here they are:
"Fever" by The Black Keys: With the popularity of each song they've had a hit with in the 2010's, it's no wonder The Black Keys' latest song, "Fever", is the most anticipated new song of the week!! However, it's a bit, well, different than most of their material. There is a bit more focus on the synthesizer in this song, yet it still keeps up with the sound of the Keys' trademark blues-rock sound, almost as if Devo was trying to cover a Led Zeppelin song! That being said, there really isn't that much "fever" in "Fever", but it's still worth checking out!
"Hundreds of Ways" by Conor Oberst: Anyone ever notice how Conor Oberst's solo material has more of an upbeat, country-rock feel than his material with Bright Eyes?! Well, I have, and his latest solo song, "Hundreds of Ways", is no exception. In fact, I would say that it's the Bright Eyes frontman's most optimistic sounding song to date! The bright, brassy sound in the chorus is atypical for Conor, but it adds more pep to the already peppy vibe of this song. Conor is still as contrary as ever, though, insisting repeatedly that there are "hundreds of ways to get through the day", while also hoping that he's "forgotten when (he) dies".
"Milwaukee" by The Both: Aimee Mann and Ted Leo. She's a little bit folk-pop. He's a little bit rock 'n' roll. So what do crafty pop chanteuse, Aimee Mann, and indie-punk-rocker Ted Leo, as a duo known as "The Both", sound like together?! Well, indie rock, basically, but with an emphasis on the "rock" part (the song definitely seems like more of a Ted Leo song than an Aimee Mann one). The guitar distortion suggests indie rock legends, Pavement, yet the melody is more characteristic of classic rock, particularly the beat and key of Steely Dan's "Reelin' In the Years" mixed with the melody of Tommy Tutone's "867-5309/Jenny". Though Aimee Mann's role in "Milwaukee" is a bit understated, it's definitely there. Her voice is present during the first verse of the song, as well as the chorus, but in the latter, it mainly serves as a way to harmonize with Ted's vocals. The song is about when the two of them first toured together and encountered a statue of Henry Winkler's iconic TV character, "The Fonz", while walking around in the titular Wisconsin town.
"Morning Song" by The Avett Brothers: With a sound that seems halfway between James Taylor and Gillian Welch, "Morning Song" is one of The Avett Brothers' finest moments of melancholia, both lyrically and instrumentally. Its sound hearkens back to The Avetts' earlier material, with its stark instrumentation, consisting of many string instruments (acoustic guitar, banjo, and cello), but no percussion or bass. Scott Avett's yearning, keening vocals, lamenting about how it "hurts so bad", "nothing's really helping", and how he'll "have to sing that melody alone" really makes this one a major tearjerker! As if its lonesome sound wasn't enough to make you cry. Excuse me while I go grab my nearest handkerchief!!
"Raging Fire" by Phillip Phillips: Just the title of Phillip Phillips' latest song, "Raging Fire", makes it sound intense! It is a folk-pop/rock song, like most of his material, but there is something in "Raging Fire" that DOES make it more intense than his other songs, and that is a combination of the unbridled passion he puts into this song, and the equally passionate string orchestra he uses for its chorus! The "raging fire" in the title refers to an emotional "fire" of sorts, like a "burning" desire within the soul. Perhaps the coolest part about this song is the ending, which is a "cliffhanger", in that it leaves the song hanging on the second to the last part of the D major chord in its chorus, instead of resolving to the G major chord that dominates the song.
"Wait For Me" by Kings of Leon: In the late 2000's, Kings of Leon unintentionally became modern day arena rock giants, and they have used that sound to their advantage ever since. Nowhere does the power of their arena rock styled sound shine more brightly than on "Wait For Me", though, a song that sounds a little like John Mellencamp attempting to perform a Police song. The rather foreboding opening notes give way to a bittersweet ballad, in which KOL reassure the subject of the song that "it's all better now", in spite of the romantic troubles they might be going through. These guys sure have come a long way from being the garage rock group who sang "Molly's Chambers"!!