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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
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
Madeline Kenney - Bad Idea

Madeline Kenney - Bad Idea


“Bad Idea,” the second track from Madeline Kenney’s latest release, Perfect Shapes, eases you into a melodic tranquility that is bolstered by Jenn Wasner’s (Wye Oak) sleek production. With sparse drum hits and fragile synth swells, a winding soundscape is planted as the backdrop for Kenney’s ample thoughtfulness. When she sings, “Someone gave up/ I don’t know who it was/ We’re getting bad ideas,” she reflects on the disjunct of relationships. Her vocal echoes the timbres of Half Waif’s, Nandi Rose Plunkett, who also constructs keyboard kingdoms and dreams up poetic lyricism. Kenney shows her allegiance to experimentation on this track, by the end offering pitched down backing vocals, clinking percussion, and a synth that sounds like a theremin.

Deanna DiLandro on October 9, 2018
Lauren Turk - See You Again

Lauren Turk - See You Again


Lauren Turk's soft croon and song pattern resembles popular artists from past decades such as the great Anita Baker. The Los Angeles singer-songwriter is a multi-instrumentalist, activist, speaker, etc. whose talents and impact extend far outside of music. As a singer-songwriter the themes of heartbreak and its aftermath are common territory, but Turk's insight is rare. "See You Again" is a story of letting go with love. The longer we hold on to things, the heavier they become...so letting go is really a vital act of self-love. Doing so with love not only sets us free, but attracts it back to us," she tells us. It's a powerful sentiment and as Turk sings there's more assurance with every note that one day she'll see this old love again and maybe then it won't hurt the way it use to. Make sure to follow Lauren Turk on social media to hear more of her music and humanitarian efforts.

Dara Bankole on October 9, 2018
Getaway Dogs - Paper Soul II

Getaway Dogs - Paper Soul II


Oddly enough, searching SoundCloud for “cushy bedroom psychedelic bossanova & dream surf” yielded no results until the release of Getaway Dogs’ “Papersoul II.” This song could have come out of few places but Santa Cruz, a seaside town that prides itself on its Austin-or Portland-like weirdness, close enough to San Francisco to fully feel the force of its 1960’s psychedelia. An expansive track surrounded on either sonic end by a twitchy bassline and echoing guitar twinkles, “Papersoul II” allows the drumbeat to steer the song, ranging in volatility from staring at the ceiling to urgently staring at the ceiling, discovering the symmetry in its hidden patterns..Nearly a cover of their own song, 2016’s “Paper Soul,” the sequel reads almost like a renewal of vows, as singer Kai Killion doubles down on his noncommittal lifestyle, singing “I don’t know but I’ve been told / My soul’s worth paper / If so I’ll sell it later / Not this time.”

Daniel Shanker on October 8, 2018
The Holydrug Couple - Forever End

The Holydrug Couple - Forever End


The Holydrug Couple latest single "Forever End" is a psychedelic dream machine. Hailing from Santiago, Chile the band formed a decade ago and recently release their fifth full-length album Hyper Super Mega. Bearing comparisons to the music of psychedelic rock master Kevin Parker of Tame Impala, there is a sense of getting lost in this song. The escape is welcomed and as Ives Sepúlveda sings a steady melody the lyrics repeat each other in a circular motion seeming to begin again with the word "forever." As if being hypnotized by the repetition, it's easy to get in lost inside the consistent groove song and find soon enough just how long you've had this song on repeat. Make sure to listen to the rest of Hyper Super Mega out now and catch the boys on tour this fall!

Dara Bankole on October 5, 2018
Edward and Jane - Hold Your Own

Edward and Jane - Hold Your Own


A warm acoustic guitar paired with a simple folk melody can be the perfect farewell to the summer months. With gossamer vocals that flow with ease against a powerful chord progression, Tennessee's own Edward and Jane deliver a simplistic fight song in the form of their latest single “Hold Your Own." “You’re a fighter/you’re a boxer in his ring,” sings Timothy (Edward) Carpenter of the Americana duo. Reminiscent of 00s indie-folk falling into the same category of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, the lovingly dubbed “folkicana” tune is the first track to preceded their sophomore EP, Too Early to Tell, which was released on September 28. With a sound that is as lavish as it is simplistically marvelous, Edward and Jane provide uniquely warm and richly triumphant instrumentation that leaves a bittersweetly nostalgic aftertaste.

Nicole Rosenthal on October 5, 2018
Charly Bliss - Heaven

Charly Bliss - Heaven


If “Heaven” is your introduction to Charly Bliss, you might have a few misconceptions about the band, none of them particularly harmful. First, you will not know that guitarist Spencer Fox voiced Dash in Pixar’s The Incredibles, and while this fact is not strictly relevant, it is very, very interesting. More importantly, you might think singer Eva Hendricks lives her life in a state of (don’t say “bliss”) constant wonder at all the things going right in her life, and not in a state of self-destruction (“I’m gonna die / In a getaway car”) and self-doubt (“Am I the best / Or just the first person to say yes?”) as she does on the band’s breakthrough debut album Guppy

Written as a challenge to write a love song instead of a three-minute coping mechanism, “Heaven” shows off Charly Bliss’ bubblegum-punk style and Hendricks’ characteristic howl in a somewhat sweeter setting, waltzing through the walls of distortion we have come to expect from the band. With “Heaven,” Hendricks sets sights on a bright future for herself and for the band, an assertion that they do not need to fundamentally change to be versatile.

Daniel Shanker on October 5, 2018
Mona Lisa Tribe - Safe

Mona Lisa Tribe - Safe


Folk quartet Mona Lisa Tribe are back at it again with their latest single “Safe,” another beautifully orchestrated and blended indie folk track that demands to be listened to. The all-female band have come together to create a song that evokes the listener’s emotions and brings them to a place that feels vulnerable yet safe. With its well-crafted and impressively executed harmonies, combined with a heartwarming mix of gentle piano playing and strings, the track expresses the feelings one feels when in the arms of their love at night in bed together. The well-written lyrics match the feelings expressed in the instrumentation, especially the line “We need each other to get some rest / need your arms around me with my head on your chest / my world is a place / in your arms I feel safe.” (photo by Imani Givertz)

Alessandra Rincon on October 4, 2018
Mustardmind - Saving Face

Mustardmind - Saving Face


“Saving Face,” the latest single by Brooklyn-based indie-rock band Mustardmind, jumps head first into a rhythmic pattern of guitars and drums, before softening down to a strumming of a guitar. Then enters the raw voice of lead singer, Bobby Lewis, which serenades alongside the purposeful clashing of instruments. Together, they rise and fall throughout the entirety of the song. “Saving Face” moves through moments of quiet, acoustic melancholy, followed by an almost-brash aching and then back again, giving the listener a sense of being in two places at once. Mustardmind will be playing in Brooklyn this month, you can catch their performance at Our Wicked Lady on October 24.

Tiffany Hernandez on October 4, 2018

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