life, death, space, and tunes with a lager [single reviews]
I hope you listen to each of these 7 songs and find something you like. Photo credit above to Tiera D. Photo.
The Cordial Sins – “Cruel”: This week, Columbus dreamgaze outfit The Cordial Sins released the wonderfully poignant and alluring music video for “Cruel,” the band’s lead single from their label debut with Diversion Records. The aesthetic of the music video fits the sound perfectly—a perfect balance of light and dark. In some ways the feel of this song is the antithesis of Souther’s “Golden Hour,” and the vibe the antithesis of the actual golden hour outside. Beautiful, yes, but also foreboding and uncertain. The song crescendos to a moment where the protagonist of the video seems to come to terms with an event—whether it’s death, a relationship coming to an end, or something completely different. The end of the song is such that you kind of have to just sit in the silence and let the effect marinate for a minute.
GALXARA – “Waste My Youth”: Maybe it’s the fact that I spent a whole bunch of time listening to M83 earlier, but this debut single from the new Atlantic Records popstress GALXARA wasn’t what I expected. It was celestial, yes. But more than that, it’s a banger with a lot of attitude. I could see this on a playlist alongside Lizzo and Empire of the Sun. Her vocals are rich, the instrumentation is futuristic, and the beat is strong. The visual has a very Daft Punk meets Lady Gaga vibe to it, and I’m here for it. As summer comes to an end, we need edgy songs like this to keep the energy going.
Danger Scene – “Everything”: It goes without saying that Danger Scene is capable of writing club-ready bangers. However, with the releases of singles “Poison” and now “Everything,” I can picture the duo performing at events more and more leaning into the EDM sphere. This might be Danger Scene’s most atmospheric song yet—ditching some of the “pump up the crowd”–isms in favor of elements better lent toward just getting lost in the music. I keep thinking of a show I attended at Skully’s a few months ago, headlined by Slow Magic; there was one patron near the stage the whole night, her hand waving to and fro in the imaginary wind coming off the stage, almost as if she was floating. This song would have been great on a playlist for that night.
Joey Aich – “Tempo”: This hip-hop track makes use of some quirky language, spun for an effect that comes across as simply being effortlessly cool. The culprit is Joey Aich, a hip-hop artist with a lot of passion and drive not only to hustle but to make you, the listener, embrace your cool side (which is definitely there—don’t try to tell me otherwise). The music video is creepy in a suave sort of way. I get the sense watching it that we are being let in on a secret—and indeed, this track was a privilege to experience. Aich has been quietly rising of the ranks in the midwest hip-hop scene, and I expect that to continue.
Phöenix Lazare – “Salt”: Those that have been around the Columbus scene a long time might recall an artist named Maria Levitov, who excelled at simple, guitar-driven songs with a pure voice. Lazare exists in that same realm. But, don’t go limiting her to her similarities to others—the way everything comes together in this quiet single is exquisitely therapeutic. It’s hard for me to connect with a distinct aesthetic, but it is tempting me to just zone out at my desk. I hope this Canadian artist continues to evolve and grow. In spite of her current Nashville residency, I can almost hear that she’s from Vancouver, BC—this song feels like it came out of the fog in a wooded area.
Erin Jarvis – “Supplier”: I “met” Erin on Instagram, and later in real life at an evening showcase at True Music Room in Nashville. Her assertion that her songs exist in the realm of VERITE and The Night Game are on point. It’s that happy medium between dreampop and night driving music. The next time I have to make a road trip playlist, you bet this is going on it. There’s something nostalgic here that makes me want to explore the melancholy of passing life as it mixes with my optimism for the future. Does that even make sense? Just listen. And groove to it if you want.
LEDGES – “Convenience”: We’re a bit late in reviewing this, but wanted to give some love to our pals in LEDGES from Northeast Ohio. Poignant atmospheric rock at its finest. This is one of those songs that would probably serve to amplify whatever emotion I’m feeling at the time I listen. Tonight, it’s pleasantly contemplative. If I listened after a sad event, I’d probably cry. This band recently toured with experimental worship collective Kings Kaleidoscope, but I could just as soon seen them on the road with Tycho as well.
All of the above and more can be found on our “New and Nifty” playlist, updated regularly with a sampling of everything happening in Tuned Up land.