here they are:
"Brazil" by Declan McKenna: It only figures that a man with Elvis Costello's real first name would be at least a little stylistically similar to Elvis Costello in his early days, wouldn't it?! Then again, maybe it's just coincidence. Either way, Declan McKenna's "Brazil" has an infectiously catchy faux-retro British rock sound that is rapidly becoming a fave of alt-rock fans this year. With its bright, bouncy melody, fresh guitar sound, and raspy British vocals, it's not hard to see why! Also, Declan McKenna was born on Christmas Eve during the year I was in 5th grade!! Who knew such great music could come from a 17-year-old?! I sure didn't!!
"I Don't Care About You" by Lake Street Dive: With the way that Lake Street Dive's "Call Off Your Dogs" from fall of last year sounded like a '70s disco song, I was expecting more of the same with "I Don't Care About You". However, "I Don't Care About You" has a sound that's closer to the soul inflected blues-rock of the typical Lake Street Dive song. At least during the first two or so verses of the song, it does. However, during the last verse, it starts speeding up a bit to sound more like a song from the blues-rock side of the British Invasion (think early Rolling Stones, Animals, Yardbirds, etc.), which is fitting, considering how "I Don't Care About You" sounds like it could be the title of a '60s garage rock song. The message of this song may be "I don't care about you", but I do care about listening to groovy tunes like this one!
"I Need Never Get Old" by Nathaniel Rateliff and The Night Sweats: Nathaniel and co continue to wow the indie generation with their brand of '60s influenced R & B and rock with "I Need Never Get Old", currently their third big hit! Imagine what it would be like if Ray Charles, Janis Joplin, and The Four Tops started jamming together. Chances are, whatever you imagined probably sounds like "I Need Never Get Old". The song itself is as saucy and sassy as its titular statement! You need never get old listening to songs like this one. Stay young, my friends, stay young!!
"Pining" by Parker Millsap: Here is yet another song that sounds influenced by early R & B music, just like the previous two I've reviewed for this week. There is something that sets this one apart from most songs of this style, though. This song's central guitar is acoustic, not electric. Yet somehow, Parker Millsap still manages to inject some soulful vim and vigor into his first major breakthrough song, "Pining". What starts off as a happy folk song soon turns into a powerhouse of other instruments, such as piano and percussion, making it seem more like what a more energetic "oldie" might sound like to contemporary ears. Parker may be pining for his lost love, but he sure seems glad about something nonetheless!
"Where'd You Go?" by Boy and Bear: In fall 2015, Boy and Bear probably shocked many of their core fans by releasing the rocking, Cars-sounding "Walk the Wire", a significant departure from the folk-rock they had become known for previously. "Where'd You Go?" is a song that seems to have a folk-rock-y mood while still making prominent use of the electric guitar, particularly during the chorus. Somewhat mythical sounding imagery (i.e. "an ancient shrine that has swallowed your mind") seems to dominate the lyrical themes of this song, which is not entirely new for Boy and Bear.