First Responder – “Route 23”: First Responder had a prolific year, even though they didn’t get to play their record release show (thanks, ‘Rona). The airy, quirky jangle pop group has a wholesome quality to their tunes. They had the honor of being the last local band to be played on CD1025 before they went off the traditional airwaves last night. “Route 23” takes inspiration from its highway namesake—winding through picturesque melodies and sweeping arrangements delivered in a down to earth manner.
.boy – “Tree Forts”: As the weather outside darkens and cools, I’m looking for more and more ways to escape mentally to a place of warmth. “Tree Forts” is an escapist dream pop tune suitable for just that. The duo, comprised of friends Roger Phelps and Tuned Up Ohio Artist to Watch Henry Blaeser, aims to please with their silky smooth brand of ethereal music, that’s for sure. Reportedly, the sound is equal parts inspired by Enya and The 1975, which is a winning combo if you ask me.
Captain Kidd ft. La Pore – “Over It”: We are addicted to synth pop with Ohio ties, so obviously we had to dive into this heartrending new bop from Captain Kidd and La Pore. The word “heartthrob” comes to mind, even though I’m probably not the target audience for this song. For night drives, I’ll likely add this to my playlist. These are all things I’ve heard before all the folks involved in the making of this song, but it’s nice to hear another manifestation of this art anyhow.
Tyler Meacham – “Nightwalking”: If you felt like listening to some indie pop that would fit well on an Americana playlist, Richmond’s Tyler Meacham has a new smooth jam for you. As someone who spent some time on a nightwalk earlier this evening, I sort of wish I had the foresight to add this to my walking playlist before I stepped outside my apartment. At this time of year, I stay away from the side streets and stay in well lit areas, which for me is the iconic High Street in Columbus, OH. This is the sort of song that will fit many moods—I never know what’s going to strike me when I start walking, and this will likely satisfy many of them.
Topher James & Biscuit Brigade – “Matter of Time”: This time of year, I find myself becoming more and more open to what I call “fireside” music—music stripped back to its fundamental, organic elements. Topher James is a traditional kind of guy, and he enjoys diving into the soul of the music at its richest. “Matter of Time” is a tender exploration of all the familiar elements of Topher James & Biscuit Brigade.
CYPRSS – “Mortal”: Dark pop singers are a dime a dozen these days, let’s be honest. So that description of CYPRSS didn’t really catch my attention a whole lot when I received the music pitch. But, I listened to her latest, “Mortal,” on account of a submission to Steadfast Festival a year or two ago her old band submitted. Imagine my surprise when I heard brass in the chorus of this track! Imagine if your favorite dark pop princess mixed in a little big band. A little old school class is enough to make this nu-school outing a bit more memorable for me. No doubt listeners will find this to be an earworm.