5 Chill (and Eclectic) Indie Singles

by Carly Schorman

Bobby Baritone

“Shaving Private Ryan”

Bobby Baritone has a low-key indie style that makes me think he’d mesh well with in Phoenix. Maybe we’ll get a chance to find out this summer when the Seattle performer sets off on tour. Matthew Fildey is the songwriter behind the Bobby Baritone moniker, in a sorta Diners/Tyler Blue Broderick situation. And, truth be told, “Shaving Private Ryan” reminds me a bit of that hometown favorite [Diners] in its innocent and unabashed feel, both in the songwriting and in the delivery.  The single comes to us from Bobby Baritone’s new EP, Scum Rock, which is due out later this month. Pre-Order is available through Bandcamp!



“Pretend Land”

Phoenix-based songwriter Mikey Pro launched Foresteater in 2015 as the vehicle for his trippy brand of buoyant indie rock “after a dream he had about a band playing on an island in outer-space surrounded by electric rainbows.” That’s actually the perfect way to describe the Foresteater sound. Blurring that rock/pop line, Foresteater’s “Pretend Land” takes some of the grounding of grunge to help tether that candy-coated sound and we love it.


River Whyless

“Born in the Right Country”‘

The indie-folk-rock act known as River Whyless is gearing up for the launch of their new album, Kindness, A Rebel, which is due out through Roll Call Records this coming June. Annnd releasing “Born in the Right Country” as the first single from that record is definitely a bold step in putting your message where your music is as the N.C. questions the random luck of birthright and concept of the American Dream. Of course, River Whyless does this all in a Baroque Folk / Indie Pop style that has counting down days until the June 8th release date of Kindness, A Rebel. Pre-order the new album through Bandcamp today!

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Erin Rae

“Can’t Cut Loose”

Truth be told, I’ve only glimpsed windswept plains of North America, but I imagine that if they could sing, they would sound a lot like Erin Rae. Riding along that sometimes indetermintate line between indie-folk and Americana, Erin Rae’s latest single, “Can’t Cut Loose”, showcases the artist’s talent for translating the heaviness of earthly sorrows through her ethereal voice. “Can’t Cut Loose” is the first single from Erin Rae’s forthcoming LP, Putting on Airs, which is due out in June through Single Locke Records.


Laura Jean Anderson

“Silence Won’t Help Me Now”

Laura Jean Anderson also comes to us from the great state of Washington, but this time from Olympia. After moving to California to study classical voice at CalArts, Anderson spent some time picking up farm work in South America, and back in Washington, before returning to her newfound home in Los Angeles. Some of you might remember she passed through Phoenix last year while working on new material. “Silence Won’t Help Me Now” is the first single from that new collection from the songwriter.



5 Smooth NeoSoul Jams

by Carly Schorman


“Crazy Love”

“Crazy Love” started out as a simple freestyle before Truvonne decided to flesh it out into a fully-formed single. That’s rad because last year it was Truvonne’s “Alright” that had us enthralled (and made our Best of 2017 list). “Crazy Love” has that tranced-out vibe that locked us down in Truvonne’s camp way back when. This fresh single captures that chill Truvonne musicality while the lyrics make the jealous type thing seem, well, kinda hot.

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Toronto’s Preston Chin might be better known by his onstage moniker, Robotaki. Bringing together electronica elements with R&B on his new single, “Butterscotch”, Robotaki achieves something hip and totally fresh. And that’s really saying something for a dude whose fan group is called “Science Lab Group” and publicly lists his personal email address for all things Harry Potter-related. “Butterscotch” is sultry in a way I don’t first think of when I think “Potterhead”. Obviously, that’s my limitation. “Butterscotch” also features the talents of Jamie Fine and Falcxne and can be found on Robotaki’s latest EP, Science, which came out this week.




Man, this new song from Kaprii is really resonating with me right now, as I’m sure it will with anyone who’s been forced to deal with a personal relationship that starts to compromise your sense of self-worth, whether romantic or otherwise. Kaprii moves into a chillax space before unfurling her lyrical knots. Zone out to this song and think about who you need to sing (or scream) these lyrics to. Consider it your act of self-care for the day.


