Max RM Share Emerald Lyric Video

I’ve really found myself mellowing of late, which is why I’ve really enjoyed the work of Max RM; he’s crafting these ballads that border on melancholy, though their spirit is somehow uplifting. Frankly, it reminds me a great deal of the work of Papercuts’ Jason Quever, texturing acoustic ballads with layer upon layer to create this sort of dreamy haze that envelops the listener. It seems like such a simple formula, but there’s this balance that very few pull off quite like what’s at play here, particularly with the aiding backing vocals of Liz Dearly. Expect to hear more as he just plans on sharing more music throughout 2021.

Striking Ballad from Tokoloshe

I woke up today wanting something reflective, something slowly moving that would have me looking back on the weekend, which is how I landed on Irish songwriter Tokoloshe. This track comes off The Ever Changing Same Old LP, which he’s recently shared. It sort of opens with this soft strum beneath his heavy vocal notes. Slowly, textural notes are built into the song, which really allows the emotional pull of the song to ebb and flow, ultimately leaves you with that thoughtfulness I alluded to earlier; that’s also matched by the fragility in the vocals that slowly unfold along the way too. Settle into your week with this number.

Nice Ballad from Margaux

Margaux is a songwriter living in Brooklyn, but I hear a little bit of the softened vibes of maybe a Stella Donnelly in the way she’s crafted this track. Sure, there’s the intimacy of the strummed notes, but the song’s opening first few minutes have this playfulness that really makes po fans swoon, or at least this particular listener. But, what really drew me to the song was the shift midway through things; it takes on this ethereal dream quality that sort of takes the song into this floating meander that I didn’t see coming. It’s nice to be surprised by things. Expect a debut EP from the artists in November.

Vern Matz Shares Skyscrapers

When I first heard this track from Vern Matz, I was really taken aback by its fragility. There’s something about the song that made it seem like it could break into a million pieces inside my ears. Circling back, the depth is built into the song so subtly that it honestly took me a few turns to really hear the bending of the guitar strings in the Western horizon, riding atop a solemn drum role. Perhaps its familiarity provided an easy access point, so I figured I’d slow roll this Friday and let you slide into the weekend nice and slow.

Soft Ballad from Ian McCuen

Over the last several years Ian McCuen has been releasing tunes from a series he’s titled Songs of Fleeting Permanence; these songs are said to be informed by reflection upon his own self-discovery between the ages of 16-24. You’ll need a careful ear when listening, as he’s got this soft voice, like a gentle whisper hanging on in the wind. The style will definitely draw in some Smith comparisons, especially considering the track’s focus on dependency and addiction. McCuen builds upon the simplicity by layering in light percussion and touches of banjo, with a haunting little vocal before the song drops out. Volume II of Songs of Fleeting Permanence will be out this Friday.

New Ballad from Will Stratton

I always love to mix up my musical tastes, and I’m assuming you’re looking to do the same. If that’s the case, then why not listen to this ballad from Bella Union‘s new signing, Will Stratton. At first, the careful picking of the guitar won me over, but in moving forward, there’s a really careful buzz emanating from the way the strings are plucked; its one of my favorite bits of recorded music.Look for Rosewood Almanac to hit stores on May 12th…hopefully including more great balladry.

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Blast This Ballad from Luke Rathborne

lukeIt’s easy to get swept up in the hype and buzz around all the bands out there, but sometimes it’s best if you just settle down and fall back into what you love. As a kid, my house was filled with music, mostly Motown from my moms and folk/country from my dad; it somehow blended into a love for great pop ballads…even if I know I’m “supposed” to hate something. I think that’s where I fell in love with this new Luke Rathborne track. You can’t listen to this song and not feel an emotional pull, or at least I can’t. There’s a slight impurity to his voice, and the construction of the song around piano and strings is stellar. You like ballads? Here you go.

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Fresh Tune from Don Tigra

dontigraThis new Don Tigra tune is something quite special. Emotionally, it had me from the get-go, pulling me in with the close attention to the picking of each string on the guitar. While that could get stale, the Nashville outfit build around the guitar, quietly and carefully, so as not to upset the balance. How they accomplish a feeling of building tension in this piece is beyond me, but it creates an ominous tone that fades into oblivion as a solemn piano takes the song to a close. The band is self-releasing their debut LP this Friday, and it looks to be something you’ll enjoy…at least I think so.

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Museyroom Playing Songs Up My Alley

pearlyI’m really impressed with the sound of what Museyroom is doing, especially on this track. It’s not quite indiepop, but it’s not quite bland indie rock, laying somewhere in the middle of both. I appreciate the fact that they’re taking the modern trappings and sort of spinning them in a slightly different direction…particularly the crashing moments coming around the 2.5 minute mark where they draw out the melody ’til the song’s closing moments. Folks will finally get to hear the band’s much-anticipated debut, Pearly Whites, via Grind Select in March of next year.

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