7 Rad Indie Rock Singles

rad indie rock singles 00Hollow Coats

“Fold”

There seems to be a holy trinity of musicians that sits at the center of Austin’s Hollow Coats but additional players help flesh out the sound on the band’s new single, “Fold”. And the sound here is fleshy: opulently layered and packing a hefty punch on the production. But, what really sold me on “Fold” were the atmospheric vocals and the haunting beauty of the lyrics they delivered. This is the debut single from Hollow Coats so let’s hope more releases are in the works – and soon! Give “Fold” a spin below…

The Ricky Fitts

“Nightmare”

This indie/alt act from Phoenix is making some waves in our dry desert. Yes, The Ricky Fitts only launched their sound only last year and they’ve already scored some pretty notable gigs since their inception. That might have something to do with their slick, radio-ready sound. “Nightmare” comes to us from the band’s debut LP, The Great Beyond, which dropped at the end of January. Infusing electropop and alt-rock elements with a hefty splash of revivalist New Wave, The Ricky Fitts craft out a fun sound on “Nightmare” that has enough of a dark overtone for all you brooders that still want to dance. Take the single for a spin below or head here to check out The Great Beyond.

Soft Animal

“Stay with Me”

“Stay with Me” is the opening track from Soft Animal’s concisely titled EP1 which they released last month. This single has a lofi psych-rock sound with a little bit of garage grit that will come in more as you continue through the full EP. The sound descends into moments of intentional disarray before meandering back to a more structured, but never too structured, sound. Check out “Stay with Me” from Soft Animal below or head here for that digi-download of EP1.

Bryde

“Less”

I really loved the grrrls of the 90s alt-rock scene and Brixton’s Bryde just might fill that hole in my life. On “Less”, Bryde moves between breathy angst to full on fury over grungy guitars. All you PJ Harvey fans should definitely spend some time with Bryde. If you want to delve further into what this artist has to offer, I suggest moving on to “Back to Believing” – a new, and gentler, single that is really quite enamoring. Get your growl on with Bryde below…

Bucolic

“Cold Clean”

If you like your post-rock with an extra heap of melodious sorrow, Bucolic is for you.  “Cold Clean” sets a somber scene that reminds me of a street lined in freshly fallen snow on a morning you have to be at work before 5 AM. Sure, it’s beautiful, but one’s inability to pause and really take in that moment lends an existential anguish to the biting cold. “Cold Clean” is beautiful, but it kicks you when you’re down… and I, uh, mean that in the best way possible. Bucolic is the brainchild of NJ artist Seth Carpenter and this single is part of an impending release that is due out in April so get on that Bucolic bandwagon sooner rather than later. Start with “Cold Clean” below…

St. Tropez

“Democracy”

The band known as St. Tropez is not actually from St. Tropez but Amsterdam. Their lively new single, “Democracy”, clocks in at under two minutes but there’s a lot of energy crammed into that time. The texturing gets heavy, but not in a full-on post-rock way. No, the vibe on “Democracy” stays more NYC scene rock than secret warehouse show. This single opens Debate, band’s 2017 EP, which (btw) does go full-on post-rock at moments. St. Tropez has enough of an experimental edge to keep things really interesting without ever totally abandoning form entirely. And, there’s a bit of a political slant that those of us in present-day Amerika can really appreciate. Give “Democracy” by St. Tropez a listen below…

MYFEVER

“Golden”

The alt-rockers from the ATL known as MYFEVER are gearing up for a new recording effort with the release of their latest single, “Golden”. Though the trio calls Georgia home, you might get a bit of a L.A. or Long Beach vibe from “Golden”. And, when I say Long Beach,  I’m talking in the alt-indie vein of Cold War Kids… not Sublime. MYFEVER will hopefully be hitting the studio soon to lay down Born for Spaces, their next album. Until then, spend some time with “Golden”.

7 Singer-Songwriters for an Easygoing Afternoon

7 singer-songwriters 004Ben Zaidi

“Irene”

Ben Zaidi certainly has as promising a start as any artist could hope for. After growing up in Seattle, Zaidi moved to New York City before attending Harvard University to study music and creative writing. The new single from the artist, “Irene”, is soulful and soft-spoken. The minimal texturing keeps the track’s focus where it belongs: on Zaidi’s subtly emotive voice and the poetic narrative within his lyrics. This is definitely a songwriter to watch. Give “Irene” a spin below and, if you like what you’re hearing, delve further into Ben Zaidi’s online musical offerings through Soundcloud here.

