Sharp-tootled pop songs mix with good ole fashioned country storytelling in the latest roundup.
Matt Jaffe – “Island of Lost Souls”
A darkness seeps from his musical pores. Guitars eek and cry, wrapped around a melody that’s chilling enough to give you goosebumps. “Island of Lost Souls” is a wonderfully spooky entry in Matt Jaffe’s burgeoning catalog, a sample to a forthcoming record. “I savor the sand in my eyes / I treasure my total immersion / Neck-deep in an ocean of white lies,” he warbles. A relationship’s swift burning emits fumes that fill his lungs. He collapses but not before unleashing a deafening howl, as though he’s a werewolf reborn.
Listen to “Island of Lost Souls” below.
Sam Hunt – “Start Nowhere”
“Start Nowhere” is a musical swerve no one expected. On the heels of “Water Under the Bridge,” Sam Hunt digs his boots into the dirt of his hometown. His hip-hop tendencies are stripped away, and he swaps in a more traditional arrangement. His vocal is unexpectedly melodic. It almost harkens back to his acoustic Behind the Pines mixtape. It’s a refreshing and surprising entry in his catalog. And all I have to say is: Sam, please do more of this.
Listen to “Start Nowhere” below.
BANNERS – “Easy”
With just a piano, BANNERS can rip your heart out and crush it into dust. “Easy” quakes with startling luminescence. He wraps the listener in the warm glow of his voice. Even when the arrangement opens up, to include light synths and drums, there’s still an intimacy that remains. Behind the thumping drum kit, and the spacey synth work, BANNERS manages to driving a rivet into the mind and body. His vocal tricks also turn psychedelic and cling to his falsetto range. And it’s nothing short of defibrillator jolting you awake.
Listen to “Easy” below.
Bronze Avery – “Personal Attack”
Bronze Avery swims in intoxication. “Personal Attack” is an elixir of regret and anger. Finding his man cozying up to another, Avery takes it as a “personal attack,” as it were, and rightfully so. “You’re so bad / Why you gotta be like that?” he ponders. It’s a biting question to his lover as much to himself, as he spirals out with more booze to numb the pain. The neon lights spiral around him, and he soon loses himself in an emotional cyclone.
Listen to “Personal Attack” below.
Parker McCollum – “Stoned”
Parker McCollum can’t deal with heartache, so he gets stoned. And who could blame him. Breakups are tough. With “Stoned,” he exposes every single emotion and how lonely he’s gotten with the pastting of time. “I cry when it’s raining / I cry when it’s dark / I feel like the whole world won’t ever understand my heart,” he weeps. In true McCollum fashion, his vocal performance makes you feel deeply about his story, the pain seems to jump out of the speakers. And it smacks you in the face.
Listen to “Stoned” below.
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