slenderbodies - away from you
"Away from you" is a dance-pop deviation from slenderbodies' usual psychedelic jazz style without losing their trademark sound. This track reminisces upon unresolved feelings from an ended relationship with lyrics that make it evident that slenderbodies have broken into a fresh space as songwriters. "It's a lonely world, yeah, I'm on my own / The memories they sell you / You told me that you felt it, it's over here / I don't let it go now"—words drawn from personal relationships of all kinds have become the focus of the band's latest work enhanced by their already stellar musicality.
Mons Vi - Come on Violet
Mons Vi delivers another smooth, ethereal track that works its way into your head with “Come on Violet”. Singer-songwriter Matthew Hershoff blends emotive narratives with his take on atmospheric pop to create something truly unique in his third single released this year. “Come on Violet” is a tribute to a friend and a story of loss stemming from addiction. Hershoff creates a melancholic, reflective moment in time with his strong, poignant lyrics. His words perfectly encapsulate the feeling of looking back—“Spin on a beam at the top of the moon / run through old scenes that once felt brand new / You never notice the things you lose.” As time passes, it’s sometimes hard to believe where we are and realizing what’s actually changed around us. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t stop and take a moment.— Meredith Vance on August 2, 2019
TWIN PEAKS - DANCE THROUGH IT
“Dance Through It” is a lyrically cinematic story of a woman with unfaltering intrigue carried by a palpably fresh sound. This track breaks the typical style boundaries of Twin Peaks’ music with a full take on funk. The Chicago-based indie-rock five-piece gains even more flavor for their repertoire of tastefully crafted, age-old music for the modern world. With lyrics reminiscent of a dancing Uma Thurman, this masterpiece is riddled with soulful keys, sprinklings of brass, and naturally, looming trouble.— Laney Esper on August 2, 2019
Kate Bollinger - I Don’t Wanna Lose
Kate Bollinger’s bouncy title track from her most recent EP I Don’t Wanna Lose is an anthem for indecision. Her honey-dipped voice nearly hides the struggles of a person trying to adjust to adulthood, while still feeling like a child at the same time—“I was a child once / I still am one / I know it / But I just turned twenty / And I feel time slipping by.” Bollinger's voice is soothing, and her words are relatable. If you’ve ever been paralyzed by the fear of realizing you’re a real adult person who is responsible for the rest of your own life, “I Don’t Wanna Lose” pretty much sums up that feeling. Bollinger wonders, “So what if it's all / My decisions / Or my indecision / Oh, I just can't pick one.” Amidst all the chaos and stress, she realizes she has something or someone really good in her life and she wants to hold on to the feeling that brings—“There is so damn much that I'm afraid of / You give me so much to be afraid of / But I don't wanna lose.” While the lyrics are heavy, the song is light and breezy and almost makes you forget whatever you were worried about.— Anastasia Philabaum on August 2, 2019
Jay Som - Tenderness
With her upcoming album Anak Ko ("my child” in Tagalog), LA-based Melina Duterte, better known by the moniker Jay Som, has reinforced her title of queen of bedroom pop. "Tenderness," one of two singles currently released from Anak Ko, is a lo-fi dream. Like her first album, Everybody Works, the song maintains a shoegaze sound with hushed vocals, breezy keyboard parts, and light jazzy guitar riffs. "Tenderness" ruminates on meeting someone and wondering if something more will become of it—“Tell me / Did you fall in at first glance? / Do you think you’ll take a chance?” The chorus perfectly encapsulates that rush of hope, fear, and vulnerability you feel when you meet someone new. Duterte croons, “I’m feeling like we’ve just begun / Nothing’s ever good enough / Tenderness is all I’ve got.” Just like the repetitive thoughts of someone overthinking a new relationship, the chorus repeats several times until the end of the track. Get your fill of “Tenderness” to hold you over until the full album is released on August 23.— Anastasia Philabaum on August 1, 2019
(Sandy) Alex G - Hope
(Sandy) Alex G reflects on lives lost to the opioid crisis in his newest single "Hope." The sped-up acoustic track covers a lot of ground in just two and a half minutes. His straightforward lyrics already highlight the message by the end of the first verse as he sings, “He was a good friend of mine / He died, why write about it now?” Though the song tells the story of just one life lost, it finds universality through specificity as he discusses waiting by the bedside and hoping for the best while preparing for the worst. There is an undercurrent of anger and sadness displayed through the lyrics, but the instrumentation and production add a sense of optimism. Recognizably a (Sandy) Alex G track from the start, it's wobbly and idiosyncratic—leaning heavily into his signature sound while still allowing for growth. It is the second single from his upcoming album House of Sugar.— Corey Bates on August 1, 2019
Hippo Campus - No Poms
Within the folds of the bottom middle half of the brain, there exists a small, seahorse-shaped organ known as the hippocampus. As the apparatus responsible for learning and long term memory, the hippocampus is one of the most studied parts of the cranium. It’s also the brainy buzzword guitarist Nathan Stocker latched onto after seeing the term in one of his psychology textbooks back in 2013 when he and his fellow bandmates were forming their group Hippo Campus—the pop-rock outfit that’s planted its name in every indie enthusiast’s long term memory, fan or not.
