Southern California is what you might call a pretty big place; trying to capture its spirit in song is a mug's game. But that doesn't stop irresistably sunny, indie-pop band the Rebel Light from making a more than game effort on the '60s and '00s-splashed track "Strangers."
A surging and slightly menacing indie and psych-damaged, power-pop track, "Come On Back" by Brooklyn, New York band Isadora begs to be played loud enough to blow away the blues.
Singer and songwriter Dave McPherson, best known for his work with UK alt-metal band InMe, demonstrates the power of his plaintive voice, furtive guitar and searching lyrics on the new solo acoustic track "Nothing Is Enough."
The pristine and rugged landscape of Bitterroot Valley, Montana provides the context for Skye Steele's evocative vision of folk music. Droning fiddle, sparkling banjo, drifting piano and streams of vocals create a yearning soundscape on the song "Hiromitsu & Yuko."
If you're not hearing echoes of the Smiths in cross-country (as in Brooklyn, New York and Austin, Texas) band Little Cinema, you should probably see an otolaryngologist. But new track "When You Think of Me," is more than just a jangle-wave homage. It's state-of-the-art, melancholy indie pop.
Jackson Browne wrote "These Days" when he just a teenager, but the song has become something of a standard, a song that reveals new feelings and meanings every time it's sung with soul. And that's just what Chicago-based singer-songwriter (and Fort Frances frontman) David McMillin does on this new solo acoustic version.
A heady, somehow sunny -- the wordless, melodic scatting doesn't hurt -- shower of post-rock jamming, "Lighthouse" by Bensalem, Pennsylvania band the Burgeoning has dynamics to burn.
"We Got Away (This Time)," a new track by Raiders of the Lost Art, vaults over the band's goofy name and synth drones for a fuzzy, twitchy and surprisingly vulnerable indie-pop call to believe and reconcile.
San Francisco-based songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Jesse Cafiero started Split Screens as a solo endeavor, enlisting just enough musicians to flesh out his songs. On the new track "Home," however, he stretches out, with piano and horns driving the full-band R&B groove.
London-raised, New York-based singer and songwriter Cariad Harmon comes into her own on the sparkling and soulful ballad "Like You," a love song meant for clapping and humming along to, if ever there was one.