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​SG Goodman - Old Time Feeling
​SG Goodman - Old Time Feeling

​SG Goodman - Old Time Feeling

SG Goodman’s new single “Old Time Feeling” is a roots-tinged indie rock ode to her homeland: the South. Goodman says she chose to record her upcoming album (of the same name) at Jim James’s La La Land Studios in Louisville, KY because it possessed three of her favorite things, “a creek, a big porch, and a kitchen,” probably the second most Southern thing I’ve ever heard—right below Beyoncé’s “I got hot sauce in my bag.” The guitar effects on this track are totally stellar and bear the clear watermark of Jim James’s sound circa My Morning Jacket: thick like Kentucky air, tones melting together like Blue Bell ice cream on a cake cone—and just as delicious. In the chorus, Goodman sets forth the track’s important central message: despite stereotypes, the South is “not living in that old time feeling” anymore; instead, it is on the crux of change, and change always comes out of healing old wounds. As André 3000 famously said at the 1995 Source Awards, “the South got something to say.” Twenty-five years later, SG Goodman is one of a diverse cast of talented independent artists continuing to prove him right.

Karl Snyder on July 1, 2020
Jorja Smith - Rose Rouge

Jorja Smith - Rose Rouge

Rarely does a new music release come as loaded with historical context as Jorja Smith’s “Rose Rouge.” The track is part of the Blue Note Re:imagined project, a collection of songs previously released on the renowned Blue Note jazz label, reworked by different artists. Released in 2000, the original recording by French jazz musician St. Germain featured drum and bass samples from the iconic “Take Five” by Dave Brubeck, incorporated into a loop. In spirit, the new version harkens to ambient electronica and acid jazz styles of the early 2000s, particularly with its intricate drum patterns. However, the production seems to feature all analog instruments played by high caliber musicians. While the performances are pristine and clearly studio-recorded, the track has a decidedly live jazz club feel. Smith vocalizes throughout the track, singing variations of the same line, a nod to Marlena Shaw’s vocal sample in the original version, derived from a performance of "Woman of the Ghetto" from the album, Live at Montreux. Somehow, Smith manages to spotlight her vocal agility while simultaneously showing impressive restraint, demonstrating a true understanding of the jazz genre. Smith has already paved an impressive career in the industry, having garnered a GRAMMY nomination, the opening slot on Bruno Mars’ 24K Magic World Tour, and collaborated with the likes of Drake and Kendrick Lamar. Now, she proves her prowess in a genre that’s tough to crack as a pop/R&B artist, earning a seat at the table with the most prestigious jazz label there is.

Karyna Micaela on June 30, 2020
Sinead O’Connor - Black Boys on Mopeds

Sinead O’Connor - Black Boys on Mopeds

This was released in 1990, but with a couple small updates, it could’ve been written yesterday. I like that this song is not about the narrator at all, just about how fucked it is to bring someone into this world. — Phoebe Bridgers

One of our favorite lyrics from Phoebe Bridgers’ new album, Punisher, is “I’ve been running around in circles, pretending to be myself,” from the track “Chinese Satellite."

Karl Snyder on June 30, 2020
stillblue - Bluets

stillblue - Bluets

“Saudade” is a word used in Portuguese and Galician languages that has no direct translation to English; a word that succinctly captures an overwhelming sense of melancholy and nostalgic longing for once-had experiences and certain people, places, or feelings—or perhaps, for something that never really existed at all. The debut single from Miami indie rockers, stillblue, sonically encapsulates this perplexing emotion, and how time often fades our memories yet preserves the feelings that surrounded them, fresh as ever—“I always miss / My feelings past / I circle back / Bluets beating from the outside.”

The music video, authentically shot in Kodak Super 8 video, is a study in the same memory eccentric, allowing us to see stillblue’s world with blurred edges and faded color. In the video, we see a shoreline marred by vintage vision, but the fuzzy sunlight hitting the water is just enough for us to effortlessly recall all of our long-gone beach days; again echoing the band’s powerful theme of waning recollections and the haunting nature of the accompanying sensations that remain with us for a lifetime. But before the sun sets on another summer, “Bluets” also reminds us that the present is the most potent form of magic, one enhanced by peacefully allowing old memories to fade; as how we choose to live in the here and now are strengthened by all we have felt until this point—and that is a life worth building upon. “Bluets” had me digging through my journal to reflect on pieces of a poem I wrote earlier this year as my fiancé slept soundly next to me:

luckily, every tiny thing about you&me

is another thing i will never need 

to remember. the salt and the wild love

never leave my skin. or the feeling of the

sticky circle that the apple of my cheek

makes on your chest, like a pear half-

melted in the afternoon sun. it’s where

i lay, fruitlessly languid and wide-eyed

trying to remember how to remember

the rest of everything. but perhaps,

that is the key to remembering—

to forget everything we no longer need, 

to breathe deeper, live wider, and 

grow higher; and

i can see

for miles.