Raina Sokolov-Gonzalez


This new track from Raina Sokolov-Gonzalez starts off with a jazzy sound, but these elements will remain fixed as the groundwork upon which “Unarmed” is constructed. Personally, I can’t decide what I like more: the poetical approach to the lyrics or the vocals that deliver them. There is definitely an experimental element to this track that goes beyond the blurring of genres. Something akin to Alt-R&B or Americana-Jazz. Whatever it is, New York’s Raina Sokolov-Gonzalez creates a compelling soundscape on “Unarmed”.


Rainbow Dog


Maia Quin joins Rainbow Dog’s lead singer, Agnes Azria, to address pleasure and its potential price on the new single from this L.A.-based Future Soul Jazz-Fusion band. “Pleasure” actually marks Rainbow Dog’s debut on the recorded music front and I’m super digging the modern lounge style for a chill evening at home with friends… or, I guess, just one friend. Just don’t have too much fun unless you’ve properly considered the “price for pleasure” or Rainbow Dog won’t be impressed. After all, they issued fair warning. As mentioned, this is just the first single from the band so follow Rainbow Dog to stay current on future releases.


5 Mellow Singles to Help You Unfurl

by Carly Schorman



Get ready for a voice that will haunt you. “Bird”, the debut single from London-based artist, Sabiyha, provides the perfect introduction to the combined power of her lyricism and vocals. Brooding, orchestral indie-folk sets the backdrop for the heart-wrenching performance on “Bird” as the songwriter explores the cultural displacement she experienced as an individual of Indo-Caribbean descent “trying to assimilate into a world where I didn’t truly fit in.”  The single comes to us from Sabiyha’s debut EP, Hollow Bones, which is due out later this month. Not to be missed.

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 The Hails


Fusing together a modern indie sound with a 70s style pop groove, The Hails from Gainesville [FL] crafted this slinky new single. Vocalist Robbie Kingsley lays out a lounge vibe while the slowly building instrumental gains more focus as the track progresses; always fluidly interwoven with the vocal layers. “Younger” by The Hails is perfect for long afternoons and early cocktail hours.

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Sarah Chapman


Some of you might best know Sarah Chapman as the frontwoman of Phoenix’s Ghost Cat Attack, but the songwriter has another side… something a little more stripped-down and sultry. Chapman frequently performs around the Valley in this solo-mode, but fans can now take home the intimacy of those acoustic performances with Let Love Shine  – the brand-new EP slated for release this weekend. “Distraction” offers us the first taste of what’s to come and, at the same time, a small glimpse into the songwriter’s inner workings as she looks to balance that #artlyfe and her love life.

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Delafaye (aka Andrew Shockley) first captured our attention last year with the release of three new EPs (yep, THREE). Looks like the Louisville songwriter has no plans of slowing down in 2018. “Anyway” came out earlier this month through Street Mission Records and marks Delafaye’s first single since last September. My guess is that the prolific Delafaye cooked up some stellar new songs during that six-month hiatus in releases and “Anyway” is only our first sampling of what’s to come. If so, this is looking like a promising year for Delafaye fans.


 Vintage Clothes

“See Her Fantasies”

Phoenix’s Vintage Clothes released their jazzy debut s/t EP back in January and on that release you can find this funky track, “See Her Fantasies”. Vintage Clothes combines the talents of Michael Oden and Matt Oliverio for a retro-styled sound for a chill vibe that could easily fit in at any hip downtown piano bar. “See Her Fantasies” is about more than looking beyond the woman to see the fantasies that lurk beneath; it’s about breaking down those gender barriers that seek to cage us all.

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5 Fresh HipHop Singles for Your Weekend Playlist

by Carly Schorman

Mouse Powell


Picking just one single to feature from Mouse Powell’s latest album is a challenge in of itself. The album features some choice guest spots from PHX musicians, like Jason Devore of Authority Zero and Andy Chaves of Katastro. “Coffee” mixes musings on love and sobriety with a funky beat while Sarah Robinson lends her pipes to the backing vocals to add some sass to this single. If you missed the release show for First Love, you missed out. Don’t make the same mistake on this album.


