If you know us, these picks won’t surprise you [single reviews]
Danger Scene – “Poison”: Existential songs that make you dance; that’s kind of Danger Scene’s forte. The brothers from Franklin, TN have neither been pretentious nor been out to reinvent the wheel. They release hard hitting dance pop, and the hooks seem to be getting stronger and stronger. “American Dream” was a fun banger that bordered on overindulgent without quite getting there (I jammed it all the time), but “Poison” seems to have found that ground where the peak of the hook is easy to take in yet all the more addicting. Plus, I’ll never be able to listen to that without picturing Michael Cunningham dancing along to DDR again.
Mister Moon – “Less Than Greater Than”: Columbus has been an indie rock town, but it has suffered from what I’ll call a “lack of the vibes” for a period that lasted all too long. Playing to Vapors paved the way, and now we have acts like Effee, Mister Moon, and Ghost Soul Trio embracing the mysterious side of electronic indie music, each with their own twist. Mister Moon is rhythm driven, and in a Radiohead “Climbing Up the Walls”–way they dive deep in with “Less Than Greater Than,” the first of many singles to come this year. This song has a wonderful climax and feels like a dark ride at an amusement park—not a slick one with a lot of animatronics, though—rather a clanky one that you might find at a fair. Simple and fun in its delivery, startling at the right moments, but never that unsettling.
Tycho – “Pink & Blue”: Want to stir the pot? Take a carefully crafted brand shaped over more than a decade and throw in a wrinkle. Vocalist Saint Sinner is in the latest iteration of Tycho’s ensemble, and she lends electropop vocals to Scott Hansen’s distinctive dreamy soundscapes. The airy vocals sound out of place, yet perfect atop the bass groove that’s so distinctly Tycho. The song feels like a sunrise—that moment where you know that you have an exciting day ahead but you’re still waking up and the butterflies haven’t quite settled in. In an odd way, this takes me back to some of the faith-inspired trance/techno DJ Andy Hunter’s tracks with vocals. The genre is different, but the feeling is similar.
Truslow – “Walking”: Has it really been 5 years since Truslow released music? Yes, dear reader. Believe it! Perhaps it’s just the coincidental “I’m walking on water” line but I’m hearing a bit of 30 Seconds to Mars in there. I was thinking to myself how much more expansive this version of Truslow sounds and began thinking of U2. Then I heard that chorus and the 30STM comparison made more sense. It’s a perfect comeback single, really. It’s upbeat and true to what people know, yet it feels fresh. It isn’t that overwhelming—just a way to ease back into the scene.