Julia Lucille

“Eternally”

Singer-songwriter Julia Lucille might be a California native, but she spent time in Portland studying music at Lewis and Clark College before moving to Austin, where she currently resides. I can definitely see Lucille’s ambient-folk sound doing well in any one of the aforementioned locations. There is a desolation that can be heard on “Eternally” that denotes a Western sensibility – something a little mystical yet still a little hopeless. “Eternally” comes to us from Julia Lucille’s forthcoming album, Chthonic, which comes out on April 7th so mark your calendar. Before that happens, sink down into “Eternally” below…

Jordan Prince

“Woman (One of These Days)”

Jordan Prince made the jump over the Big Pond, bringing his Louisiana folk all the way to Munich, Germany. His new single, “Woman (One of These Days)”, comes to us from Prince’s upcoming ep, No Manual. I love the simple, earthy sound and easygoing attitude. The lyrics don’t really describe your typical romantic sentiments, as the title might suggest. Instead, the author suggests the subject delves even further into “man’s perverted obsessions, and how he can’t control or forgive his own guilt as he becomes self aware of his action.” Despite the weighty topic, Jordan Prince keeps his melody lithe. Listen to “Woman (One of These Days)” below…

Stevie Talks

“Pollyanna”

This Costa Mesa artist has a distinctly coastal vibe in his indie-folk sound. Stevie Talks claims “Pollyanna” is about “a girl [he] cannot stand” but I think the songwriter might be a little conflicted on that particular point. In the same breath, “Pollyanna” comes across as anguished and wistful, but with enough bounce to keep the mood light. Give the single a spin below and, if you like the summery sound of Stevie Talks, you can move on to his previous single “LYM (Leave Your Man)” which came out a few months back. Let’s hope more songs are on the way.

Sasha

“Gracious”

The North London singer-songwriter who goes simply by the moniker Sasha creates ambient dreamscapes of sound. On her new single, “Gracious”, Sasha sets her nimble voice afloat the gentle current of a stark yet beautiful arrangement. “Gracious” is the perfect song for a mellow and meditative morning. Or perhaps you can find four minutes to zen out with the single before launching into your litany of tasks for the day. I can almost guarantee a calmer sense of being will stay with you throughout the rest of the day. Listen to “Gracious” below…

Alessandra

“Your River”

The Swedish musician known as Alessandra not only wrote and performed her new single, but she also produced the track. That’s rather ambitious for any young artist, but Alessandra pulls off the feat with great success. On “The River”, powerful vocals are met with equal energy from the underlying soundscape. “Your River” marks the first single from Alessandra’s soon-to-be-released debut EP.  This emotive number centers on an experience of bittersweet summer love. And, for anyone who’s been there, you feel the sudden return of those heart-wrenching highs and lows as you listen to “Your River”. Which you should do. Right now.

Carmen Rosa

“Wild One”

London singer-songwriter Carmen Rosa is gearing up to release her debut EP with this new single. “Wild One” combines smokey vocals with an aural landscape that has a cinematic feel. I can easily imagine this song playing as a dramatic scene carries out on the silver screen with slinky satin dresses and plenty cigarette smoke. This is a promising start for the EP to come from Carmen Rosa which should be available next week (March 31) through Hometown Records. Until then, enjoy “Wild One” below…

7 Rowdy Singles From Around the Globe

7 rowdy singles 000

Dead Pretties

“Social Experiment”

The London-based trio known as Dead Pretties just launched their debut single and, I must say, it’s pretty fucking stellar. “Social Experiment” is a rowdy and hip garage rock number that is (of course) set for release on slick 7″ vinyl because how cool is that? Pretties’ frontman Jacob Slater has a voice that oscillates from a Lou Reed-esque supercool monotone to sandpapered power on this single. Give “Social Experiment” a spin below and then head here to secure your pre-order from Nice Swan Records here.

The Jacks

“Hot Reaction”

SoCal rockers The Jacks just formed last summer and they just dropped their debut single, “Hot Reaction”, on the 27th of January. So you’re getting this one freshy fresh. The Jacks’ own rocknroll style fuses elements of blues and pop with a little California surf thrown in for good measure. There’s a vintage hue to the band’s style that I really dig, but the sound is very much modern. Give “Hot Reaction” a listen below and keep your ears open for more tracks to follow from The Jacks.