Balkan Bump


Talib Kweli just passed through Phoenix to play a show with some super cool locals (see also: Wolfzie, Tru Vonne, and Futuristic), but if you missed that one, you can enjoy his collaborative appearance on this new single from Balkan Bump. For those not currently in the know, Balkan Bump is the new musical undertaking from trumpet player, producer, Oakland resident, and ethnomusicologist Will Magid. “Aymo” was released through the artist’s on imprint, Lowtemp Music, in anticipation of his s/t debut. I’m definitely digging the Eastern European folk infusion with some Oaktown hiphop so I’m keeping watch Balkan Bump by Balkan Bump.


Black One

“Breaking Infinity”

Arizona’s own Black One dropped his latest LP just in time for Xmas, but if you didn’t find a copy under your tree, you can still snag the release through Bandcamp. Breaking Infinity comes in at 13 tracks (intro included) and even features a guest spot from Random aka Mega Ran, but the title track was an early stand out for me. The production on the underlying soundscape is sharp and rich in innovative elements that break away from all those other boring beats out that get sent to us every week by way of submission. Check out “Breaking Infinity”, the single, and then score the full album over on Bandcamp to throw some support to the artist.

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This experimental hiphop act brings you “Heaven” right from the PHX. Optimystical combines elements of soul and jazz with hiphop and then sends that sound on the Stream of Consciousness for a free-flowing vibe. I’m definitely digging this new act on the rise. You should take “Heaven” for a spin and then all you locals should make plans to catch the Optimystical experience live ASAP.



“Top Down”

If you’re looking for that weekend kickback song, this might be it. You can spin “Top Down” from Jpaulished while driving around (definitely with the top down if that’s an option) and the music on blast. You can feel the stress from the week – bad workdays and bad dates – melt away  until you’re left feeling as mellow as the beat that drives the single.


5 Stellar Singer-Songwriters

by Carly Schorman

Avi Jacob

“Pickup Truck”

Ask anyone down at #YabYumHQ and they tell you I have a propensity for sad  bastard music. It’s my thing. Avi Jacob dives deep into that well of emotions we all harbor inside to offer compassion and clarity, but it might break your heart in the process. As someone who lost a parent young, “Pickup Truck” just kills me every time. But it’s more than the resonating lyrics, it’s Jacob’s heart-wrenching delivery that really hits home. “Pickup Truck” was recorded in the dead of a New England winter with some help from James and Simone Felice. The single is more than a promising start for forthcoming EP which will be coming out through Skate Mountain Records later this year.


Veronica Bianqui

“Sunday Cups”

Veronica Bianqui made our list of 2017 favorites with her single, “Victim”, and she’s back to charm us with this mellow, harmony-rich number. “Sunday Cups” kicks off with a simple drumbeat and there isn’t much additional instrumentation on the track. That’s because the vocal layers fill in the blanks in this lush soundscape. Bianqui’s L.A. garage-pop style takes on a bluesy slink for this new song and I’m digging it.


John Errol

“Dead Man Walking”

I love the dreamy layers of alt-country “mumble-core” one encounters on John Errol’s new single, “Dead Man Walking”, but know going in, that where you begin this journey is not where you’ll end up. The single simultaneously makes me think folk music of the future; starting like a grainy photograph you find in a secondhand store and slowly building then dissolving in ominous waves. John Errol is a find for the real music lovers out there; the ones who still buy the album.


Matt Dorrien

“Baby I’m So Lost”

If you’re looking for a piano ballad to win back the one that got away, I suggest you give “Baby I’m So Lost” by Matt Dorrien a spin. This single comes to us from Dorrien’s upcoming release, In the Key of Grey, which is due out from Mama Bird Recording on April 27th. “Baby I’m So Lost” is as much a song as it is an expression of loss that is all too familiar. Like having a stiff drink in a smokey bar at three o’clock in the afternoon on a dismal day. Even if you haven’t been in that exact situation, it’s all too human and easy to imagine the hurt. The Portland songwriter’s somber expression of heartbreak is both restrained and overwhelming. I can’t wait for the rest of the album.