Heddy Edwards on June 30, 2020
Moscow Apartment - Halfway

Moscow Apartment - Halfway

Welcome to friendship, with all its twists and turns, as described by the Toronto-based indie-folk duo Moscow Apartment. "Halfway" is a breezy rock tune that whips in like a gust of fresh air, full of youthful energy and good vibes. It opens with a confident drum groove, bringing us into the heart of the song without hesitation. Then the rest of the band swings into gear and we can’t help but nod our heads and swing our hips along as the two frontwomen, Brighid Fry and Pascale Padilla, sing in tandem: “You made me promise / that I won’t smoke again / I’m not angry / I just love you when / you take me halfway ‘round.” The song ends with a minor variation on the otherwise major cadence, bringing a bittersweetness that beautifully acknowledges that relationships are not all shared sodas and road trips up the coast—we all have our moments. The feeling is that moving through and past the difficulties is the point, the strength, and the source of the driving energy within the music.

Mikhal Weiner on June 30, 2020
Leon Bridges feat. Terrace Martin - Sweeter

Leon Bridges feat. Terrace Martin - Sweeter

Soul singer, songwriter, and producer Leon Bridges grew up in Fort Worth, Texas–a place where he was conditioned to the unjust realities of racism. In his words:

“Growing up in Texas I have personally experienced racism, my friends have experienced racism. From adolescence, we are taught how to conduct ourselves when we encounter police to avoid the consequences of being racially profiled. I have been numb for too long, calloused when it came to the issues of police brutality. The death of George Floyd was the straw that broke the camel’s back for me. It was the first time I wept for a man I never met. I am George Floyd, my brothers are George Floyd, and my sisters are George Floyd. I cannot and will not be silent any longer…”

Originally slated for an upcoming album, “Sweeter” was released ahead of schedule in collaboration with Terrace Martin. "This is meditation music,” says Terrace, “it is not music for the ears but rather music for the heart.”

“Sweeter” lands bittersweetly. Its lyrics present a longing for equity and freedom from fear, and combine with cradle-soothing vocals and empathic saxophone riffs that capture the strength and hope that’s demonstrated by unrelenting perseverance. Reflecting on the physicality of these feelings and the suppression of one’s voice, it prompted a few lines of my own:


is a lozenge 

lodged center-sternum, 

pulling a honeyed tongue 

down a dry throat 

like a pendulum swinging 

away the days 

until it dissolves.

Talia Pinzari on June 29, 2020
​Cat Clyde - Toaster

​Cat Clyde - Toaster

Cat Clyde combines her honest and sharp lyrics with a memorable melody to deliver an anthem to days spent wandering or wallowing. "Toaster” comes from Clyde’s new album Good Bones, which contains new tracks as well as reworked acoustic versions of songs from her previous two EPs. The choice to focus on simpler acoustic arrangements works beautifully on this track, allowing her clever writing and emotive vocal delivery to take center stage. Clyde expertly communicates the relatable and paradoxical balance of feeling both overstimulated and underwhelmed, too active and too static. The protagonist spends her day walking in the rain and double-checking the freezer for whiskey, yet laments that “there’s no time to wash my clothes, but it don’t matter ‘cause they all smell like smoke”. “Toaster” has the type of melody that sinks in right away and hangs around like a new companion; it’s unique but somehow feels familiar. I think it unlikely that someone could hear this tune, and not find themselves humming it later in the day.

