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Monica Martin - Thoughtless
Monica Martin - Thoughtless

Monica Martin - Thoughtless


Monica Martin’s career is a story of wide ranges. Her vocal range, to be sure, impressively flutters in the highest registers of her music’s sonic palette, but even wider are the steps she has taken to make that music in the first place. Working as a hairdresser in Baraboo, Wisconsin, she formed and fronted the quirky but earnest indie-folk band Phox, lyrically over-sharing to hook listeners with a voice containing unparalleled levels of both beauty and scorn. She went from covering Vulfpeck songs onstage with Phox to eventually lending vocals to a song on their newest album.

Her first solo single, “Cruel,” stayed in territory familiar to Phox fans, but her new release, “Thoughtless,” demonstrates her wide range as a musician, exploring the darker, more electronic sound she developed with Violents in 2017. Martin has made mistakes at times in this wild journey, but she has never been afraid to admit them and move on. “Heard you got the remedy to really get it right this time,” she sings, but she knows there is no right answer to the endless questions life throws at her — “Lady, I think your guess is as good as mine.”

Daniel Shanker on January 17, 2019
RV Farms - Too Much

RV Farms - Too Much


RV Farms, otherwise known as of Edmonton, Alberta's Daniel English is back with a new single.  After an EP in 2016, RV Farms' has put out two new songs including "Too Much" and "All I Need" released last April. With his music being described as "pop with a secret," "Too Much" revels in this statement. English's hushed and subdued vocals contrast a pop beat and electro riffs, and together piece by piece he creates a sound that is genuinely his own. Within its final minutes a disguise ending gives way to an exciting eruption of sound that invigorates the song as a whole one last time before it finishes. As lyrically English retraces his steps and considers their effect on his present situation, musically we hear a forward-thinking artist not afraid to break outside of the constraints of genres. Fans of The Japanese House and Thomston will appreciate the juxtaposition of heavy and light present in RV Farms music and lyrics. Be sure to be on the lookout for whatever RV Farms does next, we sure will be.

Dara Bankole on January 16, 2019
Plastic Picnic - Well Wasted

Plastic Picnic - Well Wasted


“Sad music for people to dance to.” That’s the mantra of Brooklyn-based band Plastic Picnic, and their new single, “Well Wasted,” is a fitting addition. The song is abundant with the band’s signature 80s-style synth sounds and bops to a 4/4 beat that practically forces you to move your feet. From the steady hi-hat, to the rhythmic bass, to the particular tone of the guitar, every instrument is a powerful addition the arrangement and the hazy, neon-baked nostalgia it conjures up in listeners. Meanwhile, frontman Emile Panerio’s vocals glide right through as he reflects on fleeting youth and questions the practicality of always living in the now, as opposed to preparing for the future. The song builds nicely toward an unexpected bridge, giving dancers enough time to settle their heart rates and contemplate what they just heard before coming back with one final drop of the chorus. The first single of the year for Plastic Picnic, “Well Wasted” is dreamy and on-brand, and you’ll want to leave it on repeat all winter long.

Britnee Meiser on January 16, 2019
Grace Turner - Easy I Fall

Grace Turner - Easy I Fall


Grace Turner’s work is vulnerable and gutsy, embodying a blasé tone that hypnotizes her listeners. This feeling can be felt as the artist croons over her new song “Easy I Fall,” “If you want to fuck me then just tell me that you love me…” By the second verse a mesmerizing beat enters the tune, supporting the vocalists earthy and melancholic sound. Her voice becomes entrenched in a chorus of sighs as the sound on the song revves up. The pressure of the situation is expressed in her lyrics as the urgency in the instrumentation crescendos by the end of the work. Turner explains, “This song is about being tirelessly pursued…. I often joke in my live show that it’s about trying to break up with someone but sleeping with them instead.” Grace Turner has received attention for her song “Dead or Alive,” which was released this past June, gaining just under half a million streams on Spotify. The Australian artist is grabbing the indie-rock communities attention, and with only three songs released on streaming platforms, there is a lot to look forward to with Grace Turner's rise.”

Samantha Weisenthal on January 16, 2019
Frances Cone - Failure

Frances Cone - Failure


Get amped for Frances Cone’s Late Riser, to be released this week, January 18. In a heavy-hitting single from the new album, “Failure” details the fondness for failure, a recognition that love sometimes falls short and that’s okay. Lead singer Christina Cone’s voice flutters above a ephemeral noise-esque backdrop, bringing clarity through the static. The complex soundscapes built through layered guitars, resonant vocals and polyphonic synths create a dreamlike state that invites us to self-inspect, respect our own failures and trust the process.