“To Be Brave”

Everyone should have a copy of this single from Bryde for those rough moments that leave you doubting yourself. London-based singer-songwriter released “To Be Brave” in prelude to her debut LP, Like An Island, which is due out next month. Bryde delivers her introspective lyrics in a voice that carries an emotional edge that borders on desperation against a post-grunge backdrop. You can’t help being swept up into the music despite the minimal instrumentation. All you need is Bryde’s words and voice. Check out “To Be Brave” and don’t forget to check out the complete LP once it drops on April 13th!


5 Rowdy Tracks to Amp Up Your Day

The Echo Bombs

“Pistachio Pudding”

That feisty PHX trio that everyone loves to see live is finally almost ready for their sophomore release. The Echo Bombs released The King of Uncool back in 2014 and, since that time, they’ve been shopping their brand of misanthropic fun to Valley audiences who, frankly, are ready for another installment of songs to jam in the car on the way to their shitty day job. “Pistachio Pudding” is the anthem for everyone who hates their life… or just life in general. I fucking love it. Check out the single and get on that follow action for The Echo Bombs to join us in the wait for their new album, Pleb. 

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Swell Spells


This feisty trio from Bakersfield could definitely share a bill with The Echo Bombs. High on angst and energy, their latest single, “Demons”, can amp up your afternoon as Swell Spells digresses on the woes of our anxiety-laden lives in the 21st Century. This track comes to us from Swell Spells’ forthcoming release, Tell Your Friends You Love Them, and has just the right amount of badassery to really kick up the fun on your playlist.

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Hex Wave

“Hex Wave”

The Phoenix Record Collective known as Casa Butthole offered up this rambunctiously gloomy collection of demo tracks just in time for Halloween. And, like jackasses, we’re only getting to it now. This 4-song release offers brooding, metal-esque lyricism against a lo-fi goth punk soundscape. You could roll that sentence around a few times or just head over to the band’s Bandcamp page to check out the demo for yourself. I definitely suggest the band’s s/t single, “Hex Wave”.   For more Hex Wave “deathrock” feistiness, I suggest tuning into Radio Phoenix on March 7th (Wednesday) to catch the band live on the air for the YabYum Music Hour.

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Violet, the five-piece from the UK, has just enough grit glazing their Britpop sound that I’m not sure whether to expect flannel or eyeliner or some combination thereof. Effects-heavy guitars bleed throughout the track in psychedelic-tinged layers on “Feel” while the intentionally arid vocals establish a cool and casual tone. I’m definitely digging “Feel” from Violet.


 Black Paw


The Tempe-based label known as Night Animal Recordings dropped this sweet 7″ from the band Black Paw in January. “Bait” kicks off the track with its steady, driving sound. Pensive punk with an old-school sound, Black Paw might not be reinventing that proverbial wheel, but they pack enough punch to appeal to punkrockers across the spectrum. Start with “Bait” and move through the complete 7″ (available on Bandcamp for preview) but then make that purchase to show this PHX act some community support.

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5 Radio-Ready Jams to Add to Your Playlist

Magdalena Bay

“Waking Up”

The synth-centered sounds of Magdalena Bay will have you feeling like your floating in a neon dream on a cool, coastal night with their new single, “Waking Up”. The pop duo of Mica Tenenbaum (Singer/Songwriter) and Matthew Lewin (Songwriter/Producer) create retro-styled electro-pop with a completely modern aesthetic. You’ll want to put on your sunglasses, even after the sun has set, and chill out to the sounds of Magdalena Bay.

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“Take It Slow”

The duck-masked duo known as W.A.S.H. just dropped a fresh new single just in time for Valentine’s Day (even if we might be a week late). “Take It Slow”, which features the vocal talents of Cody Ballentine, sets the mood for a romantic connection on the dance floor. Whether at the club or angling for the “private show”, this new banger from W.A.S.H. can help get you there.


