The Stray Birds make beautiful bluegrass, a lush sound characterized by tight harmonies and all-encompassing instrumentation. “Sabrina” is no exception, three-part vocal harmonies soaring above mandolin, guitars, and fiddle. It’s more upbeat than some of their other work, a dance song extolling Yuengling and living wild. The song’s bright shuffling is a joy, a tightly-wound chunk of down-south cheer and storytelling.
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The Bourgeois’ “Summer of George” rocks like it’s 2007, their form of alt-metal ticking all the boxes which made bands like Evans Blue and Mudvayne so good. Drop-tuned guitars noodle, drums skitter forward, and lead singer Zach Mobley drawls seethingly over it all. It’s an immersive song, bass and guitar enveloping in the verse and overpowering in the chorus. It’s a time-tested style, and if “Summer of George” is any indication, it’ll continue testing well for a while.
The downcast pop of Esh is part Adele, part Tove Lo — mournful and slow while retaining a more nasally inflection and immersive electronic production. Esh makes a strong case for merging these two genres more frequently, spectral synths moaning over unobtrusive drums and impassioned vocals. Esh (Sarai Givaty) casts a dusky pall over her music, looming large above the dull brilliance of the production behind her. Pop is always interesting when it takes a turn for the ominous, and Esh is no exception to that rule.
decker.’s rock draws from blues, garage-rock revival, and psychedelic—all genres stemming from a dusty, down-home electricity. “The Holy Ghost” stomps in double time, driving 12-bar blues marrying frenetic guitar in an explosion of weariness. decker.’s harried twang holds down center stage, wildly gesticulating in a way that mirrors the live-wire guitar solo midway through. It’s stressful in the most enticing way, driving full speed towards a wall and living off the thrill of being so close to the edge.
If you’ve ever complained about people tagging music which ends up being too straightforward for your taste “psychedelic rock”, the Dan Ryan might be something you’d like. “Tomorrow Forever” is all whimsy and LSD-fueled glee, trance-like drums falling into line behind off-kilter synths and inseparable waves of guitar. There’s more than a little Beatles influence, inspiration taken from Harrison’s journeys in Asia and the sonic collages on the group’s later albums, but that influence is used in novel ways. It’s exceedingly trippy, not in the “man, this light show is so trippy, man” sense, but truly in the scatterbrained, wildly colorful acid sense. Things are all over the place, and that’s just fine.
// Moving Pixels
"Spirits of Xanadu wrings emotion and style out of its low fidelity graphics.READ the article