here they are:
"Another Story" by The Head and The Heart: What a perfect song title for a group like The Head and and The Heart, who are quite skilled at being lyrical raconteurs (not THE Raconteurs, though, that's another band completely!!) Every song The Head and The Heart have had so far is like a story, with the unique, touching narratives and perspectives used in so many of their songs. "Another Story" marks a return for the more acoustic side of The Head and The Heart that their fans originally knew them for. The lyrics of the song are as poignant, lovelorn, and world-weary as the sound of the song itself. "Another Story" equates homesickness for love with homesickness for life out on the road. Quite a winsome song, if I do say so myself!
"Call Me" by St. Paul and The Broken Bones: Can you say "retro-soul"?! This song sounds like Al Green fronting a blues band from New Orleans!! Come to think of it, there are traces of Sam & Dave, Otis Redding, James Brown, and many other classic soul musicians in this song too! The twist?! St. Paul and The Broken Bones might SOUND like handsome black men, but they're actually a bunch of nerdy white guys! It's like a real live "Nutty Professor" if the "Buddy Love" persona stayed in the main character of the story forever! "Broken Bones" just isn't a fitting moniker for a band with such relentless energy like these guys have!! Perhaps the "Rolling Bones" was already taken?!
"Destination" by Nickel Creek: It is rather unfortunate that this band, a bluegrass-pop/rock trio who have now been around for a little over 10 years, has the word "Nickel" in its name, which has probably led so many people to refer to them as "Nickelback" by mistake!! Nickel Creek did what The Lumineers and The Civil Wars did about a decade before those bands came out! In the mid 2000's Nickel Creek won a fair amount of people over with their joyful bluegrass instrumental, "Smoothie Song", and their sad, soul searching song, "When In Rome", but their style wasn't exactly popular. Now it is!! And it seems like Nickel Creek are actually aware of how popular the bluegrass/rock fusion has become in recent years, since their latest song, "Destination", has a choppy but exhilarating rhythm in the style of groups like Mumford and Sons. Nickel Creek's lone female member, Sara Watkins, takes the lead on this song, with the other two members of the band singing backup in perfect harmony. I KNEW Nickel Creek would make a comeback in the 2010's!! I just didn't know when.
"Waves" by Sleeper Agent: A rather summery song blending psychedelic reverb with folk-rock guitar picking, "Waves" seems like its sound is awfully similar to the blend of indie-pop and surf music that groups like Best Coast have, albeit without as much "hipster" attitude. It even mentions California a couple times, much like a typical Best Coast song might. Sleeper Agent's Alex Kandel (in this case, a female Alex, not a male one) has somewhat deeper vocals than Best Coast's Bethany Cosentino, though, which is one way to tell the bands apart. With all the Bethany/Best Coast comparisons I've made to this song (and band) so far, it might seem interesting that Sleeper Agent's closest friends in the indie universe are not from Best Coast, but from Cage the Elephant! Sleeper Agent even claims CTE to be an influence on their music, along with similar sounding bands like Foxy Shazam. Sleeper Agent seem too mellow in comparison to Cage the Elephant, if you ask me, but perhaps that's because "Waves" is the only song I've heard so far of theirs.