Today’s new releases are particularly interesting – throughout the year, some of my favorite upcoming artists have been releasing tracks here are there. But today, a slew of them have been rolled out consecutively, making this perhaps one of the most interesting days in a while for my Spotify Release Radar.
Badlands. – A Reintroduction (Radio-friendly pop rock)
When I bought a guitar not too long ago, this was the first thing I tried to learn by ear. The main riff is simple but still incredibly catchy. The song breaks the fourth wall early on by saying the intro should include the full band (a sort of meta-commentary playing into the song’s title and lyrical themes). In terms of subject matter, there are questions of if life had gone this way or that – and the continued reality that there are still new choices to be made as well. I’ve wanted to share this song for months, and now I finally can. There’s even a new chorus part where there used to just be an instrumental segment, only adding to the meta.
Charles Walker – Firestarter (Indie folk / alt country)
After Charles Walker stole my attention with “Caught in the Current” after a few years of silence, I instantly knew I had to keep a close eye on any new releases. “Firestarter” is not as immediate as its predecessor, nor quite so full. All the same, it’s a chilling arrangement that plays off harmonies and pensive strings. Walker seems to embody the late Justin Townes Earle this time around, and it goes without saying that I’m a fan.
American Arson – Arrowheads (Hard rock)
Stylistically, American Arson isn’t what I typically listen to – but I keep coming back, despite their status as outsiders. I’ve been a Day One Fan and it’s been humbling to see them start from self-printed EPs to a record label signing and expanded sound. For a two-man band, you’ll rarely find anything that can compete – and they’re bolder than ever. And while threads of faith have never been hidden in the band’s discography, their next album seems to be the most direct in this respect.
Crime in Stereo – Goliathette (Punk-adjacent moody rock)
I don’t really know how to describe the sound of the new Crime and Stereo songs, but I will say this: they’ve still got in. Most bands have lost my interest entirely when they reunite, but the new tracks embody the same sort of raucous energy that made them one of my favorite bands in their halcyon days. Welcome back, boys.
Madaila – Time Erase (Falsetto-heavy retro pop)
I wish I had Mark Daly’s voice and charisma. That’s it.
Little Ghost – Til I Return (Finger-picking indie folk)
Little Ghost has been trickling out singles after an extended period of slumber, and each of the tracks has shimmered with a certain sensitivity and calmness. It might be coffee shop friendly, but there’s still structural integrity at play that subverts the mainstream status quo.