Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

Oh So Summery

May 7, 2014

It’s getting better and better outside, so my ears are getting more and more attuned to those summery tunes.

Oh So Summery

1. “Philosophize In It! Chemicalize With It!” – Kishi Bashi. He’s on Joyful Noise Recordings, which sounds like a 100% perfect fit. This ridiculously happy and catchy tune will get stuck in your head. HAPPY SUMMER Y’ALL.

2. “Sweater Weather” – Challenger. If John Ross gets any more inspired by the ’80s, I’ll have to start questioning where he’s hiding his time machine. But for now, enjoy this blissed-out synth-pop, complete with gated snares and stuttering percussion fills.

3. “Dead Man’s Pose” – Old Smokey. Almost as excited as Kishi Bashi is Old Smokey, a folky outfit that features no guitars but 3000% enthusiasm. This is not your average folk: brass and clarinet counter throughout when the members of the band aren’t group-hollering. It’s just wonderful.

4. “Let’s Get Started” – Dylan Gardner. OH SUMMER YOU ARE ALMOST HERE. I will celebrate you with a guitar-pop tune by a flop-haired teenager with pop chops. I only thought of Hanson like once. Mostly the Beatles. But some Hanson. No Bieber though.

5. “Halo” – DamnRight! There’s always room in my heart for chillwave-inspired electro fun.

6. “I Spy” – Michael McFarland. I love Train, so take this as nothing but a compliment when I say that this track falls somewhere between Train and old-school Guster.

7. “Old Foes” – Yaquina Bay. Orchestral folk is not generally known for its easygoing vibe, but Yaquina Bay creates just such a mood here.

8. “Morning Light” – Andrew Judah. I’m not sure how Judah came up with the idea to get steel drums and banjo together, but it sounds incredible. I am extremely excited for this upcoming record–it promises to bend genres all over the places.

9. “Terrible Love” – Moda Spira. Latifah Phillips takes a different angle on The National’s slow-burner, but it’s no less dramatic or powerful at the end.

10. “Right In My Arms” – Exzavier Whitley. Like early Iron & Wine, this is deeply calming fingerstyle guitar that cares more about the mood than perfection of performance. Gorgeous work.

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

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