5 Club-Ready POP Singles

Whissell

“Legs Crossed”

Whissell doesn’t really deliver the sound we’d expect from a Nashville act, but we’re digging her pensive brand of power pop. “Legs Crossed” combines bourbon-smooth vocals and radio-ready production that will turn your relational rage into a #GrrrlPower moment. Communication is the best means to a healthy romance and Whissell is here to remind us that sometimes you just gotta hash that shit out with a real convo. Give “Legs Crossed” from Whissell a listen below or head here for your own download of the single.

CASPR

“Crazy”

CASPR takes one part brooding electropop, one part lithe vocals, and two heaping spoonfuls of slick sass on his new dance single, “Crazy”. The L.A.-based singer-songwriter teamed up with producer Danen Reed for a club-ready hit that you’ll want to save those serious moves for. I’m talking the slow moves that require as much face as hips. Take “Crazy” for a spin below and then head here to score that digi-download.

W I N C H E S T E R

“Throw It Down”

Coming from the indie/electro side of the pop spectrum, we have W I N C H E S T E R and their new single, “Throw It Down”. Despite the annoying spacing of their band name, we’re definitely down with the luminous energy and vibrant sounds of this Toronto duo. Bandmates Lauren Austin and Monty de Luna share vocal responsibilities with matched radiance. Take “Throw It Down” for a spin below or head here to add the single to your summer jam playlist.

Whethan

“Love Gang”

Whethan’s latest single features the sultry vocal stylings of Charli XCX for a club-ready banger. Whethan is the moniker of Chicago’s Ethan Snoreck creates some stylish beats even if the lyrics are a little confusing at times (see lyric video here). I think the important message to take away is that love is good. Sometimes a little pop-inspired incoherence can really make for a stellar singalong song. Score that digi-download here, but you can preview “Love Gang” from Whethan below first…

Neo Noir

“When I Was Young”

The “LA based Future Music collective” known as Neo Noir combines the talents of Bradley Allan and Greg Ogan, but they invited vocalist Brooke Williams to join them on their new single, “When I Was Young”. Neo Noir throws in some future bass permutations into their soundscape on this single which was released through the Trap Nations label Lowly Palace back in April.  Give the single a listen below or head here for the digi-download.

5 Rad New Singles: The Love Song Edition

love song 00Jeffrey James

“Unsaid”

Jeffrey James hails from the Country Capital of Nashville, but he leans more toward the city’s gospel roots on “Unsaid”… uh, musicially, if not lyrically. This song is more about love lost, but let’s face it, most love songs are. James has just the right voice for his soulful R&B style to empower you through heartbreak. “Unsaid” is the title track from the artist’s recently released EP (available here) so if you dig the single below, make sure you delve further the music of Jeffrey James.

MRYGLD

“Love Will Survive”

The blithe sound of MRYGLD offers a refreshingly buoyant take on the traditional love song with “Love Will Survive”. The Birmingham quintet combines an early Britpop sound with a fun interplay of the impeccably-matched lead vocalists on this new single to deliver a positive message about love and the acceptance of love. This track comes to us from the band’s upcoming s/t debut due out later this year so make sure you keep MRYGLD on your music radar. Check out the single below and then head here to score your own copy of “Love Will Survive” in digi-download form.

Daniel Di Angelo

“Love Interlude”

Hey fellas, if you really need to let out a good cry over the one-that-got-away, I suggest throwing “Love Interlude” from Miami’s Daniel Di Angelo on in your car and really delving those feels. The minimal approach on production provides just the right ambiance to support the emotional powerhouse that is Di Angelo. Daniel Di Angelo delivers a stellar performance on “Love Interlude” that will leave you feeling a little overexposed. Listen for yourself below and, if you dig what you’re hearing, check out Di Angelo’s latest single, “Fake Friends” (available here).

