Kelsey’s Prime Slices of the Week (12/9-12/14): Colony House, Will Samson

Colony House – “Original Material” [single] – indie rock

Colony House‘s latest single “Original Material” is a song to sing along with. The track is wonderfully reminiscent of the early days of the indie rock scene, while still bringing a fresh sound to the Nashville music scene. Colony House has definitely created an indie rock anthem with “Original Material” that anyone can enjoy – complete with clean guitars, simple vocal effects, and harmonies. The verses are full of colorful and creative lyrics, and the chorus is incredibly catchy; the fun never ends in “Original Material”! Give it a listen below!

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Ryan’s Album of the Year Pick: Matt Maltese’s “Krystal”

Matt MalteseKrystal – indie rock

As 2019 comes to a close, we can look back and confidently say that it will be remembered as a fantastic year for music. The sheer amount of talent from independent artist this year has been surreal, and picking a favorite album  was incredibly difficult, but I believe that one artist in particular stands out from the rest! Matt Maltese’s Krystal is beautiful, yet hard to describe,  it’s an incredibly complex and dynamic album that leaves you listening over and over again, trying to pick out all the subtle nuances of each track. Matt has such a distinct tone that stands out from the rest and classifies him in a league of his own. Matt uses incredibly satisfying and unique blends of old school arrangements, and modern songwriting to create an incredibly fresh and unique sound that I have yet to hear anywhere else. His lyric’s range from the dark and obscure, to soft and tender and tote the line of pure poetry. Everything Matt has done in the past has taken on a life of its own, and his latest release is no different. If you’ve never heard of Matt Maltese, I cant recommend him enough!

Recommended Tracks: “Rom-Com Gone Wrong” and “When You Wash Your Hair”

Give Krystal a listen below!

Kelsey’s Album of the Year Pick: David Huss’ “Intuition”

David Huss Intuition – folk

2019 has been a great year for music. As I think back to all of the amazing albums I’ve been fortunate to review, one album stands out – David HussIntuition. Each song on Intuition has its own story and feeling, while still working to create a beautiful folk sound that could only belong to Huss. Some standout features of the album are Huss‘ honest vocals, heartwarming lyrics, steady fingerpicking, and smooth fiddle lines. One of the most exciting aspects of Intuition is how well it showcases Huss‘ strength as a songwriter. Each song is a journey, painting a picture for listeners through various instruments, harmonies, and melodic shapes. One great example of this skill is the song “Wings”. The track takes its time to build in a natural and pleasing way; it begins with vocals and acoustic guitar from Huss and slowly grows into a full and welcoming sound with vocal harmonies, brushes, and strumming. “Wings” is an outstanding and gorgeous track from Intuition – one of many that are all worth a listen! Check out Intuition below!

Kelsey’s Prime Slices of the Week (11/11-11/16): The Deer, Wolf & Moon

The DeerDo No Harm – folk

The Austin-based band The Deer has an eclectic sound that makes the group memorable and lovable. The Deer‘s latest album, Do No Harm, establishes the band’s unique artistry through featuring different sounds and techniques on each song. From pedal steels to strings and group harmonies – Do No Harm is full of lovely surprises that make the album stand out from others. Each track highlights different moods, from the psychedelic ballad, “Dissolve”, to the upbeat and dance-worthy tracks, “Confetti to the Hurricane” and “Swoon”. Overall, Do No Harm showcases The Deer‘s Western influences while also establishing the band’s unique voice and modern take to the folk genre. Each track has its own voice, but they all work together to create one beautiful and fun sound that can only belong to The Deer. Don’t miss out on such an incredible album and band – check out The Deer‘s Do No Harm below!

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Kelsey’s Prime Slices of the Week (11/4-11/9): Geoffroy, Squirrel Flower

Geoffroy1952 – alternative

On his latest album, 1952, Montreal-based artist Geoffroy showcases his creativity and ability to bend genres. Geoffroy combines several styles seamlessly, bringing together folk, electronic, and pop influences to create something entirely new. One of the best examples of his skill is the song “The Fear of Falling Apart”. The track blends electronic vocal effects, beats, and samples with warmer piano tones and Geoffroy‘s natural voice, creating an appealing contrast between old and new sounds. Although Geoffroy uses many unique effects, they never distract from his voice. His voice is strong, timeless, and smooth, and the melodies on 1952 suit it perfectly. Between even the first three tracks “The Fear of Falling Apart”, “21 Days”, and “Woke Up Late”, Geoffroy shows that he is capable of creating several musical feels while still asserting his own sound. So much could be said about 1952 and Geoffroy, but the best way to experience his music is to hear it for yourself! Give 1952 a listen below.

