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Tuesday, Jul 1, 2014
Anyone headed to the beach ought to consider giving "The Girls Are Here", the new single by Beautiful Small Machines, some heavy rotation.

“The Girls Are Here,” the newest single by the New York songwriting duo Beautiful Small Machines, brings one classic group to mind immediately from the outset: The Beach Boys. With this track, the duo of Bree Sharp and Don DiLego bring to mind all the summertime fun associated with that quintessential pop act, all the while adding their own unique dose of fun to the equation. However, despite the beachfront environs the song evokes, the initial inspiration for the song comes from the realm of late-night partying out in the city.


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Tuesday, Jul 1, 2014
Just in the time for the national holiday this week, PopMatters has the premiere of singer/songwriter Mackenzie Shivers' new song, the piano ballad "4th of July".

With the 4th of July coming in the next few days, there is no better time to spin “4th of July”, the new track by the New York City-based singer/songwriter Mackenzie Shivers. After graduating from Vanderbilt University’s Blair School of Music with a degree in music composition and theory, Shivers’ talents as a songwriter only grew, as evidenced by the delicate songwriting on this track. The gospel-inflected piano chords create a reflective mood that becomes all the more significant when one takes the song’s inspiration into account.


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Tuesday, Jul 1, 2014
The driving, garage-rock inspired "Black Pony" by the Nashville-based the Wans is available to stream exclusively on PopMatters.

Later this year, Nashville-based rock outfit the Wans are set to release their new LP, He Said, She Said. Lead singer and guitarist Simon Kerr says of the record, “I’m more proud of this record than anything I’ve done in my life. The songs are all the strongest songs I’ve ever written. The production and sounds are brilliant thanks to our producer, Dave Cobb, and our engineer, John Netti. I can’t forget Vance Powell who mixed it and Ed Spear who was assistant mix engineer. I’ve got pretty high expectation’s for this record and I’m so excited for people to hear it.


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Wednesday, Jun 25, 2014
The simple alt-country of Lines West's music goes a long ways in softening the Connecticut band's intense lyrical explorations, as its new single "Lover" attests.

One of the wonders of music is its ability to soften the impact of intensely personal subject matter through the use of “happy sounding” technique and key signatures. As Chris Thile once said about bluegrass, “If you want to be happy, listen to the music; if you want to be sad, listen to the lyrics.” “Lover”, the latest single from the Bridgeport, Connecticut alt-country duo Lines West, is an ideal example of the tension between affable music and emotionally probing lyrics. The team of John Radzin and Brian Larney behind the Lines West name bring out this classic feature of country and bluegrass music especially on “Lover”. It’s a tune one will likely hum along to, whether or not one notices Radzin’s melancholy self-exploration.


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Wednesday, Jun 25, 2014
Boston rockers We Were Astronauts have a fun new summer jam in the .38 Special-esque "Keep It Together", which should fit cozily on any summer road trip playlists.

The operative word in the band name “We Were Astronauts” is “were”, for the Boston rock quartet that bears the appellation sounds firmly rooted to the earth. Such is definitely the case for “Keep It Together,” a track off of their upcoming recording Artificial Light, which following a successful Kickstarter campaign was recorded in Los Angeles with producer Warren Huart. Rooted in the country-tinged classic rock of groups like .38 Special, “Keep It Together” is as ideal a summer road trip radio tune as there could be.


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