“When You’ve Found It Out” is a wandering behemoth of a song, equal parts immense rocker and wispy pop specter. Sara Rachele’s coy, mirthful wail darts in and out of the dusty bass and jagged distortion of her Skintights bandmates, creating an effect both impactful and evanescent. It plays out like a mirage — quick and substanceless, but also impactful and resonant. When the final chorus thuds in with the force of a guillotine, you’ve got nothing left to do but to let the song’s raw power take its course.
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“22 Knots” brings to mind the smell of a salt breeze, whether from a coastal wind or urban sprawl. Equal parts vintage rock ‘n’ roll and vintage revival a la the Black Keys, Ethan Burns’ newest track slinks forward over a red-hot bed of castanets and sultry guitar, all propelled by Burns’ vital folk-rock croon. Its pained trudge is rock in its most troubadour sense, the sound of getting away from the grind just to stay lucid. If you’re looking for a sweltering old-school rock song to get you through the mid-week grind, this is for you.
Stewart Eastham makes rhythmic country, Americana with an extra hip-swing or two. “In the Morning” couples a walking bassline with peppy horns and a dance-all-night mantra — we’re exhorted to “get some rest in the morning” as Eastham’s band swings us through the hours until then. It’s joyful at its core, a welcome break from Eastham’s other work as well as much of his genre as a whole. Rather than the tortured wanderings of rural America, it’s a brief respite from the trials those entail, an acknowledgment that, no matter what, we can always dance.
An austere ambiance radiates from “White Jacket”, the new single and debut video for Siamese. Opening with crackling synth lines and beats, the air is pregnant with a paranoid dread. With a cinematic build, a bassline seemingly emanates from an abyss and sprawls across the soundscape. When breakneck percussion arrives at the 50-second mark, it’s like you’re launched on a bullet train through a subterranean tunnel, singer Johanna Champagne’s belting of “Burn down my temple” acting as a light at the end. The theme of sparking a conflagration to watch constructs burn is present throughout the EP from which the song hails.
Christian Lopez Band’s “Stay With You” is a lush beauty, warmth seeping out of every pore. Recorded live at Mississippi’s Thacker Mountain Radio Hour, it rolls serenely between full-throated tenor and careful falsetto, guitar and mandolin bursting forth behind Christian Lopez’s stalwart vocal command. Its tones are gorgeous, its crescendo explosive; it’s a song that soars. Folk, at its best, is truly triumphant, eventually cresting whatever Sisyphean hill its author climbs; “Stay With You” certainly thrusts through the clouds at the top.