Home for the holidays and up all night [round up]

By Ryan G

Charlotte Sands – “Keep Me Up All Night”: The Nashville Artist to Watch alumna continues her quick rise in the alt/pop/punk/whatever world with yet another banger. Sands seems set to not only make sure her teal hair color becomes iconic in alternative music but also play her part in bringing about a rock renaissance of sorts to the pop realm. This is angst at its finest. In the accompanying music video, I especially appreciate the backdrop of the Bonneville Salt Flats as a barren landscape to be a metaphor for the message of the song. Sands is dropping an EP in January, right on time for her tour with Yungblud. -Ryan G

CJ-0 – “A Long Way Back”: This artist made our Nashville Watch List last year, and she’s pushing her first official single now. Cinematic dark pop is the name of the game here, and the focus here is much more so on the vibe than lyrical content. I could hear this as a the soundtrack to a climactic moment in a future Black Mirror episode. I might be saying that just because I watched the episode “San Junipero” last night, which has a big focus on the soundtrack, but who cares? This song is a whole vibe. -Ryan G

Caracara – “Hyacinth”: “Hyacinth” picks up perfectly where “Dark Bells” left off. In some ways, it feels like a second part with slight musical and rhythmic nods. As is characteristic of the band, lyrics are verbose and appropriately cryptic. This might be one of the heaviest Caracara songs to date as well, as the end slows and guitars and drums pummel. “Better” was one of my favorite songs of 2019, and “Apotheosis” is high on the list of songs I’d like to cover at some point. All that said, I’m incredibly happy to see something new from this band. -Casey G

Durry – “Worse for Wear”: This duo of the Durry siblings has been gaining strong traction through social media over the course of the year, and each new track makes me eager for a proper release. Austin Durry’s voice is pretty much unparalleled in whatever sort of accentuation he employs, and you might not expect it to work with indie pop. But it does; it most certainly does. “Worse for Wear” follows the trend of previous tracks, looking at the disillusionment that follows realizing you’ve been sold lies about the world for most of your life. But it only takes a quick scan of social profiles to see this group isn’t just a bunch of emo posers. There’s a remarkable sense of humanity at play here, making it that much cooler to see them continue to build momentum. -Casey G

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