Deaf Radio

“Flowerhead”

This brooding number derives its central force from “existential and dystopian thoughts” which drives the single’s lyricism and overall sound. Basically, what’s not to love? “Flowerhead” sets out a bleak landscape; one full of pensive energy and grainy textures. Deaf Radio is a four-piece from Athens (Greece, not Georgia) and their latest LP, Alarm (which features the single “Flowerhead”),  is available on vinyl through Bandcamp. So, if dark and moody rock is your thing, make sure you check out “Flowerhead” below and then head here for the complete LP.

Hüggemarmelade

“Evil Beaver”

The garage/punk outfit out of Copenhagen known as Hüggemarmelade dropped this intensely catchy number last month and it’s been stuck in my head every since. Consider that your only warning. “Evil Beaver” is basically a song about, and I quote,”a goddamn evil beaver” and, one could only assume, drug abuse in some form. No matter the underlying message, the music must have some sort of devil magic on it because I can’t get enough of Hüggemarmelade and, unfortunately, this is their debut track so I have no where else to send you after you wear out “Evil Beaver” after uncounted repeat listens, if such a thing is possible. Listen below…

Black Pistol Fire

“Hard Luck”

Austin duo Black Pistol Fire have a fiery roots-rock sound that reminds me a little of another bluesy garage rock duo that begins with a “B” and rhymes with “Lack Bees”. That being said, Black Pistol Fire can totally hold their own in terms of power and grit. “Hard Luck” came out through Modern Outsider Records last year and packs a punch that could shakedown a stadium or bar full of roughnecks. Check out “Hard Luck” from Black Pistol Fire below or head over to iTunes for your own digi-download of the full LP, Don’t Wake the Riot.

Tramp

“Somber Thoughts”

Wow. This song gets drepressing. But, if you’re anything like me, there can be something comforting in the darkness or, at least, the reflections of other artists upon said darkness. Kentucky’s Tramp has a lo-fi post-rock sound that perfectly fits with the ruminating air on this single. “Somber Thoughts” provides the opening track for Torn Up, a 5-track demo released by the band last October. If you dig the single, make sure you stick around for the complete EP. Torn Up is richly textured and has just the right amount of angst for a really good sulk session. First, check out “Somber Thoughts” by Tramp below…

The Black Line

“Gemini”

The hard rock sound of The Black Line, a band out of Toronto, has elements of punk and metal throw in for some added oomph. “Gemini” was released through Crock Records from the band’s forthcoming album, Line Up. If you find yourself in want of some old skool punk energy in this current political nightmare we find ourselves collectively unable to awaken from, I suggest listening to “Gemini” by The Black Line loud and repeatedly. This north-of-the-border 7-piece act will help you unleash all that pent up rage. Check out “Gemini” below…**

** We apparently mixed up The Black Line from Toronto with The Black Line from Hermosillo and we just feel terrible about it. This write-up has been corrected.

7 Stellar (and Eclectic) Singles

7 stellar featArt Pop

“Hey Hey!!”

This duo out of Austin fuses grungy rock and retro synths for a feisty garage pop sound I can really get behind. “Hey Hey!!” might have you questioning my powers of evaluation during those first 45 seconds, but I promise you good things if you hold strong. As soon as the “Heys” kick in, you’ll be sold. There’s a fullness of sound that one might not expect from a two-person act, but it’s there. Grimy, layered pop that’s totally modern in its breath. Art Pop is looking to build some momentum before they head out on tour so toss some local love their way and maybe we’ll see a Phoenix stop (Phx/Flag/Tucson, maybe?). Listen to “Hey Hey!!” here…

Femny

“Duck Jesus”

This single comes to us from Femny’s forthcoming release, due out later this month. “Duck Jesus” has a slinky vibe that calls to mind 70s lounge acts, but Femny incorporates that vibe into a modern indie pop style. And the almost sulky vocals really make the single stand out with its contemporary touch of antipathy. Check out “Duck Jesus” below and join us in the wait for the rest of Instant Star which is set for release on Jan. 27th.

Quiet the Pilot

“Bikes”

This mellow indie single sneaks up on you. It begins with a stripped down sound before amping up the orchestral pop for stunning effects. The track continues to oscillate between these two modes for the remainder of the song. Quiet the Pilot out of Los Angeles craft a quiet (and I’m not talking volume) indie pop that will sweep you up in its shifting sea of sounds. Listen to “Bikes” below…

Twin Ponies

“Name Tag”

Twin Ponies dropped a 4-song split release with another Valley favorite, Dent, on December 30th. “Name Tag” comes to us from that release. The single starts with an extended dream sequence that carries the listener along gently through shoegaze-y sounds. And, just when you think you know how this story is going to end, the sound erupts after three and half minutes into total turbulence. And I mean that in the best way possible. Listen to “Name Tag” below and don’t forget to check out the full Dent // Twin Ponies split (available here).

