Combining jam rock, reggae, hip hop, folk, and jazz, Blindman‘s music is friendly and inclusive, something you hear immediately on “Feels Good”, the New Jersey singer-songwriter’s vibrant new single. And as it turns out, there’s a sweet little story behind the genesis of the song.
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“Nouveau Wave” collective Dead Leaf Echo released single “Lemonheart” back in September. A highly limited, clear 7” of the song quickly sold out, but “Lemonheart” can still be streamed in its lush and chiming glory via Soundcloud.
“Lemonheart”’s b-side, “Sunlessoul”, is more somber, the setting sun to “Lemonheart’s” daybreak. It’s a lucid meditation that gives way to a beautiful coda, with guitarist / keyboardist Ana B’s backing vocals working in gorgeous contrast to frontman LG’s dreamy delivery.
Part Cocteau Twins, part For Against, Norfolk, Virginia trio Wyteshayds mine the best aspects of late ‘80s dream pop. It’s lean, sharp at times as guitar lines slice left and right, but the sumptuous quality of the music creates an undeniable feeling of warmth, which is accentuated even more in the layered, slightly indecipherable vocal harmonies led by bassist Jacki Paolella.
Autodrone last released a full length in 2008, when debut Strike a Match turned heads thanks to a heavy shoegaze palette and powerful live shows. The band’s latest offering, This Sea Is Killing Me, paints in darker hues while also playing up the band’s way with contrasting keyboard lines and atmospheric guitars that cascade over Katherine Kennedy’s vocals. Songs like “Exit Ghost” bring to mind misty graveyards on moonlit nights and pack plenty of eerie fall thrills.
It’s easy to label Oxford band Co-Pilgrim as “twee”, but dig a little deeper and you’ll find that the band has more classic American rock, folk, and country influences than, say, anything C86-related. With its rich vocal harmonies, new album Slows to Go beautifully evokes the Byrds, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, and Big Star. The specter of Gram Parsons and Alex Chilton loom over the record as well, as singer-songwriter Mike Gale comes through with gem after gem, often augmented by rich folk rock guitar and swooning pedal steel. And for good measure, the band’s never hesitant to throw in a little shoegazey distortion for effect, as on the Teenage Fanclub-esque “Flood of Tears”.