Timothy Gabriele: I’m a sucker for some indie pop MOR. This one’s got just the slightest glint of twee in its plinky chorus that makes it a hair shy of precious, but it’s bouncy and catchy enough to forgive this. “Ready to Shine” is a bit of a misnomer. This track doesn’t belong 20 feet away from the back porch and the wine coolers, but situated there safely guarded from youthful energy or the righteous violence against a cruel and hurtful world it’ll do just fine in the lowlight. [6/10]
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Part Cub, part Helium, Richmond, Virginia band Positive No evoke mid-1990s indie rock beautifully on their debut album Glossa, which came out earlier this summer. Their music is already plenty charming, but their whimsical new video for the song “Weird Hugs” makes it all impossible to dislike.
In addition to being a singer-songwriter, Nesta! (exclamation point intentional) is a wellness coach, surfer, entrepreneur, and creator of the Let Love Rule Animal Rescue in Santa Monica, California. She’s so busy being a cool renaissance woman that you’d think that’d be enough, but you can add EDM artist to her list of accomplishments as well, as she’s set to release her new album Surrender on 6 October.
Taking their name from the Finnish word for “for a long time”, Ukraine-based band Kauan will be releasing their sixth album Sorni Nai on 20 October. I have no idea why a Russian band is singing in Finnish, but Sorni Nai has a great little story behind it. A sprawling 52-minute doom/folk/post-metal piece, it’s a retelling of the Djatlov Pass Incident of 1959, in which nine Soviet hikers died mysteriously in the Ural mountains.