Author – “Blur”: Author’s sound is getting bigger, and I’m here for it. I love the at times crunchy ethereal expression of their deep-in-the-feels tracks (see “Wander” and “Calm and Clear”). however, “Blur” is a new, yet natural, expression for the Minnesota outfit. The sound of “Blur” is darkly psychedelic and seems primed for a soundtrack of a space sci-fi film. The song as a whole has a thrilling buildup, culminating in a huge riffy hook that ought to give you chills.
Grimes – “Delete Forever”: As someone who hasn’t really listened to a lot of Grimes, I’ve always had a peripheral interest in her ethereal weird fantasy persona. This new single is more accessible than I expected, frankly. Grimes might be the only artist I’ve heard that can seamlessly pull off dream pop mixed with banjo. Listening to this makes me kind of resent the drab hotel lobby I’m sitting in right now.
Billie Eilish – “No Time to Die”: The Oscars and the Grammys brought to light the bare bones, slowed down side of Billie Eilish. “No Time to Die” is mysterious, emotional, and downright cathartic. People will look back on this song as one of the greats amongst James Bond themes. The orchestral swells remind me of a Hans Zimmer number. That dark sense of dream-induced wonder and uncertainty.
Jared Marc – “COME OUT AND PLAY”: The pop songwriter behind Graceful Closure and EUVOIA is set to take over 2020 as himself; no more masks, no more mysterious branding. Just himself and big sounding bops. “COME OUT AND PLAY: is worthy of the all caps formatted writing. This song pulls no punches, and it doesn’t waste any time getting to the point either—it’s just a fast paced, hook driven arena worthy pop track.
Yoke Lore w/ Jax Anderson – “Sensitive Heart”: Alright, folks, this has to be one of my favorite collabs I’ve heard so far in 2020. The chemistry between Yoke Lore’s Adrian Galvin and Jax Anderson is palpable—it’s often hard to tell where one person’s vocals end and the other begins. This is a whimsical, otherworldly expression of what it means to be a deep feeling person. Jesse Cale would love this—Columbus’ own Deep Feeling Magic Being. I’m hopeful that I’ll get to hear some variation of this next month at Steadfast Festival.
Mojoflo – “Perpetual Conduit of Positivity”: This song title is a mouthful, but it’s a fitting description of the new single from Columbus’ ubiquitous funk/soul collective. This song carries some Gospel music influences, both in the vibe and structure. Singer Amber Knicole is at the top of her game, singing in a way that seems effortless. I also enjoy the ethereal fade-out at the end of the song; it’s unexpected and makes it more memorable.
Kaki – “Never Stood a Chance”: Kaki is a pop singer, based in Nashville by way of Columbus. Her sound will be familiar to many, channeling artists like Halsey, Alessia Cara, and even throwing back to early 00s artists like Michelle Branch and Vanessa Carlton. The song has a sunny, endearing feel to it and will resonate well with pop radio and adult contemporary radio crowds. The driving beat behind it all tells you Kaki means business.
As always, find all of the above and more on our New and Nifty playlist: