Hoosier Monthly Digest: June 2019 Edition
Shiny Penny – “Truth”: A name TUNED UP followers are probably no stranger to, these Kokomo natives are a staple in many of our single reviews and also have multiple appearances at our annual Steadfast under their belts. I must say, however, that after the instantaneous replay factor of both “Love Isn’t Easy” and “Promised Land,” I was initially underwhelmed by their newest. That is, until I listened to it again, and again, and before I knew it, I was hooked on this one too. “Truth” starts out simple before evolving into a foot-stomper held in place by the recurring piano riff and soaring chorus, neither of which are any surprise if you’re familiar at all with Shiny Penny’s oddly-limited catalogue. Speaking of which, is 2019 the year we finally get a full-length album from the pop power trio? One can only hope…
E. VINCENT – “Game Night (Playin’ Games)”: Several friends of mine shared the debut single from Indianapolis-based songwriter, producer, and entrepreneur E. VINCENT, so I felt somewhat obliged to at least give “Game Night (Playin’ Games)” a listen, and I’m genuinely glad I did. Although the trap beat feels very similar to a lot of what I hear from hip-hop nowadays, VINCENT’s raspy yet soulful vocals rival many of his R&B contemporaries, while he lyrically tackles an often-mentioned topic in his genre.
O.D.D.I.T.Y – “No Point”: June 9th saw O.D.D.I.T.Y finally unveil his long-anticipated full-length Love Is ___., an engaging journey that sees the Indy genre-bender examining the meaning behind the four letter word. It’s an 11-song project that opens with the frustration from unsuccessful searching for love and closes with the joy from finding it once and for all, exploring every other emotion in between. The pain and frustration is expressed rather well on the opening track “No Point,” but there’s also a beauty in the song’s instrumentation, a beauty which actually foreshadows the album’s conclusion.
Antlerhead – “Ok”: Though they have since relocated, indie rock trio Antlerhead has strong Indiana ties, and with an equally strong EP that came out back in April, I’m surprised it took me this long to stumble across Am I Dreaming. Its brooding closer “Ok” steadily builds before culminating in this visceral sort of ethos, one that will no doubt draw countless From Indian Lakes comparisons if it hasn’t already. Frontman Ty Bush also reminds me of another indie rock stalwart, but of course that name conveniently escapes me now that I’m trying to put it into words. Regardless, there’s a sense of nostalgia and familiarity surrounding the vibey atmosphere of “Ok,” one that is only further bolstered with a guest appearance from Sherri DuPree-Bemis (of Eisley fame).
Bri Green – “Almost Do”: My discovery of Bri Green came as a direct result of May’s column: the singer followed me on Instagram, likely after seeing my coverage of Emma Peridot’s “Pulse” (which, by the way, is a banger if you haven’t heard it by now). Green released her latest single “Silhouette” last month which I very certainly could have featured, but its stripped-back predecessor “Almost Do” actually stuck with me more. Green’s echo-y vocal effects match up quite well with the minimalistic instrumentation of the tune, one characterized by a simple piano line and a brief appearance of synthetic strings.
SenSe – “Wavey”: SenSe is a discovery that dates all the way back to last fall when I was covering the annual Lotus Fest. At one point on Saturday afternoon I grabbed a quick dinner in downtown Bloomington before catching the evening showcases, and I struck up a conversation with a gentleman who, upon hearing that I wrote for a music blog, told me to check out a relative of his. (If my memory serves me correctly, B-Town rapper SenSe is the nephew of the man in question.) Fast forward to the tail end of May, and although I’d been keeping up some with the up-and-coming hip-hop artist’s SoundCloud releases, it was only then that I saw he’d released a project to all digital platforms back in February. The solid 2 Flights and 4 Nights boasts “Wavey,” a fun yet soulful party banger oozing of “woah’s” and guest vocals from South Florida singer Piff Cherry.
You can find all of my Hoosier picks in one place, whether you use SoundCloud or Spotify, each with its own set of exclusives. Be sure to go follow the playlist if you like what you hear, and feel free to comment with any Hoosiers you think I should feature next.