BTS (Back to Singles) Round Up

To my dismay, summer is quickly coming to a close. Thankfully, good music is not bound to release only during moments of hellish heat. Here are a few new songs to help ease you into whatever is ahead.

Badlands. – How to let go

TREY had big plans for a full-length album that would unite prior EPs under one narrative. The later singles leaned toward a rockier sound, and I was eager to see the end result. Sadly, that never happened. Instead, Badlands. arose instead, and can I say what a powerful lead single this is? Not unlike “Ocean Avenue”, the track zooms in on of snapshots of certain life stages while navigating the complexities of relationships. All that said, everything I loved about TREY is very much still here. It’s thoughtful and catchy indie with tight production, and while the rest of the new songs don’t all feel quite like this one, this is proof you’ll want to get on the bandwagon early.

Pagu and Chloe Moser – You Always Do

Retro synth leads and tight percussion form the skeleton of this collaborative indie-pop track that sounds like it could easily be 20 years old (I choked a bit writing this). The two artists trade off vocal responsibilities in seamless fashion, and it wouldn’t be hard to imagine a large collaborative project with this pairing. Add in a mailing campaign and the upbeat DIY ethos of Pagu is on full display with this track.

Charles Walker – Caught in the Current

I am not exaggerating when I say this is my favorite song at the moment. Walker has crafted a gem of an Americana/alt-country song complete with no short supply of pedal steel guitar – and the result is something both organic and ethereal. There’s an airiness here where other artists might choose to instead lean into a grittier approach, but it works incredibly well. Both the chorus and verses are melodically-solid, and the end result has me very excited for whatever is next.

Twin Tides – Magic

The Crash Years were one of my favorite piano-heavy bands, and while Twin Tides hasn’t be a precise continuation of the former project, the band has released singles at an irregular pace that exemplify the same sense of pop sensibility and emotional capacity. And while the songs have a heavy electronic focus, Twin Tides doesn’t seem to play too heavily on nostalgia or recreating an 80s sound. “Magic” is catchy, straightforward, and continued proof that the heart of The Crash Years still lives on in some small part.

Early Internet – Tell Them All Yes

You know the meme with the guy wearing a shirt that says “Sickos” and he’s saying “Yes!”? Well, I just happened to dredge that up a few days prior to this dropping. Much like the humor of non-sequitur, this track might not make sense to everyone right away. Even so, it’s a pretty interesting entry from a group that has been hard to define.

Christian Funk – Skipping Town

While the name alone might have you expecting some sort of bass-heavy praise project, Christian Funk is an up and coming singer-songwriter whose gravely voice draws inspiration from bands like Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains. His latest song is a solo acoustic number and doesn’t show the full extent of his dynamic, but it sees him continue to expand his sound pallet further into the “indie” side of things.

Andrew Judah – Suggestions

Andrew Judah is an industrious songwriter who pulls inspiration from all kinds of places. His newest single plays with tape delay loops and reverby percussion for a result that feels haunting at times. Fans of Sufjan Stevens will want to check this out.

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