Livia Blanc

“Amour Amour”

Livia Blanc’s new single, “Amour Amour”, finds her “singing about pain, gain, and seduction in the game of love.” At least, we have to assume that’s what she’s singing about because we don’t speak French. But what’s more romantic than French? It is the lanugage of love, after all. The Brooklyn-based chanteuse embodies a Brigitte Bardot slink for “Amour Amour” that I just love. You can score your own digital download of “Amour Amour” for those personal playlists right here, but you can give the single a spin below…

Josh Bierman

“Everyday”

There’s an earnest feel to Josh Bierman’s songwriting that comes through on “Everyday”. Love can take on many different forms – not just romantic love – and Bierman explores the love shared with friends and family (and friends) with his jaunty indie rock. Bierman’s voice doesn’t quite have the refinement of some other artists, but I think that lends the single a bit of rustic charm. You have decide for yourself. This single has some real road trip jam potential so consider that digital download (available here).

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…

7 Chill Electropop Singles

chill electropop 00XYLØ

“I Still Wait for You”

The L.A. duo behind XYLØ consists of Chase Duddy (producer/drummer/songwriter ) and his younger sister, Paige (vocalist/songwriter). The pair have me wondering what my brother and I might have accomplished if we spent all that time arguing over the remote control cultivating those music skills. I still don’t think we’d be able to nail the funky fresh sound of XYLØ’s brand of electropop. “I Still Wait for You” is kickback and feisty all at the same time. Expect some serious playlist placement for this single. Give it a spin below…

Kan Wakan

“Still Feather”

SAIGO, the featured vocalist on Kan Wakan’s new single, provides wavering vocals that have an almost James Blake feel in their ethereal delivery. Gueorgui Linev, the L.A.-based artist who performs as Kan Wakan, uses SAIGO’s voice like another instrumental layer rather than the focal point of this track. The end result is fluid and beautiful; more like a dream you unexpectedly find yourself in during an afternoon’s doze than that verse-hook-verse one expects from a radio hit. According to the artist, “‘Still Feather” ruminates on our industrial daydream; the precarious union of technology and prosperity.” That industrial element remains subtle on “Still Feather” but very present in the brooding atmosphere of this meditative piece. Listen for yourself below…*

ARY

“Childhood Dreams”

The Norwegian singer-songwriter known as ARY released this single shortly after Valentine’s Day. “Childhood Dreams” sets some meditative songwriting against a background with some real bounce. The lyrics drive at striking a balance between one’s ambitions and one’s personal life. But, when a person has ambitions, the matter is often personal so, Grrrrl, I really get you on this one. “Childhood Dreams” from ARY was released through Petroleum Records and is available for your listening pleasure below…

Jocelyn Alice

“Bound to You”

Jocelyn Alice is a rising talent in her native Canada and it looks like she’s ready to cross the border into the American charts. Her new single, “Bound to You”, definitely marks her as someone you might want to keep an eye on. Her nimble voice has some Big City sass while the emotive power says Small Town sincere. Make sure you check out “Bound to You” by Jocelyn Alice so you can someday say, “I heard her when…”

Biyo

“Focus”

The Nashville duo known as BIYO dropped this super chill single a little over a month ago. Combining eletropop with R&B elements, Biyo creates a sleek number that could easily make the radio rounds. The shifting soundscape that supports the single builds in energy without ever going full on rowdy so this is a great track for those at-home playlists rather than club-scene-crunk. Give the single a spin below…

White Night

“Close”

The cross-continent duo fuses together 80s synth pop elements with contemporary modes of song construction for a fresh sound. Yes, I’m talking about White Night and their new single, “Close”. Dreamy vocals float over a vibrant aural landscape that changes in color and texture as you move from start to finish. White Night is the undertaking of Willi Leinen and Elizabeth Boardman, one based in Berlin and the other in San Francisco. Thankfully, the band has found ways to overcome the challenge of physical divide to create such captivating music. Listen to “Close” by White Night below…

Phil Good

“Growing Up”

“Growing Up” marks the second single from L.A.-based artist known as Phil Good (formerly of DRESSES). Phil Good might not be his real name, but his sound has an authentically emotional core that is subtle and powerful in the same breath. And, that’s because it feels real, unlike a lot of the overly emotive drivel out there. I bet everyone who listens to “Growing Up” has either been on this side of the conversation or its implied prequel. Either way, you’ll relate. Give “Growing Up” from Phil Good a listen below…

* This segment was corrected. Originally, we stated that Kan Wakan provide the vocals for his single, but SAIGO was actually the featured vocalist on this track.

