Sucre – “Your Records”: The alt-pop project of Stacy and Darren King continues to pump out bop after bop. The latest, “Your Records,” came together just within the last month. It’s provocative and calming at the same time. This, in spite of a hook that proclaims that “love has gone away from me.” Don’t be scared. Be reassured by this track. The song has a payoff that is meant to drive home the message of the song. Wait for it. I can count on a groove with each Sucre track that will keep a steady rhythm and keep me guessing at the same time, and “Your Records” doesn’t disappoint.
Snarls – “Walk In the Woods”: Watch out, Alvvays. Snarls might be coming for your spot in the indie music realm. But, who are we kidding? There’s a spot for everyone at the proverbial table. The three-part harmony of Chlo White, Mick Martinez, and Riley Hall has a neat nostalgic emotive effect, which—when coupled with the playful tone of the music video—articulates the band’s self-described sound of “glitter emo alt rock” pretty dang well. Word on the street is Snarls has a full length record on deck. We’ll be waiting.
Geena Fontanella – “Diamonds”: I came across this track while listening to submissions from a networking group. Choosing who to cover was difficult, but I knew that I had to respond to “Diamonds.” Kamber Kilgin of Raviner referred Geena my way, and like Kamber, Geena is a powerhouse vocalist. Fontanella has the vocal chops of a country pop artist, but backs it with a sweeping, shimmering backdrop of bass-driven grooves and harmonies. It’s a throwback to the power ballads of the 90s and a beacon in the future of pop.
City Silos – “Just Like Her”: I love songs that sound like they could be on movie soundtracks and aren’t straight Imagine Dragons sound-alikes (though I got mad love for some of those bands, too). Linkin Park’s “New Divide” is one example. Skillet’s “Feel Invincible” is another. City Silos can be added to that stack, but don’t get it twisted—this isn’t a band where you can accuse them of phoning it in, or selling out for placement. Because this isn’t one of those tracks. It feels accessible, genuine, and fun. An Anthem With Attitude.
Kiahna – “Cold”: When a new artist emerges in Columbus, that hometown bias always really makes me want that artist to be good. However, the creativity in the production—evident even in first few seconds of “Cold”—made writing about this artist a necessity. Kiahna is yet unknown in our fair city, but “Cold” is an evocative jam with a beat that sounds, smartly, more complex than it is. You’ll swear you’ve heard Kiahna’s voice somewhere before. But soon enough, that weird deja vu you feel will be grounded in reality as she spreads across the airwaves (or playlists).
MAYVE – “Slide”: MAYVE may not have the vocal chops of a-ha in “Take on Me” (does anyone?), but they certainly are influenced by the time period of that song, and others like it (looking at you, Duran Duran). I like that the visual for the song has kind of a vaporwave feel at times and goes back and forth between neon nostalgia and future dark pop. The vocals are deep and aggressive, but not in the way that you’d expect.
Talkboy – “All Works Out”: Above, I wrote about a song that reminded me of Alvvays. Talkboy could fall into that camp as well, but they add in a healthy dose of attitude. Lead vocals alternate between male and female—something you don’t hear a whole lot in this family of indie rock. This is too lighthearted to be post-punk, but that flavor is certainly there. My favorite part of the song is the quiet bridge, building up to one last chorus.
Find all the songs above and more on our playlist, “Tuned Up’s New and Nifty,” embedded below: