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Gold Star - Baby Face
Gold Star - Baby Face

Gold Star - Baby Face


Los Angeles’ Gold Star combines disparate influences, from Americana to Britpop to Classic Rock into a surprisingly familiar sound on new single "Baby Face." The verse oozes Old West cool, something that might have come from the guitar of Turn Blue era Dan Auerbach or AM era Alex Turner, before launching into a fully Beatles-inspired chorus, complete with swirling Wurlitzer chords and reverb-laden double-tracked vocals. “Baby Face” is a song you may as well have heard the day you were born, greeting you with a loving epithet, but given a modern spin by an obviously devoted student of music. Contradictions are at the core of this song, at once retro and refreshing, then cocky but unsure. “I’m still not certain what it takes,” croons singer Marlon Rabenreither, “Are you in / Are you out?” Even the instrumentation takes two sides, as the smooth guitar’s conversation with the thumping bass forms the backbone of the song’s hook, introducing us to the song and leading us out with no answers. 

Daniel Shanker on July 24, 2018
Michl - Tell Her

Michl - Tell Her


Rising Los Angeles artist Michl has revealed a stunning rework of Lauryn Hill’s “Tell Him” with his new summer love song “Tell Her.” This synth-heavy version is an emotional ballad featuring a gorgeous balance of organs, stripped back guitar and smooth vocals that pay homage to the original but still manages to be unique. The authenticity in Michl’s voice matches the emotional honesty of the lyrics, “I’ll never be jealous and I won’t be too proud / ‘cause love is not boastful / No and love is not loud / just tell her I need her.” This song is full of themes of hope and promise and reminds listeners that despite the ups and downs of relationships, “everything is gonna be alright.”

Alessandra Rincon on July 23, 2018
Margot - Tired

Margot - Tired


London dream-pop outfit Margot creates the kind of masterful, floating soundscapes one would expect from seasoned veterans of the genre. Perfect for a rainy London afternoon, “Tired” is the hazy daydream of someone unable to keep up with the pace of change in his life. “Get off your phone and tell me how you feel,” he pleads, wading through the sea of swirling guitars in an attempt to make any sort of meaningful, lasting connection, but not even the support of a string section can save him now. He has been rejected, he has been shut out and he is terrified to admit that time races only forwards. Things are looking up though. As the song fades out, the future uncertain, he has traded his relentless pessimism — “You’ve grown...I just don’t know you anymore” — for something a little more understanding and hopeful — “You’ve grown / and so should I /  We’ll work it out eventually.”

Daniel Shanker on July 23, 2018
Ferdinand the Bull - Wooden Fire Escape

Ferdinand the Bull - Wooden Fire Escape


Meeting in college, this young group of talented Pittsburgh musicians has been playing together and touring the country for three years now as folk band Ferdinand the BullTheir newest release “Wooden Fire Escape” off their upcoming sophomore album, “Painting Over Pictures” out August 11, is a catchy tune reminding you to be optimistic even in dismal situations. Characteristic of frontman Nick Snyder’s lyrical style, “Wooden Fire Escape” is full of themes about nature and love. Pulsating under Snyder’s vocals is a great backtrack of kick drum and guitar strums that make you want to get up and dance along.    

Kathryn Brooks on July 18, 2018
Why Bonnie - Stereo

Why Bonnie - Stereo


Hailing from Austin, Texas bedroom-pop band Why Bonnie is back with their new EP "Nightgown." The third track, "Stereo," captures the essence and charm of the five-piece band. Front-woman, Blair Howerton's voice carries on subdued and consistent while it lies on a bed of warm synths and an electric guitar making the song itself a blanket of comfort. Nevertheless, a pleasant yet unexpected shift comes as if to throw off the blanket and expose the unkempt sheets underneath. Howerton jumps the octave introducing a new type of emotion to the mix. As it builds, passive becomes active, apathy becomes caring, all heard and felt within high notes and louder dynamics. The song ends similarly to how it began, emulating just how natural it is to fall back into our composure after a moment of frenzied vulnerability and clarity.

Dara Bankole on July 17, 2018
Yvonne Hercules - Roving

Yvonne Hercules - Roving


Sometimes we all need a moment to pause and breathe. A minute to recalibrate and separate from our fast-moving, tech-heavy bubbles. Yvonne Hercules' latest track, "Roving" will immerse you in that safe, meditative space. The London-based singer-songwriter's buttery, wholesome voice stirs you on a spiritual level. Beyond its undeniable emotional capacity, the song also carries a deep political message in the most tranquil way. It's often so difficult to marry calmness and passion, but Hercules voices her stance on police brutality and the mistreatment of minority groups in a fervent, purely collected manner. Silky, wave-like guitar riffs float lightly above sweeping, saccharine harmonies as she sings out, "And we fall down / The shots ring out / The shots ring out." Hercules' experimental folk is sure to leave a permanent mark on the hearts and ears of music fans around the globe. 