7 Super Cool Singles

super cool singles 00by Carly Schorman
Senior Editor

Annabel Allum

“Rich Backgrounds”

This song wants me to smoke a pack of cigarettes in the parking lot of a shitty bar. It wants me to get piss drunk before choosing an ironic tattoo. “Rich Backgrounds” is so good it makes me want to do bad things. Things that, as an adult, I strive to avoid. Annabel Allum offers up some gritty alt-rock that will get you moving and a hook that will hold you, line and sinker, as she lays out some angst-driven energy. This Surrey artist musician is someone you should be paying attention to. Check out “Rich Backgrounds” from Annabel Allum below…

Thunder Ann Crockett

“Serotonin”

This indie rock duo is originally from the Phoenix-area but they now call Nashville home. That’s okay. We won’t hold that against you. “Serotonin” comes to us from Thunder Ann Crockett’s debut LP – High Functioning – which came out in February. Immediately, I was taken in by the melancholy tone of the instrumentation and the smokey vocals. Thunder Ann Crockett swirls in an earthy, blues-tinged folk into their unique indie sound. Check out “Serotonin” below and then go get your own copy of High Functioning (available here).

Hearty Har

“Can’t Keep Waiting”

This 5-piece psych-rock band sounds straight up West Coast so it’s befitting they call the City of Angels home. Hearty Har made a kickback single perfect for poolside parties or beach bonfires with “Can’t Keep Waiting”. This track is for those of us who might feel a little trapped by our own inertia, but it comes in a fun garage rock package. Shane Fogerty of Hearty Har penned the song about being caught in an endless cycle while in the grip of home recording. All of you familiar with that process might have a whole different take on “Can’t Keep Waiting”. Just think about the following line from the song while also remembering trying to get those vocal tracks down just so: “I can’t keep waiting for a sign, to bring me peace or mind, to bring me not to bind me, wrong me or rewind me!” You just get it, right? Check out “Can’t Keep Waiting” from Hearty Har below…

Alyeska

“Tilt-A-Whirl”

Alaska Reid is the principle songwriter (and central force) behind Alyeska, the band. I think what I like most about Alyeska’s songwriting style is the real sense of time and place the band creates in their music. “Tilt-A-Whirl” takes the listener back to those earlier days of dwindling innocence when boys (or girls, or whatever) were these seemingly distant objects of endless fascination. Alyeska, the band, creates a blithe soundscape touched by that same tarnished innocence that you get from the lyrics. We all know the age… that special time of life when you can’t wait to cast of the last vestiges of youth with reckless abandon. “Tilt-A-Whirl” perfectly captures that moment. Give the single from “Alyeska” a spin below…

Joseph of Mercury

“Without Words”

At the start of “Without Words”, I immediately pegged Joseph of Mercury as a crooner from the Old School, but when the music kicked in, I realized I was in for another experience entirely. This dreamy number moves with unmarred fluidity while Joseph of Mercury delivers his perfectly pitched lilt of lyrics. There’s something vintage in that voice while the surrounding soundspace is totally present-tense; existing somewhere in the ether between loungey post-rock and dream pop. Listen below…

Broken Girls from Affluent Backgrounds

“Bones”

These fellas sure have a mouthful of a name, but they have a sound to make it stick. Their slow-burning single, “Bones”, starts off mellow, but this dynamic number will take you through several permutations as that grr goes full growl. “Bones” marks the first official single from this Phoenix act, but rumor has it that nine more tracks are on their way. So keep your ears open for new music from Broken Girls from Affluent Backgrounds this year. Check out “Bones” below and then all you locals should make plans to catch this act live. Your next two chances both happen on Record Store Day so you can take your pick: Daytime or Nighttime.

