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Okey Dokey - When They Get Older

Okey Dokey - When They Get Older


With an intro nearly taunting you to start humming Ben E. King’s “Stand By Me,” Okey Dokey’s “When They Get Older” wears its influences proudly. Mixing sounds from the Motown and doo-wop classics of Hitsville, U.S.A. with the hazy leisure of California surfer rock, and finally hitting a little closer to their Nashville home with a hint of Elvis’ Graceland croon in the bridge, they pack a whole country’s worth of rock-and-roll history into only two-and-a-half minutes. Of course, with Rayland Baxter featuring prominently on vocals, the Nashville sound wins out and the whole crew smiles their way through the complexities of growing up. They rattle off a list of the things they look forward to in old age — a home, a family and the calm sort of love that replaces the horribly exciting kind only after years and years together — but then retract their wishes with a shrug when they realize that “creature comforts” and “picket fences” imply the calm sort of everything that replaces the wonderfully exciting adventures of youth. They want to get older, just maybe not so fast.

Daniel Shanker on December 4, 2018
Diamond Cafe - The Way You Used to Love

Diamond Cafe - The Way You Used to Love


Diamond Cafe is the solo project of musician Tristan Thompson, who performs under the mononym of Diamond. The music of Diamond Cafe feels like a modern take of classic 80's synthpop. His most recent single, "The Way You Used To Love Me" fully imparts this feeling, leaving the listener longing for a bygone era of music while looking ahead to what artists like himself have in store. It has the punchy drum machines, the dreamy synths, and with Thompson's pitch perfect vocals, it sounds like Diamond Cafe is the complete musical package for someone seeking a refuge from doom, gloom, and the dangers of modern music.

Lucas Nyhus on December 4, 2018
mxmtoon - I feel like chet

mxmtoon - I feel like chet


“i feel like chet” is another acoustic-pop-feel-good single from Bay Area singer-songwriter mxmtoon (aka: Maia.) Maia is only 18 years old but her voice is incredibly mature as she sings about looking at love through rose-colored lenses, which are pictured on the single’s cover. Despite her age, Maia proves that she understands the painful situations love can present. By admitting she is a hopeless romantic who is afraid of commitment, Maia shows that she is aware of this contradiction that took many of us until much later in life to realize. She confesses to listening to love songs and day dreaming daily, which could be the reason she is able to create such touching love songs of her own. All of Maia’s songs are recorded on her laptop in her parent’s guest room, which gives the songs a personal feeling that is hard to recreate in a recording studio. “i feel like chet” is a bedroom-pop tune that feels like a sleepover at your high school best friend's house where you are whispering about your crush and trying not to wake their parents. Keep your ear to the ground for more from mxmtoon this year!

Kyra Bruce on December 3, 2018
Julianna Zachariou - Subway Song

Julianna Zachariou - Subway Song


Conor Oberst isn’t the only one out there writing soft, devastating love ballads about perfect nights in that city that never sleeps. Julianna Zachariou’s “Subway Song” is a tender serenade for those couples who can’t keep their eyes open on their long late-night commutes home to Bushwick or Astoria or Jersey City or wherever. But the song is perfect no matter what city you take public transportation in. Mesmerizing and full, it transcends NYC city limits and catches you in transit, feeling romantic and wistful about someone or someplace. The sparse acoustic arrangement serves the clever verses and the delicate chorus: “Sway left, sway right, slow dancing in the middle of the subway.” “Subway Song” will leave you feeling giddy and ready for whatever Zachariou has for us next.

Jacqueline Zeisloft on December 3, 2018
Small Forward - Tearjerker

Small Forward - Tearjerker


With the ease of Los Angeles in its veins coupled with a twinge of early Death Cab for Cutie sadness, LA's Small Forward new single "Tearjerker" is a stand out. "When you look me in the eyes what will you do?/ When you notice there is nothing to hold onto" frontman Michael Stevenson sings. "Tearjerker" recalls the ending of something that was once significant. Still the sadness, seems more directed to the way things are ending — the awkwardness of small talk and the realization of your part in the dissolution of it all. Then there's the self-reflection, "will there ever be one day that passes by that I will stay the same?" that will attempt to eat away at you. With lo-fi vocals and a mellow surf rock vibe, "Tearjerker" sounds like what happens when emo kids grow up. Still Small Forward shouldn't be put in a box, in past projects they've shown us their psych-pop side along with their folk and Americana influences. Wherever comes next for these guys, we're positive that we'll be on board. 

