here they are:
"Confession" by M. Ward: Until he came out with the pseudo-blues-rock number, "Never Had Nobody Like You", back in 2009, I didn't really know M. Ward as anything other than the "Him" to Zooey Deschanel's "She" in "She & Him". Since then, I've heard a few other M. Ward solo songs. Most of them tend to be gentle indie-folk-rock tunes. "Confession" is a bit like that, but with the electric guitar sound that first put him on the map as a solo artist with "Never Had Nobody Like You". Like most of Ward's songs, "Confession" is short, at only 3 minutes and 14 seconds. There is one thing that makes "Confession" stand apart from the rest of his material, though, and that is the mariachi horn sound featured near the end of the song, which was perhaps inspired by fellow indie-folk-rockers, Calexico.
"Hey No Pressure" by Ray LaMontagne: The little folk-rocker that could! Until two years ago, Ray's songs were rather mellow folk tunes, which were occasionally spiced up with the use of a sax and a rhythm section, but not much more. "Supernova" really put the "rock" factor in his typically folk-y material, sounding reminiscent of groups like The Eagles and Fleetwood Mac, and "She's the One" heavily recalled the pounding blues-rock of The Allman Brothers' "Whipping Post". "Hey No Pressure" is both the hardest rocking AND longest (at around 6 and half minutes) song that Ray has put out so far! If not for Ray's trademark husky yet yearning vocals, this song could well be mistaken for a song by The Black Keys, or perhaps even Tame Impala, given its length and its oddly placed synth solo towards the end. "Hey No Pressure" brings about the most pressure you can imagine in a Ray LaMontagne song, but in a good way!
"Pink Balloon" by Ben Harper: Can Ben Harper survive without The Relentless 7? The answer to that, apparently, is yes. Although "Pink Balloon" starts with an acoustic guitar, it still rocks pretty hard for a Ben Harper song without The Relentless 7 backing him up. "Pink Balloon" is an interesting song. A bit like hearing a roots-y Delta Blues version of Led Zeppelin's "Ramble On", complete with an electric guitar solo in the middle of the song. The lyrics of "Pink Balloon" don't have very heavy subject matter, as it just seems to concern a girl who walks around with a pink balloon, not much more. "Pink Balloon" is probably one of Ben Harper's finest songs, with a sound that would more than likely please both his original roots-rock fanbase and his later hard(ish) rock fanbase.
"Where the Night Goes" by Josh Ritter: If "Getting Ready to Get Down" was too upbeat for most Josh Ritter fans, then "Where the Night Goes" should win them back. Although the song features an electric guitar solo (a rarity so far in Ritter's material), it still features the bittersweet mellow sound and mystical lyrics of the typical Josh Ritter song. One thing that makes "Where the Night Goes" distinct from other Josh Ritter songs is the sudden change of key from D sharp to F that occurs in the middle of the song, as Josh's songs don't usually feature key changes. "Let's see where the night takes us, let's see where the night goes", Josh Ritter sings for the chorus of the song. The night seems to be taking us to an imaginary place where city cafes meet the woods of nature!