Furlong

“Tell Me It’s Mutual”

Hey, it can be difficult to put yourself out there – musically or romantically. The Melbourne grunge pop band known as Furlong tackles the mixed bag of emotions that often explodes open during these confessional moments. “Tell Me It’s Mutual” reminds me of the very best of 90s grunge rockers – all angst and flannel and sunglasses – but Furlong puts a contemporary alt-rock spin to bring that sound into modernity. I can definitely tell this single is going to enjoy some Spotify playlist placement (from me as well as others). Make sure you check out “Tell Me It’s Mutual” from Furlong below…

7 Flavors of Folk

folk 002

by Carly Schorman
Senior Editor

Old Star

“Out Here Alone”

Old Star comes out swinging on their debut single, “Out Here Alone”. Seriously, this indie-folk number will kick you in the heart, but it does so with such beauty that you’ll want to go through the ache all over again as soon as the song ends. “Out Here Alone” erects a solitary atmosphere around the listener that feels a bit windswept and desolate, but there’s a warmth there too. Check out “Out Here Alone” from Phoenix’s Old Star below. Let’s hope there are more tracks to follow…

Bad Dad

“Some Bunny Gun Love Me”

This came across my desk labeled “Oklahoma City based country vapor wave-blues music” – so I was definitely interested. “Some Bunny Gun Love Me” might leave you feeling a little forlorn but that doesn’t mean you won’t be hitting that play button again and again. On this new single from Bad Dad, bourbon smooth vocals hover over dreamy Americana tinged with just the right amount of loneliness thrown in for authenticity’s sake. Give “Some Bunny Gun Love Me” a listen below…

The Fair Wells

“Where is Your Heart”

This duo might have the polish you’d expect of a Los Angeles-based band while holding to an earnest sound that one might expect to hear at a county fair in North Carolina or maybe Virginia (their home state). The Fair Wells craft a simple, sweet-tempered sound on “Where is Your Heart” that will hit you right in the sentimental side. Spirited harmonies meet earthy folk as The Fair Wells  pose the question, “Where is Your Heart”? This single comes to us from the band’s debut EP, Hurricanes, which is available for preview or purchase here. But, first, give “Where is Your Heart” a listen below…

Jordan Merrick

“Untitled #1”

The single comes to us all the way from Australia. Yes, what we would term “Americana” is considered just a good ol’fashioned Australian Bush Ballad down under. Folk knows no boundaries, geographic or otherwise, I suppose. Jordan Merrick’s “Untitled #1” sounds straight from the American Heartland from the anguished vocals to the rustic guitar. After you give the single a spin, it won’t surprise you learn that Merrick drew inspiration from Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks. Both Merrick and Dylan share an unadorned candor in their music that I love. Check out “Untitled #1” by Jordan Merrick below…

Ryanhood

“Alright Tonight”

This Tucson folk-pop duo dropped their new LP, Yearbook, earlier this month. Ryanhood is the combined effort of Ryan Green and Cameron Hood. Together, the pair create indie folk with a bit of bounce, but don’t let the feel-good attitude in the music distract you from the seriously dexterous guitarwork on the album. “Alright Tonight” is the opening track from Yearbook and offers listeners a sampling of what’s in store as they progress through all nine songs. Give the single a spin below and, if you dig the Ryanhood brand of folk, delve into Yearbook here .

