Artist: Jordan Lehning
Song: “No Memories Barred”
Angular and jaunty pop with plenty of sawtoothy synths and nostalgic, hectic drum-machine. Lehning says he’s been sitting on some of these songs for a decade, and the patience in letting this catchy, danceable tune percolate and mature is laudable.
Artist: As Time Fades
Album/EP: Trust Fall
Sitting at a nebulous triple point of modern emo (a la Modern Baseball), pop-punk (think Blink-182) and old school goth alternative (My Chemical Romance comes to mind) sits the memorable “Marionette” by As Time Fades. Huge stadium-filling drums, wordy and oh-so-beautifully whiny vocals, and busy guitar melodics all tie together wonderfully.
Album/EP: Taste of Love
Have you ever wondered what would happen if you threw together bossa nova and Kpop, just to see what happened? Well TWICE beat you to it – blisteringly bright production, a confluence of vocal contributions, and that characteristically indolent bossa nova rhythmic influence are tied up in a shimmering bow in “Alcohol-Free”.
Artist: Ruben Young
Song: “TNT” feat. Buddy
Soul-pop dripping with confidence and a groovy bopping instrumental (featuring brass by Busty and the Bass!) that does not quit, “TNT” wants to blow the listener just the right amount of away. Measured vocals from Young layer in an anchor of restraint to help keep this tune cool and head-bobbing.
Artist: Andrea von Kampen
Song: “Water Flowing Downward”
Album/EP: That Spell
Aptly named, the flowing and gentle perpetual movement in singer-songwriter Andrea von Kampen’s “Water Flowing Downward” takes care in carrying its floating listener to the song’s completion. von Kampen’s blissful singing, sustained strings, and soft appearances from keyboard and piano alike make for a buoyant and radiant listening experience.