Psychic Love

“Red Sun”

The smokey-sweet vocals of Pyschic Love frontwoman Laura Peters really shine through on “Red Sun”, a single from the band’s 2016 LP, The Hive Mind. Dark but dreamy, “Red Sun” fits well with the band’s self-proclaimed “dream grunge” style. This three-piece from Echo Park is definitely a band to keep an eye (or ear) on this year. Listen to “Red Sun” by Psychic Love and, if you dig what you’re hearing, head here to add the complete LP to your collection.

The Redemptions

“Call It”

The Redemptions released two new tracks under the portentous titled, The Worst. Summer. Ever (Side A). That implies a Side B is coming, right? “Call It” is the first single from the aforementioned Side A and features the trademark vocals and retro rock that first put The Redemptions on the map with their 2016 debut, Broken Hearts and Shattered Glass. Listen to “Call It” below and then make sure you stick around to check out “But Anyway”, the second single from The Worst. Summer. Ever (Side A).

Captain Baby

“On the Path”

This single comes to us from a three-track release Captain Baby dropped on New Year’s Day through Sunset Alliance Records. “On the Path” combines layered vocals and staccato rhythms for a unique indie rock sound. Check out “On the Path” by Captain Baby below or head here for the full three-track release.

7 Emerging Singer Songwriters

singersongwriter

by Carly Schorman
Senior Editor

Lucas Laufen

“Boulders”

Australian artist Lucas Laufen pairs a stripped down sound with an emotive lyricism; both of which can be heard on his new single, “Boulders”. Laufen spent much of this past year out on tour, but he returned to his home nation to perform and gather inspiration for his forthcoming release, due out next year, before heading to Berlin where the artist will be living for the foreseeable future while working on his second EP. “Boulders” is peaceful and pensive – my favorite combo. Give the single a listen below and then head here for the complete EP.

Nicole Boggs

“Something New”

Nashville-based artist Nicole Boggs has a smoldering voice and a soulful sound on her new single – the aptly titled, “Something New”. After releasing her debut album three years ago, Boggs decided to take her sound in a new direction. This single is the transitory process between what was and what she will become. And, I must say, I’m intrigued. Fusing blues and soul, “Something New” provides a stellar introduction to the sultry vocal stylings of Nicole Boggs. Give the single a spin below or head here to get your own digi-download of the new EP, also titled Something New.

Cody Crump

“Seventeen”

The mellow folk music of L.A.’s Cody Crump heard on “Seventeen” envelopes the listener in sweet and somber sounds. This single comes to us from Crump’s ambitious 2016 album, Good Luck, which clocks in at 19-tracks. Pairing a straightforward lyricism with an orchestral layering of vocals and guitars, Crump crafts an uplifting musicality on “Seventeen” that carries through to his other songs. You can check out the complete LP right here, but first give “Seventeen” a listen below…

Amy Gillespie

“Wintertime (For Blue)”

This dreamy number by Amy Gillespie immediately reminded me of Joni Mitchell. Only then did I realize that the “For Blue” part of the title of this track was actually a dedication to Mitchell’s quintessential album, Blue. Gillespie shares many qualities with Mitchell including a penchant for introspective lyrics and gentle shifting soundscapes. Give “Wintertime (For Blue)” a listen below or score your own copy of the single here.

Justy

“Can’t Explain It”

Staten Island’s Justy has a unique, smokey-sweet voice reminiscent of Macy Gray. On her latest single, “Can’t Explain”, Justy meanders through the enchantment of love against a mellow, jazz-tinged musicality. The single incorporates HipHop elements for a completely modern take on the love song. At only 21-years-old, Justy is quickly establishing herself as an artist to watch. Give “Can’t Explain It” a listen below…

Bethany Becker 

“I Want Love”