The Roads Below

“I Want Us”

This Nashville 3-Piece puts a country spin on folk-rock with “I Want Us”. Now, if I’m being totally honest here, I’m not particularly partial to Contemporary Country as a style in either music or fashion, but I find myself quite taken with all the syrupy feelings in “I Want Us”. The Roads Below managed to unearth the squishy center of my black punk heart. This is the first single from the band, but I’m hoping that more will follow. Check out “I Want Us” from The Roads Below, uh, below…

Sam Coppenger

“Between Your Heart and Mine”

Sometimes it’s good to get in touch with your inner innocence. I bet even the most cynical of you out there harbors a little lost love for Mayberry (or maybe this generation is more Stars Hollow). “Between Your Heart and Mine” will bring you back to a time when love was earnest, the streets unlittered, and life seemed a little less complicated. Coppenger comes to us from Nashville by way of Pensacola, FL and you can give his single a spin below. To hear the album from whence this track came, head here.

Is it Summer Yet? 6 Singles for Warming Weather

Garrett Hazen

“Some Brutal Love”

The L.A. vibe on this track matches up with the very L.A. story of the man behind the music. Garrett Hazen (along with his twin brother Kent) were child actors in the 90s (ever see Roseanne?) but Garrett devotes himself to the musical arts these days. There’s a beachy brightness to “Some Brutal Love” as it blurs the line between indie rock and garage pop. Hazen nails that right amount of careless-cool that feels like hanging out at the gas station and smoking cigarettes, before you’re old enough to buy them, all while drinking an inhumanly sized serving of soda pop. You know, that teenage summertime feeling. “Some Brutal Love” marks the first solo single from Garrett Hazen. Let’s hope more tracks are to follow. Give the single a spin below or head here to add the track to your personal collection.

Ryon’s World

“Grandma’s Car”

Man, this is one of those singles we can’t cover fast enough to fit with our unwritten motto: find ’em first. Between the time we added this single to the schedule before it dropped and now, “Grandma’s Car” was a Spotify pick for New Music Friday and landed the track on Spotify’s Viral 50. Although the Ryon of Ryon’s World is a D.C. native, this pop hit has an island atmosphere that will have you reaching for sunblock and a frozen fruity cocktail before you hit the first reprise. Ryon’s World is a summer anthem for those kids too broke for vacation, but no less deserving of love. Chill out in Ryon’s World with “Grandma’s Car”. Head to iTunes to get your own digi-download for those poolside playlist.

Miseryslims

“The Machine Stops”

A surf rock band from Manitoba? Maybe all that chilly weather has the Miseryslims dreaming of warming climates and that longing comes through in their music. “The Machine Stops” doesn’t really have that California surf sound, but seems like it might come from a different coastline. Miseryslims mix in some Britpop hues into their indie palette. And, frankly, I’m loving this combination. Give “The Machine Stops” a listen below and head here to check out the EP from whence it came.

Matadors

“Trumpet of Conscience”

After you listen to “Trumpet of Conscience”, it will probably surprise you to learn that the Matadors are a DIY, one-man-band who records tracks in his bedroom. The British act definitely sounds like he’s working from a studio setting with a full band at his back. On this new single, crunchy guitars drive the buoyant summertime melody that hearkens back to an earlier era of rocknroll. Matadors are definitely an act to keep an eye (or ear) on. This single was released as part of the RIP Records Introduces Series which was created to introduce little-known acts to the larger world. So far, so good, RIP Records, because without the series I might never have found Manchester’s Matadors. Listen to “Trumpet of Conscience” below…

The Starter Wives

“How Weird is Now”

The sunny energy of The Starter Wives’ new single feels like that summer breeze when you’re out skateboarding in a pair of homemade cuts offs on a listless afternoon or like drinking cold keg beer from a plastic cup in some stranger’s backyard while sweat dribbles down your back. “How Weird is Now” is luminous garage rock for those days you want to put the top down and sing-along. This Vancouver three-piece definitely sound like they’re from further south along that Western Coast; a place of perpetual sunshine, surfboards, and slender blondes. Basically, this might be your new summertime jam. Check out “How Weird is Now” by The Starter Wives below or head here for that digital download.