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Kelsey’s Prime Slices of the Week (10/27-11/2): Humbird, Bootstraps

Humbird Pharmakon – indie folk

Indie folk artist Humbird‘s album Pharmakon is gorgeous through and through. Her smooth and clear voice shines over upright bass, immaculate fingerpicking, and colorful piano. Humbird‘s style of songwriting is stunning, as she lets melodies float and fall artistically. Her skill as a lyricist is also quite evident, as she draws on allegorical references and names to add a thoughtful depth to her lyrics. Just as you think you have a full mental grasp on Pharmakon, Humbird adds another element. Her song “Persephone” is a great example of this. Placed later in the album, when you’ve settled into her sound, she plays around with the form and adds brass to enrich the song. My personal favorite track on the album is “Pharmakon”. On such a lovely and sweet song, Humbird‘s writing and voice really stand out. A catchy, constant fingerpicking line and vivid lyrics make “Pharmakon” something special, and it proves that Humbird‘s voice is one to fall in love with. It’s easy to hear that Humbird poured her heart and soul into her album Pharmakon – be sure to give it a listen below!

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BIRN Album Review: Welcome Home by Hannah Cohen

Hannah Cohen Welcome Home – (alternative) 

Hannah Cohen’s return home isn’t quite as “welcome” as her third studio album’s title suggests. After spending over a decade in New York City, the worn out musician began grasping for a reason to leave–and it suddenly hit her one day while writing in the stuffed bathroom of her apartment during a heat wave. She ditched crowded subway stations for miles of empty fields in Woodstock, to rediscover her passion for music and find peace with her demons. Out of this came Welcome Home, a “Carole King meets Tame Impala” masterpiece about slowly outgrowing the robotic daily routines of urban living. 

Cohen brilliantly captures the odd essence of isolation through dreamy indie-rock guitar riffs and light synth bells that chime in every so often, like ghosts visiting from the past. She effortlessly brings us into her world of vivid memories through words like “wanna be the sun on your back” and “the water in the ocean all turns to salt on your skin”. Cohen’s soft yet ever-expressive voice carries the record’s core emotions, and contributes a special element. You can hear her vulnerability as she purposefully lingers around the highest point of her range in “What’s This All About”, an aching piano ballad about feeling lost in purpose. Even as her voice fades into the background at times, she makes a statement without feeling the need to steal the spotlight. Her conversational lyrics are comforting, and echo the words of an old friend who’s consoling you through the uneasiness that comes with change. 

As melancholy as the album gets, Cohen knows where she stands in the thick of it all. The album’s opener “This Is Your Life” is a reassuring pep talk with a title that says it all–if you don’t like your life you have the power to change it. The following songs dive into darker subjects, but she circles back to this self confidence in “Wasting My Time”. Although both songs are found in unexpected places, it mimics the rare beauty of finding hope in our daily lives during difficult times.  

It’s hard to say by the end of the album if Hannah Cohen reaches a conclusion on her journey “home”, but this open-endedness makes her message all the more real. 

Hannah Cohen plays live with Shura this Tuesday night, October 22 at Brighton Music Hall. The show starts at 8:30 PM and you can stream it here.

Kelsey’s Prime Slices of the Week (10/20-10/26): Louise Burns, Sonofdov

Louise Burns – “Cry” [single] – indie pop

Despite what the title suggests, Louise Burns’ latest single “Cry” will put a smile on your face. Burns’ latest single is such an upbeat, eclectic indie bop – it’s a great listen. Featuring several, “Cry” reminisces on past eras with a contemporary twist. Burns’ clear voice is the centerpiece of the song, and all of the other tracks support her lyrics and melodies wonderfully. Featuring 80’s-style synths, a classic drum groove, and a tasteful electric guitar, this song has something for everyone. It’s a fun listen, and you’ll hit replay the second the music stops. Check out “Cry” below!

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Kelsey’s Prime Slices of the Week (10/13-10/19): Allen Stone, Macseal

Allen Stone – “Brown Eyed Lover” [single] – R&B

Allen Stone’s timeless voice and classic songwriting are the focus in his single “Brown Eyed Lover”. The track has an amazing groove with electric guitar counter melodies, ear-catching harmonies, and solid bass lines. Each of these elements creates sections that transition into one another seamlessly, and they work together to tell Stone’s simple love story of his care-free lover. It’s hard not to fall in love with Stone’s “Brown Eyed Lover”. Give it a listen below!

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