Transitional sounds | Single Reviews
The Indigo – “The Way You Say No”: “How do you say ‘no’ so well?” ask The Indigo in their debut single. The band carry elements of 90s alternative alongside shades of Jack Johnson and Ben Harper. An airy and poignant guitar picking hook carries the most distinctive element of the song. The band’s callbacks to a nostalgic time are no doubt in part a result of their collective experiences piecing their art together; this song was produced, recorded, and mixed by Toby Hulbert, a figure whose credentials include gigs at the famed Abbey Road in London. By the way, the song was mastered there! Band member Colby Wilson says about how the song came together, “We were writing about the admiration of a muse-like figure, but with the perspective of being rejected, while still maintaining the pedestal we put her on.” This is a fitting end to a summer tune for yours truly.
Shame – “Alphabet”: In the past couple of years, Idles and Fontaines DC have been leading the new wave of post punk. Also caught in the UK frenzy is Shame, who played the best show I have ever seen in the Columbus dive Spacebar. This, what I presume is the lead single to the follow up to 2018’s Songs of Praise, sounds like it could be a cut from an early Idles record but with plenty of reverb and chaos added. It remains to be seen how much Shame will (or won’t) catch on in the US, but this song definitely ought to help. That is, if they don’t get overshadowed by Idles’ new release coming out in a couple of weeks.
Michigander – “Let Down”: One of the dudes making pop anthems out there is Jason Singer, otherwise known as Michigander. “I got high hopes, but they let me down” is an unlikely yet somehow completely appropriate phrase to carry the hook of this autumnal track. It also is hitting me right in the feels this week—I’ve been let down a few times this year, for sure. The overall optimistic tone of the song tells me that I don’t need to dwell on that mindset—acknowledge it, and keep moving forward.
Kashis Keyz – “Demon Time”: When I listen to this track, I get a sense of genuineness. The flow is smooth yet feels off the cuff at the same time. I feel like I’m sitting at a table with him, listening to him pour his heart out in a very real, visceral way. It’s a performance and a conversation. And the production brings this forth well. Glitchy beats teeter on taking a left turn into the ethereal and unsettling territory yet remain firmly in an accessible territory. I liken it to sitting in your home and opening the windows when a storm is about to hit.
Wani – “The Real Thing”: When your elementary school best friend drops some heat, you listen. Wani is a rapper and producer in Columbus. This is a straightforward, pensive short track with whimsical wordplay and a stream-of-consciousness vibe. Lines like “I don’t do drugs, the same way people in the friendzone don’t do hugs” and “cherry koolaide in the ice tray” will elicit a smile from many and a groan from a few, but the effect is undeniable. In his own words, he doesn’t specialize in any instrument, so it will be interesting to see what kind of a brand or theme emerges with this guy.
Bourgeois Mystics – “Biomimcry”: Man, the music video and song for this is extra in all of the best ways. Some of you will probably hate it. Some of you will probably love it because you’re high while you watch it. If the phrase “Keep Austin Weird” had a playlist, I’m fairly certain this song would lead the way. When reading the background of this song, I honestly wasn’t sure if the band was trying to pull one over on me or not. I mean, read the following.
“Bourgeois Mystics cordially invite you on a tour of their 5,200+ acre click farm (collectively owned, and operated by cybernetic chickens) in their latest music video for their new single: “Biomimicry”.
The video is jam-packed with adorable chickens (dogs), intimate surveillance of said chickens doing their gishdern jobs, perfunctory miming of musical performance, amazing (corny) visual effects, and epic daily farm chores like brushing horses, raking bushes, knitting, and chopping PVC pipe with an axe.
I mean, don’t you want to be a part of this? If you’re not sold on this song yet, listen for that operatic hook and you’ll be ready to be inducted into the cult—erm, commune.
The Light The Heat – “What We’ve Been Missing”: This duo takes cues from the likes of Needtobreathe, Coldplay, and the Killers. This song sounds admittedly very familiar to me. It feels tailor-made for placement in a film, perhaps in a montage where the protagonist is reflecting on his life while on a journey. Thundering drums are bit reminescent of both Imagine Dragons and Rend Collective. For your afternoon commute playlists, this song would be a pleasant addition.