The music of Bethany Becker might come along with the tag “country” but you shouldn’t go in expecting Loretta Lynn. Instead, think early Taylor Swift: pop-tinged country. “I Want Love” offers an innocent, earthy, upbeat anthem for those transitioning into adolescence. Hailing from Austin, the 18-year-old Becker proves she’s got promise on “I Want Love” which was written with a little assistance from Grammy-nominated songwriter and producer, Jeff Pardo. This single is the title track from her 2016 debut LP (available here). Check out “I Want Love” by Bethany Becker below…

Madi Earl

“Walls”

Madi Earl might not be old enough to vote, but she’s already garnishing attention for her songwriting skills. “Walls” has an electropop vibe and smooth vocal style. Earl’s not just a singer-songwriter, but also a pianist and violinist. Madi Earl plans to release her debut EP next year so this is definitely a young artist to keep an ear turned toward. Give “Walls” a listen below or head here for your very own copy. If you dig “Walls”, I also suggest looking into other her previous singles (also available through iTunes and Soundcloud).

 

7 Chill R&B Singles

chill 00Tameca Jones

“Hot and Bothered”

The soulful, sultry vocal stylings of Tameca Jones will awaken the disco queen that lives inside every one of us. The Austin-based songbird released “Hot and Bothered” from her debut EP, Naked, which came out earlier this year. Jones’s voice smolders then soars while the stellar musicianship will have you busting out your best John Travolta moves whether in your kitchen or at a club. Give “Hot and Bothered” a listen below and then head here for our very copy of Naked by Tameca Jones.

Unlike Pluto

“Someone New”

Unlike Pluto is the musical moniker of Armond Arabshahi, an Atlanta-raised/L.A.-based producer. This new single from Unlike Pluto starts off with a slinky, somewhat sludgy beat, but jazzier permutations kick in and it all comes together into one slick sound. “Someone New” features the vocal styles of Desi Valentine and some sick samples from 1950s jazz records. The single was released as part of a Monstercat compilation (available here). For more tracks from Unlike Pluto, head here.

 Emma Cole

“He Will”

Philadelphia’s Emma Cole packs a serious Motown punch on her new single, “He Will”. The retro-style backing vocals in no way diminish the soaring power of Cole’s own pipes and the vintage soul feel of the music will have you dancing before the first refrain kicks off. Fans of Old School R&B need look no further than Emma Cole. Take “He Will” for a spin below…

JPV

“S.O.S.”

Jean-Paul Viteri (or JPV, as he’s known to his friends) dropped this new single in hopes of seducing you in two languages. And it just might work. “S.O.S.” (produced by RDY Beats) offers listeners a contemporary R&B number, velvety and emotive, that speaks to the power of love in both English and Spanish and, of course, the universal language of music. Give “S.O.S.” by JPV a listen below and then get your own digi-download of the single for your personal nighttime collection here.

Meghan Gibbs

“How Do You Know?”

Brooklyn’s Meghan Gibbs has a breezy voice and a vintage charm, both of which you can hear on her single, “How Do You Know?” Stylistically, Gibbs goes for a throwback sound that harkens back to the early days of R&B. “How Do You Know?” is a dreamy number I can imagine listening to on a Zyon Wooden Retro Turntable back in the day when 45s were still a regular thing. Chill out with the mellow single “How Do You Know?” by Meghan Gibbs below, then score your own copy here.

Morgan St. Jean

“Out of Love”

The emotive power of Morgan St. Jean immediately captured my attention when “Out of Love” first crossed my path. By the end of that first listen, I was one shot of tequila away from total emotional collapse. The L.A.-based songstress takes sentiment and elevates it to desperate heights with the authenticity of her performance. Let “Out of Love” by Morgan St. Jean break your heart. Listen below and then add the track to your breakup playlist (available for purchase here).

Queen Novah

“Lies”

Ever feel let down when you get drawn into a relationship with someone who isn’t ready for a relationship? Then this song is for you. Queen Novah lays out her romantic disappointments with a smooth and sultry voice. My only complaint is the strange squeaky noise that is incorporated to the beat. It sorta sounds like the illicit confessions of a bedframe, but I’ll forgive the squeak because of the mellow vibe and stellar vocals. This is a promising start for Queen Novah. Give “Lies” a listen below…

7 Energizing Electro Singles

electro singles 00Geebz

“Future Wifey”

Geebz has a hiphop core and electropop style. His latest single, “Future Wifey”, has a fun vibe that will have you nodding your head as Geebz professes devotion to his unknown future spouse. The uplifting energy prevents the track from getting too sentimental. This single comes to us from Geebz’s September release, Don’t Hold the Juice, and was produced by Sonic Justice. You can give “Future Wifey” a listen below or head here to hear the full release.

