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Spooky Cool - Old Hair Mine
Spooky Cool - Old Hair Mine

Spooky Cool - Old Hair Mine


Although Lucy Dacus believes Richmond band Spooky Cool should be renamed “Stupid Good,” the band currently has the perfect name to describe their haunting indie pop vibe. The newest single “Old Hair Mine” off their upcoming debut EP “Every Thing Ever” is full of nostalgic lyrics and vocal harmonies mixed with the instrumentations dis-harmonization and a constantly changing rhythmic backdrop. The product is an entertaining, intricate piece that feels timeless and futuristic. At the end of the song, the vocalists question over and over again “is anything real?” Not sure about that, but we'll keep wondering as we listen to this song. 

Kathryn Brooks on August 2, 2018
Our Girl - Our Girl

Our Girl - Our Girl


British trio Our Girl recently released a self-titled single that scores points in spunk, quality and relevance. In a world addressing the "Me Too" and "Time's Up" movements, this song seems to be the simple reminder to all women: "Don't be so kind" if it means sacrificing your own comfortability. In a plea for honesty and openness, ("I'm fine, are you okay?/ You promised to tell me how you were") "Our Girl" seems to be written for those of us who would rather not vocalize how we actually feel. While making it sound easy, Our Girl mixes both big rock and roll vibes and a tough theme to make a song that voices frustration. Nevertheless, it ends in a somber and gentle way, making us remember that sometimes these conversations occur in the quiet moments, away from the campaigns and the headlines, with the comfort of a friend who will listen.

Dara Bankole on March 15, 2018
Fox Academy - Absent

Fox Academy - Absent


"Absent" is the kind of song you'd hope to find in your favorite indie movie. This single by Fox Academy came out last month in preparation for their new album. The band consists of Michael Todd Berland and Christian Novelli and they released an album just last April called Saint Molly that you can find wherever music is sold. "Absent" sits in a beautiful place that is both absent-minded and fully self-aware all at the same time. And while it's full of juxtaposed thoughts ("Possibly live again/ Mad at the wind again.") and ("I'm not here/I'm not there") somehow it makes complete sense, in a way only a song can convey. Opening with gentle guitar picking and layered vocals, the warm texture of the song is felt from the very beginning and carries through the rest of it. While I can't pinpoint exactly where "Absent" takes you to, I do know it's a place you'll want to stay and rest a while.

Dara Bankole on March 13, 2018
The Lonely Biscuits - Afterglow

The Lonely Biscuits - Afterglow


With a sound hearkening back to the 90s alternative-rock of yesteryear, “Afterglow” is the latest single released in advance of The Lonely Biscuits’ debut album The Universe In You. Polished off by Nick Bockrath of Cage the Elephant, it is no surprise the song stays true to the genre with a simple bass, electric guitar and drum kit, topped by Grady Wenrich’s gritty tenor. Together they’ve created this ode to that moment when you crush too hard and they choose the other guy. With lines like “I guess I didn’t think you’d lead me on, I guess I read it wrong, I’m stupid. / He isn’t funny, he can’t write songs,” they keep the vibe light and energetic making this a great summer jam for all those who can’t seem to find a love that sticks around. The Universe In You is set to be released March 30.

Nick Arcos on March 6, 2018
Haley Blais - Small Foreign Faction

Haley Blais - Small Foreign Faction


A few weeks ago, Canadian singer-songwriter Haley Blais released "Small Foreign Faction," a single that is so well-crafted both musically and lyrically that it'll definitely put this new artist on your radar. It's a beautiful and intriguing ode to what happens when you take a reflective and honest look at who you are and what you're doing. "I never wanted anything / And I never got it," Haley repeats in the chorus. While these words are sung with ease, we can't help but wonder how Haley feels about these epiphanies. The song evolves musically, starting off with just Haley's voice, an electric guitar and a faint hi-hat, and then slowly builds up a to full band enveloped by synths and harmonies that are so in the pocket. Mixed with both light and heavy thoughts and motifs, Haley makes us realize that it's more than just okay to be exactly where you are right now, and so while "Small Foreign Faction" is a song about Haley, it easily seems like it could be about you or me. 

