What does it take to take a break? [single reviews]
Life Size Models – “Bayshore Freeway”: Their bio reads that Life Size Models is “an alternative rock band that blend garage rock attitude with an indie aesthetic,” and honestly, I can’t think of a better way to describe their sound on “Bayshore Freeway.” The riffing feels gentle, while somehow also retaining this faintly blistering quality to it. At the same time, frontman Chris Seymour’s rich vocals harken back to some of the best Brit rock groups from the mid noughties. “Bayshore Freeway” feels massive enough to melt faces and yet graceful enough to stay accessible to all.
Mistar Anderson – “Take a Break”: There’s this overwhelmingly fun, positive energy to “Take a Break,” an upbeat track that is as groovy as it is soulful. From the synched-up saxophone lick and guitar riff, to the encouraging message of the song’s lyrics, this is hip-hop with horns executed at its most flawless capacity. Comparisons to The Roots will no doubt come up when discussing the latest single from Columbus collective Mistar Anderson, but is that really a bad thing?
Superlaser – “7×8”: Alicante’s Superlaser just continues to blow me away. After shocking me completely out of the blue with their inaugural single “Interestelar” at the tail end of last year, the quintet is back with the second taste from their forthcoming debut. Much like its predecessor, “7×8” is a soaring, electrifying space rocker that feels less like a song and more like a sonic journey. Where “Interestelar” floored me from the moment I first heard it, “7×8” passes up the immediate grandiosity for a subtler, more polished feel that’s made me pick up on more (and in turn enjoy it more) with each successive listen.
Brother Moses – “What Does It Take?”: Don’t be deceived by the fun, summery vibes of the new Brother Moses song. “What Does It Take?” may be incredibly infectious in nature, but the serious, and at points pleading, lyrics hit far too close to home, making it unbelievably relatable to many a twenty-something. There are so many one-liners I could quote from here, but I’ll just let you listen and hear them all for yourself. What keeps me coming back to “What Does It Take?” though is the left-field saxophone solo on its bridge. It comes in seemingly out of nowhere, and yet fits in so perfectly with the structure of the song that it’s a wonder why more rock bands aren’t doing the same thing as these Arkansas natives.
Austin Long – “Gravity”: The debut single from singer-songwriter and Wisconsin native Austin Long is one I was not expecting to come across, but am very glad that I did thanks to an inadvertent recommendation by a mutual friend. The steady ticking of the song’s backbeat gives “Gravity” this driving pulse, a pulse that’s placed perfectly underneath a rocking guitar groove. It all runs in tandem with Long’s powerful vocals, resulting in this smooth, searing banger.
Find all of the above tunes and much more on our “New and Nifty” playlist: