt-rock quartet from Santiago, Chile now divides their time between has made the jump from South America to Southern California. Honey-sweet vocals over a sludgy sea of shoegazy rock on their single, “Forever Together”, brings me back to my 90s-era youth; a nostalgic time for me of grumpy baristas and Juliana Hatfield. This single is just the first from the band’s forthcoming EP, Ultraviolet. I’ll be keeping watch for that release. And maybe after you give “Forever Together” below, you’ll be a Slowkiss fan too.

Absofacto

“Light Outside”

I can imagine this new single from Absofacto really catching on with alt-rock radio stations across the country. It has just enough of an electro-pop punch to really hit home with contemporary audiences. Of course, once it starts to enjoy that regular radio play, I’ll probably start to hate it, but right now I’m jamming “Lights Outside”. The track premiered with Earmilk back in February and enjoyed some HypeMachine attention early on, but my guess is that we’re just hearing the start of Absofacto. Hop on that fan-train early and give “Lights Outside” a listen below…

HUNNY

“Shy”

The SoCal act known as Hunny puts a sunny pop-punk spin on their alt-rock sound that makes it perfect for warming weather. “Shy” marks the first single from their forthcoming collection. The energy on “Shy” can buoy your spirits in the middle of a rough week so it’s no surprise to us that , even though it only dropped last week, it’s enjoying some serious early attention from listeners. HUNNY plans on setting out for tour with Bad Sun soon so check for dates in your area. But, first, give “Shy” a spin below…

Maude Gun

“On High”

The Brooklyn duo, comprised of Molly Murphy and Jenni Lind, goes in for that raw, emotive sound first popularized by the alt-rockers of the 90s: something gritty and a little aggressive. Maude Gun calls their debut single, “On High”, a “mystic-folk riot grrrl anthem” and that description pretty much hits the head on the nail. There is something simultaneously earthy and otherworldly in Maude Gun’s sound. Give “On High” a listen below…

The Great Dictators

“Blood”

The Danish indie rock trio The Great Dictators combines forceful guitars with hazy vocals to erect a wall of shoegaze sound on their new track, “Blood”. The Great Dictators stomp all over the divide between post-rock and alt-rock; allowing elements from both traditions to seep into their own brand of indie. The effect is a hypnotizing blend of textures and sounds that you can really sink down into. “Blood” comes to us from the band’s new album (due out later this year). I’m definitely interested in hearing more of what The Great Dictators have to offer. Listen to “Blood” for yourself below…

 

6 Rad Radio-Ready Singles

by Carly Schorman
Senior Editor

Pink Slip

“Said it All”

Kyle Buckley, also known as Pink Slip, made the jump from Atlanta to Nashville, but his sound still holds some of that ATL slink in its slick production. “Said it All” comes to us from Pink Slip’s debut EP – Pink Hotel – which dropped last month. Pink Slip sets the soulful vocal stylings of featured artist Estef against some contemporary R&B bounce on “Said it All”. Make sure you give “Said it All” by Pink Slip a listen below and then delve into Pink Hotel (available here).

Addie Hamilton

“La La La”

Those kids who always seemed to possess a clear understanding of their calling early on (and had the talent to boot) always irritated me a little. They should have to fumble around with self-identity like all the rest of us, goddammit. Addie Hamilton is one of those. A teenage love affair with her grandmother’s record collection turned into a life’s work early on for Hamilton and now, at 21 years old, she already kicking out radio-ready gold with her new single, “La La La”. There’s a kittenish tinge to Addie Hamilton’s voice will put you in the mood for a Gatsby-style bash, champagne and flappers included, of course. Those jazzy vocals harken back to that record collection of Hamilton’s youth which included classics from Peggy Lee, Benny Goodman, and Eartha Kitt. Give “La La La” by Addie Hamilton a listen below…

Naah

“Worth It”

This chill chip-pop track from the Swedish artist known as Naah can turn your morning commute into the right kind of attitude adjustment if you need a little more shoulder shimmy in your day. Naah will help with that. “Worth It” creates a fun but zen atmosphere that will leave you feeling mellow. This is just the first single from the two track release, of the same title, so consider delving further into the offerings of Naah (available here). But, first, check out “Worth It” below…

 Flannel Albert

“aok”

This catchy new single from Flannel Albert (aka Albert Joo) could see some series spins at those backyard barbecues this coming summer. Flannel Albert , originally from Portland, jumped coasts and took his melodic rhyme style to Brooklyn, but I can still detect a bit of that West Coast easygoing attitude on “aok”. The track has an old school, kickback atmosphere and that video-game-reminiscent sound that starts off the single only adds to that nostalgia. Flannel Albert dropped this track while gearing up for tour. “aok” marks the first single from his forthcoming tape so keep watch for that release this Spring. In the meantime, check out “aok” below…

Lex One

“Let’s Get Lost”

Lex One might have earned his chops in the Miami underground hiphop scene, but it looks like he’s ready break mainstream. And this new single, “Let’s Get Lost”, will only help the cause. Lex One delivers a steady stream of lyrical musings on love and lust on “Let’s Get Lost” while Hellz Poet provides the super catchy hook.  Get lost with Lex One below…

Tim Hox

“One Big Race”

With a little help from 17-year-old vocalist Julia Rose, producer Tim Hox shaped out this club-ready moombahton number. Hox lays down a beat to get you moving while Rose has an alternatively smokey and lithe voice that will have you reaching for repeat. If Reggaeton is up your alley, “One Big Race” might be your new jam. You just might have so much fun on that first listen that you don’t notice the goal-oriented message that lies in the lyrics, but we all might benefit from paying attention. Give “One Big Race” a listen below…