Welcome to your Monday serving of new music singles – a.k.a The Melodic Tonic. Since the U.S. is celebrating Thanksgiving this week, it seems appropriate to feature a collection of American artists whose songs bring a lot of different flavors to our musical plate. Let’s kick things off with a big, funky number to get the week started with a bang.
Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal – “Make Time for Love” (Lincoln, NE)
Big, soulful music continues to grow in popularity, thanks to powerhouse singers like Charles Bradley and Nathaniel Rateliff. Add another name to the roster of distinguished bluesy crooners: Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal. The nine-member group from Lincoln, Nebraska, has released a fantastic new album, and this track – nearly eight minutes long – is a fine sample of the ferocious energy the group delivers. If your soul is need of a jumpstart, then this song is its defibrillator. It will move you, shake you, and generally rock your world.
Cooked Raw was recorded live, in one take, earlier this summer in Nashville. If that seems like no big deal, think again: only one studio in the U.S. (Welcome to 1979) is capable of producing direct-to-vinyl albums, so it’s a rarity. The album is out now on Silver Street Records.
Panama Wedding – “A Brand New Life” (New York, NY)
New York City-based indie pop artist Panama Wedding also released a promising new EP earlier this month. With its uptempo beat and infectious, synth-heavy layers, “A Brand New Life” will chase away the Monday blues. It’s sure to leave a smile on your face, so crank it. After all, it’s a case of art imitating life, since the song is autobiographical. The voice behind Panama Wedding is Peter Kirk, a Long Island native whose love of making music fueled a career change. He traded his long days working in finance to become a full-time musician, releasing his debut last year. His second EP, Into Focus, released November 9 on Glassnote Records.
Run River North – “Run or Hide” (San Fernando Valley, CA, USA)
Run River North has a new album coming out in February, and this first single is quite catchy. The California indie folk-rock group (originally named Monsters Calling Home when they formed in 2011) got their start playing in small venues around their Korean-American community in Southern California. But their breakthrough came a year later after they filmed a video inside their Hondas. This caught the attention of the carmaker who then used the song in one of their commercials even before the band had released their debut album. Their latest effort, Drinking From a Salt Pond, is due out February 26 and is available for pre-order from iTunes.
The band is currently on tour through the southern U.S. before wrapping up December 8 in New Mexico.
Greet the Sea – “Take Shelter” (Seattle, USA)
This new single from Greet the Sea, the indie-rock quartet from Seattle, may leave you longing for a trip to the Pacific Northwest. The song’s tranquil start and progressive crescendo conjure imagery of driving along foggy coastal highways into higher elevations. There is a strong, anthemic, post-rock vibe at play here with its sweeping soundscape. “Take Shelter” is the type of song that draws you in and requires repeated listens to fully absorb the intricacies of its layers and its overall artistry. It hooked me on first play and remains increasingly captivating after multiple spins. The band’s self-released debut album came out earlier this month and is available from Amazon and iTunes.
Michael Nau – “Winter Beat” (Cumberland, MD, USA)
Michael Nau is probably better known for his main project, the indie folk/Americana outfit Cotton Jones. The Maryland-based group last released an album in 2010, but they haven’t stopped making music. In fact, Nau’s collaborator, Whitney McGraw, is now his wife, and their beautiful harmonies are heard on his upcoming debut solo album, Mowing. The rich warmth of Nau’s timbre bears a cozy similarity to Jim James of My Morning Jacket, and the laid-back, soulful vibe is perfection. The album is due February 19 on Suicide Squeeze Records and is available for pre-order from the label’s website with only 1,000 copies promised.
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