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Darlingside - Old Friend
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
Alice Boman - End of Time

Alice Boman - End of Time


"End of Time" starts with a whisper. Swedish singer-songwriter Alice Boman tip-toes in with the first few lines of her new single, sharing words of unapologetic love over twinkling keys and a 12-string acoustic guitar. "End of Time" is her first single since last year's release of heartbreaking (but beautiful) "Dreams," and it offers a brighter side of Boman's songwriting, which has proven to be increasingly sharp. This song is a breath of fresh air that constantly shifts and evolves. It feels like a classic piece of pop music, but it lives in a whimsical soundscape that blossoms over time, Boman's delicate voice taking flight overhead. "End of Time" is undoubtedly catchy but still so calming, delivering a real moment of bliss that seems to pass way too fast. 

Nicole Rodriguez on February 5, 2018
Daisy the Great - Built My Home On Hollow Ground

Daisy the Great - Built My Home On Hollow Ground


Brooklyn-based indie-pop band Daisy the Great recently released their debut EP “I’ve Got a Few Friends and I Wish They Were Mine” and we can’t get enough of these contagious melodies. The band consists of two female lead singers, Mina Walker and Kelley Dugan, who share a unique and quirky perspective on life — one that is especially highlighted in "Built My Home On Hollow Ground." Mina states that this track "is about reinventing yourself in a new place free from the entanglements of the past." We feel more free just listening to the funk-inspired bass riffs and the shimmering voices of this dynamic duo.  Their solid harmonies mixed with invigorating percussion will definitely leave you dancing and wanting more. 

Kathryn Brooks on February 5, 2018
Socks - 85

Socks - 85


Gabbi Krikke’s voice drifts above an ethereal surf rock guitar riff that eases along through Socks’ “85.” The indie-rock four-piece from California definitely soaks their music in a west coast sound. There’s something special about Aaron Inacio’s drumming; while it’s seemingly simple, it’s so in the pocket that it really makes the song groove. The watery, echoing sound on this track puts you in a cool shady place, though you can still feel that California sun shining through in spots to warm you up. Krikke’s vocal style is slightly indecipherable at times, but that only adds to the mood. All you really need to hear are little phrases like, “down to the river,” and “dance with me” to understand what she means to convey.

Grace Eire on February 4, 2018
Oh Malô - Don't Look, Don't Stare

Oh Malô - Don't Look, Don't Stare


Brooklyn-based experimental rock band Oh Malô is back with new single, "Don't Look, Don't Stare," their first release since debut album As We Were in 2016. This song is a jittery and robotic plea for escape — grounded by driving percussion and nuanced with alien-like voices, especially powerful when repeating "I just want out," over and over again. Oh Malô creates a world that seems familiar at first, with an alternative rock sound that can be happening in any room on planet Earth. This world slowly transforms into something strange and twisty until it engulfs us completely and spits us out in new territory. This song is a bit of a departure from their previous releases, but one that feels so promising, as if the band is really on the brink of a sonic world that is uniquely their own. 

Nicole Rodriguez on February 2, 2018
Friendship Park - Growing Boy

Friendship Park - Growing Boy


The newest single by Friendship Park, "Growing Boy" is a wonderfully enchanting departure from the sound of their self-titled 2016 EP. Where the duo once relied on vocal effects to blend with their dancy synth-pop, the authentic vocals and plucky strings immediately brings you into this picturesque folk track. Though they’ve switched up their sound, the two have lost none of their charm and this single immediately has you wanting to grab a partner and go dancing around the room in pure exuberance. You would think that a song about convincing someone to stay with you because of the pure potential would be sadder, but they’ve turned that trope upside down and created a song worthy of a Zooey Deschanel indie rom-com. With a debut LP on the horizon, “Growing Boy” gives listeners a tantalizing taste of what is to come.

Nick Arcos on February 2, 2018
Matt Dorrien - Baby I'm So Lost

Matt Dorrien - Baby I'm So Lost


Portland singer-songwriter Matt Dorrien takes us back to the days of crooners singing in dimly lit nightclubs with his new single "Baby I'm So Lost". With a jazz-infused piano playing, muted horns and a soft confessional voice, Matt tells us how without his lover he's "moping the hours away." The beauty of this song is seen in the mixing of a universal feeling with a classic sound in a world that hasn't shown much appreciation for this style in recent times. "Baby I'm So Lost" shows us that these songs are more than just backing tracks in the montage scenes of our favorite rom-coms, they're living and breathing works of art by themselves. So if you're already starting to feel the "I'm single on Valentine's Day blues," just trust that Matt Dorrien gets it. 

Dara Bankole on February 1, 2018
Palm - Composite

Palm - Composite


If Animal Collective were a surf band, they would sound like Palm. “Composite” is a display of the Philadelphia math rock project’s greatest strengths: complex syncopated playing, interlocked and constantly changing time signatures and classic psych-rock vocals. The result is something that both blissful and truly original.

James Liance on February 1, 2018
Why Bonnie - Made Of Paper

Why Bonnie - Made Of Paper


The next time you see inches of snow on a beach, play Why Bonnie right away. The Texas-based quartet recently debuted their first single, “Made of Paper,” and it’s hard to imagine such an immersive piece of freezing cold surf-rock. It’s light, fast and sweet like the best of Best Coast, but there’s something blue and grey languishing under the surface. The song serenades us with “the pangs and comforts of nostalgia,” as lead singer Blair Howerton described to “keep you blissfully unaware of the scary future that lies ahead.” And with an unstoppable energy and gentle background strumming, the song achieves exactly that.

Brett Myers on January 31, 2018
Toledo - Crane Song

Toledo - Crane Song


What comes to mind when you think of folk music? Gentle guitar strumming? Nature? Bon Iver circa For Emma? How about comic books and space? Well, that’s what Toledo wants to pair with their angelic take on folk-rock. The Boston duo has released a song that’s every bit as sweet as the best folk music out there. As well, they toss in just the right amount of fuzz, forest sounds and sparse, booming bass before stepping forward into a soft surf-rock beat. The song comes with artwork depicting classic comic book imagery of a melodramatic moment before a man (maybe a superhero?) and his lover kiss for the first time. With lines like “you can make me fly to you,” perhaps the track is an ode to the purest of love songs. 

Brett Myers on January 31, 2018
Greg Jamie - This Life

Greg Jamie - This Life


Greg Jamie’s jostling and gritty single, “This Life,” is an anthem of weary self-determination. Recorded at home in the depths of a brutal Maine winter, Jamie’s strong weathered voice sings of “Work[ing] hard to try to forget all the things that stop me dead.” However it’s the brilliant distorted bass-line, a darker version of the familiar “boom-chick” rhythm, that makes this song so powerful and haunting. By expanding on well known folk motifs, Jamie has created a modern traditional from a bygone era.

James Liance on January 30, 2018

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