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Cumulus - Lighter
Cumulus - Lighter

Cumulus - Lighter


Twenty-eighteen has been quite a year for Seattle indie-pop band Cumulus. From recently wrapping up tour with indie-rock sensations, Bad Bad Hats, to releasing their critically acclaimed #metoo anthem single, “Retreat” this past June. Frontwoman, Alexandra Niedzialkowski continues to deliver a very strong personal narrative with the latest release on Comfort World. The undeniable stand out from the record is the ninth track, “Lighter.”

“Lighter” takes on a tone different from any other song on the record and that's what we love most. There is precision in the guitar riffs and clarity in Niedzialkowski’s lyrics. The story of constantly being pushed away in a relationship and the strength it takes to finally walk away on your own terms is something that resonates universally. The tune begins with a slide that is inherently Americana and as the song progresses there is consistent nods to the indie-pop structure that Cumulus fans adore.

Sophia Theofanos on October 19, 2018
Lowland Hum - Salzburg Summer

Lowland Hum - Salzburg Summer


Even if you've never been, you've probably seen Salzburg before. It's the beautiful Austrian city where The Sound of Music takes place and it's known for having gorgeous summers. This ethereal song by Lowland Hum has everything, from practical advice like "silencing your phone and but still using it" and letting you know that "rosé goes with everything" to the pretty and intricate echoes that create its full and haunting landscape. But maybe haunting isn't the right word, like most European buildings full of history and artifacts, "Salzburg Summer" carries an overarching reverence to it. You use your quietest voice in the cathedrals and museums and try not to make any loud sounds. That's what you'll hear in this song, you can see the bike riding through the streets and the drinking of lemonade but without the American noise that usually accompanies the season. "Salzburg Summer" beautifully captures the idea of quiet, peaceful enjoyment and makes you long for the next chance to experience it, whether it be this weekend or next summer. Be sure to also catch the beautiful new music video for "Salzburg Summer" and stay tuned for the band's fourth full length album out soon.

Dara Bankole on October 18, 2018
Molly Burch - Candy

Molly Burch - Candy


Look out world, Molly Burch is here. First Flower released by Captured Tracks on October 5 is a comprehensive, exquisitely executed, leave on repeat and never get it sick of it type of record. The first song, “Candy” is the perfect introduction of what is to come. There is an effortlessly dynamic quality about Burch’s voice. “Candy” showcases her ability to reach sultry rich low notes and then swell right back to a crystal clear falsetto. This track encapsulates Burch’s jazz background paired with instrumentation that never overpowers her voice. Her lyrics are clever and introspective. “Why do I like how you look / You look like candy.” The dreamy surf rock guitar tendencies pop just when appropriate and complement her silky intonation. Molly Burch is reinventing the 21st century crooner as she whisks listeners away to another time and a different place. Catch Molly on tour in a city near you this fall! 

Sophia Theofanos on October 18, 2018
Henry Jamison - Gloria

Henry Jamison - Gloria


Using sweeping orchestral brushstrokes, Henry Jamison’s “Gloria” paints pictures of the purest goodness covered in the dust of hatred. The song grows and grows, with each instrument banging down the door through sheer repetition, until it can barely be contained. The most beautiful moments, though, are the most restrained. The vibrant choruses are preceded by bare, matter-of-fact descriptions of daily events, lent credence by undeniably specific descriptions of “the Dairy Queen drive-through down by the highway” and “the progress of our three-letter names” scrolling down arcade machine screens. Tragic but hopeful, the verses describe innocence in the face of ignorance — the natural beauty of a flower resting in one’s hair juxtaposed with the ignorance of homophobia, or childlike wonder tainted by perpetual exposure to violence. In reassuring us that there is worth and there is innocence beneath the vitriol, “Gloria” refuses to surrender its beauty to the way things are. Things don’t have to be this way. We made them this way. We just need to be better.

Daniel Shanker on October 18, 2018
Florda - Silver Line

Florda - Silver Line


Florda's, "Silver Line," is out today as the first single off of their debut EP out this November. Montreal native Harris Shper is the mastermind behind the psych-pop project and as a producer himself, it's no wonder the tone of "Silver Line" is so well-executed. The song takes a modern and tasteful spin on disco, impressively mixing the sounds of the past and the present. With its groovy intro it doesn't take too long for "Silver Line" to get you off your feet, first to close the blinds and then to dance. As Shper's lo-fi vocals come through they become the perfect contrast to the vintage musical landscape. There is a shimmery element to song that fits perfectly with its title and theme of "Silver lines." In this case, its true that not all that glimmers is gold, but silver is just as precious.

Dara Bankole on October 17, 2018
Buxton - Hanging On the Coast

Buxton - Hanging On the Coast


The latest single by Houston-based band, Buxton, is eerily calm. “Hanging On the Coast” begins with a line that hums like nursery rhyme, “yellow rose and clementine / can’t keep you off my mind.” The song enters a cyclic rhythm, to and fro, with the support of slowly strumming instruments. It trudges heavy on the ears, the psychedelic sound of the band grounding the song while lead-singer Sergio Trevino’s husky voice keeps the song warm. “Hanging On the Coast” is wistfully poetic, brimming with a mystifying energy. It is this energy that leaves us curious what else to expect from Buxton’s forthcoming album, Stay Out Late, out this October.

