I drank a whiskey and Coke, and now I’m in the mood for more tunes [single reviews]
Grasmere – “Invincible”: Columbus, OH needed its own version of Angels and Airwaves and they just got it with the release of Grasmere’s “Invincible.” Tyler Cox is channeling his inner Tom DeLonge here, only with his own, more down to earth, less extraterrestrial influenced mind. This cinematic track has a wholesome, sweeping feel to it. I’m used to hearing these dudes within a more DIY context, so I’m excited to see them expand their show to match this huge new sound. I’m hoping they add some visual elements and theatrical, crowd participatory elements to the live show.
Henry Blaeser – “Of Love”: Our Ohio Artist to Watch Henry Blaeser returns with “Of Love,” another trippy Tycho inspired dreampop track to bring some pleasant noises to your head. His voice is silky and would be at home amongst many of the alternative pop acts currently rising to prominence. The refined electronic music/indie crowd would probably dig this as much as the tween pop crowd. It’s been thrilling to watch this musician transition as that kid really into it on the piano in psych act Turtle Island into the indie personality he is now.
Carmanah – “Best Interests”: Watch below the socially distant person approved music video for this sun-baked, hazy, groovy single from the Victoria, British Columbia based Carmanah. As the band explains, the song emerged from a jam session one day—and it sounds about as organic as they come. The one word that best describes this song in my mind is “steady.” There’s certainly a soulful quality to the music, bathed in some indie sensibility. I listen to a lot of music, and this is the song that I heard for the first time today that immediately grabbed me the most.
Secret Cameras – “The Silence”: The first two words that come to mind when listening to this track are “cinematic” and “shoegaze.” I sense a new genre, possibly! The London based electronic leaning alt rock outfit seem to be manufacturing a sound reminiscent of goth rock acts like The Cure and The Twilight Sad, and also a tad in the direction of 30 Seconds to Mars. I wish the vocals stood out a bit more, but at the same time I like how matter of fact they sound. Make this a part of your social distancing soundtrack and blast it with your friends in a parking lot!
Simen Lyngroth – “muse”: I decided to take a listen to this track because of the Highasakite connection (seriously, that band wowed me the first time I heard them). I can always count on acts from the Scandinavia region to output some really interesting twists on pop, and “muse” is no exception. The song starts out with a flavor similar to half alive or Sure Sure and crescendoes into a dream pop climax, with sweeping hazy guitars. I’ve never heard a track with a staccato groove transition into a theatrical, sweeping sound like that before.
Mint Eastwood – “slow coach (of the first order)”: If Beach House and Tame Impala both mentored the same protege for awhile, Mint Eastwood might be the result, judging from this track. The vocals are lilting and tentative, and I think would be better suited washed out into the mix, yet shine out in the correct moments. Overall, I dig the track. It’s very calming, in a pensive sort of surrealistic dreamlike way. It would be at home on most psychedelic dream pop playlists.
War Strings – “Tragedy (Lovesong)”: LA band to watch War Strings returns with this, a tune that is a dreamy shoegaze journey that will certainly help you zone out if none of the above tracks have gotten you to that point already. Don’t zone out completely, or the groove after that first section will shake you out of your boots! It caught me a bit by surprise, and I was prepared for it! War Strings’ Andrew Stogel is no stranger to adversity, and the determination that helped bring him out of a debilitating concussion comes out in his composition here. His debut record Who Cares How It Ends releases June 12th.
Camille Delean – “Fault Line (Late July)”: Camille sings in a way that sounds both vaguely forlorn and deadpan. Yet, I counterintuitively like her style. Her vocals, paired with a partly cloudy melody and airy piano, makes for a pleasant effect. There’s something vaguely haunting about Camille’s sound. Overall, it’s easy listening. But there’s something else that I just can’t quite put my finger on that’s off. And that ever so small “x” factor is what will keep people coming back.