here they are:
"Ahead of Myself" by X Ambassadors: This song has a lot of the qualities that X Ambassadors' first (and so far, biggest) hit, "Renegades" had. First off, it combines acoustic guitar sounds with synthetic beats. Those aspects of the song, not to mention the distinctive vocal qualities of Sam Harris, make this song a surefire summer hit! The "I thought I was this, but really I was that" theme of the lyrics of the song are also an appealing aspect of it. Well, not to get "ahead of myself", but I anticipate this song to be on quite a few alt and adult alt radio stations for at least the next few months!
"Faded Heart" by Borns: Garrett Borns, better known by just his last name, seems to be bringing David Bowie back from the dead in his latest song, "Faded Heart"! Multiple eras of his music, at that. First, there's the glam Bowie influence we hear in the joyfully raucous sound of the pounding piano during the verses, and new wave and post-punk Bowie surface during the chorus of the song. Was this Bowie influence intentional?! Well, it just might have been, as Garrett was also influenced by fellow glam rock icons like Iggy Pop and Freddie Mercury when he worked on this song! Previously, Borns seemed like just another electro-pop act, albeit with some catchy, memorable tunes. "Faded Heart" brings out a whole new aspect to Borns' music that I'm glad to have known!
"My Only True Friend" by Gregg Allman: And speaking of recently deceased rock stars, Gregg Allman from The Allman Brothers' Band demise was only about a month ago. The Southern rock icon apparently left behind a few songs right before he passed on, though, and "My Only True Friend" just happened to be one of them. Fitting for a swan song, "My Only True Friend" is a bittersweet song that might just have been his way of saying goodbye to the world through the power of song. His "only true friend", as it turns out, is the road, perhaps a reference to one of his biggest hits with The Allman Brothers Band, "Midnight Rider" ("and the road goes on forever...") This "road" might also be a flat, horizontal equivalent to the stairway to heaven as described in Led Zeppelin's famous song. In other words, Allman was probably well aware that his days on Earth were numbered, so he acknowledged it by singing about it. Rest in peace, Gregg. The world will never know another Southern rocker who combined country, blues, and rock as deftly as you did!
"So Tied Up" by Cold War Kids (featuring Bishop Briggs): The instrumental arrangement of Cold War Kids' latest song, "So Tied Up", centers primarily around piano and cello. The guest vocalist here is Bishop Briggs (formerly known only by her first name), an alt-pop songstress whose work flows in a similar vein to people like Lorde, Lana Del Rey, and Florence Welch. The decision of having Bishop provide extra vocals on this song works well here, as her sweeping vocal harmonies blend together with the orchestral rock arrangement of the instruments in this song. "Soothing" and "mellow" are words to describe multiple Cold War Kids songs, but "So Tied Up" is the first one I'd describe as "lovely"!
"Stand By My Girl" by Dan Auerbach: Is piano a trending instrument or what? The Black Keys frontman normally prefers guitar, and he uses plenty of it in this song, but there is a noticeable amount of piano in his latest song, "Stand By My Girl", as well. This aspect, as well as its use of slide guitar, gives "Stand By My Girl" a rather George Harrison-esque flavor. Cleverly, Auerbach uses this song as an opportunity to make a song that sounds light and happy, but is actually about making a major error in a relationship. The song begins with a "man in a blue plaid shirt" who knocks on Auerbach's door. He doesn't know what the man is there for, but decides it would be safer if he didn't answer it, for fear of what would happen if he did. He vows to stand by his girl. Why? Because apparently she'll "kill him" if he doesn't! Whoa now! Well at least it's still a fun song to listen to...right?!