January 2022 Single Roundup

Although the clock did strike 12:01 AM, January 1st, 2022, and we in Ohio have officially entered the season of “Grey Winter,” there is a bright spot on the horizon: new singles preceding new albums! And thank God for that because only a week in, my year has already been pretty rough. Below are brief reviews of 5 smashing singles to start off your new year.

Richard Edwards “Golden Moses”

Richard Edwards, former lead singer (and band leader) of indie darlings Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s, has released “Golden Moses,” the first single off of his forthcoming third eponymous album, New Mood, releasing March 18th. The song instantly strikes you as sincere with its beautiful piano line and melancholic atmosphere. This is in line with his re-recording of Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s catalogue that ditched guitars in favor for the piano. The way the vocals are mixed adds to the haunting mood but makes the words indecipherable at times, which is a shame because his lyrics are poetry. His always pretty tenor/falsetto is the highlight of the track. If this is any indication of the forthcoming album, I think we’re in for something really special. Find him on bandcamp.

“give me some time on, I need to know how to keep my mind just as a memory while my hands around your throat.”

Guided by Voices “Excited Ones”

Cue DJ Khaled saying “Another one!” Here they go again, rocks hardest working band releases their newest single ahead of their first (of several I’m sure) album of 2022, Crystal Nuns Cathedral (dropping March 4th). What can you say? Guided by Voices have been on a tear the last few years, releasing banger after banger. And this track is no different. Great riffs, great guitar line, and ear-worm vocals equal an overall solid mid-tempo rocker. ‘We came to pray for something to take our boredom away.’ This will surely become a staple to their ever-growing, constantly-rotating setlist. Follow them for new music on bandcamp.

Father John Misty “Funny Girl”

Wait a minute, did I accidentally turn on a 40’s crooner record? Big band era horns, check. Plinking piano lines, check. I could imagine dancing with that special someone to this song in the background of a Cary Grant movie.  Lyrically, it’s a lot more straightforward than your average Josh Tillman tune. And thematically it’s much more smarmy than his typical cynicism (except for the cutting line “baby you’re young but you’re not getting younger). The identity of ‘funny girl’ is left up to mystery, as is the identity of the singer (Is he singing as his FJM character or as himself?) “Funny Girl” comes ahead of Chloe and the Next 20th Century, coming out on April 8th. Check out his bandcamp for latest news and releases.

Crosses “Goodbye Horses”

The electronic side-project of Deftones front man Chino Moreno has gone full-on 80’s synth-rock, and it sounds as good as you could imagine. This cover of a Q Lazzarus song (featured prominently in Silence of the Lambs) sounds more hopeful and less eerie than the original (although the original has the reputation of being paired with the infamous Buffalo Bill dancing scene). A new Crosses release is always pretty exciting, and although it’s hard to gauge from a cover how much it will influence the sound of a new project (earlier Crosses releases sound like electro-Deftones) these new tracks may set Crosses stylistically apart from it’s much more famous progenitor. Although no album has been officially announced, Crosses just signed a major label deal with Warner and I imagine we will be getting a full length sometime later this year. You can find Crosses on most streaming services.

Owel “Beneath the Static Haze”

When I first heard Owel on their 2013 song “Snowglobe,” I was really hopeful they would be able to fill the big shoes vacated by Christian/Midwest-Emo/Math Rock legends Anathallo. However, their latest single moves them firmly into the pop-rock arena. This is not a bad thing. While their new sound is much more mainstream friendly, the way they go about creating music remains unique. They maintain much of their chamber-pop vibes of previous releases and still have some Midwest emo (ala American Football) influence on their lead licks, with creamy effects processors on their guitar tones. Owel is a band who consistently puts out dreamy albums and should be much bigger than they are.  Their newest album The Salt Water Well is available everywhere January 21st. Follow Owel on bandcamp for up-to-date releases.

Stream all the above and more on our New and Nifty playlist:

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