Colorful tunes for a spring day [single reviews]

By Ryan G

Matthew De Ver – “The Climb”: Did the poems of Shel Silverstein shape your childhood? They certainly helped shape mine. And they did Matthew De Ver as well—he’s Shel’s son! “The Climb” is influenced by travels to South America as well as the years following the death of Shel. The meat of the song is relatively carefree, but it begins and ends on a slightly unsettling note, with the latter third of the song leaning more towards chaos. It’s a nice song for a contemplative Sunday afternoon.

LINES – “We Will Never Rule the World”: Pressing play on this song takes me straightaway back to the height of the synthpop emergence when Passion Pit, MGMT, and Phoenix rose to prominence and I was just figuring out what all of that meant, circa 2011 driving home from work with CD1025 playing. I’m actually having a slight existential moment realizing that my college graduation was seven years ago… but fortunately I have this song to snap me out of it.

Surrogate – “Tie Me Up”: It has been way too long since I heard new tunes from the effervescent indie duo from California. This song is undercut by a distinct accordion-like synth line, allowing different elements to bubble up to the surface. The slightly nasal, yet earnest vocals carry a bright melody undercut by the occasional melancholy anecdote. I’m looking forward to the band’s upcoming release, Space Mountain—of which “Tie Me Up” is the first single.

Kelly Willis – “Don’t Step Away”: Want some bright Americana to go with some porch sitting or perhaps a tall drink? Well, Cinco De Mayo kicked off Margarita season last night in my area, and this song is just the type of easy listening song suitable for toe tapping in your porch chair or dance floor swaying at your nearest club. The heartwarming, happy-go-lucky tune is a part of Willis’ forthcoming album, Back Being Blue, which is out May 18th.

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