Dara Bankole on March 1, 2018
Duets and Stuff - Serve Somebody

Duets and Stuff - Serve Somebody


Swedish-based Greta and Raimond come together for the creative endeavor DUETS AND STUFF, to make indie "music, art, video and so on" (as stated on their Facebook). Their debut single, "Serve Somebody" is sweet and pop-y without being overly saccharine. It's easy, breezy and light, giving just the right amount of brightness to get our senses tingling. If this song is any indication of what's to come, we'll definitely be keeping an eye out for this new Swedish duo.

Natasha Cucullo on February 26, 2018
Helena Deland - Take It All

Helena Deland - Take It All


We're into Helena Deland. So when she released her most recent track, "Take it All", we took a listen without a moment's notice. Darker than her previous productions, Deland gets broody on "Take it All". Minimal, yet haunting beats draw out the mercurial and unforeseeable nature of love. Deland questions how much we give when we fall, and in turn, how much the other person takes. "It isn't easy / it isn't easy," she repeats, her voice descending unpredictably as she comes to these realizations. With such a wide range of talent in just two songs, we're itching to hear more.  

Natasha Cucullo on February 26, 2018
Sarah Klang - Mind

Sarah Klang - Mind


Swedish singer-songwriter Sarah Klang let out a chillingly beautiful single called "Mind" last month. With its slow-tempo and simplicity, the listener is able to enter the dark and lonely world that she creates within her soothingly sultry voice and her melancholy lyrics. "Mind" speaks to the difficulty of constantly having that special someone on your mind and how much harder that becomes when you're loving them from far away. The repetition of the words "He's on mind / He's on mind / All of the time / All of time," create the personal and introspective effect of feeling as if you hear the constant loop of the thoughts of him that play in Sarah's head. Take a listen and see how in the most effortless and humble way, "Mind" bears the make-up of a classic.

Dara Bankole on February 22, 2018
Henry Green - Shift

Henry Green - Shift


“Shift” by electronic artist and producer Henry Green is a sonic plunge into the unknown. With his breathy vocals always on top of a light ambient beat, Green pulls us in and out of the track, keeping us on edge one moment while throwing us over the cliff in the next. It is in this action of falling that he sings about throughout the track where the production truly shines; where the music captures us and holds us in a moment of stasis during the lapse of verse. His debut album Shift comes out March 30, and I expect we will be seeing much more of this Bristol-based artist in the months to come.

Nick Arcos on February 21, 2018
Benjamin Lazar Davis - A Love Song Seven Ways

Benjamin Lazar Davis - A Love Song Seven Ways


A jack of all trades, Benjamin Lazar Davis is a multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter, arranger, composer and producer. In fewer words, Davis is a well-rounded musician. Widely known for being a member of the band Cuddle Magic and for his collaborative albums with other reputable artists, Davis is flying solo with the release of his debut (solo) album, NOTHING MATTERS, set to drop May 4th.

The first single off the album, “A Love Song Seven Ways,” is an indie-pop reverie. A soliloquy of sorts, David paints falling in love as a refuge of hope in a tattered, less-than-ideal world. His voice is soothing and sweet, and makes us feel like all will be okay. 

Natasha Cucullo on February 20, 2018
CLARA-NOVA - Echo

CLARA-NOVA - Echo


"Echo," the newest single from French-American dream-pop artist Sydney Wayser aka CLARA-NOVA is one of those songs containing the words that you didn't know you needed to hear. "Echo" speaks to the fact that when past ghosts come back, you must resolve to stay true to yourself and fight. Having her own share of struggles and changes such as moving across the country after experiencing the damage of Hurricane Sandy while also moving away from her roots as a singer-songwriter to a more electronic pop artist, we can believe Sydney knows what she's talking about when she says, "Don't forget who you are / Don't dissolve / Don't deny it." With trippy synths and Wayser's ebbing voice dynamically increasing with each beckon of bravery, "Echo" is the modern day anthem that isn't trying to be in your face, but rather in your head and maybe even your heart.

Dara Bankole on February 14, 2018

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