here they are:
"Beatnik Walking" by Richard Thompson: A veteran folk-rocker who has been active since the '60s, Richard Thompson's last few albums have focused on "plugging in" a bit more than he usually does. His latest song, "Beatnik Walking", goes back to his folk roots. The song has an almost Celtic influenced feel to it, and a similar rhythm to Peter Gabriel's "Solsbury Hill" as well. Jeff Tweedy from Wilco, who was probably influenced in some way by Richard Thompson, is the one who produced "Beatnik Walking". The song is so mellow sounding that it resembles folk more than it does folk-rock. Not a bad thing by any means, though. We could all use a breather once in a while!
"Electric Love" by Borns: The sublime alt-pop stylings of Lorde and the chunky garage rock style of The Black Keys have both become popular styles for the 2010's. I never thought I'd see the day when they converged into one sound, though, until I heard "Electric Love" by Borns (How do you pronounce their name, anyway? The "o" has a slash through it, so I would guess maybe it's "burns", or perhaps "byairns"). Apparently, the fact that the song combines two popular alt-pop subgenres is not the only reason that "Electric Love" has been getting so much attention lately. It has also been used on a commercial for video streaming service, Hulu. What can I say? Music is always a good way to get people to use your products!
"Feeling OK" by Best Coast: Sometimes, the third time really is the charm! Bethany Cosentino and the rest of her gang of L.A. indie-pop beach bums actually released two other songs from their latest album as singles ("California Nights" and "Heaven Sent") before they released "Feeling OK" as a single as well. The indie community itself seems to be eating Best Coast's latest album right up, but so far, only "Feeling OK" has had a significant impact on the radio airwaves. This song doesn't sound like the "Florence and the Machine goes surf music" sorta thing they have had with their previous material, and opts for a more 2010's radio-friendly alt-pop sound instead. The radio-friendly sound of "Feeling OK" is probably a large part of the reason why it's become more successful than the other two songs from Best Coast's album "California Nights", the title track of which sounds like one of the more psychedelia influenced Oasis songs. The other song, "Heaven Sent", seems influenced by '90s alt-rock goddess Liz Phair, and probably could have fared well on adult alt and alternative radio stations. Maybe that song will have another go later on this year. In the meantime, though, "Feeling OK" should make you...well...feel OK!
"Lonesome Street" by Blur: Anyone remember that faux-grunge song from the '90s by a bunch of British guys, where the chorus of the song is basically a loud "WOO-HOO!!"? Well, apparently, they're still doing stuff today! However, it's nothing like the "woo-hoo" song (which is actually called "Song 2"). Their latest song, "Lonesome Street", has a power pop flavor, but more of a catchy, melodic one than a noisy one. For a song with the word "lonesome" in the title, "Lonesome Street" is actually quite an upbeat, catchy tune!! The song hearkens back to early, pre-"Song 2" Blur songs, like the soulful "There's No Other Way".
"She's Not Me" by Jenny Lewis: The opening guitar of this song sure doesn't SOUND like Jenny Lewis. That's because it's actually Ryan Adams' guitar playing, which I kinda suspected from its '80s-era Stones type sound, which Ryan seems to have been quite fond of lately. The riff of the song actually bears quite a bit of similarity to The Rolling Stones' "Almost Hear You Sigh", which I could see happening in a Ryan Adams song, but not a Jenny Lewis one. The lyrics, on the other hand, are pure Jenny Lewis. Innocent sounding singing combined with scathing, finger-pointing lyrics like, "She's not me, she's easy". "Easy", huh?! Jenny, you got some 'splainin' to do!!
"Tell Me What You Want From Me" by Good Old War: When Good Old War released their debut album, folk-rock really was more of an "indie" thing. 8 years later, and folk-rock has suddenly become a more popular subgenre to emulate. Folks like Walk Off the Earth have become YouTube sensations because of it. In fact, this song kinda SOUNDS like something from Walk Off the Earth more than it does Good Old War, in that it combines acoustic guitar playing with artificial percussion, the way a lot of WOTE's material tends to. "Tell Me What You Want From Me" also uses other synthesized instruments during some parts, which isn't something that GOW do very often. It'd be nice if Good Old War were able to sound more "organic" like they used to, but this isn't too bad of an effort.