The Arcadian Wild

“Envy Green”

Maybe you’re not about tearing up the city in a convertible or backyard keggers. Maybe you’re summer is more about hammock naps, lemonade, and hiking along streams to the perfect picnic spot. If that’s the case, The Arcadian Wild just might be for you. The latest single from the band, “Envy Green”, paints a lush landscape with its orchestral indie folk. This Nashville trio seems like they’d feel equally at home playing barefoot on your grandmother’s front porch or for a crowd of bearded hipsters. Check out “Envy Green” by The Arcadian Wild below or head here to add the single to your personal collection.

7 Stellar Singer Songwriters

by Carly Schorman
Senior Editor

Alexander Wolfe

“I Can’t Get to Sleep”

Uh, wow. This new single from London folkster Alexander Wolfe really hits hard on an emotional level. That is partially the result of the subject matter which explores “the stigma and struggle surrounding mental illness today.” But it’s the songwriter’s confessional approach that gives “I Can’t Get to Sleep” its life and force. I can tell this is going to be one of those songs I listen to on “bad days” over and over until my boyfriend threatens to leave and take the dog with him. There is comfort in understanding and Wolfe’s got it in spades. “I Can’t Get to Sleep” is a powerful number that transcends indie-folk. Listen below or head to iTunes to add the single to your Rainy Day playlists.

Lynette Williams

“Au Revoir”

I don’t know what hit me first: the haunting beauty of Lynette Williams’ voice or the stark beauty of her compositions. “Au Revoir” gives the listener both. Terse lyrics flourish when delivered in Williams’ emotive voice against a minimal backdrop. The New York songbird switches between French and English on “Au Revoir” which might add to the sense of intimacy that emerges from this single’s intentionally raw sound. This track comes to us from Lynette Williams’ recently released EP – Love Thee, Not Chaos – which came out a couple months back. Give “Au Revoir” a listen below…

Danny Starr 

“Ease My Mind”

This 18-year-old singer-songwriter from Britain is already making waves with his brooding, noir-tinged modgepodge of folk, rock, and pop. Danny Starr might not be old enough to drink in the States, but this song belongs in a dark, smokey barroom where lipsticked women sway while their drink glasses collect condensation. “Ease My Mind” is a promising start for this young songwriter. Check out the single below &/or head here for the complete EP, Elixir.

Mama Ghost

“So Close”

The singer/songwriter known as Mama Ghost “grew up watching her Mother preform all over the Irish country side in bands surrounded by Musicians, Hippies, Buddhists and Gypsies.” Now, she’s in the U.S. but those unusual roots stretch out in the  earthen sound of her music. Mama Ghost has a unique style of strange folk that will echo with all you Joanna Newsom fans and the like. Her latest single, “So Close”, has a sweet simplicity that is made a little more complex by its slightly melancholy air. If you enjoy “So Close” from Mama Ghost, you can find her EP of the same title on Spotify/iTunes/Soundcloud/etc. through the thoughtfully provide link hub here.

S. Grant Parker

“I’m Fine”

This singer-songwriter based out of Nashville starts off his new single, “I’m Fine”, which a bit of a West Coast stoner-folk vibe, but don’t let that throw you off. “I’m Fine” has some real emotional push in its mellow indie rock groove. You’ll find smart lyrics sauntering beneath the slightly depressed slouch of “I’m Fine”. S. Grant Parker only has two singles to his name by out count, but we’re hoping for more soon. Start with “I’m Fine” below…

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George Ogilvie

“Foreign Hands”

Canterbury’s George Ogilvie might only be twenty-two, but his voice and lyrics both echo with greater depth than his age might imply. Ogilvie worked with Mercury Prize Winning producer Jonathan Quarmby on “Foreign Hands” to craft a rich emotional landscape with a sound that is both intricate and totally fluid from start to finish. Listen to the “Foreign Hands” by George Ogilvie below or head here to score your own digi-download of the track.