Andrea de Varona on July 17, 2018
Sophie Meiers — Something About You

Sophie Meiers — Something About You


You know the kind of old-timey, vibey music that normally plays behind the "falling in love" montage in indie romantic dramas like 500 Days of Summer or Blue Valentine? The kind of song that was rediscovered on a cassette tape at the artist manager's estate sale decades after it was recorded? Now picture that song enveloped in warm, saturated, lo-fi production and the vocals of Erykah Badu and Nai Palm's lovechild, and you have singer-songwriter/producer, Sophie Meiers' latest track, "Something About You." 

The 18-year-old, who also goes by the producer alias, "GUTTERGIRL", is unafraid to speak openly about her feelings. An air of delicate, heartfelt nostalgia consistently permeates her genre-bending work. "Something About You" captures the ways in which she manages to remain unapologetically herself through her inventive use of background harmonies paired with layers of watery, atmospheric tones and bouncy, Nintendo-inspired synths. Sophie Meiers is a young, surefire artist who has and will continue to push the limits of what it means to be a lo-fi, bedroom musician. Be sure to look out for her debut solo EP coming out later this year! 

Andrea de Varona on July 16, 2018
Madeline Kenney - Cut Me Off

Madeline Kenney - Cut Me Off


Madeline Kenney’s latest single “Cut Me Off” should have you excited for her upcoming sophomore record Perfect Shapes. The track features a stutter-step beat and looping guitar riff that creates a janky flow, seemingly obeying the song title’s command. Kenney layers her voice in rounds, at times purposefully falling behind herself to create an appealing dissonance. Two-thirds through, “Cut Me Off” glides into a psychedelic bridge, slowing everything down and creating some breathing space for synths to stretch out into — it's punchy, bouncy, and most of all catchy as hell.

Michael O'Neill on July 16, 2018
John The Martyr - Cross The Line

John The Martyr - Cross The Line


We’ve all heard the tired cliché, “Age is just a number.” Still many of us find it difficult to overlook notions of age when it comes to seeking out new music. What if those notions were challenged enough to change the way we perceive age and just how old someone can be to rock and roll? The emerging neo-Motown powered band, John The Martyr embody exactly what it sounds like to push these boundaries.

In their follow-up debut, “Cross The Line” the bands three instrumentalists, Kyle Ridley, Dustin DiSalvo, and Chris Hines — all in their mid-20s — paint us a refreshing blues-rock landscape colored with warm, staccato vintage keys, bouncy drum fills, blistering horns, and buttery synthesizers. All of which is stroked with the heart-quaking vocal hues of 70-year-old Harlem soul singer, Bill Hudson. The track seethes with the spirit of old-fashioned R&B while honoring a tone of innovation that sets John The Martyr apart from other soul-inspired groups. Sure, a 70 year old man belting with the power and personality of a 25-year-old is more than enough to make them stand out, but they take it a step further. This hodgepodge of R&B, funk revivalist proves that, even though times are changing, good music is good music. Sometimes we just have to “Cross The Line” between old and new to find something with character, something like John The Martyr

Andrea de Varona on July 13, 2018
Far Caspian - Let's Go Outside

Far Caspian - Let's Go Outside


Now that the NYC heat wave has passed, the title of this song doesn't sound like such a bad idea. UK indie-rockers, Far Caspian's latest single "Let's Go Outside" takes you somewhere before you even hear a single word. In a similar fashion to bands like Real Estate, somehow within a guitar lick lies the imagery of trees-lined streets and a cruise at golden hour. Frontman Joel Johnston’s voice is full care-free ease and a lo-fi sound that creates the perfect summertime vibe. While Far Caspian first started as a Joel's one-man project in his college dorm room, the band has grown into the four-man piece it is today, ready to release their first EP later this year on indie label Dance to the Radio. Although infused with shimmer and sun, Joel tells how "Let's Go Outside" really came from the darkness of the depression he dealt with when moving from Ireland to London. It's universal and also deeply personal, finding hope for life to look better than what you currently see. With a track like this, Joel just might be able to cajole you to follow his lead and enjoy life outside of your four walls and ac unit. 

Dara Bankole on July 12, 2018
The Lulls - Goodnight America

The Lulls - Goodnight America


Somehow while splitting their days between both NYC and LA, The Lulls have found the time to share their new single “Goodnight America.” The track’s intro opens with shimmering guitars paired with a cruising beat that takes listeners to a place that feels like a sunny, California afternoon. The vocals are subdued and contrast well with the bright instrumentals throughout the song. The final moments of this indie tune are intriguing as it builds and fades away while repeating the chorus creating almost a sunset effect. While catchy, this song doesn't shy away from poignant lyrics, “Everybody hurts / everybody cries / the American experience / is never asking why.” the chorus says. If you're still crafting your indie summer playlist "“Goodnight America” will make the perfect addition. 

Alessandra Rincon on July 12, 2018

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