Grab bag o’ tunes [single reviews]
The Ghost Inside – “Aftermath”: The metalcore legends defied all odds and have reemerged from what could have been a career ending crash. “Aftermath” is an honest, anthemic, breakdown loaded banger celebrating a comeback while acknowledging the past. The song has a similar feel to The Color Morale’s “Strange Comfort” and even 30 Seconds to Mars’ “Kings and Queens.” The song is poignant and hopeful. Time to cry in the mosh pit and then get punched in the face by 40 of my best friends!
Sansol THE ARTIST / Caleb LaDuke – “dontstopdreamin”: Two dudes that made our Nashville Artists to Watch for 2020 have released a track that you will swear you’ve already heard on the radio. Why? They aren’t copycats of anyone, but the sound and hook are so seamless that you’ll think it’s a natural for the pop charts. I don’t mean to just load big platitudes on the song for the heck of it – but I need to be honest. This feels very current and natural for the current pop environment, even if I personally stick to the synthy-alt side of the music scene. It’s fun to hear Caleb LaDuke flesh out the track and compliment Sansol’s vocals like a best bud.
Joey Aich – “Rossi on the Deck (feat. TARYN)”: I met Joey Aich in person for the first time at a Bonelang show at Rumba Cafe where he was one of the supporting acts. His friendly and infectious personality became even more evident to me at an outdoor festival where he performed as part of the Carried By 6 collective. So, it’s a bit strange, but not all that surprising, to experience a chill side of him via this single, fleshed out by emerging pop act TARYN, a Columbus-Nashville transplant. Fun fact: Sansol, featured above, texted me a few weeks ago and told me TARYN is badass. From what I gather this song is the tip of the iceberg. It might seem like I’ve just shared a bunch of facts, but all of them are relevant to how this song makes me feel; subtly badass and pensive at the same time.
Toothless – “Grinner (feat. Justin Bonitz)”: Yes, I’m in a strange mood tonight. I’m combining two genres that are far apart yet strangely close in this writeup; metalcore and hip hop. This song is two minutes of organized chaos at its most fun. I have a friend that goes back to my high school days that is a lover of music in general, and isn’t shy about rocking out in the car. When I’d show him a song and a gnarly breakdown or solo would come on, he’d loudly exclaim laugh an “OH-haha!” That’s what I think of when I hear and see the quick noodling going on in this music video.
MRK-SX – “The Good Life”: From That State Up North, comes the lead single from The 40 Year Old Rapper, a midtempo arrangement of bars that gripped me and forced me to think. MRK-SX ponders the paradox of death, free will, and destiny, several times referencing his church upbringing. I don’t know where he stands on faith these days, but I found many of these lyrics to be so relatable. Lines about not being gauranteed tomorrow can be cliche, but it’s definitely something I’ve been thinking about a lot recently. I wish the hook was a little more seamless than it is, but isn’t that kind of like life? You wish things could be more defined but they just aren’t.
S. Reidy – “Abstract Gravity”: I found this song by happenstance when searching for the term “math” in my submissions. Given my hip hop mood when putting this article together, this pensive, math rock twist hit the spot. The sample is subtly infectious and easy to digest, with Reidy delivering his bars in a straightforward, matter of fact way. For me personally, I’m not 100% sold on the chorus, but the slightly deadpan singing fits the overall mood of the song. Reidy seems to keep a low profile (for now), playing the DIY circuit around Oklahoma City. He’s also a fan folkpunk heroes Dayz N Daze, which adds even more context to his sound.
American Arson – “Unbreakable”: The Michigan duo has returned with a blistering single off their forthcoming debut LP on Facedown Records. The song has a punk/emo sensibility without throwing away any rock and roll street cred. This is the latest release from a label that is quickly defining the faith-inspired underground music of our time. American Arson knows that sometimes all you need is a loud statement of resilience to sing/scream at your foes, and this is one such song. They’re able to accomplish a lot with a little. Their full length A Line In The Sand releases July 3rd.
Find all of the above and more at our New and Nifty playlist (follow it!)