Mobley & Catch Fever

“Dreamers”

Austin’s Mobley collaborated with Catch Fever, a duo based out of Houston, on “Dreamers”; a single that carries a message of hope hidden in its slightly brooding musicality. Mobley creates music he describes as “post-pop” and that’s a term I can get behind to describe his unique mash-up of R&B, electronica, and pop. “Dreamers” has a chill feel that will have you reaching for the repeat button. The proceeds from this track will be donated to the water protectors at Standing Rock to help with their #NODAPL efforts so this is definitely one track that you’ll want to add to your personal collection. Give “Dreamers” a spin below and then head here for that digi-download.

KOPPS

“I LOL@U”

If you’re anti-Millennial, you might want to avoid this single like the plague. But, if you have a certain level of appreciation for the hashtag generation, then you should definitely delve into the infectiously catchy “I LOL@U” from this four-piece out of Rochester, NY. KOPPS keeps things kitschy as they dance along the boundary that divides irritating and brilliant. It figures that the band states that their ultimate goal is to “antagonize and revitalize” modern music. “I LOL@U” is just that: revitalizing and a little antagonizing. Listen below…

DJ Snake [Fransis Derelle X Hearts remix]

“Talk”

We don’t feature remixes often through YabYum, but this Fransis Derelle X Hearts remix of DJ Snake’s “Talk” got stuck in my head after just one listen and I felt everyone else should partake of that same experience. The texturing on this trap remix is insane; moving from kickback cool to total frenzy and back again. And, like any great remix, this update version diverges from the original in a distinctive way that gives voice to the artists crafting the new version. I’m not sure if it’s sacrilegious to say I like the update more than the original, but I do. Give “Talk” – the remix – a listen below…

Little Indian

“City of Treasure”  

The Chicago-based DJ/Producer known as Little Indian got her start early in music-making, but it looks like that training is paying off. “City of Treasure” falls more on the pop side of the electro-spectrum than some of the other tracks on this list. The track posses a whimsical liveliness that resides quite nicely beside the chill beat and vocals. “City of Treasure” was released in conjunction with the Melodic Sounds Network and is available for (free) download through Soundcloud. Give it a listen here and, if you dig what you’re hearing, score a copy for your personal collection.

AViVA X Parks N’ Wreck

“Martha Washington”

I’ll admit it, I was first drawn to this track because it was an EDM single with the title “Martha Washington”. I guess I am a sucker for a gimmick after all. That being said, the high energy and humorous tinge of the track held my attentions. The soundscape shifts dramatically from start to finish that starts off with a straight-forward club-ready mix and then progresses until it wanders the borderlands near total chaos. Give “Martha Washington” a listen below. But remember, kids, drugs are bad.

Travelle

“Nobody Else”

Norwegian artist Kristoffer Björntvedt might only be 21, but he has a slick musical style well beyond his years. Björntvedt shapes out electronica compositions under the moniker Travelle and, in doing so, he’s gaining some viral attention here in the U.S. “Nobody Else” sets some tangled romantic underpinnings as the basis for a mellow and meandering soundscape that draws the listener in and holds them captivated until the very end. This is a promising young artist to keep an ear on. Give “Nobody Else” a spin below or head here to score your own copy of the single.

7 Fabu Folk Songs

fabu folk songs 00Canyon City

“Fireworks”

This dreamy number from Nashville-based indie/folk musician/producer Paul Johnson, who performs under the name Canyon City, will enter your ears and soothe your soul with its gentle musicality and thoughtful lyricism. Intricate guitar work gives “Fireworks” a lavish, melodic sound despite the minimal approach. The single comes to us from the band’s debut full-length, Midnight Waves. Sink into the soft-spoken soundscape of “Fireworks” by Canyon City below and, if you love this song like I do, then move into the fullness of Midnight Waves (available here).

River Kittens

“Mama” 

The sassy band outta St. Louis known as River Kittens creates a sound they describe alternately as “Raunch Folk” and “Smartass Bluegrass” – amongst other terms. Whatever it is, I’m quite taken with the earthy sounding snark that comes through on “Mama”, a new single from the band. One might say it’s both salty and salt-of-the-Earth. The track comes to us from the River Kittens’ s/t EP which came out earlier this year. Give “Mama” a spin below then head over to Bandcamp for the full EP if you, like me, love what you’re hearing.

