Short Cuts: The Best Songs Heard On January 18, 2018 From The Indie World

Claire Vandiver
Is This Goodnight
Based in Nashville, TN, Claire has a defiant, vulnerable voice that fits neatly with the music, a cross between country and Cowboy Junkies. A subdued ballad that easily gets better with every listen. No mean feat, since it’s a killer first listen.

Jet Luv
The trio from Astoria, New York just released their debut Lovely EP, and it’s a perfect time to take a step back to the early 2000s of The Strokes, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, LCD Soundsystem, TV on the Radio, where the state had a spotlight like no other. Closely-cropped rock and roll, and every second of this song isn’t wasted. It drives and plows through your heart.

Aaron Orbit
All The Lonely Ghost
Aaron Orbit was born and raised as Aaron Johnson in the Southern California beachside city of Ventura. As the son of an accomplished musician and recording engineer, Orbit, was infatuated with music at an early age and began learning guitar in elementary school. Ok, so fast forward to now. If you’re missing groups like Squeeze and Crowded House and the softer side of Elvis Costello, Aaron’s got your back.

KLK Beats
Quiet Storm (feat. Daniel SkyHigh McClain & Regal)
Tokyo→Boston→Tokyo. He started producing in US and pushes through the best of R&B’s wax, around the same time and sound as Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On. A pleading yelp away from giving them a giant hug, this is an excellent take on modern soul and plainly deserves to be heard.

Sam Ness
Whispered on the Wind
Born in small town Wisconsin, he’s got more in common with, say, Justin Vernon than Eric Benét, but no less soulful. His sharp intelligence to letting the song tell the story, and the musicians to breathe and go, never limits his imagination to anything short of brilliance. His voice and lyrics rides comfortably and raises the roof for the last chorus.

Donny Evans
Life’s Too Short
4-and-a-half minutes of tunes, harmonies, all playing with class and resists the temptation to make the song any bigger and bombastic than it needs to be. Straightforward and singing with passion, Donny knows a hook when the muse strikes, and I hope there’s more where this came from.

Next To
Coming from south-east Melbourne the band implement various pop influences into this subtle song until about 3 minutes in, where the drugs start to take effect. They’ve got an authentic playfulness and right-on-point tightness between the members. Tame Impala would all be proud of them for carrying the torch.

Reilly Stapleton
Call My Name
Australia, you really have an embarrassment of riches tonight. Florence + The Machine is easily a signpoint here, with her pop-dramatic sheen in full force. There’s wisdom right here, in the influences, in the chords, in the use of her powerful vocals that reveals there might not be another better singer at her age in her country than Reilly.