Visit some new bops with us [single reviews]
Euvoia – “Visitor”: This track is mysterious, playful, and inspires some existential pondering while being insanely catchy. For now the public identity of Euvoia is a secret. I will say he has ties to the two markets Tuned Up has the strongest ties to. Any speculation you wish to take in the comments is just that. That aside though, it’s a neat tune. The piano (synth?) hook is simultaneously futuristic and nostalgic at the same time. It reminds me of playing a very specific whimsical video game on Sega Saturn with my 1st grade best friend, yet the bright soundscapes sound primed for a large concert hall.
Effee – “Crazy”: Listening to this track takes me back to my middle school days, when sensual R&B and pop ruled the top 40 airwaves. Says Effee about the song, “’Crazy’ is Effee’s 6th single, and it’s a love song—meant for a first dance in front of 100 of your closest friends and family or the soundtrack to an epically emotional montage in a Rom Com.” I mean, yeah. Anyone care to relive awkward first dances? Where you’re self-conscious yet you wouldn’t trade that moment for the world? Effee is self-aware enough on this song that can be applied to most of those circumstances. Take it as seriously as you wish, though.
Hello Luna – “Life Boat”: Listening to this song puts me in the mood for Alvvays, though the influence of Silversun Pickups is definitely present as well. This, the first release of the band in two years, is a natural progression, and the line “I don’t want to go back to where I was” feels especially applicable, despite the deviation from early sounds not being that dramatic. Hopefully, Hello Luna will continue to inhabit that ambiguous space between angst and hope—and tastemakers will notice.
Japanese Breakfast – “Essentially”: This tune picks up where “Machinist” left off, jumping straight into that “nighttime driving” territory that I love. A steady bass line and cool synth tones form the bedrock for Michelle Zauner’s unassuming, cheery, yet pensive vocals that are familiar to me now. That bass line is distinctive, in a way not unlike Death Cab For Cuties’ “I Will Possess Your Heart.” Is a new Japanese Breakfast record on the horizon? It appears so. This song is notable for having been recorded in partnership with W Hotels and their record label, called W Records (what else?). This song was recorded onsite at W Hotels’ Bali, Indonesia location.
Moonlight Social – “Valleys and Peaks”: The latest single from Moonlight Social bursts out of the gate, and takes me back about five years to when I was discovering bands like The Head and the Heart and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes for the first time. An upbeat whistle melody carries the poppy folk rock tune [edit: their Instagram calls this “Wait, that’s country music now?” country music], which even includes a bit of keys to give it some extra zest. I feel like I’m describing hors d’oeuvres and not new music. Oh well; this would be good for your next dinner party playlist, too. The Nashville duo (transplants from Austin) have been quietly honing their sound while creating some underground buzz, and I’m here for it.
CONTACT – “Dreaming of You”: I pressed play on this song expected a power ballad. Instead, I got a dreamy synth wave song in the vein of what I’d expect to hear from The Midnight. This is a love song, but it’s a fast, driving song. Call it a modernized And Then There Were None (if you really know Contact you’ll get it) with strategic 80s callbacks. Matt Rhoades’ vocals are a bit washed out, taking a backseat to a carefree whistle hook and punchy beat.
Find all of the above and more on our New and Nifty Playlist: