5 Mellow New Singles

by Carly Schorman
Senior Editor

Bien

“Spinning On Blue”

The dream-pop trio out of Nashville known as Bien released their s/t debut EP last September and they’re back with a fresh new single. “Spinning On Blue” is a calm but uplifting number that serves as a reminder that even though it seems like everyone is divided at this particularly contentious point in human history, we’re in this together. According to a statement from the band, “There’s so much going on in the world right now, and we really wanted to write something that encouraged people to remember we’re all sharing this planet.” Let Bien soothe some of your world-weariness with “Spinning On Blue” below or head here for your own copy of the single.

Loyal Lobos

“The Fall”

We featured Andrea Silva, the musician at the center of Loyal Lobos, through our publication before. The moniker might be different, but the earnest and emotive energy of her songwriting remains the same. “The Fall” blurs the barrier between indie-folk and -rock as she returns to earlier themes in her music which center on the subtle effects of misogyny on culture, both here in the U.S. where Silva currently resides, as well as her home of Bogotá, Colombia. There’s an aggressive edge to the songwriting style of Loyal Lobos that comes through on “The Fall” that finds its counterbalance in the revealing honesty of her voice. I suggest you check out “The Fall” from Loyal Lobos below…

Shawnee Kilgore & Joss Whedon

“Unforgiven”

Shawnee Kilgore (no relation to Kilgore Trout) and Joss Whedon (yes, that Joss Whedon) became songwriting partners after a happenstance crowdsourcing connection. That’s right, folks, crowdsourcing your next musical project might have the unintended boon of attracting the attention of some unexpected admirers. Shawnee’s 2014 Kickstarter campaign came across Joss’s desktop and the rest is soon to be history. The pair started shaping out songs together and the results of that collaboration can be heard on this new single, “Unforgiven”, as well as the EP from when it came, Back to Eden which the duo co-wrote. Kilgore’s voice is a strange melting pot of innocence and steeled strength which is well suited to the Western sensibility of the supporting folk rock sound. Check out “Unforgiven” from Shawnee Kilgore and Joss Whedon below and then head here for your very own copy of Back to Eden. Oh, and did I mention there is a music video for the title track to the EP? There is.

Slow Skies

“Dancing”

The Dublin folk-pop act known as Slow Skies combines an easygoing melody with honey sweet vocals on her new single, “Dancing”. Songwriter for Slow Skies, Karen Sheridan, explains the track was created with the intention of “nudging people to think about whatever it is that makes them feel good and just feel happy in that moment.” And that’s what you get with “Dancing” – a warm and bright feeling that floats over your body, filling your heavy limbs with newfound life. Take few minutes from your day to slip away with Slow Skies below or get the digi-download of “Dancing” for your personal playlists for a little more pep in your most dreary of days.

KOWL & Anjulie

“Just Words” 

Casablanca Sunset is both a music blog and a label based right out of sunny Phoenix so if you’re not familiar with the enterprise in either form, now’s a good time to make your introduction. When Eric Vogt of Casablanca Sunset first heard the Australian producer known as KOWL, he knew right away that the artist has what it takes to break big. KOWL joined the label’s roster and it wasn’t long thereafter that Vogt came across the vocal talents of Anjulie and arranged a collaboration between the pair. “Just Words” is the result of that effort. After listening, even I have to admit that the richly layered aural soundscape has me betting on KOWL too. And Anjulie’s spirited vocals make “Just Words” my kind of heartbreaker. Take the single for a spin below or head here to score your own digital download of the track.

5 Eclectic Indie Singles

Soy Christmas

“Oh No”

This duo out of Saint James [NY] does a lot with a little. Combining vibrant vocals with bedroom electro pop, Soy Christmas creates an effervescent indie sound that I’m all about. “Oh No” comes wrapped in the approachability of a thrift-store sweater: warm, a little nerdy, and perfect for those #NormCore Millennials. Score that digi-download of “Oh No” here, but you can take it for a spin first below. I also suggest delving Soy Christmas’ 2016 dual-single, Get Upset, if you have the interest and the drive.

AIHVHIA

“Don’t Look Back”

This track was described to me as a “call-to-action moodscape”. That sounds absolutely awful, right?? It wasn’t. In fact, AIHVHIA has a lot of elements that would usually annoy me: an orchestral indie-folk sound (which is a bit played out right now) and an unpronounceable name. Nevertheless, “Don’t Look Back” hooked me. AIHVHIA breathes life into this new song and it resonates with energy. Sure, it’s a little hippie, but it’s really good. This track comes to us from the band’s 2017 LP, Planet. Give “Don’t Look Back” by AIHVHIA a listen or head here for the complete LP.

Roxiny

“9 Months”

Roxiny is both a singer/songwriter and women’s rights activist who “frequently leads music workshops for GEMS, an organization that rescues girls from domestic sex trafficking.” But, for this article, we’re focusing on Roxiny’s musical endeavors. After getting her first major break as a backup singer for Sleigh Bells in 2013, Roxiny went on to collaborate with other artists, but now she’s ready for her solo debut. Her first solo single, “9 Months”, takes some of the grit and angst of post-punk and mixes in some indie pop to keep things lively. The topic of the song’s narrative deals with the oppressive force of toxic relationships. Check out “9 Months” by Roxiny below or head here for that digi-download of the single!

Julia Piker

“Bullet”

Once a distinctive vocalist hits big (i.e. Fiona Apple, Lana del Rey, et al.), you can guarantee that music writers like me are going to get hit with knockoffs for the next two decades. True story. What all you sassy singer-songwriters need to realize is that music journalists are never looking for a re-hashing of what’s already been done. Julia Piker gets that. She draws from the fierce femmes that came before her (like PJ Harvey and the aforementioned Apple), but she puts her own spin on it. “Bullet” might be my new #GrrrlRawk anthem. Give “Bullet” a spin or head here for the complete (new) EP from Julia Piker.

Dylan Rockoff

“Come Over”

Straight talk: if you think there’s no place for the sultry stylings of indie pop singer-songwriters like Dylan Rockoff (or John Mayer or Jason Mraz, etc.), then you probably aged out of the demographic. You’re old. Or maybe you’re just a stick in the mud. “Come Over” is fucking catchy and I can definitely see it getting some pre-teen emotionally entangled in Rockoff’s sexy single, in addition to some guilty listeners of consenting age too. Preview “Come Over” by Dylan Rockoff below or head here to score a copy of the single for your personal playlists.

5 Stellar Americana Singles

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“Matchstick Men”

Oh, Brandon Decker… or, as we like to call them at YabYum, Deckie Do. And what a do-er he is. As the head honcho of the NorAZ musical enclave, decker., Brandon has been busy these past few years. In addition to taking the decker. crew on tour to far corners of the U.S., Decker released Snake River Blues (the album) while working on Snake River Blues (the documentary) in 2016. This year, he shows no signs of slowing down. With a new album in the works, Decker’s also taking on a new cause: fighting the feeling of futility that seems to have overpowered the citizens of our nation. His new single, “Matchstick Men”, just might be what is need to light a fire under the asses of voter constituencies everywhere. At least, that’s what we’re hoping for. Give “Matchstick Men” by decker. a listen below and join us in the wait for the release of the complete album on 8/25. You can also head here to get that pre-order of Into the Red locked in before the official release.

Hannah & Maggie

“Sarasota”

Hannah Hickok and Maggie Kraus have been playing music together since ’09 which might have something to do with the complete fluidity in their new single, “Sarasota”. In less than three minutes, Hannah & Maggie completely suckered me in with their blithe and dreamy indie-folk sound. The vocal harmonies alone will quickly enamor you with “Sarasota” as well. This single comes to us from the duo’s latest album, Oh No, which came out in May of this year. Give the new song from Hannah & Maggie a listen below…

The Eagle Rock Gospel Singers

“No Glory”

I first heard the stellar musical stylings of The Eagle Rock Gospel Singers earlier this year and I’ve been hooked ever since. Their latest single, “No Glory”, which came out in June, is the title track to the band’s forthcoming full length. Fusing Southern Gospel with Heartland Americana, The Eagle Rock Gospel Singers give shape to an earthy but uplifting sound. Give your spirits a lift with “No Glory” from The Eagle Rock Gospel Singers and join me in the wait for the band’s LP due out later this year.

Calum Bowling 

“I Wanna Ramble I Wanna Whine”

Calum Bowling emerges from the bluesier end of Americana with his brash new single, “I Wanna Ramble I Wanna Whine”. The guitar work and gritty vocal style almost have a Detroit slant, which might come as a bit of a surprise for those of you who already know that Calum comes to us from Huddersfield [UK], not The Motor City. “I Wanna Ramble I Wanna Whine” is the title track from Bowling’s latest release which dropped earlier this month. Check out the new single from Calum Bowling below or head here to score the complete album, I Wanna Rumble I Wanna Whine.

Bigfoot Yancey

“Downtown Girl”

Get ready for some foot-stomping, hand-clapping good times with Bigfoot Yancey and their new single, “Downtown Girl”. The alt-folk act starts the track by asking, what do you do when that woman at the bar doesn’t “want some of this”? You move on because, as Bigfoot Yancey says, “your soul lives on.” And so sets the laidback, porch-pickin’ feel of this quartet from Indiana… banjo and mandolin included, obviously.  This single comes to us from the band’s latest LP, Hills, which came out earlier this year. If you dig “Downtown Girl” below, then you should definitely check out the complete album from Bigfoot Yancey (available here).

7 Eclectic Indie Music Videos You Should Check Out

Gestures & Sounds
“Ass Over Tea Kettle”

 Charly Bliss
“Westermarck”

 J.D. King
“Midnight Rendezvous”

 Saint Cecilia
“We Know Us”

Long Teeth
“Nice Guys”

Michelle Wake
“A Soiree”

Amber Mark
“Monsoon”

7 Rad Music Videos: The Moody Monday Edition

Ben Anderson
“Clay Pigeons”

Golden Halos
“Fine Device”

Ferris & Sylvester
“Berlin”

 The Zanibar Aliens
“No One Shows”

Holy Golden
“The Movie”

Fallow Land
“Faux”

Lisa Heller
“Midnight”

5 Radio-Ready Singles

radio-ready singles 00

by Carly Schorman
Senior Editor

Indigo Husk

“Goes Around Comes Around”

This lofi indie act from across the pond has a touch of The Strokes on their rowdy new single, “Goes Around Comes Around”, and I love it. Indigo Husk comes to us from Londontown rather than NYC and maybe that’s what gives this single the Britpop club bounce that really makes it catchy. The instrumentation pushes towards chaos without ever collapsing into it which only adds to the overall energy. I would like to add that 75% of this four-piece is named Joe. Not that that has any bearing on the music, but you needed to know. Check out “Goes Around Comes Around” from Indigo Husk below and then get your own damn copy here.

Sam Frankl

“Gold Rush”

Sam Frankl is a man of many talents. In addition to being a published poet and former editor of Le Cool London, Frankl now has his sights set music making. Working with producer Rob Brinkman to bring some gritty texturing to support Frankl’s lithe vocal stylings, “Gold Rush” has a cool vibe that’s perfect for summer heat as it dares to ask the question, “Are you goddamn crazy?” Check out “Gold Rush” from Sam Frankl below or head here to score your own copy of the track.

De Joie

“Oslo”

This sweeping indie-folk single from singer-songwriter De Joie could easily take over the airwaves with its uplifting sound. Although originally from Florida, De Joie has spent a considerable amount of time living and traveling in Western Europe which you might glean from the French moniker or the Norweigan city referenced in the title. De Joie is French of “Of Joy” and you can hear that joyous vivacity in “Oslo”, but the vocals maintain a calm and reassuring reserve. This single comes to us from De Joie’s new EP, August, which came out in late June (like two weeks ago). You can give “Oslo” a listen below, but I suggest heading here for the complete EP.

Rotana

“Over You”

Maybe you remember Rotana’s aggressive single, “Daddy”, which we featured earlier this year? [see here] On this latest single, the Saudi Arabian singer you’ll still find the fusion of electro pop with Rotana’s own sultry style. “Over You” moves from sensual to sassy as Rotana laments the One that she just can’t seem to let go of. Now based in L.A., Rotana just might break big here in the States. Give “Over You” a listen below or head here to secure your own copy of the single.

Lucian

“Do My Thing”

This new single from Lucian combines chill and catchy for slick summer jam. Featuring the vocal stylings of Philosofie, “Do My Thing” stays tempered on the instrumental end despite the sass in the lyrics. I suggest jamming this single when you’re getting ready for a night out. It will give you add just the right amount of Fuck-Off to your attitude to enable a drama-free zone. Get your mellow on with Lucian’s “Do My Thing” and then head here to add the track to your personal collection.

5 Rad Singles: The Indie Edition

Callum Pitt

“Least He’s Happy”

This promising new artist from Newcastle Upon Tyne uses a breathtaking falsetto and vivifying instrumental energy to bring life to his latest single, “Least He’s Happy”. Drawing from influences like Bon Iver and Fleet Foxes, Callum Pitt is definitely set to shape out his own niche in the indie-folk world but he’s building from a solid base. The single starts with a dreamy atmosphere of Americana, but the energy mounts to inspiring heights. There’s a sense of freedom that accompanies “Least He’s Happy” that will add a little pep to your morning playlist. Check out the new single from Callum Pitt below or head here for that digi-download.

Arkivist

“Western Children”

The indie power trio from Portland (Oregon not Maine) known as Arkivist combines indie-folk vocal layers with indietronica for a sound that is very much NOW. Arkivist puts real emotive power into that sound for their new single, “Western Children”. The song was penned after one member of the band, Jonny (keys/vocals), came out publicly and didn’t quite gain the acceptance one might hope for in the GD 21st Century. His bandmate Ben (guitar/vocals) then wrote “Western Children” to show Arkivist’s united support. Sometimes our most difficult moments turn into our most beautiful creations and “Western Children” is full of beautiful moments beneath its poignant message. Check out the single below or score your own copy here.

Stone Irr

“What I Do Best”

This single comes to us from Stone Irr’s debut album, Sinner, which is due out on July 28th on Darling Records. Despite the sense of pervasive calm I experience when listening to “What I Do Best”, the single is actual the result of a paranoid freak-out session brought on by lover-separation-anxiety. Whatever Stone Irr was feeling when he crafted “What I Do Best”, the song floats along like a dream you don’t want to wake up from. Who knew such there was such lovely music coming out of Bloomington, IN? Give “What I Do Best” from Stone Irr a listen below and join us in the wait for the artist’s debut album next month! Or, of course, you can and should download the single here.

Mateo Katsu

“Out Here in the Sunshine”

Mateo Katsu comes from the angsty side of the indie-folk pool. Gene pool or swimming pool, IDC. Choose your own metaphor today.  “Out Here in the Sunshine” is the opening track to Nine Weeks; Katsu’s follow-up to his 2016 project, Fourteen Weeks. Despite holding residence in L.A., Katsu puts a folk-punk spin on his songs that gives it a real ramshackle feel I absolutely love. You know why? It’s not all about rainbows and hugs, even in the sunshine. Mateo Katsu’s sharp songwriting style pulls your attention to that inner discord you’re feeling, but he does so in a fun folk style. Check out the single below or head here to listen to the complete 9 Weeks project.

SURF

“Dandi Lions”

Tempe rockers SURF put a alt-grunge spin on their indie folk style. Take a moment to mix all those aural ingredients around in your mind before you hit play below. And you should. There’s an earthy, honest sound that resonates through SURF’s latest single, “Dandi Lions”. Husky vocals reminscent of the 90s show the listener you can be emotionally revealing in your music and still be a tough guy. If you want to dive further into that SURF sound (see what I did there?), I suggest checking out more of the band’s singles through their Bandcamp page, but start with “Dandi Lions” below…

7 Eclectic Indie Music Videos

DONCAT
“LA in ’83”

Celebration Guns
“(Probably) Worth It)”

 Honest Haloway
“Let Her Down”

 Sleepy Sun
“Seaquest”

 Josiah and the Bonnevilles
“Please”

Comptalo
“Repent”

Pipe-eye
“Private Little Holiday”

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.

7 Rad Music Videos: The Eclectic Indie Edition

Cait Brennan
“Bad At Apologies”

Final State
“Fever”

Vie En Ville
“Alive”

St. Ranger
“Happy”

Caravane
“Demons”

Oloff
“I Want A Proper Space”

Damian La Grange
“Life is Strange”