Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

Final 2014 MP3 Drops – Acoustic Champ

January 6, 2015

Acoustic Champ

1. “Glass Heart” – Magic Giant. The rhythmic knowledge of a dance floor anthem powers this folk-pop jam. The inevitable whoa-ohs and jubilant trumpet line send this over the edge into “world-conquering pop song” mode. Seriously, this is like the best parts of the Lumineers and Mumford without the negatives.

2. “One More Song” – Tyler Hilton. Hilton imbues a lot of romantic intensity into his voice, layered neatly over an adult alternative tune that splits the difference between Taylor Swift and Matt Nathanson.

3. “Local News” – Heath McNeese. A simple acoustic fingerpicking pattern, a gentle voice, an endearing story, and a memorable melody: what else do you need? Beautiful singer/songwriter work here.

4. “All Along” – Joe Mansman and the Midnight Revival Band. Snare-shuffle country with evocative vocals, a soaring chorus, and a great vibe. Do I have to throw “alt” in front of country, or can I trust you to listen anyway?

5. “Alegria” – DBG. British folk singer/songwriter DBG went to Spain and interviewed people, then wrote a bunch of songs about those interviews–in Spanish. This one showcases his gentle fingerpicking along with the Spanish-language lyrics.

6. “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” – Todd Kessler and the New Folk. The reverb on the solo guitar here puts me in a very dreamy, warm mood that fits the lyrics neatly.

7. “Jingle Bells” – River Whyless. This elegant folk outfit transforms an oft-kitschy tune into a delicate wonder.

Stephen Carradini and friends write reviews of bands that are trying to make the next step in their careers.

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