Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

January Singles: 2

January 23, 2017

1. “Savannah, Abandoned” – Lewis Dalgliesh. Shades of Jeffrey Lewis’s lyrical specificity and rapid-fire delivery play out over delicate, fingerpicked acoustic guitar. The rsults are a wonderful, Fionn Regan-style indie-pop tune.

2. “Letter for Ty” – ALFIE. The intertwining of two female voices and the bright production on this pristine acoustic pop tune make me think of another Scandinavian folk duo: First Aid Kit. Highly recommended.

3. “So Close” – Mama Ghost. A lovely, engaging alto voice leads the way in this excellent folk/singer-songwriter tune. The guitar, lead vocals, and harmony vocals mesh perfectly into an enveloping mood.

4. “Get On Your Skates” – Sandtimer. The gravitas of the vocal tone and delivery transforms a smooth acoustic tune into a stellar tune reminiscent of Alexi Murdoch.

5. “War on the Move” – Nice Motor. Hits all the right notes for a modern folk/alt-country shuffle: great vocals, lush harmonies, traditional (but not too traditional) arrangement, and overall good vibes.

6. “Caroline” – Johnny Nobles. Those who love James Taylor will find much to love in this light, slightly sad acoustic work.

7. “Eagle” – Noel. Brimming with tension but also exuding patience, this mesmerizing ambient/neo-classical piece is built on organ-like synth drone and beautifully airy lead synth.

8. “First Dance” – Doc Yates and the Kings Evil. The vocal melodies of this romantic ballad have a timeless quality to them, as if drawn from ’50s pop, old folk tunes, and/or modern indie pop.

9. “Head Over Heels” – Finn Kleffmann. Fuses acoustic Britpop vibes from the ’90s with modern acoustic pop melodies (and folk-pop “hey!”s). It’s suave and strong.

10. “Fa Fa Fa Fired” – Ryan Oxford. Lots of songwriters want to emulate The Beach Boys, but few do it as well as Oxford does here. The production is spot-on Pet Sounds (with some modern upgrades), but it’s the charming vocal melodies and delivery that sell this one.

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

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