Baby! "Sunny, F.L." (babysongs.bandcamp.com)
Baby! is the brainchild of Orlando musician Kaley Honeycutt. Her debut album "Sunny F.L." is a brilliant collection of delightful indie pop songs featuring Honeycutt on vocals and guitar and producer Riley Corcoran handling the bass and drum duties. The vibrant yet laid back feel of "Weather Girl" starts things off in fine form and features a bright uplifting guitar lead that meshes well with Honeycutt's beautiful vocal delivery. "I'm Sorry" has a duskier, grainier attitude to it, that's matched with a swinging beat and cinematic feel that works incredibly well while the colorful spirit of "Still There" shows off the organic feel that grows throughout the album. When asked about her process for writing songs Honeycutt says "My song writing process is definitely very emotional and spontaneous. I use music to work through things. And I like to keep the original version of the song. I don't do a lot of lyric revisions or any revisions really. I just add. Because I think songs come out in their truest form as I'm writing them. While I'm genuinely experiencing feeling or emotion." "Sunny F.L." projects a feeling of fun and peacefulness as well as a positive sense of power and confidence on each and every track. One of the best albums of 2016.
Bat For Lashes "Sunday Love" Single (batforlashes.com)
Natasha Khan AKA Bat For Lashes has accomplished quite a bit over the last decade. Today marks the release of her fourth full length "The Bride" which is a concept album following the story of a woman, whose fiancé dies in a car crash on the way to their wedding. The albums latest single "Sunday Love" moves with a bright enigmatic glow as a wave of surging synths loom over a vibrant beat. Khan's powerful voice is truly exquisite throughout the piece, creating a beautiful sonic landscape full of passion and grace. It sweeps you into a euphoric, phantasmagorical universe that leaves you asking for more. Highly recommended.
Dear Friend S/T LP (dearfriendphilly.bandcamp.com)
What I enjoy most about Dear Friend is their ability to blend a mixture of underground sounds together to create their own brand of left of center rock n roll. The Philly based band are always on point be it the speedy, hyper sounds of "Patient With Me" or the more discordant vibe of tracks like "The Sun" and "Want You To Stay". They have a knack for making powerful songs that sprinkle in just the right amount of atmosphere and flair at just the right times. Some moments the guitars and drums move together in relentless fashion before switching back to a more delicate tone that makes for some pretty incredible dynamics throughout the record. I think "Wake Up" might be my favorite track as it's reverb drenched vocals and unique structure are second to none. An excellent debut from one of my favorite new bands.
Friars S/T E.P. (soundcloud.com/friars-1)
A fun feel good E.P. by Friars from the fine city of Utrecht. "Good Old Times" mixes a banging surf/punk spirit with indie pop tendencies and is highlighted by some incredibly intricate guitar work while "Fear It All" is full of head bobbing hooks and "wooo hooo" backing vocals making it one of the most uplifting songs I've heard in a long while. "Hard Times" is more laid back as it's jangling chord progression and matter of fact vocal attack work well. The super charged sounds of "Chemistry" close out this E.P. in fine form with yet another surf tinged garage rocker, backed by an infectious beat and blistering guitar leads. A top notch record from beginning to end worthy of setting on repeat.
Old Bean "Creatures" LP (oldbeaneire.bandcamp.com)
Hailing from Galway, Ireland Old Bean offer up a promising new album that's packed with catchy guitar hooks and impressive vocal harmonies. The songs have that cagey bass driven alterna-rock feel that makes me think of The Pixes and Nada Surf. Opening number "Gone" brings a ton of power to the plate with it's driving riff and pounding drums while the vocals sound like a pulsating ray of sunshine peaking through the sky on a cloudy day. "Lunatic" starts off quick and features a twinge of modern pop punk flavor that works well with its bouncy, melodic sections while tracks like "Bipolar" and "Smile" are both uplifting anthems full of grit and melody. "Cabin Fever" shows off a slightly darker side of the band as this song is more down tempo and melancholy and makes for a nice change of pace before the charged up sounds of "Milot" tear through your speakers. Overall "Creatures" is a fun action packed album that feels like it was made for Summer.
The Gluts "That's Me" Single (thegluts.org)
Milan Italy's The Gluts latest single "That's Me" is a brutal blast of screaming guitars, haunting vocals and galloping drums that harnesses a vibe that is down right primal. As the track moves it builds up more and more intensity until it hits a peak level of frantic mayhem. The songs petrifying video, directed by Jacopo Farina and Sterven Jønger is inspired by the work of classic Italian horror film directors like Dario Argento and Mario Bava and it really takes the songs hypnotic feel to an even more terrifying level. There's literally no holding back here as The Gluts deliver a devastating fury of pure sonic mayhem that is hypnotic, relentless and bold. A+