Here’s a collection of rad songs from late January and early February. Enjoy!
1. “Motown” – Light Beam Rider. This remarkable track sounds like Mare Vitalis-era Appleseed Cast fronted by I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning-era Conor Oberst. If that doesn’t get your blood pumping, I don’t know what will.
2. “Moonlight” – Jack the Radio. Here’s some earthy-yet-cinematic Southern rock that appeals more to the Drive-by Truckers sort than the Skynyrd sort.
3. “Can’t Get Control” – Serfs. Empirical proof that if you speed up a post-rock song, you don’t get a punk song–you get something else.
4. “Temporary Solution” – Dear Blanca. The frantic, adrenaline-fueled alt-country of previous releases has been tempered by walking-speed impulses–Dylan Dickerson’s voice is no less ragged and raw, though. It’s powerful in a new sort of way for Dear Blanca.
5. “Optimist” – Wanderwild. Pad synths, wide-open guitar riffs and surging drums has been a winning formula since early U2 work, and it ain’t stopping now.
6. “Parts Unknown” – Loop Line. This duo marries Beach Boys harmonies and Weezer-esque power-pop to create a chunky, thumping, fun tune.
7. “Citrus” – Animal Daydream. Breezy, gently psychedelic pop reminiscent of ELO, as well as Crosby, Stills, and Nash. Manages somehow to sound as light and cheery as a sunbeam while also being so dense as to fill up every square inch of the track with sound.
8. “Last Night” – The Sherlocks. I think there’s a rule somewhere in the annals of rock and roll that a steady stream of British youth must at all times be forming into yawping, thrashing garage rock bands. The Sherlocks continue in this fine tradition, more The Vaccines than Arctic Monkeys.
9. “Mother Figure” – Logan Hone’s Similar Fashion. Are you adventurous? The opener to the latest album by Logan Hone’s experimental jazz quartet has incredible charms if you’re ready to open your mind a bit. Fans of Colin Stetson will already have their brain open thoroughly wide enough to jam out to this.
10. “Lovers in Conversation” – More Than Skies. Perky horns buoy this folk-rock tune, becoming something like a punk-rock version of Beirut. It’ll put a smile on your face.