About a Bot
Electronic pop with rapping, a sequenced horn section, and lots of synthesizers, welcome to 2018! At first listen, it might be hard to take the song seriously, but on a second listen, you’ll realize this guy might be the Prince-like genius we’re missing out on. It’s playful, cool, and bright, and I know we can all use more of that this year.
It’s hard to warrant a better story than Tenderfoot, a four-piece dream-folk band based in Seattle & Brooklyn, who started out as a solo project on the highways and back roads of the US. In 2010, songwriter Adam Kendall Woods lived on the road for a year in a vintage camper trailer towed behind a Volkswagen Rabbit pickup truck. Many miles were taken, several relationships to find and break, and finding his now-band members, this is important to know to appreciate the song. Let this be a lesson to any artists out there – sometimes your life is going to suck, sometimes you just gotta find the right people to work with, but if you do – and you figure out correctly, you’ll create a folk-rock masterpiece like this band has created.
The Roof on Fire (feat. White Dave)
Trey Coastal, a 3-piece Hip-Hop project from Oakland, CA accomplishes exactly what they originally intended – the hip hop backbeat amidst a brilliant rhythmic interplay of voices. There’s no shortage of conscious hip hop but this trio is just as powerful as anyone else out there right now talking about what’s goin’ on. Makes me wanna holler.
Brooklyn-based outfit Chamber Band draws from a range of The Decemberists and Sondre Lerche, and slips in with They Might Be Giants and Weezer. They also come complete with the happiest 5-piece band photo I’ve seen in a long time. A masterclass in perfect pop with a killer hook and chorus, complete with whistles, of course. They deserve a wider audience. They’ll get it.
Leaving his solo folk singer-songwriter roots behind Wolf Gordon has teamed up with two prominent Illawarrra, Australian musician, Paul Harrison and Matt Crawford to release Broken Road – a folk EP with a variety of influences and a driving edge. The rise of the band has been swift, forging a smooth and effective song to make you wait for the next one.
The alt-rocker from Baltimore, MD, came to his own conclusions about his religious upbringing. It was just the spark he needed to begin work on something new, himself. What defines you, what kind of person will you be? That’s the question explores as if his life depends on it. And it does, all the while creating music out of necessity.
Pop Rock/Indie Electronic project Dig Exotic is the creation of Los Angeles native singer, songwriter and record producer Rebecca Rosoff. Fair warning: Put this song in the car and watch your speed. Don’t let a ticket get you in the way of the rockin’ tune.
Life on Jupiter
“Moonstone,” the debut album by The Karmanauts, was self-produced and mixed, and was mastered by Joe LaPorta (Vampire Weekend, Grizzly Bear, Imagine Dragons, David Bowie, Foo Fighters). The band from Humboldt County, California soaring melodies are memorable, and are quickly turning into essential listening for anyone a fan of the groups in the brackets above.
See? I told you I dig this band. A tasteful acoustic-starting track that would be too good to ignore. They’ll have ample time to mark their mark, and for now, this fits neatly in definite ones-to-watch. See above.
It’s Not What You Know, It’s What You Can Prove
Great title, right? When the Minstry-guitars come in, you don’t want the rest of the song to fall under the weight, and it doesn’t. Suburban is East Coast Hip Hop-inspired, hardcore-energised raw lyricism; “a unique sound where structure is the enemy of flow and sleep is the cousin of death,” they say. Not like you’re going to even catch a wink when this band plays. A hugely entertaining music to destroy your room to.
I used to work a DJ years ago called Wild Child on Moonshine Records, and then there’s Wildchild from Swollen Members. This band is NOT them. The Austin-based ensemble has carried its infectious blend of indie-pop and infectious melodies through their four records now, and are masterful at their arrangements and setting the mood to just shut up and listen. There may not be a more harmonious song this week heard by anyone. They deliver.
Maybe You Love Her
Out of Berkeley, CA, Miles’s sound sits somewhere between the lo-fi psych-pop of Ariel Pink and hazy psychedelia of Lonerism-era Tame Impala.The production is top-notch, it’s like a sweet brownie that might be laced with something for your ears. Gorgeous musical landscapes that if it was a painting, Bob Ross would be proud.
Scavenger Type (NOFX Cover)
The soft mood-drenched opening will easily make you forget this is a cover. A mid-tempo take on an entirely acoustic song is always a bold and brave move, but he does it with ease. I hope for his next songs to move out of the cover world, but for now, this will do just fine while, ahem, his mind keeps focused, tidal waves of sound catapulted.
Bitch Named Joe
Quentin Tarantino has his next awesome track to discover. If this was on one of his soundtracks, people would try and find it in their collection of ’50s R&B singles. He hollers, he jokes, and no rim-shots here, this is impressive blending the decades together.