Always Never


Always Never’s debut EP (which was released last September) caught the attention of such notables as Fader and garnered more than a million streams online and now the Toronto-based artist is back with this super slick single. Always Never crafts super smooth, ultra-hip R&B singles ready to take over airwaves. The laid-back atmosphere on “Millions” and catchy lyrics will have you hitting the repeat button on this one.


Sam Woolf and the Como Brothers

“On it”

Boston singer-songwriter Sam Woolf teamed up with two musical brothers from New York, Andrew and Matt Como, for this catchy new single. “On it” has all the bounce you need from a drive-to-work jam and Woolf’s polished vocals are American Idol worthy (true story).  “On it” is just one track to emerge from this  trifecta of singer-songwriters. Sam Woolf and the Como Brothers plan to release an EP together so keep watch for Backbeat in the Morning. You can check out the music video for “On It” here.


Manila Killa

“Everyday Everyday”

The producer known as Manila Killa teamed up with vocalist Nevve for his new single, “Everyday Everyday”, which came out on Moving Castle earlier this month. Manila Killa has been busy making a name for himself on the L.A. club scene and you can hear why in the sharp production on “Everyday Everyday”. And the mere fact that Manila Killa isn’t immediately upstaged by the stellar vocal stylings of Nevve is definitely saying something about the board skills here.



5 Soulful Singles to Inspire You on a Drab Day

Heart Society


Teneia Sanders-Eichelberger and Benjamin Eichelberger, the married duo behind Heart Society, called the Valley home not too long ago and they have the Phoenix New Times awards to prove it. In 2015, they cashed out and bought a trailer to take their musical message to the road. Fast forward a few years and Heart Society emerged from Mississippi with their rock-fueled soul-sound. “Rocket” comes to us from the duo’s forthcoming release, Wake the Queens, which is due out later this week!

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Lando Chill + The Lasso


Lando Chill (who won our award for Best HipHop Album in 2017) is back without another innovative approach to the genre. For māyā. maia. mayu, which came on February 2, Lando Chill teamed up with another Tucson artist, The Lasso. A mellow musicality sets the atmospheric vibe for the lyrical ruminations. “Golden” is only the first track on māyā. maia. mayu so start here but don’t stop. Meander through the six songs on this EP when you have time to leisurely lay back and indulge the listening experience.




The London-based vocalist Jareth has shared “Kaleidoscope”, the first single from her debut solo EP. Jareth’s voice has a ponderous heft to it as she guides the listeners through a dreamy, if overcast, aural landscape. What else should one expect when an artist plumbs “the depths of one’s subconsciousness” for creativity and clarity. Moonchild, Jareth’s new EP, is due out later this year through Moonshot Records so follow the artist to stay up-to-date on the new EP.



“Pull Up”

Houston’s David Byers makes music under the moniker DAVESTATEOFMIND. The singer-songwriter-rapper brings all this talents together on his new single, “Pull Up”. Combining HipHop and Soul, DAVESTATEOFMIND offers a chill take on modern romance. This is a new artist on the R&B scene but some wave-making potential is definitely there.


Sophie Faith x Midnight Phunk

“Say So”

We have another team up project. This one comes from London songbird, Sophie Faith, and Midnight Phunk. “Say So” keeps the instrumental end interesting without cluttering the soundscape which gives Faith plenty of breathing room for her spacious vocals. And, as the lyrics takes a reflective look at a relationship now lost, the emotive energy feels authentic in its delivery on this Jazz-Soul fusion.


5 New + Eclectic Indie Singles

by Carly Schorman


“Kiss Me Now”

Fair warning: UPSAHL’s last single was stuck in my head for 17 days. Seventeen! That’s how catchy her brand of indie pop is; it will infect your brain. “Kiss Me Now” is a bit less candy-coated but no less compelling. Addressing that awkward quandary of how to approach that first date kiss, UPSAHL takes a sassy and assertive role on this single while Max Frost’s production keeps things playful by adding more bounce than bite. “Kiss Me Now” by UPSAHL is playlist ready just in time for Valentine’s Day.


