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Grounders - Perfect
Grounders - Perfect

Grounders - Perfect


Toronto-based psych-rock band Grounders are back with eccentric new single "Perfect" and the announcement of their sophomore LP Coffee & Jam set to be released February 23. The band seems to be moving away from the dreamy pop sound of their previous record and diving into much darker and quirkier territory here. “Perfect” is a love song at the center, but it takes place in a world that is strange and brooding. The band describes it as “a Colgate commercial mixed with Mario’s rainbow road” and I seem to understand exactly what they are talking about. After sharing stages with indie favorites Alvvays, Born Ruffians and Diet Cig, these guys are gearing up for a big year, and we cannot wait to see the rest of this strange world they've created. Be on the lookout for their new album and upcoming tour dates!

Nicole Rodriguez on February 14, 2018
Paul Cherry - Your Letter

Paul Cherry - Your Letter


Paul Cherry has always brought a very specific interpretation to the melancholies of life. Imagine new age funk accompanied by 1980s space synths and recorded with fuzzy 1960s technologies. Despite such a sound, his new single, “Your Letter,” stands as one of Cherry’s most revealing and painful songs yet. The track illustrates the feeling of “finding out information that you never wanted to know, and wishing to un-know it,” as Cherry described to us. In particular, the song has served as an outlet to deal with his parents’ divorce over the past year. But when told through the Paul Cherry prism, it turns into a funky bedroom tune that could gently perfume the air around an at-home smoke session. His debut album, Flavour, will grace us in March and we can only hope for more lo-fi jams such as “Your Letter.” Flavour is available for pre-order here.

Brett Myers on February 13, 2018
Freedom Baby - When We Go

Freedom Baby - When We Go


“When We go” by Toronto-based bedroom pop band Freedom Baby is a sweet-as-sugar contemplation on death. The song begins with a lonely ukulele, a trumpet and percussion that moves like a ticking clock underneath lyrics that hope for the body to dissolve into the vastness of the sky. Though the content seems dark, the song blooms into a full band celebration by the end that is both bright and lifting. Freedom Baby takes a concept that can be seen as crippling and turns it on its head, discovering joy in the corners that we fear, leaving an afterglow of newfound energy and lightness as the song comes to a close. 

Nicole Rodriguez on February 13, 2018
Palehound - Sea Of Blood

Palehound - Sea Of Blood


Ellen Kempner of Palehound knows how to haunt your bedroom. Her precise yet delicate riffs and echoes wrap you up like your favorite comforter, but that doesn’t mean everything is soft and comfortable. Her recent B-side release, “Sea of Blood,” is a relaxing tune to play while you chill in bed and check your Instagram. That is, until you actually process the lyrics. Like an offbeat lullaby, she sing-sighs about a sea of blood, the Lord above, and feeling “every bit as fragile as a baby bird.” As she demonstrated in her impressive sophomore album A Place I’ll Never Go, Palehound knows how to connect the perfect imagery with such specific feelings.

Brett Myers on February 13, 2018
Darlingside - Old Friend

Darlingside - Old Friend


Beginning with a familiar sound of folky guitar riffs, "Old Friend" opens up like a parachute, floating down against the wind, threaded with rich textures of harmony and surrounded by passing flutes. Darlingside is a Massachusetts-based ensemble gearing up to release their sophomore album Extralife on February 23. In this group, there is no lead singer, but a complete blending of all four voices, sharing lyrics that were written in a “group stream of consciousness.” We can feel the collective heart of the group in this song as they reflect on the past, all while so gracefully moving forward.

Nicole Rodriguez on February 13, 2018
Haley Heynderickx - Worth It

Haley Heynderickx - Worth It


“Worth it” is the third single from Haley Heynderickx’s upcoming debut, I Need To Start a Garden. Over the sprawling ballad’s eight minutes Heynderickx discerns her own life, asking stark questions about self-doubt, selfishness and direction. She flips perspectives constantly — offering herself grace, other times grief — before ending in a resounding assertion of self-worth. To mirror this internal conflict, the arrangement skilfully weaves between soft 70s folk and spirited garage rock with a wonderful gracefulness. Among all of this, it’s Heynderickx’s stunning vocals that take the show. When she sings of worthlessness, her voice strains and cracks. But when Heynderickx sings that she’s worth it, her voice is all you need to believe her. 

