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Faye Webster - In A Good Way
Faye Webster - In A Good Way

Faye Webster - In A Good Way


Atlanta singer-songwriter Faye Webster returns to the scene with a love song that is unapologetically sweet as honey. Lulling strings, staccato guitar and interjecting keyboard fuse together to create a track that touches an array of genres ranging from folk to pop all the way to R&B. I’ve always appreciated Webster’s way of expressing the most nuanced emotions with such few words—“In A Good Way” is no exception. The track explores the feeling of finding a love that is overwhelming in the most beautiful way, so beautiful in fact, that it makes you cry. The song opens with the line, “I didn’t know I was capable of being happy right now, but you showed me how,” and accurately depicts, how even in the midst of the unknown, love has the ability to poke through the cracks. All too often we look at crying as a negative expression of emotion and "In A Good Way" helps to remind us that it’s okay to cry and that sometimes, it’s even a good thing.

Megan Beck on April 28, 2020
Jenny O. - God Knows Why

Jenny O. - God Knows Why


Jenny O.’s latest single “God Knows Why” will help you cope with a new reality. It’s soothing, sweet and true. The sound reminisces a summer day in the 70s, listening to soft rock in a field somewhere—the LA-based musician could easily be compared to a young Patti Smith. Not so much in punk, but the similarities of powerful vocals and distinct style are there. The release of this song could not have come at a better time, at the peak of the world’s questioning and current state of the unknown—adjusting to a normal that feels anything but. “I could hear just fine last night / Then I sat up and it went quiet / My right ear is gone forever / It was there and now it’s gone.” O.’s third studio album New Truth comes out June 19 via Mama Bird Recording Co.

Bailee Penski on April 23, 2020
Syd Silvair - The Moth

Syd Silvair - The Moth


Paging everyone in pop music: if you don’t know singer/songwriter and escapist Syd Silvair yet, you will feel her enchantment soon. As a skilled tarot reader by day, Silvair is endlessly inspired by the deck. On her latest single, “The Moth,” she conjures up a world of swirling disco and art-pop while reflecting on the aspects of The Magician tarot. “I find that my own feminine nature tends to attract people who are looking to take advantage of it,” mentions Silvair, “I’ve connected deeply with The Magician tarot card in an effort to take the power back, to nurture on my own terms.” And keep her power she will, as “The Moth” is Silvair’s own omen of empowerment to remind us that for every bit of tenderness there is an equally potent fierceness. Inspired by the feminine mysticism of Stevie Nicks, her songwriting is unsparing, bold and centered. Silvair’s velvety voice calls out messages of the rich visuals that inspire her, shimmering atop lush and groovy rhythms. Her melodies are undeniably catchy, like a golden spell. Syd Silvair invites you to step into her sphere as her upcoming tarot-inspired EP Reverie makes its way into our realm and emboldens our inner realities with the spirit of her music.

Deanna DiLandro on April 22, 2020
​Genevieve Stokes - Running Away

​Genevieve Stokes - Running Away


Genevieve Stokes’s newest single “Running Away” is a dreamy rumination on the intensity of new love. The singer-songwriter’s dynamic crooning vocals cut through the simple production of piano and sparse harmonies as she sings, “couldn’t see you coming / I was always running away / you hit me out of nowhere / will you stay?” Stokes explores the uncertainty of young love and how terrifying admitting your feelings can be. Drawing from her longtime inspiration Regina Spektor, the 18-year-old from Portland, Maine perfectly expresses the emotional turmoil of adolescence without falling into melodrama. She details the continuous loss of innocence as we grow older with precision, “And I'm nothin' but the things that I tell myself / Lie and think I'm / special just like everybody else / But somethin' in the water has been tempting me.” “Running Away” is the newest single off of Stokes’s upcoming debut EP out this summer.

Corey Bates on April 22, 2020
Andrew Bird - Capital Crimes

Andrew Bird - Capital Crimes


Andrew Bird has been a leading voice in the folk/bluegrass realm for over two decades. Like the best songwriters of the genre, he has a compelling ability to stir the mind and heart towards a feeling while exhibiting strong mastery of an instrument (the violin in his case). "Capital Crimes," albeit on-the-nose, is a closer view of capital punishment and the plunge of human compassion. His latest full-length album, My Finest Work Yet, is heralded as one of his best records (staying true to the title) in part because of his tasteful command of political commentary and soft folk musicianship. His latest single,"Capital Crimes," is a faithful echo of My Finest Work Yet. The track passionately incriminates a broken system that has no "sense of shame" in its method of determining who lives and who dies. This 6 minute, 30-second song raises a heavy hand in aggressive musicality, breaking from lyricism altogether around minute 4. The exaggerated pizzicato for the last 2 minutes of this track makes it an unmistakable Andrew Bird listen. Check out "Capital Crimes" wherever you stream.

Hannah Lupas on April 22, 2020
​Laura Marling - Held Down

​Laura Marling - Held Down


Laura Marling surprised everyone earlier this month when she announced her new album, Song for Our Daughter, was coming out much earlier than expected, and she dropped the first single, “Held Down,” right away. Lyrically, the song deals with a disappointing communication breakdown between two people that are healing at different speeds: just as one is finally ready to be held down, the other runs away (and, in this case, leaves only a short letter). “And I just meant to tell you that I don’t want to let you down,” Marling sings in response to the letter, massaging the regret of her own inaction with cool vibrato. But for a song about separation, the emotional impression of “Held Down” is one of measured optimism by the end. Maybe it’s that we can tell Marling has learned a lesson from her misfortune (“Seen or unseen, say what you mean”), and that the loose confidence in her vocals and guitar work tells us she is going to be okay. But I suspect the real comfort comes from the solidarity and empathy in Marling’s all-lady backup chorus, who by echoing Marling’s words throughout seem to say, “You’re good, you’re okay; we got you.”

Karl Snyder on April 21, 2020
Maya Hawke - By Myself

Maya Hawke - By Myself


In her whimsical single "By Myself," singer-songwriter Maya Hawke crafts a dreamland as a means for self-reflection. Hawke sings of "honey that ran out of me," of playing "caliban in bed" and talking "in rings," nonsensical to the naked ear, meant only for her to understand. These surreal images make up "a secret message to myself, that I hope I'll receive someday soon," says Hawke. "It's about projecting ideas you have about yourself onto other people." Through the song, she suggests that the real answers can be found by simply looking in the mirror. Accompanying the track is an equally as eccentric music video that stars Hawke as a cowboy angel floating through space, dusted with vintage headshot charm. With Grammy winner Jesse Harris putting music to her lyrics, you can expect her record to be brimming with leisurely folk-pop and world music elements. Blush will be released on June 19 via Mom+Pop.

Ysabella Monton on April 21, 2020
The Beths - Dying To Believe

The Beths - Dying To Believe


In 2018 The Beths, a New Zealand quartet largely unknown to American audiences, released what was simply one of the strongest debut albums from an indie rock band in recent memory with charmingly little fanfare. Slowly but surely, audiences’ ears perked up as they toured dutifully. Slated to open for the gargantuan tour featuring Green Day, Weezer, and Fall Out Boy, expectations for the pop-punk torchbearers were high, lest they fall victim to the seemingly inevitable sophomore slump after such an impressive debut. “Dying To Believe” mitigates any doubts, however, slotting right into place with Future Me Hates Me but still refreshingly energetic. The opening guitar riff could soundtrack the title sequence of the next installment of Power Rangers, and bandmates pop out to deliver their signature call-and-response backup vocals like Muppets peeking out from behind a curtain. Dynamic while staying composed and loud without ever being in your face, The Beths’ application of jazz school perfectionism to the melodic earworms of bubblegum-pop-punk implies a nearly endless well of absolute bangers.

Daniel Shanker on April 21, 2020
duendita - let me live

duendita - let me live


Perhaps to mitigate the anxieties of the current moment, I find myself once again captivated by musicians who create poetry in motion. That’s artists like the Argentine folk trio Fémina and Candance Camacho, a 23-year-old singer from Queens who releases music under the name duendita. Camacho, who is Puerto Rican-American and Afro-Latinx, created her stage name from the Spanish poet Federico García Lorca’s concept of duende: the wondrous feelings art evokes within us that linger just beyond our ability to describe them. “Rolling up over I'm open to learning again / Lovely, so lucky thank God, ’cause they made me your friend,” Camacho sings above a sparse guitar track, cueing up the warm, soulful track that is “Let Me Live.” The words don’t do it justice; play the track and let it crawl inside your mind.

Corinne Osnos on April 20, 2020
Christian Lee Hutson - Talk

Christian Lee Hutson - Talk


This past month has been the strangest that many of us have ever experienced in our lives. Confined inside the walls of our homes, we strive to find comfort and pleasure in any available form. For me, I found it by digging out the record player and stack of inherited vinyl records and dancing in my living room. I took a journey through several decades and genres, reveling in the richness of sound that can’t usually be achieved with digital streaming. Christian Lee Hutson’s “Talk” is an exception. This Phoebe Bridgers-produced track evokes the same feeling as listening to an old song on vinyl. Hutson’s vocal delivery and smooth timbre recall the classic singer-songwriters of the 1970s. While the acoustic production is simple: guitar, bass, restrained drum parts and a string section, the composite sound is every bit as rich as your favorite vintage record. Hutson’s subject matter reaches way down deep, too. He’s convinced himself—to the point of saying it out loud—that he will be a better parent than the one who raised him. He quickly realizes that’s easier said than done, especially when still reconciling with old scars. “It's no use denyin' / You belong to the dyin' / And I couldn't care less / Life's just a real slow death / Yep, that's what I was taught / Okay, so I care a lot.” Huston effectively delivers the pang of a painful childhood while never once raising his vocal intensity. This suggests a mastery on par with the great musical storytellers of generations past.

Karyna Micaela on April 20, 2020
Amber Mark - Heart-Shaped Box

Amber Mark - Heart-Shaped Box


Acapella vocals float under Amber Mark’s strong voice in her rendition of Nirvana’s “Heart-Shaped Box." Mark is no stranger to taking songs to the next level, and she’s done it before on her incredible cover of “Love is Stronger Than Pride,” By Sade. Her vocal versatility and arrangement prowess is on full display in this self-produced, self-recorded version, complete with a music video of herself during her quarantine. Clearly a creative product of the COVID-19 Self-Isolation period, Mark said that recording this track was freeing in a way. “All the pressure I normally feel when working on music is lifted. Keeping it minimal has been the key mentality for me and just having fun with it,” she says. Her soulful and groovy take on a unique classic that could be described as the opposite seems to reflect the ways quarantine is forcing some of us to think outside the box while we're physically forced to remain inside of it.

Jazzmyne Pearson on April 20, 2020

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