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Valley Maker - Light On The Ground
Valley Maker - Light On The Ground

Valley Maker - Light On The Ground


This track — incredibly reflective and self-aware in its lyrics — is dreamy and driven in the arrangement. The consistent and simple drum beat keeps it alert and alive, while the plucking of the guitar adds the kind of foggy, misty feeling that comes along with nostalgia. “The weight on my mind it starts with you / I’m gone two weeks and I lost my tune,” he sings with a tinge of sadness. Austin Crane, the man behind Valley Maker, has a soothing tone while remaining bright, and he compliments it with careful instrumentation. On “Light On The Ground” in particular, a crooning sax floats through the other components, a yearning answer to his human voice.

Grace Eire on November 12, 2018
Ackerman - Loverboy

Ackerman - Loverboy


Ackerman’s “Loverboy” is the heartwarming single you need as the days get shorter. Bringing us back to summertime memories via Beach Boys-esque harmonies and vibrations, the dream-pop trio recalls an awkward first date. The airy falsetto takes the forefront over ambient guitars and a funky drum loop that will have you bopping along. Ackerman effortlessly fuses sounds that could easily stand on their own into a unique, complete track. The attention to detail from the muffled intro to the subtle vocal backings allows you to explore something new with every listen. With the band's debut EP releasing on Nov 16, we're sure there's a lot in store for these Brooklyn new-comers!

Lizzy Jones on November 9, 2018
Kuinka - Wet Cement

Kuinka - Wet Cement


Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good, says Kuinka singer Miranda Zickler, albeit with a far more vibrant energy. “Wet Cement” is a bouncy tune punctuated by Rick Astley-inspired drum fills and quick guitar trills, while low-end synths blend with Jillian Walker’s growling cello. Lucius fans will appreciate the song’s subdued dance vibe and the vocal harmonies panned out wide, but the lyrics paint a darker picture of “landmines and concrete clearing out the town.” 

“Wet Cement” calls to mind things that are never finished, never good enough or always improving, worry not if those improvements are for better or for worse. “Every wall here says the phrase / ‘Heaven wants to hold me down,’” sings Zickler, with some abstract ideal of perfection preventing others from being content with anything. Based out of Seattle, the imagery most obviously alludes to the rapid growth and gentrification of the city, but Kuinka praises the good, rather than the perfect, in all its forms. The second half of the song is a wordless celebration of the present, honoring what we have now and slowly building upon itself rather than tearing down the groundwork to create something potentially shinier.

Daniel Shanker on November 9, 2018
Major Murphy - Come By Sunday

Major Murphy - Come By Sunday


Before you even hit play, the title of "Come By Sunday" will accurately give away the essence of this song. Easy like a Sunday morning and twinged with the nostalgic sound Major Murphy has come to master, this love song bares semblance to the folk classics. "Come By Sunday" shows us a side of a slow, down-beat song that's more picturesque and loving than sad, much like Simon & Garfunkel's legendary tunes. "I think we can go a whole long way together / Remember where we've been," frontman Jacob Bullard sings. After their debut album released this year, the band decided to pay homage to their past by releasing an EP of bedroom recordings from a time where Bullard was still honing his sound and songwriting craft. Named after the house the EP was written and recorded at, the Lafayette EP holds warmth and history within it, which is beautifully seen in its first single.

Dara Bankole on November 9, 2018
Birch - Labor Fruit

Birch - Labor Fruit


"Labor Fruit" by NYC-based indie-pop duo, Birch is out today! Listening to "Labor Fruit" feels like one insanely gratifying deep breath. The etherial quality to the music production and to singer-songwriter Michelle Birsky's voice creates a very calm inquisitive approach to a very noteworthy subject matter. We've stood here once before / It didn't go so well / We stood at the door / Knocked down the door/ Let's push down the door. / The song looks back on the feminist movement of the past and reflects on where we are today. It's about coming up against adversity and questioning whether or not you can keep on fighting. Be on the look out for Birch's debut LP femme.one coming early 2019. In the meantime see Birch live with Eyal Hai & Friend Roulette at Elsewhere on 11/17!

Sophia Theofanos on November 8, 2018
Frances Cone - Wide Awake

Frances Cone - Wide Awake


Nashville's Frances Cone recently released their new and noteworthy single, "Wide Awake" off of their upcoming album Late Riser. The song mixes different elements from soft-pop to electro and infuses it into one synth-filled emotional track. As Christina Cone sings the chorus the breathy echos and harmonies fill up the airwaves and resemble a mosaic, each separate piece beautifully fitting together to make a work of art. It's no doubt that her vast musical background expanding from classical music to popular music has helped her create a clear vision for her own music. Together Christina Cone and Andrew Doherty create Frances Cone's enchanting and innovative soul pop sound. Be sure to check out our Buzzsession with them from back in March and stay tuned for their new album Late Riser out early next year!

