Hello Indie Top 39 family!
What a week right? I like how much that sentence says, without saying anything at all. Was it good? Was it bad? Who knows, but those four words capture it all! In this instance, what a week is about all the killer music coming out. It seems every time I turn on my computer there’s a new major release and a dozen smaller ones. Music is more accessible now than ever before, isn’t it great?
This week we have some awesome choices, from light easy listening to 808’s and dissonance, there’s sure to be something for everyone. Enjoy!
JYLDA » So Alive
‘So Alive’ was fun, energetic, and showed off JYLDA phenomenallyINDIE TOP 39
One of my favorite things about ‘So Alive’ and JYLDA in general, is her lack of fear when it comes to innovating. The song is anything but traditional, but still was pretty and made sense. Pushed along by effervescent synths and warbling bass lines, JYLDA’s sweet melodic voice is framed perfectly. Although ‘So Alive’ was unlike any other song I’ve ever heard, it was comfortable and easily-approachable. I think I can confidently say nobody this year will top the recorder performance as well. JYLDA will be a featured speaker at our upcoming conference. Make sure not to miss it, it’s sure to be as exciting as ‘So Alive’!
Aerhart » Hold Me Closer Give Me Space
Complex emotions come and go through the evolving texture of ‘Hold Me Closer Give Me Space’INDIE TOP 39
‘Hold Me Closer Give Me Space’ is a four-year-old song, just seeing the light of release now. Through this time, Brooklyn-based artist Aerhart has largely left it untouched. Originally written while debating whether to go back to an old relationship. Although the song largely hasn’t changed, its meaning has evolved beyond that. Heavily chopped vocals sound perfectly at home in the drumbeat to kick the song off. Soft vocals never quite sit comfortably in the texture but instead push the song through its wide variety of energies. I found myself entranced by the complex, layered instrumental repeatedly.
Amy Blake » Blue
Complex emotions on ‘Blue’ paint a picture of uncertainty and beauty.INDIE TOP 39
‘Blue’ felt like something right out of a movie, when the protagonist realizes their strength to overcome whatever obstacle they’re facing. It was as exciting as it was emotional. Everything felt delicate and gave the song a sort of fragile beauty. Amy Blake’s goal is to capture a specific moment/feeling. In this instance, what stands out to me is the ambiguity of the word home. What defines home? Would it still be that way if you removed the familiar things? It’s not easy to define, and even tougher still to capture in music. Nonetheless, Amy Blake manages to do so with grace, creating a work of beauty.
Callum Spencer » Getaway
The title track to Spencer’s upcoming EP is exciting and passionate, without losing his core sound.INDIE TOP 39
Acoustic isn’t quite the right term to describe ‘Getaway’. Walking string lines provide intricacy as Callum Spencer’s easy vocal lines dance on top; but the energy is palpable and the groove much harsher. Although this is a step in a new direction for Spencer, he sounds comfortable in this new style. His strong vocals command attention, drawing in the listener while the rhythm section matches his energy. The broad range demonstrated on this song is what kept me coming back. Belting chorus’ contrast conversational verses, but still everything just works. The phenomenal performance from Callum Spencer makes ‘Getaway’ something to remember.
Clifford » Love is Real
Delicate strings seemed to dance besides Clifford’s gentle voice.INDIE TOP 39
‘Love is Real’ felt conversational and intimate, but had no problem gaining energy as it pushed along. Raw emotion kept everything feeling light. At its thickest, the texture is still only a few voices. It allowed Clifford to sound in control of the vibe, while the rhythm section responded to him. Keeping the atmosphere light, without losing energy or tonality, isn’t easy. Clifford makes it sound easy and enjoyable despite the difficulty. Love is the obvious theme throughout, but I couldn’t decide if it was longing for love or enjoying the love already found. This ambiguity added to the depth of the message and helped make it universally relatable.
Make sure to connect with Clifford on Twitter
Davin Baron and Kevin Kadish » Weakness
Not only was ‘Weakness’ catchy and cool, but there was depth to its easy-going lyrics.INDIE TOP 39
Both David Baron and Kevin Kadish are no strangers to the music scene. Having worked with superstars like The Lumineers and Meghan Trainor in the past, ‘Weakness’ shows they don’t need a huge name to make incredible music. The lyrics were fun, yet simple and easily digestible. Although the song clocks in at a little under three and a half minutes, by the end of it I could sing along to the chorus. Pushing and pulling the energy made it sound loud and rambunctious at points and vulnerable at others. A great example of killer songwriting.
Marianne Engebretsen » Light as the Moon
Marinanne Engebretsen sounds mature and exciting on ‘Light as the Moon’INDIE TOP 39
Norway-based songwriter/producer Marianne Engebretsen sounds lovely on her newest release, ‘Light as the Moon’. The song represents her mother through the many different aspects of motherhood. From excited and loving, to chaotic and unpredictable, the song paints her in a realistic, yet kind light. Her jazzy melodies suited the piano well. The heavily layered vocals were playful and gave the song a ton of depth. Traditionally beautiful parts, like the piano and vocals, contrasted the modern electronics, but melded together perfectly. By the time the drum kit comes in, the song feels completely different than the acoustic beginning. It was a journey, and an enjoyable one at that.
Make sure to connect with Marianne Engebretsen on Instagram