Tyler Meacham – “Say Yes”: As a dude who’s kinda tentative about dating, I can feel this song speaking to me. This songwriter from Richmond, VA has an endearing quality about her, which comes out in her vocals. The sound is an interesting intersection of synthpop and Americana. In the context of this song, the crunch of the guitars seem to reflect the motivation Tyler is trying to communicate to the listener about whoever’s on their mind. The smooth nature of the melody and arrangement overall puts forth a vibe of encouragement, which I like.
Evolix – “All My Life”: This sister duo caught my attention with the simplicity and humility in their introductory email. Their single “All My Life” is a synthpop earworm—we’ve covered plenty of those on this blog in the past. However, what makes this song unique is the vocal arrangement—two different voices that share a blood bond is something not to be taken lightly. Two different dynamics but undeniable chemistry. I also like the strings in the hook; they add an organic element not often heard in songs like this.
Super Whatevr – “i wanna be cool (feat. Lost Boy)”: I’ve only been peripherally aware of this duo for awhile but decided to finally take the plunge into their realm with this release. The single “i wanna be cool” is the marriage of two things not unfamiliar to this writer; vibey, chill hip hop mixed with heartthrob synthpop. I have to be honest and say that although the lyrics don’t move me like they might some, I like the way this short track comes together. An effective mix of simple elements—sometimes that’s all you need. It’s a bop for the Soundcloud generation of deep feeling kids, for sure.
The Brilliance – “World Keeps Spinning”: If you’ve heard of this duo, it’s probably because of Gungor, an act they often tour with. This orchestral pop sound is one that carries a lot of appeal for me. It’s getting colder outside, and that means I not only seek out literal blankets, but blankets of sound too. I just want to relax and soak up a nice layered composition every once in awhile. And “World Keeps Spinning” is a therapeutic, cinematic way to indulge this want as we march closer to winter. And yeah, you should definitely listen to them for reasons that go way beyond who they associate with.
Paco Versailles – “Lilac Moon”: What do you get when you combine half of Capital Cities, disco, and Flamenco? Why, you get Paco Versailles of course (duh). In all seriousness, tonight I was looking for something whimsical to get into and this hit the spot. It’s weird enough that I can zone out while listening, yet it’s danceable enough that I could probably sneak it onto a playlist at a wedding reception and have people not care that they’ve never heard this song. This the third of hopefully many singles to come from the duo made of up Ryan Merchant and composer/guitarist Vahagni.
Atlas Castle – “Intertwined”: If you’re looking for something to relax you, but kinda weird you out, “Intertwined” ought to do the trick. Seeing Thom Yorke perform the bulk of his new record ANIMA live a couple of weeks ago gives me new appreciation for this sound. You’ll listen and have the urge to stand in the dark and sway back and forth while you’re doing whatever it is you’re doing at home. Or you’ll just sit in a coffee shop like I am right now and pretend I’m in the dark, back at that concert.