Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

MP3s: Pop and Folk

February 13, 2015

Pop and Folk

1. “The Last Generation of Love” – The Holy Gasp. Hugely theatrical vocals, driving conga drums, stabbing horns, and an overall feel of wild desperation permeate this wild track. It feels like a lost ’60s bossa nova played at triple the speed with an apocalyptic poet dropping remix bars over it. In short, this one’s different.

2. “Hot Coffee” – Greg Chiapello. Somewhere between Brill Building formal pop songcraft and Beatles-esque arrangement affectations sits this perky, smile-inducing, timeless tune.

3. “Wake Up and Fight” – Gaston Light. If you’re looking for a widescreen folk creed, this tune builds from a single bass note to a fist-raised anthem. Gaston Light attempts to channel Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, Conor Oberst, and more.

4. “Evil Dreams” – Elstow. ’50s girl-pop mixed with some 9 p.m. vibes and reverb = solid track.

5. “Nothing But a Heartbeat” – Say Lou Lou. Need a world-conquering pop song in your life?

6. “All This Wandering Around” – Ivan and Alyosha. Ivan and Alyosha are back with a chipper indie-rock song that will get you tapping your toes.

7. “Less Traveled” – Johanna Warren. A lilting soprano supported by low flutes and burbling fingerpicking developed into technical guitarwork that lifted my eyebrows. There’s a lot of talent going on here. I love what Team Love is up to this year.

8. “Folding” – Martin Callingham. Callingham has crafted the sort of tune that’s almost inarguable: it floats lightly on your consciousness, gently working its way through to the end of the tune. If Joshua Radin had gotten a few more instruments involved without going rock…

9. “Wild at Heart” – Trans Van Santos. Does Calexico have a patent of the sound of the high desert? Mark Matos hopes not, as the baritone-voiced songwriter of Trans Van Santos has a way with the guitar delays and reverbs of that venerable sound. Perfect for your jaunts to or from Flagstaff.

10. “Don’t You Honey Me” – Timothy Jaromir. Here’s a bluesy country duet with excellent come-hither female vocals, muted horns, and romance on the mind.

Stephen Carradini and Lisa Whealy write reviews of instrumental, folk, and singer/songwriter music. We write about those trying to make the next step in their careers and established artists.

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