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Laura Gibson - Tenderness
Laura Gibson - Tenderness

Laura Gibson - Tenderness


“Tenderness” by folk singer-songwriter Laura Gibson is the first single released from her forthcoming album. Before we even hear Gibson’s, voice there is a picture painted, by the depth of the drums and the vibrant bass riff. Meanwhile, the piano pulses subtly with a gentle touch. That really is what this song is about, the contrast of digesting grief and darkness while learning to embrace distant tenderness. When Gibson begins to sing, her voice cuts like glass and just for a moment it’s the only thing you can hear. “I met you / the year I stopped fearing my body / the sky split open above me / it was a pleasure to meet your pain”. She was able to craft lyrics that share an extremely personal story within the verses, paired with a ubiquitous chorus that listeners will find themselves singing along to. There is something very controlled about her delivery throughout the song, like speaking almost factually will help keep her composure. But if you listen closely there are brief moments of release where her vibrato cry’s out. Those are the moments that are truly soul-stirring. Be on the lookout for Laura Gibson’s fifth studio album, Goners, set to release October 26 on Barsuk Records.

Sophia Theofanos on October 22, 2018
Angie McMahon - Keeping Time

Angie McMahon - Keeping Time


In recent years, there's been a fortunate resurgence of post-blues pop-rock within the singer/songwriter genre. Many artists, such as big names like Leon Bridges or Angel Olsen, have harnessed the genre as a vehicle for raw emotion. Angie McMahon is no exception but her sound is an unique take on modern blues pop. On "Keeping Time" her exceptionally dynamic voice keeps the heartfelt power of the song at a ten from front to back — every section of this song has a driving force to it that keeps the listener's focus. The Australian songstress has yet to announce an upcoming LP but has released three other singles in the last year— all of which are worth a listen.

Bobby Lewis 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
Lens Mozer - Cut My Heart In Two

Lens Mozer - Cut My Heart In Two


Los Angeles based musician Lens Mozer injects the California sunshine into his latest track, “Cut My Heart In Two.” The song opens with gleaming guitars that create an atmosphere of irresistible jangle pop. With his lighthearted vocals and airy melodies, Lens encompasses the same wave of nostalgia in his luscious sound that can be felt through his lyrics: “I found a picture of you, cut my heart in two. I found a photograph, everything with you. Don’t know what to do.” As Mozer reflects on the memories that wash over him, the shimmery and radiant tones of the track leave you with a hopeful outcome.

Shayna Chabrow on October 11, 2018
Refs - Milk

Refs - Milk


Refs' latest single "Milk" oozes of somber existentialism. The complex soundscape is rife with surprising harmonic layers, melancholic guitars, and honeyed vocals. Its heartfelt vulnerability is both relatable and isolating, inviting listeners into a shared experience of introspection. The contemplative track is a step apart from the duo's usual bright playfulness, demonstrating Refs' comfortability and talent in a breadth of styles.

Lizzy Jones on October 11, 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
Spencer. - Want U Back

Spencer. - Want U Back


Rochester native Spencer. gifts us a paradisiacal view of longing in "Want U Back." The ever-repetitive hook from which the track title is derived is met with steady high-hat texturing. With vocal glitching and soul to boot, the young artist beckons us to join him in a dreamlike mirage, fantasizing about relationships past. As the first single and title-track from his September EP, Spencer.'s nostalgia marks all too well our transition into cool fall from lovestruck summer days.

Lizzy Jones on October 10, 2018
Herizen - Come To My House

Herizen - Come To My House


In the matter of mere hours, singer/songwriter Herizen Fawn Guardiola conceptualized and recorded the single "Come Over to My House." The mostly freestyle piece highlights Herizon's masterful control of passaggio and Afro-Cuban influence, featuring a unique sound infused with open tone marimba-esque melodies and a wonky bass booming in the hook. A top, the Miami native's breezy voice sings again and again, "I said it; I meant it." Inundated with repetition and resonance, these lyrics almost ironically lose semantic reason, reminding us that music needs no meaning; feeling alone is powerful enough.

Lizzy Jones on October 9, 2018

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