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Half Gringa - Teggsas
Half Gringa - Teggsas

Half Gringa - Teggsas


Few artists are on the come up like Izzy Olive, the indie singer-songwriter who performs as Half Gringa from Chicago, IL. She has slowly yet surely been gaining attention from indie artists and publications alike. The artist’s most recent release, Gruñona, was named the third best album of 2017 by the Chicago Magazine and in 2018, Half Gringa opened for Le Butcherettes and The Flaming Lips. "Teggsas" is a song that builds through the intensity of its instrumentation and lyric, coming to crescendo in a heartbreaking chorus of “How could you?” The opening lines of the tune, “I can see the end of everything/ You say that it used to be an open prairie/ When will you say other things that scare me,” are blunt and poetic, with melody floating above a simple yet piercing acoustic guitar line. Layers of guitar and synth stack on top of one another, culminating by the end of the song into a full ethereal orchestra. Half Gringa is a band that we have been watching for many years now, and "Teggsas" only further excites us for whatever is up next for this budding artist. Make sure to watch out for upcoming Half Gringa appearances in Chicago this spring.

Samantha Weisenthal on February 14, 2019
hand habits - can't calm down

hand habits - can't calm down


Hand Habits’ Meg Duffy has a lot of questions in their latest release can’t calm down. Duffy — a longtime member of Kevin Morby’s touring band — started releasing music under the moniker Hand Habits after moving from Upstate New York to Los Angeles. The folk-alternative sound they established in their first release Wildly Idle (Humble Before the Void) builds carefully upon itself. The song starts small with just Duffy’s gentle voice, rhythmic strumming and the steady beat of a snare drum. It builds with the first chorus as Elizabeth Powell of Land of Talk layers her voice deftly atop Duffy’s. It reaches a satisfying peak with a soaring guitar solo after the second chorus. Their voice gives a somnambulant quality to the song as they ask the pressing question, “what if I can’t calm down/ and I don’t have that in my bloodline?” can’t calm down is the second single from Hand Habits’ latest album, placeholder, which will be released on Saddle Creek on March 1.

Corinne Bates on February 13, 2019
Adam Melchor - 3 Hours Ahead

Adam Melchor - 3 Hours Ahead


Both earnest and cinematic, Adam Melchor's new single "3 Hours Ahead" is the second song to come from the blooming singer-songwriter. While now residing in sunny LA, Melchor is a New Jersey native, and though he has left the Garden State, there are still remnants of him there. Time and distance keeps him away from the ones he loves, but it's not a matter of out of mind, out of sight. Instead there is a longing for letting these people know that they're on his mind. The sound of his mother's laugh is still audible in his ears and the memories of a past life in Arizona have not been forgotten. There is a warm haziness in the musical landscape of the song. Melchor's vocals wax emotion while the backing vocals punctuate and echo the sweet sentiments. Though the time difference from the East Coast to the West Coast coast may seem like a mere three hours, many of us know just how much of a difference those few hours can make. We'll be looking to hear more from this precocious new artist!

Dara Bankole on February 12, 2019
Heavy Heart - Bed Bug

Heavy Heart - Bed Bug


With their latest single “Bed Bug,” HEAVY HEART  has taken a break from their signature hazy sound. Instead, they opt for a sharper fuller take on alt-rock with heavy dream-pop and shoegaze influence. The song is the first of three new tracks that were co-produced and mixed by Grammy Award-winning producer Gabe Wax (The War on Drugs, Fleet Foxes, Soccer Mommy). The step up in production value allows the London based alt-rock group’s skills to really shine through.

The jangly guitar mixes with well-placed synths creating a lush sound that fills in and around Anna Vincent’s soft almost lilting vocals. This lush and heavy sound just adds to the restless lethargy of the song as Vincent sings, “time after time it feels the same to me.” It begs to be listened to over and over as it creates its own world in just over four minutes, beckoning you to stay in bed with it just a little longer.

Corinne Bates on February 12, 2019
Photo Ops - July

Photo Ops - July


Photo Ops’ “July” basks in its own simplicity. From the simple chug of the drums to the unambiguous declarations of singer Terry Price, this dreamy new single from Photo Ops’ forthcoming 2019 album attempts to find sense in the most complicated matters. “Sometimes the only thing / The only thing to say / Is the most obvious,” sings Price, opting to offer comforting platitudes because they are universally understood. November 2016 saw massive change for many across the country, and Price found himself moving from his home of Nashville to Los Angeles, spurred on by the larger scale national changes. A resident of two of the American cities most steeped in music industry tradition, Price’s sound is one of timelessness, a fading photograph of an aging phonograph record. Price’s musicianship shines in the chorus, when his vocals soar, “I did you right / You just won’t know it for a while.” It all makes sense to him now, and that will have to do. He offers us his own comforting advice in the form of a song, says what it is he needs to say, and then fades out.

Daniel Shanker on February 12, 2019
Runnner - Eggshell

Runnner - Eggshell


“Eggshell” is a look into the quiet pain of everyday life, cleverly assembled from parts found in the dustiest corners of the house. The drum loop might as well be leaking through the walls from a boombox in the next room, and anxieties once swept under the rug erupt left and right in the forms of various household chores. Singer Noah Weinman performs an earnest sort of verbal gymnastics through unexpected but charmingly effective rhymes to convey his constant state of malaise: “Nothing to do but keep texting my therapist / So many half-assed attempts to get over this.”

Los Angeles’s Runnner have dubbed themselves “Ableton folk” for the electronic production sounds of the Ableton audio software and the raw, heartfelt, stripped-down sincerity of acoustic confessionals. Weinman writes “Bandcamp songs for SoundCloud kids,” shouting his codas to the rafters with his indie rock friends, but secretly scribbling his angst down in garage solitude like the heroes of Internet bedroom hip-hop. The wide array of influences in Runnner’s music meld to structure a sound so endearingly original it has to be believed, while the lyrics steer clear of melodrama by portraying a familiar mundanity that permeates every second of every day. Even at the height of the song’s most cathartic moment, the melancholy is inescapable, as Weinman admits, “I hate the part of the song where the chorus hits / ‘Cause I don’t like sticking flags on my nervousness.”

Daniel Shanker on February 11, 2019
Samia - Lasting Friend

Samia - Lasting Friend


On her newest single, "Lasting Friend," Brooklyn based artist SAMIA raises her voice in defiant confrontation with the kind of unsettling memories that are not so easily leveled by time. A punchy, scowling guitar and intensely metallic percussion drive the tune while SAMIA details a troubling anecdote from her school years, nearly dismissing the story as one might tell to an likely ambivalent, quietly amused crowd at a party. The chorus is a kind of hypnotic confession as SAMIA tries time and time again to assert that “I’m not ashamed of my past, ” though never seeming entirely assured. Through this repetition, SAMIA grapples with the uncertainty of early adulthood as she processes memories that left unaddressed can become “monstrous” and debilitating. "Lasting Friend" easily falls in line with SAMIA's other releases, which often seek to reckon with a wide array of generational anxieties through her wrenchingly eloquent, emotional and referential lyricism.

Emma Bowers on February 11, 2019
Pip Blom - Daddy Issues

Pip Blom - Daddy Issues


“Daddy Issues” by Amsterdam indie-rock band Pip Blom is a sneak peak at their upcoming album Boat. With fast paced vocals and rocking instrumentals, this song sets an upbeat tone with a clear indie-rock vibe for their album to come. Singing “You said you never want to die/ like you don’t care anymore/ What ya want to do/ what ya want to do/what ya want to do” Pip Blom leads us into a song characterized by evocative questions and battling layers of different vocals and instrumentals that leave us energized and ready for the next tracks from the album to come. Boat is set to be released on May 31st and until then Pip Blom has a busy schedule of touring.

Ben Burke on February 11, 2019
Henry Jamison - Florence Nightingale

Henry Jamison - Florence Nightingale


Henry Jamison's, long-awaited sophomore album is finally here. Gloria Duplex has been revealing itself within its four singles, but the full collection is something to behold in one sitting. One of our favorites from the mix is the beautiful and poignant "Florence Nightingale." In a stream of consciousness mixed with thought-out reflections, Jamison covers a lot of ground within 4 minutes and 38 seconds. We learn that his girlfriend his does not like being compared to Florence Nightingale while also getting his thoughts on the state of imperialism — all while pointing to something bigger.

Taking a trip down memory lane, Jamison goes back in time to his high school and elementary school days but has more questions than answers. Still there was a  childlike innocence in squirt guns and sing-a-longs to Pocahontas's "Just Around the River Bend." The haziness of the music adds an extra texture to the reminiscing. A faint finger-picked guitar and strings pair nicely with vocalizations that ooh and ahh filling the song with yearning and impermanence.

One of the most heart-wrenching lines Jamison sings is regarding men, "we could find success / you know really be the best / then maybe we could rest upon our father's knee." "Florence Nightingale" doesn't set out to be hopeful but yet carries with it a weight of responsibility and understanding that leads us to believe in better days ahead. If you haven't yet, check out the four animated videos we partnered with Jamison to bring to life, all based off the message of each song.

Dara Bankole on February 8, 2019
Spectator - Waves

Spectator - Waves


Saint Louis dream-pop / indie folk duo Spectator is back with their first single, "Waves," off their second full-length album, Charlie. "Take me on a ride on the other side of your mind", sings Jeffrey Albert. The song is a journey of sorts, one that occurs next to steady streams and hilly terrain. While texturally calm, it lyrically centers around the hardships within intimacy. Albert's rich voice carefully contrasts the lightness of the guitar and tambourine making every line he sings front and center. Within "Waves" is the plea to be so intertwined with the person that you love, so that you don't where they end and you begin. This intense connection is what makes the rough times easier and harder. You know this person so well and they know you, but when you are at odds with each other, it is as if you are also at odds with yourself. It makes sense that these sentiments are sung and explored by Megan Rooney & Jeffrey Albert, husband and wife — two parts of a whole. Fans of Matthew Perryman Jones and Mumford & Sons will can be sure to enjoy Spectator's latest offering.

Dara Bankole on February 7, 2019
Daisy the Great - Last Kisses

Daisy the Great - Last Kisses


When Daisy the Great recorded their Buzzsession in a Mexican restaurant in Brooklyn, “Last Kisses” was a soft and wonderfully unassuming song. The gentle lilt of Kelley Nicole Dugan and Mina Walker’s voices, weaving consistently unexpected harmonies as the band’s collaborative lead vocalists, embodied lyrics like “I’m not sleeping / Just staring at the ceiling.” The song earned a full release on the band’s debut full-length album, I’m Not Getting Any Taller, and the duo has reimagined the song entirely. It’s easy to limit one’s attention to Dugan and Walker as they take their melodic twists and turns, but the rest of the band transforms “Last Kisses” into a high-energy romp by finding a groove as quirky as the singers demand. Daisy the Great's vocal philosophy extends into their instrumental arrangements as well, with syncopated hits from the whole band jolting Dugan and Walker into action as they claim to be staring at the ceiling. Hear this song and many more as Daisy the Great  joins a fantastic lineup this May at The Wild Honey Pie’s Welcome Campers festival.

Daniel Shanker on February 7, 2019

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