Tiffany Hernandez on October 15, 2018
Tasha - New Place

Tasha - New Place


Tasha, a blooming artist off of Father/Daughter Records, has shown herself to be gentle before. This time, with her most recent single, “New Place,” Tasha offers solace in new beginnings. She soothes us, “a new place, a new time / a new sun, new sunlight / a new bed, a new night / a new hand to hold tight.” Tasha's sweetness carries us throughout the song, her confidence in what’s to come shines brightly. “New Place” sways back and forth between spoken word and singing, creating a serenade that feels both like a rally cry and a lullaby. Her anticipated debut album, Alone at Last, creates a world where “there’s plenty of room to forge your own home where you can rejuvenate and heal." And “New Place” offers its listeners just that — a space where we can find strength in our vulnerability, “it’s okay if you feel nervous / look at me, my hands are shaking” but also where we can find joy in the endless possibilities of tomorrow.

Tiffany Hernandez on October 12, 2018
Eliza Shaddad - Just Goes to Show

Eliza Shaddad - Just Goes to Show


Eliza Shaddad has released another single off her album Future, out October 26 via Beatnik Creative. "Just Goes to Show," a song reminiscent of the 90s pop-punk bands many of us grew up on, is about the sinking feeling one has when being broken up with. Yet, for such a melancholic topic, "Just Goes to Show" is light and shimmering, bouncing on a plane much more uplifting than a breakup. Shaddad’s song could be called a dancing-in-your-room type bop, one that you would listen to in the car with friends or while getting dressed on a weekend night. A crispness reminiscent of Phoebe Bridgers or Julia Jacklin, Shaddad’s sound has already blossomed into something that sounds obvious to listen to. Pulses of foggy guitars and relaxed drums warm the work, while the singers voice pierces through the upbeat tone of the work. We are incredibly excited about Shaddad’s debut album, and expect similarly wonderful things from her in the future.

Samantha Weisenthal on October 12, 2018
Reilly & Co. - Depersonalization

Reilly & Co. - Depersonalization


Transparent B*tch, the debut EP from indie-pop project, Reilly & Co., really couldn’t have a better title. On the first track, “Depersonalization,” we find singer/songwriter, Em Noll, telling you exactly how she feels when she’s locked in discomfort. “I struggle with anxiety and a lot of the time, I guess as a coping mechanism, I sort of depersonalize,” Noll said of the song, “It's a difficult feeling to describe.” 

Amidst a keyboard bop, spacey guitars and an array of bright electronics, Noll uses her lilting vocal to chronicle the chaos that subtly arises when she feels threatened. She sings, “I’m trying not to go AWOL in whatever army I've been enlisted/ But who would really notice I’m gone when I've already been gone for so long,” disguising her angst in the melodies of a catchy chorus. Reilly & Co. lives somewhere in-between the indie warmth of Adult Mom and the glittering experimentation of Sylvan Esso, both playful and purposeful. “Depersonalization” lives somewhere in Noll’s psyche and she knows she’s not alone in that.

Deanna DiLandro on October 12, 2018
Pearla - Forgive Yourself

Pearla - Forgive Yourself


The most touching moment in Pearla’s breathtaking “Forgive Yourself” comes about halfway through the song, just before the point of no return when the song releases the breaks and builds into a cacophonous finale. Singer Nicole Rodriguez has at this point been asking herself, “Can you forgive yourself?” not just for 90 seconds but likely for her whole life, when an ounce of hope creeps into her voice and she turns the question around. “You can forgive yourself,” she allows, and worlds of possibilities flood through the crack in the sonic doorway. But even in her triumph come tribulations — among the layers and layers piled on over the course of the joyous celebration, discordant drones sounding more like helicopters landing than like anything in a recording studio pull her away from a simple happy ending. But that goes both ways, and in her tribulations, she has found triumph. “Writing it made me feel a thousand times lighter,” she says, and the feeling is mutual.

Daniel Shanker on October 10, 2018
RYD - I See You

RYD - I See You


“All my wall are made of brittle warning signs,” echoes like a ghost as a hook in “I See You.” RYD is North London Producer, Ryan Downie, whose voice is soothing and breathy — reminiscent of Bon Iver — on this energy-packed track. The artist says that, "'I See U' is about finding that someone who understands you and helps you reconnect with yourself. This is one of my more optimistic songs, but it’s tinged with a vulnerability and dependence which always make me feel uneasy." That vulnerability and hesitancy are palpable in the vocals and the lyrics, but the rest of the arrangement is powerful and driving, reinforcing how joyful it can be to find someone that truly sees you. The song builds up beautifully to an elated finale that takes all of the positive energy that’s been slightly held back through the verses and sets if free. It’s incredibly refreshing, and even cleansing, to reach the end of this track. 

Grace Eire on October 10, 2018

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