The Accidentals – “Go Getter”: I’ve seen this act be referred to as “cinematic folk” which is undoubtedly true, but in “Go Getter” the trio takes a more even-keeled approach. Sometimes messages like “it’s now or never—you gotta be a go getter” are best delivered in an easygoing way, and The Accidentals seem to understand this. There’s a mood here that reminds me a lot of the band Joseph.
Fashion Invasion – “Shopping on Rodeo (feat. Jaime Blakely)”: This strikes me as the sort of banger you’d use to warm up a dance floor. It’s early in the evening, people are finishing up their dinner, and they’re waiting for their food to settle a bit. Perhaps they need some coaxing to let loose. This is a danceable club song that is unassuming and unintimidating.
half alive – “Summerland”: This sounds exactly like you’d expect a half alive song called “Summerland” to sound. And that isn’t a knock. Just proves the point that the act has found their sound right away and put out a track with a nostalgic summery feel—a vibe that is much sought after, but can be elusive. Catch half alive supporting twenty one pilots on their Scaled and Icy tour this Fall.
The War on Drugs – “Living Proof”: The dad rock masters of autumnal music are back. This song is a slow builder. Acoustic stylings and Adam Granduciel’s trademark stream of consciousness style of singing gradually ramp up, not to an epic guitar solo or climax, but to a simply pleasant, trademark War on Drugs flourish of guitars and ambience. The band was recently announced as the headliner of day 1 of the renowned psych-rock-ish festival Desert Daze in SoCal.
Thomas and the Work-Men – “Vice”: The funky group lulls us into a false sense of security with an intro that leads me to believe this going to be a somber song, before a high tempo section of brass and bass wake me up. They add hooks aplenty to a funky sound, killing any notion that “all jam bands sound alike.” I’d like to see these guys share the stage with Joe Hertler and the Rainbow Seekers.
Indigo De Souza – “Hold U”: The soulful pop singer (or would you call her alt R&B?) impresses yours truly with this lead single from her forthcoming record Any Shape You Take. The Asheville native not only convinces me to explore the music scene of this hip corner of NC more, but also makes me wonder about her live show. The theme in this group of single reviews seems to be “unassuming” and she has this in spades. But she also has groove and attitude that makes an impression when you find it. The song is also more sensual than you might find on a passive listen.
Brian Rhea – “Sunshine State of Mind”: I have trouble getting into country-radio-rock often, but truth be told, Brian Rhea carries a swagger in this single that piques my interest in a rare way. The song has a 10 year history, and was written prior to Rhea’s pilgrimage to Nashville, yet is only just now seeing the light of day in a bigger way. As I type this, I can’t help but think the “Sunshine State of Mind” is something that can be embraced no matter where you’re from. A duo on this café patio is emanating that energy right this second.