here they are:
"Holding On For Life" by Broken Bells: For the first time since the start of the 2010's, The Shins' James Mercer and Gnarls Barkley's Brian "Danger Mouse" Burton are back together again for a new album called "After the Disco"! An appropriate title, considering the disco influence that Danger Mouse brings into their latest song, "Holding On For Life". The folk-y acoustic strums in the background of the song make it very much of a James Mercer tune as well. Songs like this one are proof that sometimes, two heads are better than one! As Danger Mouse pumps disco/techno beats into "Holding On For Life", James adds in enigmatically soul searching lyrics, lush, mellow harmonies, and folk-rock influence, and together, the elements of the song melt into a nice, tasty, out of this world stew!
"She Lit A Fire" by Lord Huron: Lord Huron first hit the adult alt airwaves last November with their dreamily psychedelic song, "Time to Run". Now, exactly one November later, the dreaminess of Lord Huron has come around a second time with "She Lit A Fire". Between this song and "Time to Run", I'm starting to notice a lyrical theme in Lord Huron's music. They seem to write love songs, but they do so using really abstract lyrics and evocative imagery. The chorus of the song states that the girl of the lead singer's affections "lit a fire, and now she's in (his) every thought", so the love theme here is pretty obvious, but what makes the song so special to me is the ultra-mellow, acoustic guitar based sound the song uses, as well as the imagery of deserts, mountains, seas, and (of course) fire. This is the song all the hippies merely wish they had written!
"Swimming In the Sea" by Bob Schneider: And now, more indie-pop love poetry featuring lyrics that evoke nature (specifically fish and the sea, this time around)!! This is certainly not a bad thing, though. After all, Bob Schneider is one of those people who has a way of making love songs sound dreamy in a good way, rather than a cheesy one. It seems like he was quite influenced by Snow Patrol when he did "Swimming In the Sea", at least musically. The lyrics here seem to concern love at first sight, rather than a more general love theme, but the sentiments of falling in love certainly abound in this song!
"This Lonely Morning" by Best Coast: The Los Angelean duo of the fun but sassy Bethany Cosentino and her bandmate Bobb Bruno are doing what they do best on their latest tune, "This Lonely Morning". That is to say, they are making fun, summery music that mixes the sunny pop of early Beach Boys music with the sneaky indie-pop snark of Rilo Kiley. "This Lonely Morning" is anything BUT lonely!! Well, musically, at least. The lyrics are a bit darker than the song itself, as Bethany is "running from (her)self this time", and stating (negatively) how her "feelings never change". Perhaps this is the reason they released the song in fall instead of summer?! Because otherwise, it totally sounds like a summer song, like pretty much all of their material tends to!
"Workin' Woman Blues" by Valerie June: Valerie June first sizzled her way onto the adult alt airwaves in the summer of this year, with her Black Keys-esque (and Dan Auerbach produced) blues-rocker, "You Can't Be Told". Despite the use of the word "blues" in the title of Valerie's "Workin' Woman Blues", its sound more suggests a blend of folk, soul, and jazz that people like Joan Armatrading were known for using in the mid 1970's. It's the lyrics of the song that bring the "blues" part into the title. Valerie is clearly worn out from all the demands people put on women of being mothers, wives, etc. in the song, and addresses the issue of poverty in it as well. Definitely worth listening to, especially for those who identify with oppression, whether the roots of it are sexual or political (or both).