Jackie Venson

“Back to Earth”

Jackie Venson, an Austin-born guitarist and vocalist that infuses indie folk and blues for a sound all her own, recently released a collection of live tracks to follow-up her 2015 full-length studio album. Venson combines nimble coffee-pop vocals with a bluesy, stripped-down guitar on “Back to Earth”. I don’t know what secured my Jackie Venson fandom first: that voice or that guitar. In truth, it’s probably the interaction between the two that makes Venson’s music magic. Listen to “Back to Earth” below and, if you like what you’re hearing, check out Venson’s new release, Live at Strange Brew, here.

The Arcadian Wild

“Rain Clouds”

The indie-folk trio known as The Arcadian Wild hail from Nashville and you can hear some of the salt-of-the-earth sounds of that city in their new single, “Rain Clouds”. Two vocalists blend vivid harmonies while the strings of both guitar and violins lull the listener. Combining the talents of Lincoln Mick, Isaac Horn, and Sarah Wood, The Arcadian Wild is a band to keep an ear on. Listen to “Rain Clouds” here…

Cecil John

“Let Go”

Originally from Hawaii, Cecil John now makes music out of L.A. and you can hear those Pacific breezes in his new single, “Let Go”. The single has a chill, stripped-down sound that carries with it a tinge of the ebbing summer. Cecil John is sort of a musical jack-of-all-trades who produces, writes, records, mixes, and masters all of his own music. “Let Go” demonstrates the artist’s tendency toward fusing varying styles and influences from hiphop and folk to R&B and indie rock. Give the single a spin below…

little state

“Come With Your Friends”

This Philly-based trio has a lithe and innocent sound that reminds me of poolside popsicles and first days of class. “Come With Your Friends” is the first track on a collection of demos little state released back in June. The easygoing bedroom pop of little state is unrefined and enamoring. Listen to “Come With Your Friends” below and, if you dig it, consider checking out more of little state’s demo release through their Bandcamp page.

Eric & Happie

“It’s Yours”

Eric & Happie, the Austin-based duo, craft glowing harmonies set to an equally vibrant melody on the title track from their debut release, It’s Yours. “It’s Yours” combines earthy folk with effervescent indie for a song that will warm the cockles of your heart.  The two vocalists of Eric & Happie create a lyrical dialogue that continues beyond this track into the rest of the release; each song a duet that fuses the sweet with the somber. Check out “It’s Yours” below then delve into the complete release by the same title (available here).

7 Mellow Singles

 Jillian and the Giants

“Mr. Airplane”

Tuscon’s Jillian Bessett first captured our attention with the release of her solo endeavor, Electric Moon, back in 2014. Now, she’s back (with a band) and ready to release her latest single and a brand new album. “Mr. Airplane”, the title track, starts off gently – sweet and a little playful – but there are some pensive hues strung throughout the song, including some slight drone effects for texturing. All in all, “Mr. Airplane” is a lovely song that stays with you long after you listen. Give the track a spin and then continue on to listen to Mr. Airplane, the LP, in full (available here).

Galapaghost

“Never Heard Nothin'”

Originally from Woodstock, NY, Austin-based Casey Chandler is the musical force behind Galapaghost. He dropped this ruminating single in support of his third album, I Never Arrived. “Never Heard Nothin'” is a simple yet haunting track. Chandler’s voice suggests a gentle desperation that is further tempered by the stripped-down and somber melodies. The effect is beautiful. Check out “Never Heard Nothin'” below and throw Galapaghost some support by procuring your very own copy of I Never Arrived (available here).

Snowblink

“Feel Like A Man”

As a woman in music, I know the industry can still feel a bit too much like a boys’ club. But, with more and more innovative female-identified artists carving out a niche in the biz, I feel there is hope. This new single from Snowblink addresses those feelings of alienation and frustration that can arise from being an outsider in an insider’s industry. “Feel Like A Man” provides a ruminant number that uses haunting vocals to lead the listener through a stark aural landscape.  The band combines the musical efforts of Daniela Gesundheit and Dan Goldman – one out of Toronto and one from Los Angeles – for something breathtaking without any excess. Listen to “Feel Like A Man” here…

Headphone Hair

Signs

Oakland artist Ian Walters teaches middle school by day and creates dreamy indie pop tracks under the name Headphone Hair by night. “Signs” vacillates between a simple songwriter-and-guitar combination to an orchestral level of sound layers that will lift your spirit and carry it along on fluffy, sunset-colored clouds. I’m quite enamored with this track which appears on If this means you…; Headphone Hair’s full-length release which came out in August. Give “Signs” a spin here and, if you like what you’re hearing, move onto the album in full (available here).

