stillblue pulled us in with the melancholy alt country haze of Paint Me Funny. The banjo and lap steel have some Nashville appeal, while the writing and singers smoky bellow bring heavy indie influence. That contrast is part of their magic. The singer has a feature reminiscent to Ray LaMontagne’s lower register, with melodic touches familiar to Band of Horses and some shoegaze MBV influence cutting through. Collectively it fits in well with anti folk groups like Alex G and Big Thief, with some of the more classic calculated touches known to Wilco. Stillblue has a sound that threatens to get big at any instant. With the sad lyrical underlayer, it’s the jaded angry dad rock we desire. “Paint me funny, I’m you clown.” Man I wish I didn’t relate to this.
Hear Paint Me Funny now on our Best New Rock Playlist.
Spirit Award brings some proper New Energy. We dig the singers ruthless raw nature. The band matches his ferocious delivery, bringing an inspired performance that erupts in tandem with his spiritual lift. There’s an aggressive violence to match the suggestive melodic clues. We hear evidence of classic punk, post punk, and early 2000’s indie all blended effectively. An influence of Bauhaus collides with the smart appeal of The Strokes, ironically bred from innovators Television, and blurred with the indie rock appeal of Idles. Print It.
New Energy is featured on our Best New Rock Playlist.
Olen captures an elusive vibe on their anthemic new single So Codependent. They embrace the power pop punk inspired feel of Third Eye Blind in a way that would make the band jealous. They capture an energy and youthful fiery feel, full of conviction and empowering pump. This is a hit in any era, at any time in history. It screams youth but connects with a new generation of adults wondering how to reconnect with their own pop culture legacy. The 80s and even 2000s get more love, where did all the 90s pop throwbacks go? Olen delivers.
So Codependent is featured on our Best New Rock Playlist.
Atari Pilot caught our attention with their new single Train of Life. Their singer has a commanding presence, and the mix supports the association. Train of Life sounds fit for an arena. Their sound is big. The song features a relentless lead riff. It roams endlessly beneath a vibrant bass line and cascading drum part. The band plays between and around each other in a way that bears an influence of U2 but with Atari Pilot’s own signature flare. The singer is appropriately epic and strong as he dictates this homage to life’s journey. The vibe responds to the lyrics romantic jest “sometimes you’ve got a first class ticket, sometimes it’s standing room only.” They present these lyrics with an excitement as if to celebrate an emotional release, a revelation that understands the triviality of temporary trials. It’ about the journey, not the destination. Get on the train of life.
Hear Train Of Life now on our Best New Rock Playlist.