Category: indie

Jain “Come”

Jain is one of the most exciting new artists I’ve heard in a while. The 25-year-old singer-songwriter has an extraordinarily multi-cultural upbringing under her belt; she’s lived in Dubai, The Republic of Congo, Abu Dhabi, and currently resides in France. Not surprisingly, you can hear all of these flavorful, diverse influences peppered throughout her debut album Zanaka. Jain’s life-long obsession with drums/beats is especially showcased in the infectious single “Come.” One listen, and you’ll find that her unique vocal style and phrasing mixed with her rhythmic aptitude catapults her clear out of the typical female pop-singer crowd…and I love that!

The Orwells “They Put A Body In The Bayou”

Like a fine wine improves with time, I’ve grown fonder and fonder of these guys through the years.
A band comprised of two cousins and two brothers out of Elmhurst, IL, The Orwells have become critical rock darlings in my world. Look no further than this headbanger of a track “They Put A Body In The Bayou” and tell me your mom isn’t bouncing her knee. If you like the raw rock ‘n’ roll vibes you hear, check out their new full-length Terrible Human Beings, hot off the press!

Young in the City “Annie”

Noah Gundersen’s side project Young In The City is everything you would hope it would be: true to his heavy-handed lyrics, but with a new sonic stamp that pushes the envelope without sounding outlandish. “Annie” is a perfect nod to the singer-songwriter’s roots woven together with fresh texture and tone. Let the saxophone nostalgically whisk you away…

Emma Louise “Talk Baby,” “Underflow,” “West Side Kids”

I’ve been following the exceptionally talented Emma Louise for four years. I saw her captivate an audience at the crumbiest venue at SxSW 2013 and was convinced then and there that she’d make a massive splash. The three lead tracks off her upcoming release Supercry are further evidence of that. She has grown into her voice. It’s a powerhouse yet still laser-fine enough to cut glass. These three tracks bring the velvet hammer down in entirely new ways. “Underflow” breaks your heart in all the right places at just the right times – it physically pulls you in. Everything her voice does, you feel. “Talk Baby” is a sultry, hypnotic, bad girl anthem that is as delicate as it is fiery and sexy. “West Side Kids” reminisces in a bittersweet stroll through relationship nostalgia.
Something else to note: her videos for both “Talk Baby” and “Underflow” are next level. Dylan Duclos, the man behind the videos, should be lauded for his flawless visual accompaniment for such heavy, beautiful music. Claps all around. Emma Louise’s July 15th release cannot come soon enough!

Maggie Rogers “Alaska”

Though the banjo doesn’t typically lend itself to the mellow, lilting sounds of gentle vocals and soothing melodies, Maggie Rogers has found a way to accomplish just that. Her work is vastly inspired by dance music and sounds found in nature – a combination which marries inherently rhythmic beats to flowing, striking sonic qualities. The three standout tracks from her former Bandcamp release Bloody Ballet (now removed from the internet) are “Resonant Body,” “James,” and “Drift.” The current and quite remarkable new single “Alaska” is available to stream and download now.

Ten Tonnes “Lucy”

I love the fun, raw energy from Ten Tonnes singer-songwriter Ethan Barnett. Hailing from Hertford in the U.K., Ethan has recently released a 3-song EP with “Lucy” as the showstopper. Its infectious-yet-quirky style will keep your head bobbing through the summer.

Christof “You Left It Too Long”

I’m very excited about the new single “You Left It Too Long” from Dutch singer-songwriter Christof. I’m obsessed with the groove of this tune and the fantastic clarity of Christof’s vocal delivery. He opened for Bear’s Den on their last U.S. tour and I’ve followed him ever since. His new EP “Montreal” comes out May 27th and if this single is any indication as to how the rest of it sounds, I’m in!

BEST OF 2015!

Happy Holidays everyone!
I’ve never made my year end lists public, but this year I’ve decided to shake things up. I present to you my personal best of 2015, both songs and albums. The songs can be streamed here if you would like to listen (honorable mentions included at the end):

Albums (in no particular order):
Wolf Alice – My Cool Is Cool
Sufjan Stevens – Carrie and Lowell
Alabama Shakes – Sound and Color
Chris Stapleton – Traveller
CHVRCHES – Every Open Eye
Rayland Baxter – Imaginary Man
The Bohicas – The Making Of
Beirut – No No No
Jason Isbell – Something More than Free
Blitzen Trapper – All Across This Land
Everything Everything – Get To Heaven
The Tallest Man On Earth – Dark Bird Is Home
Coldplay – A Head Full Of Dreams
Ryan Adams – 1989, cover album (Taylor Swift)

Songs (also in no particular order):
“Uptown Funk” (ft Bruno Mars) – Mark Ronson
“Talking Body” – Tove Lo
“Here” – Alessia Cara
“Genghis Khan” – Miike Snow
“Mountain At My Gates” – Foals
“Lydia” – Highly Suspect
“Coltrane” – Amasa Hines
“Your Loves Whore” – Wolf Alice
“Where You At” – The Bohicas
“Getting Ready to Get Down” – Josh Ritter
“Nobody To Blame” – Chris Stapleton
“Heartbreaker” – Daniel Wilson
“OctaHate” – Ryn Weaver
“Electric Love” – BØRNS
“Leave A Trace” – CHURCHES
“Dreams” – Beck
“Stressed Out” – Twenty One Pilots
“Trip Switch” – Nothing But Thieves
“Snakeskin” – Deerhunter
“Adventure of a Lifetime” – Coldplay
“Ship To Wreck” – Florence + The Machine
“Sedona” – Houndmouth
“Pretty Pimpin'” – Kurt Vile
“Spring (Among the Living)” – My Morning Jacket
“Snake Eyes” – Mumford & Sons
“Dunes” – Alabama Shakes
“Brazil” – Declan McKenna
“Gibraltar” – Beirut
“Forget You In LA” – Poema
“Yellow Eyes” – Rayland Baxter
“Empty Handed” – Christof
“Color Decay” – Júníus Meyvant
“Death with Dignity” – Sufjan Stevens
“How Could You Babe” – Tobias Jesso Jr.
“Dark Bird Is Home” – The Tallest Man on Earth
“Between Me And You” – Brandon Flowers
“Hello” – Adele
“Everglow” – Coldplay
“Flagship” – Jason Isbell

Honorable Mentions:
“Outcast” – Mainland
“Mystery” – Boxed In
“Roman Holiday” – Halsey
“Forest Fires” – Axel Flovent
“No Room In Frame” – Death Cab For Cutie
“Borderline” – Tove Stryke
“Hold Me Down” – Mansionair
“Moona Festival” – Polyenso
“Love Grow Cold” – Blitzen Trapper
“Where The Night Goes” – Josh Ritter
“Spring / Sun / Winter / Dread” – Everything Everything
“The Way It’s Always Been” – Brandon Flowers

Rayland Baxter “Yellow Eyes”

Been a fan of Rayland’s for quite some time now. But it wasn’t until this song (and this whole album, really) that I really jumped fully onto the band wagon. The instrumentation –and specifically the delicious, rich guitar tones threaded throughout – is remarkable. It’s been a while since I’ve lauded a local Nashville artist, and he more than deserves the praise. Buy or stream his album Imaginary Man when you get a chance. It’s well worth your while!