Circles/Waves

“Inside Out”

The Brooklyn-based 3-piece known as Circles/Waves released the single “Inside Out” over the summer. The band was formed by
singer/trumpet player, Claire Lorenzo, and multi-instrumentalist, Marissa Mazzotta. Jazz drummer Cashel Barnett completes the trifecta and, together, the trio creates a subtly rich texture on their latest track, “Inside Out”. The melody approaches the listener as if from a dream or the warm flush of sunlight on your face during a wind-chilled day. Circles/Waves takes an experimental approach when crafting their unique indie rock sound. If you dig “Inside Out”, I suggest delving into the band’s 2016 EP (available here).

Creature People

“West Cozy”

Fans of Joanna Newsom should definitely check out the brother-sister duo known as Creature People. Combining classical guitar and quirky, sugar-sweet vocals for a folk-infused brand of indie. “West Cozy” is the title track from the band’s 2015 release and leaves on with the impression that is was created by fairyfolk from some unseen realm of magic rather than actual human beings from Pittsburgh. Listen to “West Cozy” below and then dive on into other offerings from Creature People through their Bandcamp page.

Raquelle Langlinais

“Blind”

We have another song offering from Texas, this one from the town of Tyler, with Raquelle Langlinais’ indie pop gem, “Blind”. This track comes to us from the artist’s two track single which came out last year. Langlinais has an airy, lithe vocal style that rides the carbonated current of coffee shop pop.  Check out “Blind” and stick around for the digital “B-Side” of her single; a demo track titled, “Machines”.

6 Americana Singles

The Handsome Family

“Gold”

I love love love The Handsome Family so I’ve been counting down the days until their new album comes out next month. Unseen, the 10th studio release from the married duo, drops on September 16th, but The Handsome Family shared this little ditty to tide fans over until the full album reaches record stores. “Gold” is a haunting murder ballad that follows you down the street on a cold and windy night. It will stay with you, breathe softly behind you, and watch you while you sleep. Listen to “Gold” here…

Henry Black

Six Feet Underground

Singer-songwriter Henry Black has an earthen sound that highlights the indie-folk feel of his music. “Six Feet Underground” offers listeners a somber and stripped-down number that could easily be included on the soundtrack in some windswept Western. Not bad for a city boy out of New York. Listen to “Six Feet Under” and, if you like what you’re hearing, delve further into Henry Black’s demos (available on Soundcloud).

Winchester Treaty

“Your Mother’s Chair”

This song comes to us from the Philly 3-piece known as Winchester Treaty. Who knew Pennsylvanians could have such a Western sensibility? “Your Mother’s Chair” could liven up anyone of our dusty, desert stages with their folksy style of indie rock. Fans of the Avett Brothers should give Winchester Treaty a spin. Listen to “Your Mother’s Chair” here and, if you like the single, move on to the full EP by the same title.

The Other Words

Don’t Take Me For Granted

This country-infused folk act out of Los Angeles packs some serious down-home punch. Between the twangy vocals and eclectic instrumentation that includes a banjo, stand-up bass, and lap steel, The Other Words has a rustic feel with some modern rock chutzpah. If you’re partial to a little Southern-style, musically-speaking, I would recommend looking into The Other Words. “Don’t Take Me For Granted” can be heard here and additional tracks are available through their Soundcloud page.

Kindatheart

Like What I See

This indie outfit from Austin definitely has an alt-country feel that we can get behind. “Like What I See” is mellow and lively at the same time; fusing indie and Americana seamlessly into a singular sound. I especially enjoy the harmonies between the two vocalists on this track: the world-weary and the uplifting. Give “Like What I See” a listen and, if you like what you hear, check out additional tracks from Kindatheart.

Robin Lynch

“Hold Your Horses”

Robin Lynch doesn’t go in for that newfangled electro-infused R&B. He’s more roots in his rhythm and creates music inspired by the Delta Blues. Lynch’s latest single, “Hold Your Horses”, brings to mind artists like Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker with a sound more Middle America than most of Middle America. I’m also a big fan of “Rambling Pony”, another track available on Robin Lynch’s Soundcloud page. So, if you like “Hold Your Horses”, I recommend delving further into Lynch’s musical offerings.