mungbean – “cool”: As Columbus, OH’s mungbean has evolved, their sound has become harder to define. “Cool,” the lead single from their forthcoming record is evidence that their sound has become all the more polished and smooth. “Cool” is an apt name for this song, which takes on a distinct psych-infused easy listening style. There’s a not-small amount of tongue-in-cheek musing in the subject matter, but even if you would prefer to zone out, this is more than permissible here. You can catch the band “live” at 934 Fest in a few weeks (more info here). I look forward to diving further into this “I’m gonna get dreamy with a touch of a ‘tude” vibe.
Ghost Tense – “Gone”: Combine the word “eerie” with just about anything and I’ll probably vibe with it. Such is the case here with the LA-based avant-garde trio Ghost Tense, who find themselves in a gorgeous forest setting for their recent music video. But they prefer to douse the beauty surrounding them with a healthy bit of reverb, low whispery vocals, and a simplistic yet effectively foreboding drumbeat. Imagine if The xx and Mount Eerie collaborated, with some outside counsel from Highasakite. While you’re pondering that, take a listen and let the song thrill and relax you.
Jared Marc – “Villain”: If you’d prefer a bit of suaveness to complement the eerie notions without too much of the latter, you’ll like “Villain,” the latest from indie pop dude Jared Marc. He’s an unlikely vocalist for the unsettling sound, but he’s able to juxtapose his range against a cinematic dark backdrop in a very complementary, ear pleasing way. Expect to hear this in the trailer of something on TV this fall as the weather begins to shift and we dream of spooky haunts and (safe) campfire hangouts with our best pals.
Early Eyes – “Drawing Myself”: Bedroom pop often has the connotation of being lo-fi or understated in its production. Early Eyes does not take this approach. “Drawing Myself,” the new single from the Epitaph Records act, is measured in its approach, but the polish is as full as could be expected. This is a good thing! The band mentions in the press release for this song a fascination for “untranslatable feelings,” which I find very relatable. My favorite emotions are ones I can’t explain. And this song explores a feeling that isn’t intense but still exists in that unexplainable realm.
Ella Vos – “Dreaming, backwards”: Ethereal pop star Ella Vos just dropped this video, which simply depicts a mindset that mixes determination of pursuing your dreams with regret at not having acted sooner. This late realization of mixed priorities and then reacting can be thought of dreaming backward, per Ella. Her vocals take advantage of a defined range and do a lot with a few melodies. This is the sort of track that you need to sit with for a minute after the first time you hear it… and then press repeat to further understand.
Brothertiger – “Shelter Cove”: I have to credit my friend Peter Bell, a production guru in Columbus, for turning me onto the vibes of Brothertiger. This is what I want to hear when I’m in the mood for dream pop. I realize now that genre can mean a whole spectrum of bright, airy sounds—but this is the sort that I crave: sweeping and basking in a sense of wonder. I like to think “Shelter Cove” is a real place I can seek out post-‘Rona and play this song on repeat. Brothertiger’s LP Paradise Lost is out on September 11 via Satanic Panic Recordings.
Check out all of the above and more on our “New and Nifty” playlist below.