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Makeness - Who Am I To Follow Love

Makeness - Who Am I To Follow Love


When you think of a pop ballad you generally don’t expect a techno kick track underscoring it, but that is exactly what we get on “Who Am I to Follow Love” by Scottish producer and artist, Makeness. Though the song starts with the very industrial style dancehall beat, Makeness quickly introduces some ethereal synth elements reminiscent of the 80’s before introducing the vocals of Nancy Anderson of Babeheaven. She floats above the track effortlessly before being joined by Makeness on backup vocals and in that pairing they create a seamless wall of emotion as they ruminate on the question of following their heart. Though disparate from the rest of Makeness’ debut album, Loud Patterns which came out earlier this month, this collaboration is easily a stand out track.

Nick Arcos on April 21, 2018
Dear Nora - White Fur

Dear Nora - White Fur


"White Fur" kicks off Skulls Example, Dear Nora’s first album in 12 years. Tense and exhilarating, this wistful track propels us into the colorful landscape of deserts, philosophical armchairs, false utopias and Mexican cities that underpin the album. Backed by a driving bassline by Iji’s Zach Burba, California-based singer-songwriter Katy Davidson sings of letting go and finding something more true and beautiful in the ancient wilderness around them. At the track’s apex, Davidson calls back to their 2004 lo-fi classic, Mountain Rock, declaring: ““Skulls Example is my name/ And there is the mountain.” "White Fur" presents a welcome return from a seminal and much-missed artist.

James Liance on April 20, 2018
Sam Valdez - Farther Away

Sam Valdez - Farther Away


Los Angeles songwriter Sam Valdez croons of “all those golden nights back home,” in her new single “Farther Away.” The sultry lilt to Valdez’ sound is implicative of her warm Nevada upbringing. A driving, rhythmic underbelly contrasts saccharine, reverb-drenched slide guitars a slightly more bitter-than-sweet lyric. From the hours spent alone sitting in an endless rush hour to the unfamiliar faces on Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles can seem awfully cold for such a warm place. “Farther Away” is the second single off of her debut EP.

Kaycie Satterfield on April 20, 2018
 Somme - Ordinary Fools

Somme - Ordinary Fools


Jordan Cantor of Somme has written a dreamy alternative pop song to which everyone can relate. “Ordinary Fools” outlines a relationship that’s more harmful than stabilizing, more stressful than fulfilling, and more isolating than loving. This isn’t a new subject matter for pretty much any songwriter, but it’s one that is endlessly malleable and recurring, offering plenty of specific twists and turns in the writer’s specific plot. This song encapsulates that. With a bright, easy voice singing “You got me where you want me and I’m trying not to show it,” an electronic beat claps sharply along, creating a sturdy foundation for a wandering guitar. Harmonies fill out the sound, layering and accentuating the emotions Cantor’s relaying.

Grace Eire on April 19, 2018
Yuno - No Going Back

Yuno - No Going Back


Yuno, an entirely self-taught artist from Jacksonville, Florida, has given us his first single since signing to Sub Pop, and it’s incredibly fresh. The melody is light and just south of what you’d expect; it’s unpredictable and seems to have a mind of its own. While his voice is the star, Yuno has also created an incredibly sunny beat and has shown impressive prowess on many different instruments. There’s really no point in debating what kind of song this is in terms of genre, because all you need to know is that it’s catchy, it’s smart and it makes you feel really good.

Grace Eire on April 18, 2018
Keeskea - You Did

Keeskea - You Did


Australian singer-songwriter Keeskea aka Vanessa Marousopoulos knocked it out of the park with her new song "You Did." She delicately sings of being wronged and broken while also showcasing her purely poetic songwriting. When Vanessa sings, it as if she is channeling every single feeling she's had regarding this experience, making her extremely believable. Straying from normalcy, the B section of "You Did" changes the entire song completely, moving away from it's pretty finger-picked entry to a place of vocal vulnerability letting Vanessa's voice create the magic all on its own. Swaying in and out of airy falsetto, Vanessa sings "You took all her parts/ And reshuffled them/ She's not herself/ Let her rebuild again." While it's not explicit whether Vanessa is referring to herself or a loved one, the concept of needing to be rebuilt after being broken by someone else needs no further explanation. Just one listen of "You Did" will make you see why Keeskea is one artist we're excited to hear more from.

Dara Bankole on April 18, 2018
Richard Edwards - Howlin' Heart

Richard Edwards - Howlin' Heart


Sometimes the most growth happens during the times when we feel the most stagnant. This was the case with Richard Edwards of Margot & The Nuclear So and So's around the time of working on his debut solo album Lemon Cotton Candy Sunset, when he fell ill and his marriage fell apart. When it must have felt like the end of the world, Edwards was persistent in moving forward, using that time to reflect and come to terms with his own mortality. “Howlin’ Heart” is a result of this tenacity — a joyous sing-along that feels genuine to the core with driving guitars and strikingly passionate lyrics. His sophomore solo record, Verdugo, is full of songs that similarly display Edward's reclamation of mind body and spirit, complete with an entirely new vocal style and new perspective on life. Verdugo, produced by Rob Schanpf (Kurt Vile, Elliott Smith) will be out June 1 via Profound Discomfort.