Lizzy Jones on January 15, 2019
Smallpools - Downtown Fool Around

Smallpools - Downtown Fool Around


Is “Downtown Fool Around” about a night of a very certain type of debauchery, and should we be concerned about the money exchanged in the barren apartment? But then again, the dedication between the two fools seems a little too personal, doesn’t it? With Smallpools, that’s all beside the point. They want you to enjoy yourself, and they’re going to work incredibly hard to make sure that happens. Their breakthrough single, “Dreaming,” which achieved moderate mainstream rock radio success and earned itself a Chainsmokers remix, was finally certified Gold last year, five years after its initial release. This is in no small part due to a heavy touring schedule in support of some of indie pop’s heaviest hitters — Two Door Cinema Club, WALK THE MOON and twenty one pilots — and a relentless stream of infectious ear candy. Even if the song is boiled down to one hook, one line to yell out as the chorus hits, that’s all well and good as long as you yell it loud — “I was waiting up for you.” Let your “woo-hoos” ring out and your falsettos fly free. Smallpools will always be waiting for you.

Daniel Shanker on January 15, 2019
Danielle Durack - Something Good

Danielle Durack - Something Good


Lead single from her brand new album Bashful, “Something Good” is Danielle Durack’s way of processing heavy emotions lyrically. The belief that every bit of pain is justified by the lessons learned is brought to light by the Phoenix-based singer, before the confusion of not knowing how to turn this particular pain into something good takes over. The song’s musical pattern takes you up and down the feelings of comfort and loss, which is present several times in Durack's lyrics. It’s safe to say her music is the "something good" she managed to make out of the pain. Durack is set to perform the first shows featuring her new music later this month.

Giulia Santana on January 15, 2019
Superheart - Talk About It

Superheart - Talk About It


Superheart is done talking. His sentences are terse and choppy. He keeps his word count low. “We can talk about it / But we only ever talk about it,” he complains, ready for action. “We might pretend / We might dream ways this could end,” but to him, all of the circular conversation is pointless. “I don’t know what we’re dreaming for.” Enough talking, he just wants something to happen, whatever it is. The gentle beeps and boops of “Talk About It” sound like waking up, rubbing away the sleep. Or maybe being asleep, dreaming. Even singer-songwriter-producer Luke Batt doesn’t commit to a single meaning for the song — maybe a relationship, maybe ambition. So whether you’re waking or dreaming, tied down or reaching for the sky, this is a song to be listened to floating underwater. Or maybe floating in space. Either way, you’re floating. Batt makes that much very clear.

Daniel Shanker on January 14, 2019
Ten Fé - Echo Park

Ten Fé - Echo Park


London duo, Ten Fé has recently been dropping new tunes since the end of 2018 into the new year. One of our favorite's is Echo Park, your immediately enticed by the catchy guitar riff but then the bass line drops and that's when it really gets groovy. The layering effect is super seamless and the instrumentation almost steals the show from the lyrics. But the major standout of the song has to be the bridge. Ten Fé is making music sexy again. And we are here for it. You catch Ten Fé in a city near you this spring. Stay tuned for their new record Future Perfect, Present Tense out March 8!

Sophia Theofanos on January 14, 2019
Mor Mor - Pass the Hours

Mor Mor - Pass the Hours


Seth Nyquist’s ethereal voice and deeply poetic vision are the key driving forces behind the blooming act, MorMor2018 was a year of abundant successes for the Toronto based artist. Earlier in the year, he released his genre-defying debut EP titled Heaven’s Only Wishful. In December, he continued to astound us with the release of his dazzling single, “Pass The Hours.” Like the majority of the tracks on his EP, this song sits in that flowery, sunny-filled place that our minds often travel to in an effort to escape the agitation of our daily commutes. 

In terms of production, this song goes yet a step further into the genre-bending space that many of MorMor’s other tracks explore. Ambient, subtly arcade-like percussive textures fill the gaps between 90s alt-rock inspired guitar chords, a chunky bassline, and spacey synth pads. The bubbly, dream-pop elements of the song form a striking contrast with the underlying state of melancholy and uncertainty that permeates through the lyrics and vocal melody. Although Nyquist’s troubles are his own, as fellow human beings we can relate to the story of wilted hopefulness that he presents. As he sings, “Who will hold me up? / I wanna touch the sky,” we recognize the feeling of wanting to move forward and reach for our dreams even when we have nothing or no one to help us get there. Days keep passing but we don’t stop trying.

Andrea de Varona on January 14, 2019
Modern Diet - Blue Jeep

Modern Diet - Blue Jeep


Listening to “Blue Jeep” feels like falling under a spell. The song opens with soft, clipped keys over distant white noise, evoking a mood that’s cozy and nostalgic. Then, Bernardo Ochoa's raw vocals further lend themselves to the sound with lyrics that speak to growing up: “Old celebrations have led me back home / back to the suburbs now that I’m grown.” What unfolds is a beautifully arranged and emotionally charged song with a full-band sound, but Ochoa’s vocals, which sound like a dryer Darwin Deez, remain the focal point throughout. He never wavers, and because of that, the song never loses the intimate feel it established at the beginning. “Blue Jeep” is a gut-punch of a song you can listen to again and again, and it’s Modern Diet’s first single in two years. Clearly, it was worth the wait.

Britnee Meiser on January 11, 2019

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