San Antonio band the Rich Hands isn't afraid of its influences. "I wanted it to be everything I love about KISS," singer Cody Mauser has stated of the new track "So Fine." Rock 'n' roll mission accomplished, and more.
Drenched in horns, group harmonies and a bit of guitar jangle, "Another Song" by San Francisco band Adios Amigo has the kind of expert, joyful '60s pop sound that could clear the darkest clouds from the darkest skies.
With a voice that's past the breaking point and strumming that's past the point of lightness, Sam Morrow skips the dancing and immerses himself in the dark of one of Bruce Springsteen's most beloved songs.
Call it "folkstep" or "dubpop," the music of Morning Ritual -- a collaboration between composer Ben Darwish and two twin sisters, Katelyn and Laurie Shook, known as (aka the Shook Twins) -- is both highly conceptual and highly pleasurable. The new single "So Cold" has a warmth and harmonic intricacy that defies categorization.
Melinda Kirwin and Simon Rudston-Brown were once romantic partners but are now a musical duo known as Falls. The track "Home," from Sydney, Australia natives' new EP "Into the Fire," proves their strength as songwriters and collaborators; the sound is lush, rhythmic, state-of-the-art folk pop.
On "Lying in the Sun" Nashville, Tennesse-based singer Lera Lynn stretches out her dusky, melancholic voice for a dark but honest message of what it sometimes takes to survive in a dog-eat-dog world.
London-based alternative-rock trio Kypie channels its post-punk tendencies into decidedly romantic terrain on the fetching new single "Caught."
No American city is immune from street crime, but post-Katrina New Orleans has been devastated by so much senseless violence. Written by Carl Gustafson, "Another Murder in New Orleans" looks the facts square in the eye and expresses the human scale of the tragedy through the kind of performance that only Bobby Rush and Dr. John can summon.
Produced by Kenny Vaughan, "Goin' in Hot" comes exactly as advertised: a smoking rhythm and horn section fans the flames of the hardcore county sound for which Moot Davis is so well revered.
The lilting, string-soaked "Fall Out of the Sky" by San Francisco-based singer and songwriter Frances England has a flash of insight to share: we may all feel like we're falling sometimes, but we're all falling together.