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Cullen Omori - Happiness Reigns
Cullen Omori - Happiness Reigns

Cullen Omori - Happiness Reigns


Cullen Omori has a knack for writing bright, punchy indie rock songs, dating back to his time in Smith Westerns. New single “Happiness Reigns” — dropped ahead of the release of his sophomore solo LP, The Diet — continues the tradition. It opens up with a breadth of sighing guitars, parting the clouds just so you can gaze at the blue summer sky. It’s the kind of indie rock that sounds timeless, as likely to be from 1994 or 2010 as it is 2018. The track is punctuated with an unexpected (but overwhelmingly welcome) guitar solo, breaking the sheen with distortion and riffage. [Photo credit: Josh Spencer]

Michael O'Neill on August 15, 2018
Arctic Lake - Sight of You

Arctic Lake - Sight of You


Arctic Lake, a trio hailing from Britain, has released a new single full of melancholy lyrics buoyed by upbeat instrumentals. “Will you be there in the morning?” the chorus begs, way up in the stratosphere. Emma Foster’s delicate voice tugs you into the depth of what she’s feeling, while the driving rhythm of the guitar, the hum of the bass and the simple consistency of the drums push the song and the story forward. “I can’t take it, the sight of you not there” is the mantra that ushers us away from the song, leaving us all to remember those that make us feel that way, too. The trio's ability to take their emotional burdens and turn them into such an upbeat song is certainly something to be admired. 

Grace Eire on August 14, 2018
Laura Jean Anderson - Love You Most

Laura Jean Anderson - Love You Most


There is nothing more comforting than the retro sound of warm guitars and smooth vocals, and in “Love You Most,” Los Angeles singer Laura Jean Anderson delivers exactly that. With a jazzy feel reminiscent of Amy Winehouse or Haley Reinhart, it’s cool and effortless - the type of tune you’d listen to while on your way to the Rockaways in the middle of July. Or maybe with the sassiness that Anderson offers up through her lackadaisical vocal, it could be the new confidence booster you’ll soon be playing in the morning. 

Kirsten Spruch on August 14, 2018
Bad Bad Hats - Write It On Your Heart

Bad Bad Hats - Write It On Your Heart


"Write It On Your Heart" is the first single released off of Bad Bad Hats latest record, Lightning Round. The indie rock band based in Minneapolis, Minnesota is fueled by the break-ups, relationships, and longing love letters written by the effortlessly powerful front woman, Kerry Alexander. "Spare me your love / I don’t deserve anything / That’s how you made me feel / Traded me for a stranger, baby" the lyrics are sincere and hit straight at what it means to be young, in love and abandoned. The instrumentation is hyperbolically upbeat and welcoming with nods to 90s pop rock. Catch Bad Bad Hats in a city near you this fall!

Sophia Theofanos on August 14, 2018
Prateek Kuhad - 100 Words

Prateek Kuhad - 100 Words


Fans of Passenger or Destroyer, listen up: we’ve got your new favorite artist. His name is Prateek Kuhad and he recently released his new EP,  "cold / mess." Produced by Kuhad as well as Peter Groenwald and Konrad Snyder, an EP highlight is the closer, “100 Words.” The instrumentation is simple, featuring an acoustic guitar and echoed-out piano chords. Kuhad’s voice is light, almost like a quiet whisper, but his soft delivery combined with heart-wrenching lyrics packs a powerful punch. "cold / mess" is out now.

Kirsten Spruch on August 13, 2018
Your Smith - Bad Habit

Your Smith - Bad Habit


“I’ve got a bad habit of livin’ rich on minimum wage” is a lyric to which so many of us can relate. But then, the next line, “but loving you is the worst one” hits even harder. Your Smith’s track, “Bad Habit” saunters through a fog of cigarette smoke and across a floor sticky with spilled beer toward an individual who creates just as much heartbreak as they do joy. The hazy pace of the song brings you into a very specifically woozy headspace. There are few things more dizzying than loving someone who’s wrong for you, and Your Smith is able to capture that dilemma and house it in this track, using dreamy harmonies on slightly sour lyrics. 

Grace Eire on August 13, 2018
DYAN - Absence

DYAN - Absence


On “Absence,” the title track from DYAN’s forthcoming EP, the indie trio creates a spacious world full of Lana Del Rey-esque vocals, eerie synths, and whimsical acoustic guitar. If you listen all the way until the end, you might even get a little taste of a perfectly utilized saxophone. Much like the song title, it does feel like something is emotionally absent as singer Alexis Marsh sings from a distance, but that’s what makes it so mysterious and ghostly. DYAN consists of Marsh, Samuel Jones, and Dan Dorff Jr and their EP Absence is due out soon. 

Kirsten Spruch on August 10, 2018
Taylor Janzen - Colourblind

Taylor Janzen - Colourblind


Taylor Janzen is as honest as it gets. "Interpersonal" her debut EP out today, depicts a sojourner on a journey of self-exploration that diverges from the way life was approached during her religious childhood. In "Colourblind," Janzen sings of what it's like to live through the darkness of questioning God's intentions and even mental illness surrounded by people who don't seem to get it. Still with heart and unbridled power she sings, "I am bitter but just know this / I will not feel ashamed to exist." This noteworthy declaration reminds us that even if at the moment being alive in equivalent to being stuck, confused or mentally ill, no someone should be robbed of their human dignity. With artists like Julien Baker and Phoebe Bridgers paving the way, Janzen proves that this era of honest-to-God, women singer-songwriters is just getting started. Taylor Janzen's voices shines with quiet might and is not only to be heard but listened to. 

Dara Bankole on August 10, 2018
Adler Hall - Teresa

Adler Hall - Teresa


There must be something in the water in Brooklyn making our music scene better than ever.  Adler Hall, this five-piece from varying musical backgrounds, is no exception to this phenomenon. The band has restructured following their 2016 album Tourist, which plays around the edges of synth and experimentation while centered around the folk-like focus of storytelling. Coming together to write and record their unique take on modern chamber-folk  Adler Hall is back with their newest single "Teresa."

"Teresa," the lead single off their upcoming LP, Beware the Water, keeps much of the band's narrative foundation alive with lyrics like, “Tired of the fortunes you seem never to appear in / you smile at me, your teeth stained gray with the wine that I poured for you / though it’s nice you ask, it won’t change anything I see.” “Teresa” is clearly an important figure as these lyrics help portray a long and complex love story, one that has swung up and down and though the singer has run away from their love, she always seems to comes back. Wedding love ballad it might not be, but nonetheless, it is lyrically a beautiful song. Composer, Henry Hoagland builds upon the typical guitar-led folk song with a more strategic approach, incorporating electronic elements as well as fully utilizing the keyboard which they had only touched upon in their previous release. Beware the Water is expected to release this upcoming October and we're excited to see this continued development from the amalgam that is Adler Hall.

Nick Arcos on August 9, 2018
Swearin' - Grow Into A Ghost

Swearin' - Grow Into A Ghost


Drawing inspiration from 90s power-pop alt-rockers like Juliana Hatfield, Swearin’ have perfected the art of warm, light-hearted indie. Singer Allison Crutchfield sings with a looseness that’ll have you rewinding to hear whether she’s repeating the words “I watch you” or “chihuahua,” and you’ll be totally OK with either. DIY guitar lines squeal with glee, and the overall production style maintains the endearing qualities of your friend’s college band, but with the songwriting chops of a pop music factory. “Grow into a Ghost” is a joyous romp that’ll have you longing for the days of summer gone by as it winds to a close.

Michael O'Neill on August 9, 2018
Summer Like The Season - Wakey

Summer Like The Season - Wakey


Most of us in NYC have been experiencing the woozy side effects of this scorching early-August weather, but for a moment let’s attempt to conjure the pleasant aspects of summertime (outside the city…). An ice-cold cherry red popsicle melting on your lips as you dip your toes in a perfectly chilled swimming pool while listening to Summer Like the Season’s latest track, “Wakey.” No other song by the electro-art rock quartet so fully personifies their name and general essence. The lead singer, Summer Krinsky has turned a tired name joke into a fresh sound, a dreamy sonic collage of floating synths, quivering bass, and warm, willowy vocals. The chorus’ lyrics, “It’s time to sleep / I’m wide awake in a daze,” remind us that we’re all living within the spinning wheel of our memories, and each day that passes is just another entry in our rotary index of diary entries. Like all of us, the Detroit-based group is trying to figure out how to get by and make some sense of the world in the best way they can.  Their aural patchwork of haunting melodies and nuanced harmonic textures is a testament to the creative capacity of sound. Sweater weather is still not in sight, so might as well embrace the heat and listen to Summer Like The Season’s “Wakey”.

Andrea de Varona on August 8, 2018

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