Emerson Obus on June 29, 2020
Andy Leon - Breadcrumbs

Andy Leon - Breadcrumbs

LA-based singer-songwriter Andy Leon soothes the soul in her latest single "Breadcrumbs." The track begins with a delicate guitar line that is soon joined by Leon's sweet and soothing vocals. Although the song sounds calm, cool, and collected, it dives into feelings of sadness and explores the moment you realize you're tethered to another person. She goes on to sing heart-wrenchingly, "float on, nothing's wrong / the breadcrumbs gone, gone, they're gone / and we're so far from home, so far and so alone." The song builds into an impressively emotional guitar and vocal line, backed with the support of a group of violins and a piano. As soon as the sonic setting reaches its dreamy interlude peak, it soon descends and takes us back to where we started. Leon closes the song describing how she made a wish with an eyelash and felt the fingers of the person she felt tethered to on her face all day.

Alessandra Rincon on June 29, 2020
Shamir - On My Own

Shamir - On My Own

Like Madonna, Cher and all other single-named pop royalty, Shamir is fierce, even in the face of heartbreak. “On My Own,” the latest single from the Philly-based musician, discusses his confidence through lost love. Through raunchy guitar riffs and melodious synths, Shamir speaks of the power he’s generated from his own self-respect. “Don’t bargain with my worth,” he sings, “cause I don’t mind to live all on my own / and I never did.” The strength Shamir carries throughout the song, in tandem with the field march feel of the drums, has morphed its meaning into what many are calling an “introvert anthem.” That description has caught on for good reason. Shamir’s vocal provides an uplifting cadence that makes wonderful company for isolation and the forever journey of self-discovery. When the full-bodied bridge hits, he finds the apex of his message. He sings, “I feel it in my bones, inside myself is where I belong.” Shamir doesn’t care to feel like he belongs, because to himself, he always did.

Deanna DiLandro on June 26, 2020
 Lauren Auder - June 14th

Lauren Auder - June 14th

“June 14th,” the opening track on Lauren Auder’s two caves in EP, pulls you back into the unfiltered urgency of youth. Maybe because their sound is built on such clear dramatic arc, as a whole the EP feels very multimedia—like it should accompany a modern dance routine or a time-lapse video of a painting coming to life. From churning strings and thumping bass to twinkling bells and crackling static, “June 14th” is especially dense with sonic layers, each of which Auder has seemingly chosen with the methodical precision of an electrical engineer. Each instrumental line teems with its own separate energetic will: some on the verge of exploding into controlled chaos, others projecting an innocent comfort. And though it feels like each layer wants something different, within the container of the song they feel inextricably connected: like hundreds of lives moving together on a subway train, each can’t help but be pulled and jostled by its co-passengers towards something common. Meanwhile, the train’s conductor is Auder’s cinematically versatile voice, which floats coyly over romantic bridges (“Darling, every morning with you…”) but not before bellowing through dark tunnels of self-doubt (“I’ve been defensive since I left the womb” is a lyric I can’t stop coming back to this year). 

In an interview with Vogue, Auder revealed that the song is about “a first sexual relationship between two characters.” What they didn’t say is that the story is told so well that suddenly you are there, in it, young again, remembering that every feeling is an emergency, understanding that the way to freedom and togetherness, will always have to be rebellion.

Karl Snyder on June 26, 2020
Grace Ludmila - Hollow

Grace Ludmila - Hollow

If you’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing Grace Ludmila perform live, then you know that she is a force to be reckoned with onstage—full of motion and emotion, and musically creating something unique and authentic that comes straight from the heart. Having described performance as “the ultimate catharsis,” Ludmila puts her whole self into her music, raw and real from start to finish. This is especially true of her latest single release, “Hollow,” which is heavy on guitar and packed with gut-wrenching lyrics. Ludmila is an expert in metaphor, and she sings a series of them as a means of expressing the dissonance between expectation and reality. She is “not a dream,” but “sleep paralysis;" she is “not soft, not smooth like porcelain” but “a fleshy mass of skin that you pick off when you can’t stand to see it again.” The rhythm and structure of the song reflect this dissonance as Ludmila makes her own rules, often adding onto these metaphors beyond where the ear expects them to end. “Hollow” is a proud admission of imperfection, a refusal to live life according to others’ ideals, and, ultimately, an expression of self-love and self-respect.

Ludmila’s influences range from the singer-songwriter scene in Austin, TX, where she began her music career and released an EP at age 12, to the punk artists she discovered later and her time in New York, where she is currently based. She also does a “Say My Name” cover that will make your jaw drop. Ludmila is currently working on her debut full-length album.

Maya Bouvier-Lyons on June 26, 2020