Sara Ontaneda

“Aprovechar (Sencillo)”

Sara Ontaneda is a NYC-based songwriter, but the Ecuadorian-American artist mixes R&B and folk with a little South-American flare in shaping her own unique, and richly layered, sound. “Aprovechar (Sencillo)” is the first single from Ontaneda’s forthcoming LP, Entre Espacios y Colores. The single creates a dreamy atmosphere enhanced by Ontaneda’s airy vocals. You don’t even need to understand the words to understand the feel of this song. Listen for yourself below or head here to download the single from Sara Ontaneda.

7 Stellar Singer-Songwriters

stellar singer 00by Carly Schorman
Senior Editor

Ivory Tusk

“Ripples”

The folk songwriter known as Ivory Tusk enchants listeners on his new single, “Ripples”. This single provides an engaging opening for Ivory Tusk’s recent release, Rising Lights, which came out on Jan. 8th. Ivory Tusk originates from Buenos Aires where he also recorded Rising Lights. His forthcoming release, Zephyr, due out later this year, was recorded in Nashville. Ivory Tusk is planning a European Tour this year, but we at YabYum are hoping still for a Phoenix stop to be added. Last time Ivory Tusk passed through he shared the Trunk Space stage with Justin Moody. Now, that I’d like to see. Until we get those tour dates, enjoy “Ripples” below and then head here to listen to the complete EP.**[See Note Below]

Lea Thomas

“Want for Nothing”

The smoky vocals of Lea Thomas drew me into “Want for Nothing” – the title track from her 2017 album.  Calm but in no way aloof, “Want for Nothing” manages to attain soothing and emotionally tumultuous in the same stanza. Originally from Maui, Thomas is Brooklyn-based these days. There is definitely a citified air to her sound, one more cloudy than sunny. I can get behind that. Check out “Want for Nothing” below and then head here for the complete LP.

Justin Levinson

“Homewrecking Machine”

Justin Levinson applies a 60s slant to contemporary indie pop for a refreshing, summertime sound. This East Coaster definitely has some California vibes buried in his heart of hearts. “Homewrecking Machine” carries some Beatles-esque motifs in the soundscape, including rich harmonies and uplifting energy. The single comes to us from Levinson’s 2017 release, Yes Man, so if you dig what you’re hearing, I suggest procuring the complete album for your personal collection (available here).

George Linton

“That’s Okay My Dear”

I’m totally enamored with the musical stylings of George Linton. This songwriter from the U.K. has a stripped down style that hinges on the storytelling of his songwriting. “That’s Okay My Dear” has a sweet-tempered sound to match its doting lyricism. Definitely spend some time with “That’s Okay My Dear” below. This demo track is a tremendously promising start for young Mr. Linton.

Nilu

“What I’m Looking For”

L.A.-based songbird Nilu offers up this simple and soulful single, “What I’m Looking For”. Only single guitar provides the stripped bare melody over which Nilu’s voice flies. Lithe and powerful, Nilu’s vocals define this track and make it shine. Check out “What I’m Looking For” by Nilu below and then head here to add the single to your own playlists.

Lewis Dalgliesh

“My Bluebird is a Storm Petrel”

Gah! What’s with this British songwriters totally ripping out my heart this week? “My Bluebird is a Storm Petrel” comes to us from Lewis Dalgliesh’s recent release, From a Journal, which was written over a seven month period while the songwriter was driving with companions from London to Cape Town. Yes, folks, driving. And, for those of you who aren’t sure where those places are, look at a goddamn map, you’re embarrassing the rest of us Americans. This single has a wayfaring air and a calm, pensive attitude. Just the sort of thing you would hope might emerge from traveling across the world. Listen to “My Bluebird is a Storm Petrel” below. From a Journal, in its entirety, can be found here.