Mt. Joy

“Jenny Jenkins”

Ugh. You just can’t be cynical when listening to the sounds of Mt. Joy. “Jenny Jenkins”, not to be confused with the Jerry Garcia and David Grisman song of the same title, does have some of its predecessor’s old-fashioned sensibility, but Mt. Joy’s single has a far more emotional edge. This track comes to us from the band’s forthcoming debut so make sure you like/follow Mt. Joy to stay up-to-date on that release.



“White Lies”

Brady Allard is the man behind Winnipeg’s indie-pop act, Warming. Bright synth hues set the soundscape of “White Lies” while the lyrics tackle relational issues like infidelity, poor lifestyle choices, and the little lies that accompany these decisions. “White Lies” is the first single from the 12-track LP Allard created after casting off the encumberments of suburban life (the house, the job, and even the partner) to embark on a songwriting journey.



“All Messed Up”

GYASI is the undertaking of a West Virginia artist who grew up thinking he was a peacock. What other profession could possibly be waiting for such a lad in this world, but the frontman of a glam-infused indie-rock band? “All Messed Up” is a feisty single that kicks off the band’s debut EP, Peacock Fantasies.  I’m digging this lively modge podge of glam, psych, and retro rock from GYASI.

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“Waiting for You”

The Phoenix songwriter known as Gillwire just dropped another installment of his musical narrative on Feb. 1st. “Waiting for You” comes to us from Grand Biography, Vol. 2; Gillwire’s new 9-track album. This single delves the complications of an awkward courtship with a “squirrely boy” with ample humor and good spirits. If you enjoy coffee shop pop in the vein of artists like Ben Folds, you should consider Grand Biography, Vol. 2 for your next “read”.


5 Mellow New Singles

by Carly Schorman


“I’m Only Gone”

“I’m Only Gone” is the sweeping closer to Edwin’s 4-track EP, You Have No Idea, Man. Clocking in at more than six minutes, Edwin will take you on an introspective journey through the ups and downs of relationships with an honesty that I think people of both genders should really take in because Edwin, intentionally or otherwise, hits upon the one of the biggest impediments to relationships in the modern era. Listen to “I’m Only Gone” to see if you can root it out for yourself before I send my essay to HuffPost.


Kyle Cox

“Somewhere in Between”

Fans of the Avett Brothers should spend a little time with Kyle Cox and “Somewhere in Between”. The song’s narrative is poignantly listless and, once you listen to the lyrics, you’ll really get what I mean there. The gently moving Americana supporting the lyrics will warm you to new possibilities and leave you, dare I say, hopeful. “Somewhere in Between” marks the first single from Kyle Cox’s forthcoming LP (due out in May). I expect good things from this Nashville-based songwriter.


Vern Matz

“Shelby Park”

Vern Matz is the undertaking of three Yale undergrads who somehow found the time to craft a 6-track s/t debut which just dropped in January. “Shelby Park” is a personal favorite from the new release. The band manages to capture that feeling of melancholy comfort one finds in overcast mornings while the pensive lyrics convey a coming-of-age sensibility that just about anyone can relate to. If you dig “Shelby Park” as much as I do, make sure to delve the complete EP from Vern Matz on Spotify.


Georgee Landy

“Half the Ish”

UK songwriter Georgee Landy takes a look at love in the Post-Human era on this Hiphop-infused number. “Half the Ish” addresses young love from Landy’s 21st Century perspective. Bex Grant provides backing vocals on this track and adds to the kickback vibe that pervades the single. Rumor has it Georgee Landy has more singles on the horizon so jump on the fan-wagon before he breaks big.


John Burnette

“Live and Let Me Love You from Here”

This singer-songwriter from Little Rock combines jazz and folk for this bourbon smooth single. “Live and Let Me Love You from Here” takes a stripped down approach on the instrumental end to give space to the pensive lyricism of John Burnette. If you like low-lit bars and slow-burning songs, check out “Live and Let Me Love You from Here”.

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