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The Sunset Hut - Bury
The Sunset Hut - Bury

The Sunset Hut - Bury


Singer Aphra Smith paints the sepia-toned world of The Sunset Beach Hut in black and white. The bouncy guitar hook wants you to dance. The dreamy atmosphere wants you look back on this as the very best of times. Smith just wants to tell it like it is. When painting one’s surroundings in only two colors, it’s natural to pick one and defend its use unconditionally, but Smith holds herself to no such constraints. “It’s not as easy as I thought it would be / But not quite as hard as you’d expect,” she sensibly admits of her path. “Though my insignificance serves me well / I would like a pedestal to know how it feels / To be loved by everybody.” She captures the utterly human experience of waffling, of flip-flopping and of being presented with four million choices and not being satisfied with a single one. “Bury” forces us to admit that — not sometimes, but really, truly all the time — things do not turn out perfectly. And as the song reaches its chorus and its most fittingly summer-like, she gives us a reason to dance while also handing us the hardest pill to swallow: “She’ll never look at you the way she looks at him.”

Daniel Shanker on January 23, 2019
Leah Nobel - Earth and Sky

Leah Nobel - Earth and Sky


Over collage of sediment rumbling synths and chattering birds, Leah Nobel admits that she not one to use her inside voice on her new year release of “Earth and Sky.” At once a love song dedicated to hours spent wandering alone through the woods and a reaffirmation of the human need to connect to the natural world — one outside of cubicles, concrete and screen induced loneliness, the Nashville-based singer/songwriter finds a sonic “valley and crooked little road” of her own in this synthesis of folk and pop. Nobel's upcoming record "Running in Borrowed Shoes" is inspired by numerous interviews she conducted as a hybrid endeavor combining journalism, empathic advocacy, and music, and is set to be released in 2019.

Emma Bowers on January 22, 2019
Daisy the Great- Famous

Daisy the Great- Famous


A lively guitar flits playfully behind melancholic vocal harmonies in Daisy The Great’s“Famous.” The folk pop tune recounts the classic coming-of-age quest for purpose and meaning in this fast-paced, dynamic life. Frontwomen Kelley Nicole Dugan and Mina Walker jump between poignant and absurdist commentary on self- and social validation, covering topics from muffins to handwriting to fame, and capturing the ennui and confusion of being a twenty-something trying to find their footing. These feelings aren’t met with surrender, however, as Dugan and Walker lean into their playful existentialism. If you’re looking for more wrenching yet playful tunes from Daisy the Great, check out our live Buzzsession with them, filmed in Brooklyn and their new debut album I'm Not Getting Any Taller.

Lizzy Jones on January 22, 2019
Dan and Drum - Theoretically You

Dan and Drum - Theoretically You


“Theoretically You” is clearly the work of friends. Dan Schechter and Philip “Drum” Thompson have known each other for 20 years, and haven’t been alive much longer than that. Thanks to the delightful weirdness of their musical relationship, “Theoretically You” is, above all, unabashedly playful. Dan and Drum give themselves space to experiment and trust that the outcome will be worth hearing. The song is cleverly cobbled together from tiny pieces like dozens of mismatched Lego bricks. Individual drums sputter off to one side while numerous vocal tracks layered on top of each other arrive from all directions. Schechter, who takes on the duties of lead vocals, plays the parts of Passion Pit’s Michael Angelakos, with a soaring harmony in one ear, and a Top 40 auto-tuned pop star just seconds later. Like mad scientists — specifically the kind who use Ayatollah Khomeini as the basis of their rhyme scheme — it’s hard to tell if Dan and Drum meticulously planned out each element or if the fruits of their whimsy were pure dumb luck. It sure sounds like fun.

Daniel Shanker on January 22, 2019
Future Thieves - Always Something

Future Thieves - Always Something


Indie-rockers Future Thieves are back with their impressive new single "Always Something." This Nashville band has mastered a sound that is simultaneously tasteful and commercial, giving us a song that could easily have a place on Top 40 radio. While at first, the song may sound like it's about the aftermath of a breakup, frontman Elliot Collett tells us, "'Always Something" is a song that was written from the perspective of someone who pushes people out of their life unintentionally...mostly by just little things they say or do. I've known a few people like that in my life, and I always want so badly for them to stop and realize what they're doing." Somehow we like this song even more because of its origins. We all know the kind of people this song lets us into the mind of, the person who seems set on being alone in life rather than letting people in and at times we are that person, doing and saying things that can easily be the last straw. Since their start in 2013 Future Thieves have played a handful of festivals like Bonnaroo and SXSW and have captured the attention of Conan O'Brien and Jimmy Fallon. As the band continues to make waves and release new music, we're confident that they have what it takes to become a household name.

Dara Bankole on January 18, 2019
Hand Habits - Placeholder

Hand Habits - Placeholder


The slow-burning “Placeholder” finds Meg Duffy, the creative force behind Hand Habits and former lead guitarist of Kevin Morby’s band, at the receiving end of apathy. “I was just a placeholder / A lesson to be learned,” sings Duffy, feeling dispensable and replaceable, “A place you will return.” The world keeps turning and the tone regarding this mistreatment sounds more like acceptance than anger, but the anger will never truly disappear. Duffy refuses to let the song be just another song complaining about the loss of love or friendship or connection, admitting after all of these accusations, “Now you’re just a placeholder / For someone wasting time.” The resentment towards the song’s subject, after having been so cruel in the first place, has become so powerful as to overtake the actual details of the story in Duffy’s mind, and that realization sinks in for another minute as the song, assisted by Lomelda’s Hannah Read, slowly finds its resolution underneath deft guitar work.

