Vesperteen – “Memory”: I heard this song for the first time in the context of SXSW, so it will always have a bit of nostalgia tied to it for me. SX is special to me, making first experiences of music all the more meaningful in that context. I feel that Vesperteen have crafted a song that is malleable to nostalgia associated with wherever you are when you first hear it. It also defies traditional pop song structure, getting two verses in before we get to the chorus. That makes the effect of Colin Rigsby stretching his voice in ways we haven’t heard yet that much more memorable. Expect music journalists everywhere to point to this song as a climatic point in the set list.
Cole Bradley – “What We’ll Get Into”: Given that the first song I covered in this article has a feel good vibe, it seemed appropriate to dive into a song in similar territory—the new single from Nashville’s Cole Bradley. You might be thinking “Could it be? Is Ryan willingly writing about a country artist?” Believe it. Don’t read too far into this song. You say cliche, but I say classic country topic. You say shallow, but I say “geez, what needs to be deep about a song about having fun?”
Teenage Cavegirl – “No Good//So Bad”: If the word “spunk” could be summed up in a song, this might be it. Add a video with a grainy VHS filter and a retro, bright aesthetic, and I’m sold on the Austin duo. Why am I not surprised they’re from Austin? The song ends almost too soon.
Sarah Clanton – “Slow It Down”: Help, I’m a Columbus blogger who can’t stop writing about Nashville artists! But when I come across a uniquely structured earworm like this one, how can I not take notice? The cellist and songwriter have crafted a lush tune that is functioning right this moment as a bit of warmth that I desperately wish was reflected in the Ohio weather (it snowed today!). I think Sarah is telling me through this song I should make lemonade with these lemons I have and slow down a bit. Thanks, Sarah!
East Forest – “Fresh Start (feat. Keith Sweaty)”: This is the song I needed tonight. I didn’t have the best day at work—a mistake I made months go came back to bite me in the butt today (I actually had no idea I made that mistake until today). This dreamy track is a reassurance that I’m not a screw up and that things will work out. The song maintains a consistent warmth and cadence—caressing the listener in a sense. It’s sweet without being mushy.