Best New Indie – Nathan Xander, Pano, Buck St Thomas, Cooper Wolken

Nathan Xander enhances a classic vibe on his charming new single Drive My Car.  From the gate Xander captures the sound of second wave vintage Americana rock.  Bred from Full Moon Fever and updated again on Wallflowers before being turned over thrice by indie breakouts like Josh Ritter and Hiss Golden Messenger.  When it works its undeniable, and Drive My Car finds its own lane within the canon of this sound.  The chorus, however, is straight nostalgia.  Stacked effectively, it might as well be Petty himself.  Considering he’s sadly low on new releases, we embrace it whole heartedly.  

Hear Drive My Car now on our Best New Indie Playlist.

Pano blends an infectious groove with a moody composition on their new single Hang In.  A solid showcase of the singers impressive range, they flow between a reflective lower register and a vulnerable top end, one full of desperation and conjured frustration.  It adds to the songs melodic depth, and honors an intriguing arrangement that features delicious guitar work and subtle but effective atmospheric organ washes.  An added catchy cadence written into the verse adds to the funky contrast already embellished in the drum part.  A solid blend of indie pop and indie rock, Hang In recalls recent indie breakthroughs like Chiiild and Biig Piig. 

Hear Hang In now on our Best New Indie Playlist

We were drawn into the emphatic chorus full of conjured emotion on Quiet Thrills, the new instant classic from Buck St Thomas.  This is how we hoped every emo kid might evolve, slightly alt folk but retaining a heavy sense of untamed melody, one that lets them evolve to a scream or falsetto instantly.  We hate safe music.  We love Quiet Thrills.  The music matches the wild essence of the vocal performance, bringing intriguing riffs unique to this vibe.  Elliot Smith, The Shins, Dashboard, and even Jimmy Eat World have a stake in this sound.  Also citing Dr Dog and Neutral Milk Hotel as influences, Buck St Thomas has an innovative heart, one that’s not afraid to tease nostalgia. 

Hear Quiet Thrills now on our Best New Indie Playlist.  

“It was just dumb luck that we both end up in the same small town.”  Cooper Wolken presents the sentiment with illuminated drama on the dreamy fury of their new single Dumb Luck.  They twist the narrative with fears of unrequited desire and familiar anxieties to match their violent musical inclinations.  All presented within an intoxicating melodic framework, one that bears an influence of shoegaze and post rock to match the art indie instincts.  Accents of progressive surprise offer opportunities to employ menacing drops, the kind guaranteed to erupt in concert.  We can dig it.  Cooper Wolken is a sure thing for fans of Big Thief and Grizzly Bear. 

Hear Dumb Luck now on our Best New Indie Playlist


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