I’m feeling nostalgic, let’s see what new tunes hit the spot [single reviews]
Bird and Byron – “Alone!”: LA band to watch Bird and Byron recently dropped this short bop adeptly titled “Alone!” This indie pop ditty features a desperate chorus atop a care-free blanket of instrumentation. The vocals have a bit of a soulful feeling, mixing a bit of southern rock or Americana (choose your favorite genre descriptor) over a pop song. This song doesn’t “slap” per se, but it is satisfying in it’s own way. Expect lots more from this young duo in the coming months.
Kitten – “My House”: Earlier this evening, I was listening to Kitten’s “G#” and thinking about how much I love that track and what a powerful frontwoman Chloe Chaidez is. I’ve been waiting a long time for a wonder-inducing track along the lines of “G#” to emerge from this group, and this might be the track to get the job done. Tracks like “I Did It!” and “ME” have come close, but this triumphant, almost transcendent hook is evidence that Kitten should be playing arenas. I can only hope that Chloe’s fame with Nasty Cherry doesn’t mean that Kitten plays second fiddle. A song like this should speak for itself.
it’s (i) – “BURNOUT”: I’ve been watching this song be made and marketed from afar (virtually, of course) over this quarantine period. it’s (i) is a project that seems to transcend its primary lyricist and spokesperson, Isaiah Boyd. “BURNOUT” is a hook driven single that is deeper than it seems at first glance. If you watch the visual in passing, you might not notice much. However, an intent watch gives me a strong sense of purpose with each line, each scene, each graphic. While not as off-the-wall bizarre, I get some slight Tyler the Creator vibes—going strictly off his Grammy performance. It is clear to me that it’s (i) is setting out to draw the world into a message via big hooks and out of the box thinking. Also—big time credit to Cassie Young, a mover and shaker in the 614, for coming up with that hook!
Good Saint Nathanael – “Old Guitar”: The melancholy, raw alter ego of Nate Allen just released… an upbeat song? This folk-y americana/rock number is a straightforward jammer about nostalgia. It’s the sort of song that you could picture being sung at summer camps around the country. When I grew up in Boy Scouts, one of our leaders would regularly bring his guitar to campouts and sing songs like “One Tin Soldier” and “Cat’s in the Cradle” and then make us laugh with corny adaptations of classics like “Ghost Riders in the Sky” into “Ghost Chickens in the Sky.” This song certainly isn’t meant to be corny, but it has a certain down-home feeling that begs participation from the listener.
New Luna – “Prunus”: It only took 20 seconds for this song to grab me. Maybe it was the early similarity to The Cranberries’ “Zombie.” In any case this grunge meets post punk emotional burner has my head bobbing and my foot tapping. Gosh, in retrospect, that line sounds pretty cheesy—but it’s true. The band was fortunate enough to squeeze in an appearance in NYC right before all the Corona insanity hit, and they have the advantage of having a small group of fans in the US that have a lasting impression of that set without much of the scene to make them get distracted afterward. I think they probably would have left an impression anyway, but I think they’re all the more aligned for momentum now.
The Blues and Greys – “Mayday”: It’s hard to put a label on the feeling this alt-rock song gives me. But it seems to go with the name of the band. Last week I mentioned that an album seemed to exist in a constant sense of grey. Here, this song is both grey and sunny at the same time. Like having a cloud follow you around while you can see the sun rays just ahead of you. You wish you could get away from the cloud, but you’re appreciating the beauty around you anyway. The Santa Barbara, CA–based act have appeared alongside some serious starpower and I think it’s time for them to pave their own way. I’d like to see them on a bill with Pale Waves and Silversun Pickups.