Song: “Cry Now Cry Later”
Album/EP: Oh Boy
Smooth and smoky alt rock sitting firmly on the melancholic and moderate end of the spectrum, “Cry Now Cry Later” is a late-night loner anthem. Crooning through a light fog of organ backing, driving bass, and the sparsest guitar involvement, Harlem portrays the sonic equivalent of sitting alone on a park bench while trying your damn best to enjoy a solitary summer evening.
Artist: Dear Seattle
Song: “Daytime TV”
Album/EP: Don’t Let Go
Who needs a chorus when you’ve got bright and catchy NA NA vocals instead? That’s exactly the no shame, no preconception feel Dear Seattle brings on “Daytime TV”. Unapologetically bright and energetic, this pop punky rock tune wears its heart and its sleeve and excitingly beckons you to sing and dance along. And why shouldn’t you? The guitars are loud, the drums fast, the vocals gangy – join the fun.
Artist: The Maple State
Rah-rah lad rock that accurately captures the youthful trope of wanderlust, “Germany” may as well be the soundtrack to the start of every trip. Restless, driving, and balladic all come to mind to describe the momentous sound The Maple State display – if you don’t want to run away from home the moment this song ends, then maybe listen to it again.
Song: “Paradise Flat”
Dark and unnerving alternative pop with a curious bright streak (you’d think pop would be the other way around, right?), “Paradise Flat” is quite the intriguing tune. Jazzy drums and brass lines that float in and out like phantoms sit underneath minor chord progressions all over the place. Even the vocals have a piercing artificialness to them – it’s like a manufactured voice that is creepily human. Uncanny Valley.