Dara Bankole on November 30, 2018
Far Caspian - Finding My Way Home

Far Caspian - Finding My Way Home


Throughout Far Caspian's discography is an ebb and flow of sound, it arrives and leaves the listener effortlessly. Their song, "Finding My Way Home" is as effortless as the sound is amiable. Never during the duration of the song do they impart any negative feeling, nor any sense of anxiety. They use music as a tool not only to express feeling, but to impress an atmosphere. The atmosphere they convey through this particular song is one of harmony, it calmly tingles the eardrum and relaxes the mind. If any song were to be used for therapeutic purposes, it would be this one!

Lucas Nyhus on November 30, 2018
Faye Webster - Kingston

Faye Webster - Kingston


Meet Secretly Canadian’s latest signing, Faye Webster. Her debut single on the iconic indie label is “Kingston,” a lush and romantic ode to new love and Southern summers. Webster was formerly signed to Atlanta’s Awful Records, a collective known for rap artists like Playboi Carti. Not afraid to blend genres of folk, hip-hop and R&B, “Kingston” is a dreamy trip. This is reflected in its accompanying music video that looks like it could’ve been directed by Petra Collins — but it was actually made by the 21 year old herself. Featured on Pitchfork’s latest “What’s Good” playlist, Webster is definitely one to watch as a burgeoning artist in indie folk. Aside from her musical talents, Webster is also a recognized photographer in her hometown of Atlanta. She’s shot hip-hop stars like Offset, Lil Yachty and D.R.A.M., along with an ad campaign for Nike Airmax 97. With an already impressive back catalogue, “Kingston” is the first single of Webster’s upcoming sophomore album.

Olivia Clark on November 30, 2018
Pearla - Pumpkin

Pearla - Pumpkin


With "Pumpkin," Brooklyn’s Nicole Rodriguez aka Pearla talks about loss and life changes with a calm in the middle of a troubled sea approach. Written after a season in Tibet that was sparked by the loss of a loved one, "Pumpkin" walks you through the peaceful colorfulness of fall, reminding you that changes are natural and many times, beautiful. The strumming guitar throughout the song takes it back to the original feelings of hopelessness and dizziness that inspired the 22-year-old singer, while the lyrics will remind you that love and hope are always around the corner. "Pumpkin" was released last month along with ballad “Forgive Yourself,” that also talks about revelations in the adult life. Pearla is currently working on her debut album that is expected sometime in 2019.

Giulia Santana on November 29, 2018
Amanda Tenfjord - Pick A Card

Amanda Tenfjord - Pick A Card


Monopoly and Life: two board games that depict the trials and tribulations of the human condition. Amanda Tenfjord’s final single, “Pick a Card” from her debut EP First Impression does the same. In the chorus, she sings, “Just pick a card, any card / Say it's simple / I say it's hard.” The synth-laden track is coupled with her smooth but strong vocals that echo those of Sia, while NME have compared her to London Grammar and Adele. Tenfjord is a Norwegian 21-year-old living in Trondheim, the country’s third largest city which is developing a name for itself as the site of a burgeoning pop music community. As a new and young artist, Tenfjord is expressing the uncertainty of her future on “Pick a Card.” In tune again with the board game imagery, Tenfjord reveals, “I'm happy, but you know it's always tempting to push rewind and go from the top. / Life is not a game we can restart though. / No checkpoints if you go too far.” If you’re a fan of Scandinavian pop, definitely explore the rest of Tenfjord’s EP First Impressions out now on Propeller Records.

Olivia Clark on November 29, 2018
Adeline Hotel - At Least We Tried

Adeline Hotel - At Least We Tried


The best way to describe Adeline Hotel’s track “At Least We Tried” is slow burning. With it’s mellow guitar riffs, understated piano and steady drum beat, the Brooklyn singer-songwriter creates a warm and  heart wrenching listening experience with its subtle twang and well thought out instrumentation layering. The song overall carries Adeline Hotel’s signature warm tone and poignant lyrics. In it, singer Dan Kinshokwy sings of love, second chances, and life with lyrics like, “It’s hard to make sense of it / But you’re doing better than I might.” and “Please shoot out the light and tease me with everything wild.” With his easy-going vocals coupled with the warm harmonies provided by singer-songwriter Johanna Samuels, Knishokwy provides a tender exterior over a hard discussion of timely existential needs and a wistful rumination on what's actually needed to find happiness, fulfillment and why it can be so hard to come by.

Alessandra Rincon on November 29, 2018
Jennah Bell - Can't Be Too Careful

Jennah Bell - Can't Be Too Careful


Jennah Bell is a singer-songwriter, a Berklee alum and a mentee of famed songwriter Paul Simon. It is no surprise that only a few years jammed with such a plethora of experience prompted the Bay Area singer to move Los Angeles. With her, she brought her distinctly Bay Area influences, while culling from her variety of mentors. Just seven years ago, Bell released her debut self released EP, which launched her into a music career and lead to her being able to work her way up the ladder of show business. Her latest single, "Can't Be Too Careful," off of her upcoming LP Anchors & Elephants draws from her usual influence, while still pulling her musical style into new directions. The instrumentation is careful and diverse, while still paving the way for Bell's distinctly melodic vocals. Bell is still in the early stages of her musical career, but her future releases will undoubtedly continue to impress.

Lucas Nyhus on November 28, 2018
Cherry Glazerr - Daddi

Cherry Glazerr - Daddi


Los Angeles’ garage-punk hero Clementine Creevy is back with a single from Stuffed and Ready, the fourth album from her band Cherry Glazerr. The full-length record be released February 1 and if the whole album is anything like the single “Daddi” this will be another great album from this astonishing band. Cherry Glazerr has obviously grown from the punk sound of Apocalipstick into a more experimental, but still very grungy sound. Creevy’s voice is as powerful as always but in this song it seems to be pleading. Breathily begging to be released from “Daddi’s” grip and allowed to make her own choices. The angsty lyrics are met with equally angry drums coming in at the bridge and acting as an engine steadily pushing the song through Creevy’s questions and angry protests.

 “Daddi” is a progression through a young woman’s unsure mind, to an authoritative strong woman demanding to be treated with the respect that she knows she has earned. Cherry Glazerr is obviously growing as a band and Creevy is clearly growing as an artist. The band’s growth means that you should be on the edge of your seat waiting for Stuffed and Ready if you are a fan of Cherry Glazerr or not because they are obviously evolving and maybe they will evolve into something you love. 

Kyra Bruce on November 28, 2018
Yowler - Angel

Yowler - Angel


Yowler’s Maryn Jones has a diverse musical background, so it makes sense that her sophomore album, Black Dog in My Path, is an ode to genre-bending. “Angel” is the first song on the album, and immediately, the grit of the acoustic guitar strums combined with Jones’s soft, cool vocals evoke a mood reminiscent of seeing your favorite rock band perform an intimate stripped set. The sound grows as the song progresses, adding electric guitar, a kick drum and backing vocals, but Jones’s voice never wavers. Her unique soprano anchors listeners to the melody through relatable lyrics that touch on love and what happens when you lose it, including the lines, “we float around from place to place / like two heavenly bodies.” The song eventually culminates into a full rock sound, but because of Jones’s vocals, it never loses its introspective feel. “Angel” nicely sets the tone for what’s to come on the album.

Britnee Meiser on November 28, 2018
Ladada - Float Away

Ladada - Float Away


Virginia based surf-rock/new-psych band LADADA premieres their rapturous new song "Float Away" with us today. While the excitement in the song is explicitly heard there is a containment it to that makes it more intentional and less wildly. It's obvious that it's a joy that is tied to a memory or feeling of europhia. Frontman Josiah Schlater tells us, "I wrote this song a while ago when I lived near an inlet that had an old canoe that was begging me to take out with someone. I had this grand idea of bringing a bottle of wine and floating away forever. Eventually this state of bliss was achieved with my now fiancé, in that very inlet, along with plenty of other magical moments when traveling with her overseas." The sound of chimes coupled with the entrancing vocalizations that mark the beginning of the song succeed in mentally taking you to the place where Schlater was when he wrote this song or at least your very own version of it. We're pumped to hear more from  LADADA  andlook forward to the release of their debut record Heaven on the Rocks out Feb. 15 on Gold Robot Record.

Dara Bankole on November 27, 2018
Arima Ederra - Free Again

Arima Ederra - Free Again


The lulling sweetness that ripples throughout Arima Ederra’s newest track, “Free Again” feels like waking up on a beautiful, sunny Sunday after a restless night of bad dreams. The LA-based, Ethiopian singer and multifaceted artist is an expert at re-working tired concepts like fearing the monsters underneath your bed and drawing out new meanings and deeper truths to the most human of struggles. “Free Again” is a triumph in every sense of the word. Instrumentally, the track is cheery and unrestrained while still remaining relatively minimal — never upstaging the focal point, Ederra’s phenomenally uplifting voice. The strength of the song’s production lies in the effectively soft contrast between the deep bass, skirring drums, and glowy, tender vocals. “Free Again” is an homage to imagination, freedom, and growing up only to figure out the value of carrying that childlike wonder with you wherever you go. 

Andrea de Varona on November 27, 2018

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