Now, the Minnesota-originated five-piece has released two collections of demos featuring early and alternate versions of songs from their sophomore album, Bambi. Having amassed a dedicated slew of fans since their South days, the demo tapes allow an intimate look into the process of rough drafts that eventually become an album and headlining tour. One rough draft that sticks out in particular, is “No Poms,” (or ‘No Pomegranates’) which didn’t make the cut for Bambi but remained a faithful setlist resident and fan favorite during live shows. Nihilistic musings wrestle against a backdrop of fast-paced, surfy garage rock before exploding into a starry smattering of what can only be described as, if Rainbow Road from Mario Kart became an alt-rock ballad.— Lindsay Thomaston on July 31, 2019
girl in red - i’ll die anyway.
Oslo-based artist girl in red’s (aka Marie Ulven) newest track "i’ll die anyway." is a three minute and twelve-second glimpse into an existential crisis. The 20-year-old bedroom pop artist plays down the melodrama with new wave-inspired guitars and her edging on monotone vocals. The story of self-doubt, omnipresent anxiety over the future and creeping despair is achingly familiar as Ulven launches into the chorus, “I reach for me, but I’m not there / I always wonder why I’m here / it’s fine it’s ok / I’ll die anyway.” If you didn’t listen to the words, you could think it was an upbeat song as it builds from verse to chorus with gradual precision. Each instrument fills in to create a track worthy of tapping your foot along to as you overthink your place in the world. "i’ll die anyway." is the first track off of girl in red’s forthcoming sophomore EP Chapter 2, which follows last year’s successful debut Chapter 1.— Corey Bates on July 31, 2019
Villagers - Summer’s Song
Villagers’ upbeat new single “Summer’s Song” is like an invigorating burst of vitamin D to your senses. With a breezy, optimistic melody and catchy psychedelic hooks, the track is lively and fun, and it’s their most pop-leaning release to date. Spacey synths, energetic horns and upbeat, slapping percussion create an atmospheric introduction that kicks up the tempo to a head-bopping beat. Villagers’ distinctly smooth vocal paints a colorful picture of a carefree summer through vivid lyrics: “Wherever you go, I will follow / We'll leave it all behind / So alive / We'll climb the sunlight one beam at a time.” Magical horn and flute arrangements emulate shimmering sunlight and bright, warm afternoons, seeming to drive home the message that in the summer and on the open road, anything is possible. “Summer’s Song” is a sun-soaked, groovy pop song from one of indie folk’s loveliest voices.— Britnee Meiser on July 30, 2019
Adam Melchor - Joyride
Singer-songwriter Adam Melchor turns heartbreak into a celebration with his newest single "Joyride." The poetically joyful meditation on moving on opens with a trumpet fanfare before paring down to Melchor’s clear vocals and simple acoustic strumming pattern that highlight the narrative quality of his lyrics. He analogizes the process of moving on to the loss of an old family car. Maybe it didn’t run as well as you wanted, but the memories related to it make it hard to let go. There is a mature clarity as he sings, “things were going our way / but they kept going until they were gone.” The nostalgic track leans towards remembering the good while embracing the reality of its departure. "Joyride" is the first single since Melchor’s sophomore EP release Plan on You, which came out earlier this year.— Corey Bates on July 30, 2019
Christinna O - Don’t That Make You Mad
19-year-old, Philly-based Christinna O just released her debut album, Girl in Passing, and its stand-out track, “Don’t That Make You Mad,” calls out anyone who delights in watching others fail. The track is a smooth, grooving melody that shows off the young artist’s skills in R&B and poetry. A funky, jaded guitar riff and chilled-out tambourine taps introduce the song before Christinna O dives right into her title line—“I still find the beauty in it, don’t that make you mad?” Her message is clear from the beginning: success is the greatest revenge against someone who wants to see you fall. The compelling and catchy track reminds us not to waste our time worrying about what other people are doing. In the song, she wonders aloud, “what about your happiness?” before driving her point home with the line, “don’t you miss your own dream tripping over me.” Christinna O’s prowess as a spoken-word poet is evident in her lyricism (lines like “And I can be sweet with my tongue but I can draw blood if I want”) as well as her cadence, which builds and drops like a rollercoaster ride. In the end, she laughs off her critics with a repeated, “oh you mad, huh?” and lets us know that she’s not worried about anyone that’s worried about her.— Brigid Moser on July 29, 2019