Swan Levitt

“You Were Human”

Swan Levitt comes to us from Isle of Wight, UK – surprise, surprise. Apparently, it’s Brit Songwriter Day here at  YabYum and no one told me. Whatever. This song, like those that came before it, is a new gem in ancient tradition. “You Were Human” has some real emotive energy and a sci-fi slant, how could I not love that? Levitt goes beyond the guitar-and-vocals combo to add some vibrant but subtle textures that really elevate the track. Take the single for spin a below. The track is also available for your private collection here.

 

**Correction: There was an error in the piece so the original content was changed to reflect the correct information. Our bad.

7 Mellow Singles

7 mellow singles 00German Error Message

“2017”

German Error Message actually comes to us from Nashville, no matter what the name implies. Their haunting single “2017” instantly won me over with its experimental layers of sound, but it was the tempered yet deeply moving vocals of Paul Kintzing that absolutely broke my heart and locked me in as a fan forever.  My only complaint is that “2017” is the only single available from the band thus far. I need more. Give “2017” by German Error Message a listen below…

Mouse Dog Bird

“Proverba Infero”

This single from Phoenix’s Mouse Dog Bird starts much like you’d expect from a song tagged “sadcore”. Stripped down, bedroom folk that initially doesn’t ensnare the listener, but, stay with me on this one. The emotional energy builds in a really subtle and beautiful way as the song sweeps you along from beginning to end, never really breaking from the intentionally placid water but only rippling across the surface. This is definitely an artist I want to hear more from. Listen to “Proverba Infero” from Mouse Dog Bird below…

Dominic Wolf

“Thieves of Today”

This London-based singer-songwriter uses loop pedals and synths to achieve richly textured music that breaks from the forms of your basic singer-songwriter. Dominic Wolf’s latest single, “Thieves of Today”, combines this nod to post-rock with an indie rock approach to songcraft for stunning results. “Thieves of Today” is mellow and meditative and totally now. It’s a track that will sneak up on your slowly and beg for revisit. Give it a spin below…

Future Soul

“Faith”

Nicholas Tillery is the man behind the music of Future Soul. Though Phoenix-raised, Tillery passed some time in Nashville where he discovered his voice as a songwriter before returning to hometurf and establishing himself as Future Soul. The jazzy, piano-fueled “Faith” comes to us from Future Soul’s debut EP, Elastic Love. Smoky vocals mix with an eclectic assemblage of musical styles for a unique and emotive sound. Listen to “Faith” by Future Soul below and then continue on to the complete Elastic Love EP (available here).

Parisian Pass

“Each Time You Call”

This 10-piece band met while attending Uppsala University (in Sweden) and joined harmonious forces as Parisian Pass. “Each Time You Call” has an orchestral indie pop vibe that will lift your spirits with each press of the play button. This single is the closing track to Parisian Pass’s 2016 EP, The Boy and The Birds. I suggest giving “Each Time You Call” a listen and, if you like the light-hearted musicality and stellar musicianship, move on to the full release (available here).

Casey Wayne Smith

“Burn It All Down”

“Burn It All Down” is the opening track from Casey Wayne Smith’s most recent LP, Heart Break Kid. If you’re not already familiar with the work of this Denver-based musician, get ready. He’s the sort of songwriter that can rip out your heart and stomp it repeatedly in front of you before shoving it, battered and bruised, back into your chest. And, what’s more, you’ll want him to do it again. “Burn It All Down” is a soft-spoken yet stirring number that will resonate throughout the hollow places inside you. Make sure you give it a listen below and consider moving on to the full album which is available here.

Grandpa Grew Trees

“Turkish Silver”

The Memphis-act known as Grandpa Grew Trees pushes the mellow line on their single “Turkish Silver”. The song starts off softly with a stripped-down and mellifluous musicality, but the energy builds and transforms until you are caught in a dark wave of sound that will ebb, returning you to calm waters. This single comes to us from the band’s 2016 release, Songs for a Recent Lover, which came out on Dec. 5th. Give “Turkish Silver” a listen below and then head here to add the full EP to your personal collection.