James Liance on February 12, 2018
Sure Sure - Giants

Sure Sure - Giants


As the snow builds up around much of the country and winter seems to be never-ending, “Giants” from Sure Sure’s debut self-titled LP, brings us right into the perfect summer day. This infectious single starts off with an inviting guitar and drum riff that leads into this think piece on not taking your time for granted. Though Sure Sure has been around since 2014, this pure L.A. pop group didn’t hit the indie consciousness until the last few years as they received praise from acts like Grizzly Bear and Rostam. The ensemble is currently on their first national tour supporting Hippo Campus and with an album full of indie-pop gems and fun dance tracks, this is one opener you won’t want to miss.

Nick Arcos on February 9, 2018
Mt. Joy - Jenny Jenkins

Mt. Joy - Jenny Jenkins


Philadelphia folk-rockers Mt. Joy count their vices in their new single, “Jenny Jenkins.”

Love and Los Angeles are the main characters in this us-against-the-empty-promises-and-imported-palm-trees tale. The band’s emotional blend of roots and rock accompany the youthful lyric. “Jenny Jenkins" is only a taste of what Mt. Joy has in store for us on their self-titled album set to be released March 2.

Kaycie Satterfield on February 9, 2018
Lissie - Best Days

Lissie - Best Days


“Best Days,” off of Lissie’s soon-to-be released album Castles is that aromatic concoction of youth and success-fed ambition wrapped up in her quintessential pop storytelling. Lissie’s burgeoning career is impressive. She has several international dates and a release date on the docket for the next few months. However, we all occasionally arrive at a place where we just want to upgrade; from one job or phone model to the next, or in Lissie’s case, from “pickup trucks” to “diamond rings.” Lissie’s transparency is refreshing; why not unabashedly want more? Why fear how it might sound to say so?

Kaycie Satterfield on February 8, 2018
REFS - Bound To Lose

REFS - Bound To Lose


REFS is back at it again with another single, "Bound to Lose." We've come to expect a solo drop from Zachary Lipkins, but we're never sure when, where, or how it will drop; which, (again), makes these releases all the more anticipatory. With "Bound to Lose", REFS dives into the passiveness that's a consequence of our fast-paced, day-to-day lifestyles. The lyrics, "So I would rather feel numb / than think about what we've done / stuck in a broken rocket," capture the detachment present in many of our own interactions — not because we want to be like this, but because it's easier in the moment. And yet, this song still makes us want to get up off the couch and groove. REFS has an artful way of juxtaposing electric beats with down-to-earth lyrics, sneaking in some serious nuggets of knowledge and giving us more than we expected (in just over three minutes).  

Natasha Cucullo on February 8, 2018
Girlyboi - Stevie Knicks

Girlyboi - Stevie Knicks


The playful and spirited relationship between LA-based duo, Carly Russ and Joseph Matick, presents itself through the energy of their psychedelic, folk rock gems. The chemistry is clear on their latest track, “Stevie Knicks,” a tune that has the lackadaisical swing of two lovers holding hands. Transcending the artist-made tropes of writing music with your partner, the couple sings about how “business and pleasure rarely mix,” but they’ll do it together, like Fleetwood Mac.

Opening with breezy guitar strums and piano accompanied by light whistling, the listener is led into a catchy anthem for lovers making music together. Matick’s raspy vocal works in tandem with Russ’s gentle croon and comes together with the catchy chorus line, “Yeah let’s do it, me and you / everything we’re told not to / break the rules, top the charts / baby break my heart, and call it art.” Stringing together their roots in music and fashion, the two paint a protean picture of the struggles young relationships face, ending the song with a soaring trumpet solo as a sonic symbol of how together they can overcome the hiccups of love.

Deanna DiLandro on February 8, 2018

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