Best New Indie – Dana Shanti, Hounds Haul, Smotherly Love

Berlin based singer/songwriter Dana Shanti caught our attention with her new song, Blue Sky.  A minimal arrangement of piano, upright bass, and drums sounds dynamic and full.  Every note is carefully placed in beautiful arrangement, as Dana’s voice glides through the songs subtle movements.  The auditory effort is enhanced with a music video accompaniment, which documents the studio performance and adds to the authentic appeal.  

  The artist cites Joni Mitchell, Billie Holiday, and Nina Simone as influences.  You can hear the inspiration in her voice.  She sings gracefully, but with conviction.  She is confident that this art is hers, that she has paid her way in experience, that she belongs in front of the microphone.  A child from behind the Berlin Wall, Shanti takes nothing for granted.  To express is to exist, and Shanti is committed to living.  Blue Sky is a song to release you, hear it now on our Best New Indie playlist.  

Hounds Haul

Hounds Haul recently release a new single, Silver Shoal.  After over a year of restrictions, the group is excited to perform live again. Inspired by the return of the festival scene, and ready to make their own mark as a must see live act, the band dropped a passionate synth pop hit destined to get the crowd bumping.

The synth line that kicks off the song is rooted in 80s nostalgia, mirroring the likes of New Order and Depeche Mode.  Hard hitting drums, moving bass, soaring guitars, and a soulful vocal evoke memories of early Killers and 2000’s era U2.  The picture perfect mix and recording effort lifts the performance from the allure of nightclubs to the indie essentials archive.  

  The magic of Silver Shoal is that it is delivered with all of the energy and angst intact.  This ‘in your face’ performance is captivating and uplifting.  Hounds Haul grabs you from the gate and never lets you sit, as they whiplash through emotive progressions and hold you in constant surprise.  This is not cookie cutter pop.  Everything moves in constant variation, as the musicians meticulously place details like pieces in a puzzle.  Despite the abundant arrangement, the musicians leave space for each other to highlight certain reflections in the music.  It is a well calculated effort from an exciting rising young band.  

  Hear Silver Shoal now on our Best New indie playlist.  

Smotherly Love

Charm and bedroom pop elegance come together on the new single from Smotherly Love, Two Flights Up.  Hints of disco and dance pop are littered throughout.  Combined with a trippy psych pop vocal, Smotherly Love falls in with bands like Tame Impala and MGMT.

  The track also includes sneaky vocal drops by Laura Shaw, adding to the dreamy atmosphere and charm. 

  A catchy guitar riff leads to heartfelt spacey vocals as the singer laments, “She said do you feel like a broken arrow flying untrue?”  A powerful falsetto carries longs croons into the chorus.  Smotherly Love has devilish swagger, teasing subtle dropouts and dramatic re-entries.  The song cruises like a slow roll down the blvd, or a trip around the rink on your favorite old school skates.  The vibe is intoxicating, pulling you into ate night serotonin laced trips.  

  Smotherly Love brings some retro flavor, as the modern recording sensibilities are coated with a late 70s disco dip.  Get lost in this good vibe retro hit.  Hear Two Flights Up now on our Best New Indie playlist


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