Daniel Shanker on January 18, 2019
Lala Lala, WHY? - Siren042

Lala Lala, WHY? - Siren042


Lillie West, the songwriter behind Lala Lala, has followed up her fantastic sophomore album, The Lamb, with a collaboration alongside WHY? creator Yoni Wolf for the reflective track “Siren042.” Like her album, the single has West looking back on her actions with self-deprecation. She’s apologetic for letting the social pressures that led her to do a malicious act overcome her better judgement and believes she deserves a fitting punishment. Opening with a guitar that glimmers with each pick, the song becomes rich with heavy drumbeats, accompanying strings and Wolf’s backing vocals. The partnership between the two artists is one that started from West being a super fan of Wolf, going as far as sneaking back stage at his early shows, which eventually turned into a close, long-time friendship. It’s now blossomed into an alluring combination of their sounds that compliment each other so beautifully, we hope to hear more.

Shayna Chabrow on January 18, 2019
Monica Martin - Thoughtless

Monica Martin - Thoughtless


Monica Martin’s career is a story of wide ranges. Her vocal range, to be sure, impressively flutters in the highest registers of her music’s sonic palette, but even wider are the steps she has taken to make that music in the first place. Working as a hairdresser in Baraboo, Wisconsin, she formed and fronted the quirky but earnest indie-folk band Phox, lyrically over-sharing to hook listeners with a voice containing unparalleled levels of both beauty and scorn. She went from covering Vulfpeck songs onstage with Phox to eventually lending vocals to a song on their newest album.

Her first solo single, “Cruel,” stayed in territory familiar to Phox fans, but her new release, “Thoughtless,” demonstrates her wide range as a musician, exploring the darker, more electronic sound she developed with Violents in 2017. Martin has made mistakes at times in this wild journey, but she has never been afraid to admit them and move on. “Heard you got the remedy to really get it right this time,” she sings, but she knows there is no right answer to the endless questions life throws at her — “Lady, I think your guess is as good as mine.”

Daniel Shanker on January 17, 2019
Men I Trust - Say, Can You Hear

Men I Trust - Say, Can You Hear


Montreal based Men I Trust has been delivering smooth, spacey, sway-inducing pop since 2014. Their latest release "Say, Can You Hear" is no exception. A drum machine and catchy bass line introduce you to the song before Emma Proulx's ethereal voice creeps in and then you look down and realize you're dancing on the sidewalk! This dreamy indie-pop tune is more than meets the ear, it revolves around a narcissistic main character. Proulx remarks, "you're self-absorbed, raving about your cryptic ways," and "waiting for the world to bend around you" over reverb-ed guitar and the omnipresent drum machine. This song can be viewed as a relatable tale about a narcissistic friend, or as a fun song with a catchy beat. Men I Trust's following has had massive growth, we suggest you hop on board and dance to this song alone in your room like the rest of us!

Kyra Bruce on January 17, 2019
RV Farms - Too Much

RV Farms - Too Much


RV Farms, otherwise known as of Edmonton, Alberta's Daniel English is back with a new single.  After an EP in 2016, RV Farms' has put out two new songs including "Too Much" and "All I Need" released last April. With his music being described as "pop with a secret," "Too Much" revels in this statement. English's hushed and subdued vocals contrast a pop beat and electro riffs, and together piece by piece he creates a sound that is genuinely his own. Within its final minutes a disguise ending gives way to an exciting eruption of sound that invigorates the song as a whole one last time before it finishes. As lyrically English retraces his steps and considers their effect on his present situation, musically we hear a forward-thinking artist not afraid to break outside of the constraints of genres. Fans of The Japanese House and Thomston will appreciate the juxtaposition of heavy and light present in RV Farms music and lyrics. Be sure to be on the lookout for whatever RV Farms does next, we sure will be.

Dara Bankole on January 16, 2019
Plastic Picnic - Well Wasted

Plastic Picnic - Well Wasted


“Sad music for people to dance to.” That’s the mantra of Brooklyn-based band Plastic Picnic, and their new single, “Well Wasted,” is a fitting addition. The song is abundant with the band’s signature 80s-style synth sounds and bops to a 4/4 beat that practically forces you to move your feet. From the steady hi-hat, to the rhythmic bass, to the particular tone of the guitar, every instrument is a powerful addition the arrangement and the hazy, neon-baked nostalgia it conjures up in listeners. Meanwhile, frontman Emile Panerio’s vocals glide right through as he reflects on fleeting youth and questions the practicality of always living in the now, as opposed to preparing for the future. The song builds nicely toward an unexpected bridge, giving dancers enough time to settle their heart rates and contemplate what they just heard before coming back with one final drop of the chorus. The first single of the year for Plastic Picnic, “Well Wasted” is dreamy and on-brand, and you’ll want to leave it on repeat all winter long.

Britnee Meiser on January 16, 2019

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