Nicole Rodriguez on April 17, 2018
Katmaz - Don't Change

Katmaz - Don't Change


What do you do when the people you love make bad decisions and you can’t do anything to stop them? After watching his best friend stay with an unfaithful lover, that’s the situation New York singer Katmaz found himself in prior to writing his new single, “Don’t Change.” Heartbroken by his friend’s fear of change, Katmaz’s single captures the human penchant for staying in unideal situations just for the sake of comfortability. “Change can bring happiness,” he describes in a statement, “No one should have to put up with any type of abuse in their lives.” The result is a soulful piece of folk orchestration that could fill a stadium packed with awestruck fans. The chorus tugs at your heart like an unnoticed cry for help and, eventually, fades away into complicity.

Brett Myers on April 17, 2018
Yours Are The Only Ears - Fire In My Eyes

Yours Are The Only Ears - Fire In My Eyes


Yours Are The Only Ears is the project of Brooklyn based singer-songwriter Susannah Cutler. In "Fire In My Eyes", Susannah sings her questions for someone who she seems to have a rough history with. In the sporadic way that most thought processes work, Susannah goes from casually wondering if this person wants to hang out with her on her roof, to questioning if she's a good person. "Fire In My Eyes" is refreshingly raw and highlights the physical, mental and emotional details of ironing out a toxic relationship. With a voice that is present but light, "Fire In My Eyes" is easy on the ears and so relatable to those of us who struggle with the complexities of love. Cutler's debut album Knock Hard is set to release May 11 via Team Love Records.

Dara Bankole on April 16, 2018
Shakey Graves - Mansion Door

Shakey Graves - Mansion Door


Shakey Graves, whose stage name was inspired by an inebriated man at Old Settlers Music Festival in Texas, is known for his high-energy, four-on-the-floor, one-man-band Americana music. In more recent musical endeavors, the singer-songwriter has explored a more musically dense sound. “Mansion Door” is a layered, effects-heavy confection complete with lush harmonies and overdrive. Rose-Garcia referred to this song as his “love song to mid-late 90’s indie bands.” Catch more of Shakey Graves’ new sound on his newest record Can’t Wake Up, out May 4 on Dualtone.

Kaycie Satterfield on April 16, 2018
Pizzagirl - Seabirds

Pizzagirl - Seabirds


What happens when the vulnerable, lo-fi stylings of bedroom pop meet internet-obsessed youngsters? You get moody synth-pop melodies full of introspection and an Instagram-able aesthetic. Swipe left over to Pizzagirl, a Liverpool-based musician whose tunes are as beautifully ethereal as they are millennial. “Wear your freshest life jacket,” he warns for his newest release, “Full steam ahead as we travel at unlimited speeds to the shore of internet.” The track sails over a beachy synths against a starry night sky a la Beach House. However, once the chorus drops, he refracts the song through some '90s computer program full of colorful Word Art and pixelated graphics. Check out the rest of Pizzagirl's dreamy EP An Extended Play here.  

Brett Myers on April 13, 2018
Amber Mark - Love Me Right

Amber Mark - Love Me Right


Amber Mark has pipes, and she shows them off on a new piano-jamming, vocal-layering bop that will have you creating your summer playlist a month early. "Love Me Right" is the second single off of the 23-year-old’s upcoming album, Conexão. Anchored by the reverberant keyboard from the singer’s earlier work, the track has the production tendencies of '90s R&B mixed with some samba-style drumming. It is Mark’s vocal work, though, that ties the whole thing together: she floats when she needs to, she belts at the right moments, and she grooves throughout.

Matt Megan on April 12, 2018
Feverbones - Rules

Feverbones - Rules


"Rules" is the new track from Austin-based trio Feverbones. A kinetic slice of psych-rock, the song centers the band’s impressive musical chops. Ambient, layered guitars interwoven with a tight drum groove build to an explosive zenith, centering a dreamy, sun-drenched vocal. The band formed in 2014 when songwriter Abram Shook stumbled upon sought-after ringers Matthew Shepherd and Christopher Cox. The well-seasoned musicians discovered a magnetic musical chemistry, releasing a self-titled EP and members touring with local iconoclasts such as Dana Falconberry & Medicine Bow, Adam Torres and Monk Parker. The band is set to release their first full-length album April 13 on Austin Town Hall Records.

Kaycie Satterfield on April 12, 2018
Jess Williamson - I See The White

Jess Williamson - I See The White


Jess Williamson explores the simultaneous presence of life and death in her new song “I See the White.” An existential “Martha My Dear,” Williamson cites her graying dog Frankie, “a physical manifestation of the passing of time,” as the inspiration for the song. “I could stay on the crest of the waves in the sea of your love all my days,” she muses. The ephemerality of it all can be a tough pill to swallow as well as a reminder to savor the time we do have. Williamson unpacks this juxtaposition beautifully with strummy layers of guitar and a sometimes-quixotic lyric. Catch Williamson’s first record with Mexican Summer, Cosmic Wink, on May 11.

Kaycie Satterfield on April 11, 2018
Allie Crow Buckley - Captive

Allie Crow Buckley - Captive


Allie Crow Buckley’s “Captive” is soothing, smooth and slinky. Written around the metaphor of going out on the rough seas with family and friends waving frantically from the shore, begging her to come back home, she sings about willingly venturing further into a bad relationship. Her voice is silky and illusive, evoking the very same waves that she’s written about. Her inflections bring to mind the likes of Lana Del Rey, but with a greater feeling of control. This song will have you swaying with the slow and steady drumbeat, and sympathizing with her honest and emotional lyrics: “I just wanted to be someone that you need, I craved a little codependency… I wanna go where a lover can’t be found.”

Grace Eire on April 11, 2018

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