new beginnings – what? [single reviews]

By Ryan G

The 1975 – “People”: The music world is abuzz with the abrupt reinvention of The 1975. The boys are angry, and they want people to know it. The song is the lead single from Notes On a Conditional Form. The whole song is a tongue-in-cheek noise punk jam with a dash of synth. Wait, that idea sounds familiar… who remembers Showbread? I mean, I’m being harsh here, but who I am kidding? I’m going to be jamming this a bunch regardless. The 1975 did something that’s going to confuse their fans, and I respect that! I should find this annoying, but I don’t.

Starset – “Where the Skies End”: Full stop, one of the coolest live shows I saw last year was that of Starset, a futuristic rock collective fronted by Dustin Bates. This song is the second single to be released from the album Divisions. It continues in the narrative and sound Starset are known for—sci-fi, string-accented hard rock, and some inspirational moments in the lyrics. This isn’t as thrilling as the lead single “Manifest,” but die-hard fans will like this for sure. It will be interesting to piece together the whole narrative when Divisions releases; this is plainly a concept record.

ROY3LS – “Stampede”: This trio of sisters has been teasing a single quietly on their socials for the past few weeks. This atmospheric synthpop track is tailor made for sync placement in TV and film of the inspirational variety. “I’m already on fire” may prove to be a self-fulfilling prophecy for this group, buried in plain sight in the chorus of their first ever single. Where did I hear of this group? A music blogger has to have some secrets, I say…but this group is in good hands to blow up. I would recommend this group to fans of newer CHVRCHES, SHAED, and Flora Cash.

Butcher & The Florist – “Walking Daydream”: Listening to this song is like walkthing through the rainforest room of a conservatory (the greenhouse kind, not the music school kind) in the evening with a significant other. The song feels earnest yet vaguely ethereal. There’s also a palpable sense of longing that is as present as the groove. This is a new Chicago duo I can get behind, though it was Nashville connections that brought them to Tuned Up. They’re for fans of Phantogram, PVRIS, and Jax Anderson (fka Flint Eastwood).

Clubhouse – “Lucky Soul”: Clubhouse were one of a flurry of pop rock bands that emerged from Columbus around the same time. They even scored a gig at Firefly Festival. They unwittingly found themselves at the mercy of a cancer diagnosis of their lead vocalist—though fortunately for all of us they reemerged with this tasty dream-pop tune. This sunny track exudes hope, relaxation, and reassurance. It’s a love song to be listened to with friends while on a lake or by yourself in the car during your morning commute to work. The effect will be the same.

EnnieLoud – “In My Room”: The song begins, “in my room I words / in my room I lose control.” The soulful rocker is relatable and danceable at the same time—a twofer that isn’t uncommon yet refreshing all the same each time. I could definitely hear this on a playlist alongside Pharrell’s “Happy” or anything off Lizzo’s new record. There’s an old-school funk element that piles on the charm—with a horn at the forefront going in and out like a siren. Fun stuff!

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