Reviews by Ryan Getz / Sam Tinnesz photo credit to Sean Hagwell
Sam Tinnesz – “Legends Are Made”: This song sounds like it was tailor made for a summer blockbuster film. Perhaps a coming of age film, or better yet a superhero film. A superhero that comes of age? In any case, I’m pretty dang stoked about the hook in this song, which I would venture would be Sam’s goal. Duh. Also, I’ll admit I checked out this song based on my love of Sam’s band Wave and Rome, which takes more of a dark indie rock route. I’m a sucker for cinematic electropop, especially when it’s pulled off well. This song has that in spades.
TRISTN – “Anywhere But Here”: I’m digging that vaguely 90s grunge sound I hear mixed in with that modern pop feel that is difficult to describe. The song is definitely radio and playlist worthy. There are points in the chorus where the melody seems to pull back where I expect it to soar. It’s a little outside the box, and I’m back and forth on whether I would like the song more if it went more where I expected, or if I respect it more for the direction it takes.
Chris LaRocca – “Wild”: If Toro y Moi were writing for pop radio, you might get something like this. Like the single artwork, the song feels hazy and uncertain, though the melody is very assertive. It isn’t a feel good track, but the track that lands somewhere between between chillwave and top 40 certainly has a niche somewhere in the pop music consumer base.
Cold Specks – “Fool’s Paradise”: In 2015, in one of my favorite concerts of the year, I would find myself unexpectedly spellbound by an artist in an old theater during my wait for Sufjan Stevens to take the stage. Though “Fool’s Paradise” is a new single, I imagine it in my mind’s eye to conjure an aesthetic similar to a number of songs off Sufjan’s Carrie and Lowell album – perhaps album closer “Blue Bucket of Gold.” The song is haunting and transcendent. The type of thing I’d just as well choose to fall asleep to as zone out in nature to.
Baby Island – “Break the Lease”: Well, I can’t say I’m a huge fan of the band name, but I am a fan of this powerpop track. The track seems to be belong in a twilight party setting. When the party is starting to wind down but people are reluctant to go home. Warm melodies to encourage fun but just a dash of reverb to give the song a pensive feel. As a pensive guy who seeks positivity, I like that combo.
HONEY – “Dream Come Now”: Gosh, I’ve been drowning so much in reverb and vibey tunes over here that I needed something to wake me up. Ironically, that need would be fulfilled by a song called “Dream Come Now.” A creepy riff introduces an absolute banger of a track that… wait for it… actually got this writer to bob my head on my couch at home! I might sound really sarcastic, but listen – any song that causes me to move when we get so many music submissions to comb through is probably pretty good.