Dara Bankole on November 8, 2018
Zimmer ft. Panama - Wildflowers

Zimmer ft. Panama - Wildflowers


We all have an imaginary place of escape. A setting that lies somewhere in between make-believe and a place we’ve actually been. It’s nearly impossible to jot down or sketch on paper. This perfect place exists nowhere besides in our own heads. French producer, Zimmer, and Sydney-based singer Panama’s recent collaboration, “Wildflowers” takes a different approach to this very concept. Instead of aiming to tell us exactly what each of their made-up settings might look like, they tell us what it feels like to enter that abstract space. The track seethes with astral textures, layered synths and lavish yet earthy percussion. It cultivates an ideal balance between rich, maximalist production and a stripped-down sound that evolves organically with each passing moment. “Wildflowers” is feeling like you’re walking barefoot on a warm, cloud-like surface only to look down and realize you’ve been walking on cold concrete with heavy boots. It’s racing towards a feeling of deep exhilaration while sitting still. Have a listen and re-enter that place.

Andrea de Varona on November 8, 2018
Ginger Root - Ohio

Ginger Root - Ohio


Ginger Root, aka Cameron Lew, released his third album Mahjong Room this past June. The last track on the work, "Ohio," is a nod to the oldies which initially inspired Lew to begin making music. Although the work can be defined as indie bedroom pop, what largely sets the album apart is the soul influence heard throughout each of the songs. "Ohio" manages to compress all of these songs into two and a half minutes of indie soul pop, with a sound similar to a mix between Vulfpeck and Stevie Wonder. Lew, a film major turned rock star, performs the majority of the instruments on the track, while also doing the engineering, mixing, and mastering. For an artists so clearly dedicated to precision, “Ohio” is a laid back song with a vocal hook that seems to float over the sounds that he is creating.

Samantha Weisenthal on November 7, 2018
Mike Edge - So You're Young

Mike Edge - So You're Young


Mike Edge is a Los Angeles based singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and a producer whose newest single “So You’re Young” is a delightful, genre-bending, soundscape. Tinged with luscious guitars, exuberant bells, and atmospheric keys, his hazy voice is a relaxing escape. The lush female backing vocals add a surreal coating as the waves wash over in the background. In the span of one song, Edge moves between genres, providing an intimate setting within the past and present. The track feels like a celebration of life as he repeats “Here I am” and, for him, it is. The release of “So You’re Young” coincides with Edge being released from the hospital following a life-threatening accident. It's songs like these and stories like Mike Edge’s that remind people to embrace their youth and live life to the fullest.

Shayna Chabrow on November 7, 2018
 Elujay - Little Thangs

Elujay - Little Thangs


Even during the most illogically cold autumn days, Elujay knows how to warm the soul. "Little Thangs" is a classic display of funk and soul, driven by a deep bass line and the Oakland, CA singer’s definitive swagger. The song’s ear worm bridge and hook — a shameless declaration to coming over late to chill — would sound right at home on the latest albums of other modern R&B hybrids such as The Internet or Buddy. There’s a familiarity in Elujay's romanticism and warm vocals that is immediately inviting. But it’s the verses in between that add a refreshing depth to the number, as Elujay details an imperfect relationship full of escalated moods, outside temptations and late night reconciliations over voicemail. He makes it known that there are no lasting, euphoric proclamations of love without also learning to celebrate the tiny, sometimes infuriating human details that define who we are...the little things.

Sam Reynolds on November 7, 2018
Black Belt Eagle Scout - Indians Never Die

Black Belt Eagle Scout - Indians Never Die


Certain performers possess a kind of earnest delivery — one that meets our ears in a deeply harmonious manner and allows us to better understand both the world and ourselves. Portland musician, Katherine Paul aka Black Belt Eagle Scout is one of those artists, and her debut album, Mother of My Children belongs to that rare breed. The record is a reflection of self/identity, loss, and what it means to belong to a place and a people whose face has been tainted over time. What does it mean to grow up within a group that so genially protects Mother Earth, when society has inflicted so much harm onto it? How do you identify as a member of this community when you too are constantly evolving? 

The third single off the album, “Indians Never Die,” probes these kinds of questions. Paul transforms anguish into something powerfully eternal. When she cries out, “Do you ever notice what’s around you? / When it’s all there, in the wake of you,” she is declaring the immortality of her people. Even though her ancestors don’t physically live forever, the customs and teachings they passed down are boundless. “Indians Never Die” works to reshape the way many of us think of heritage, identity, and human connection. The track is anchored by one ceaselessly repeated phrase, “wastin’ away.” It is through the unfeigned repetition of these two words that we can begin to understand why Indians never die.

Andrea de Varona on November 6, 2018

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