here they are:
"Brace For Impact (Live A Little)" by Sturgill Simpson: Every once in a while, a band (or musician, in this case) will come around and really put the "rock" into "country-rock". Bands like Drive-by Truckers are good examples of this, and bands like Lynyrd Skynyrd were the ones who originally made it "cool" for country music to have a place within hard rock territory. Sturgill Simpson's "Brace For Impact (Live A Little)" fits the description as well, coming off as sort of a "Skynyrd lite" type of musician in this song. Like both Skynyrd and The Truckers, Sturgill is capable of pulling off rather long songs as well, with "Brace For Impact" clocking in at almost 6 minutes! Pretty impressive length for a breakthrough song! The song also has a bit of a jam band type sound that wouldn't be out of place in a song by the Southern states' other fave rockers, The Allman Brothers Band.
"Fire" by Barns Courtney: The steamy, fervid sound of "Fire" makes the song live up to its title! The handclaps that make up the first verse of the song sizzle and slither before climaxing into an even more fiery folk-rock chorus. "Barns Courtney" may sound like the name of a band, but it's actually just the name of one person. He hails from Britain, like his fellow tour mate, Ed Sheeran. However, "Fire" has a crackling, exciting intensity that Sheeran's songs tend to lack. So, "Gimme that fire!" as Barns sings during the chorus!
"Ha Ha Ha Ha (Yeah)" by White Denim: It's not every day you get a song title that consists entirely of interjections (or the same one repeated four times). Did White Denim simply run out of song titles when they came up with the name of this one?! No! "Ha ha ha ha yeah" are actually the main words of the chorus to this early '70s R & B influenced throwback song, and what a song it is! Its raucous party beat, thumping bass, and blasting horns will probably make you think you've just discovered a previously unreleased Sly and The Family Stone song! Let's get down and boogie!
"Soundcheck" by Catfish and The Bottlemen: Catfish and The Bottlemen's "Kathleen" was probably one of the most enjoyably rockin' songs of 2015, with its garage rock influenced sound. The garage rock influence continues on Catfish and The Bottlemen's latest song, "Soundcheck", which seems to boast an even harder rock sound than its predecessor! You'd swear you were hearing a British Foo Fighters here. "Soundcheck" rocks throughout, but it has that sort of "bubbling from under the surface" buildup during the verses that climaxes into a rather explosive, dynamic chorus. The fact that this song has been having a slow but steady climb up both the adult alt charts and the alt charts should be proof that rock 'n' roll hasn't been dead. It's just been sleeping. I guess it takes a band like Catfish and The Bottlemen to wake rock 'n' roll from its recent slumber!
"Wasted Love" by City and Colour: So I guess City and Colour haven't completely returned to being folk-rock balladeers. Their last hit from fall 2015, the adult alt radio smash, "Lover Come Back", was a sensitive ballad with a largely acoustic based sound. "Wasted Love" isn't exactly like that. It has that neo-psychedelic fuzz-guitar sound that C & C have used on songs like "Fragile Bird" and "Thirst". What's interesting about "Wasted Love" is that it is probably the most rhythmically influenced song that C & C have had so far. While the lead guitarist shows off the shaky, fuzzy tone of his guitar, the backing guitarist plays chords in a similarly rhythmic fashion to R & B and reggae songs, which is not exactly a common feature of City and Colour's music. "Wasted Love" is clearly not a waste of time to listen to!