Bops for the grind (single reviews)

By Ryan G

The Voodoo Children – “Caroline”: Their previous single “Tangerines and Daffodils” may have disappeared from the interwebs, and the future of Paper Route might be questionable at best—however, “Caroline” is here for your JT Daly fix and guitar driven atmospheric indie cravings. This song is radio ready and also exists in a realm sure to whet the appetites of Silversun Pickups fans. For this dude who is grinding away at Steadfast 2020, this song hit the spot.

Bonelang – “American Playboy”: Bonelang’s sound just got a whole lot more massive. The climate of election year has people riled up and Bonelang is spitting some straight fire with this song that wouldn’t feel entirely out of place on a playlist next to Rage Against the Machine or Run the Jewels. Turn this all the way up, folks. The angry hook, calm but assertive verses, and compelling bridge are pretty fun and cathartic.

brightly wild – “Dreamstate”: “Everything is emotion, baby,” this synthpop gem out of Indianapolis begins. Andrea McPherson, the woman behind the success of the Hoosier Dome venue, has been teasing this project for awhile. The result is markedly different than those who frequent the venue, known for their heavy shows, might expect. “Dreamstate” is a nice happy medium between Purity Ring and PVRIS. It’s got that expansive, arena-ready sound, but is a bit more lighthearted and ethereal than PVRIS’ output. I’m curious to see where this goes.

Orouni – “Decomposition”: This synthpop track simply must be experienced with the accompanying visual. The song is all about the artist’s experience with synaesthesia, a condition where they experience certain colorful visuals in association with different sounds, pitches, and keys. Even without the visual, the synthpop song is a calming addition to my repertoire of tunes for relaxation and working.

Salt Cathedral – “PARIS”: One of my favorite discoveries at SXSW in 2018 was Salt Cathedral, who brought their dreamy, Latin America inspired brand of EDM to a cabaret theatre on Dirty 6th. People were vibing, let me tell you. Myself included. So, that “PARIS” is an alluring dance bop is not surprise. Allow this song to help you escape the winter blahs, at least in your mind, for just a little while longer.

Rachael Sage – “Blue Sky Days”: Piano-driven pop music has a timeless quality to it. Rachael Sage is doing her best to tap into that feeling, and “Blue Sky Days” was a suitable end to my day, which was full of anxiety and my attempts to combat it. I actually didn’t realize she had been spending a lot of time practicing mindfulness until after I heard the song, so given the output’s effect on me, I’m encouraged to try out that Headspace app. Thanks, Rachael. Her album Character is out this Friday.

FYOHNA – “Pity Love”: This isn’t your usual paint by number electropop track. This mid-tempo bop is as quirky in sound as the visuals look. This truly might be my favorite lyric video I’ve seen in a hot minute. Though, I’d describe this song as less “hot” and more “whimsical easy going” with a hint of sarcasm. I mean, they don’t want your pity love, come on. I’d like to see this LA band tour with Glass Animals.

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