Oh Mercy – “Sandy”

Hailing from Melbourne, Victoria, this indie rock group started as a duo and quickly expanded to a four-person band to tour. I have a natural affinity to songs with that pulsating rhythm section led by a thumping bass line and a steady snare hit on every 2 and 4 of the measure. It’s a rock trick, heard in acts ranging from Tom Petty and Bruce to current acts like War on Drugs.

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Demitasse – “Comfy Coffins”

Minor-chords define the opening of Demitasse’s new song, “Comfy Coffins.” The lyrics describe the sense of being alone and that we all share the misery collectively. Yet, as soon as the darker tone is set, we are temporarily relieved with the first major chord that sparks a more uplifting chorus. It’s got friendly hand claps and upper register harmonies that help create this musical glow. In the end, the music is bare and poppy, yet deep and thoughtful.

Chastity Belt – “Joke”

 Nothing serious

Everything’s a joke

When we smile

It’s all in smoke

A little rockabilly. A steady bassline. And blunt guitars. Mix that in with some dry humor and a little wretchedness. You get Chastity Belt. The four girls originally attended Whitman, “one of those small liberal arts colleges,” and after entering a Battle of the Bands, the group never looked back. I truly believe rock’s not dead. It is still well and alive with all these female rockers who really don’t care what you think. Check out the album that comes out on March 24th.

Broken Witt Rebels – “Shake Me Down”

They probably are sick and tired of the comparison, but when you are talking gritty, southern rock with a natural affinity toward pop melodies, Kings of Leon definitely comes to mind when I listen to Broken Witt Rebels. What many forget is that the Kings of Leon started playing in the basement of Jackson, Tennessee only to become a frequent headliner at festivals around the world. Just listen to that first line and the way he rolls his “out:” “It’s in the way she keeps calling me oooouttt.”

Ryley Walker -“Primrose Green”

The lead single off Ryley Walker’s his upcoming sophomore album is beautifully open and lacking in structure. Although Ryley’s guitar skills are the show, I love the jangly piano, the off-beat snare drum hits, and the constant improvisatory background noise. Not enough music formats allows the artist to elongate these type of grooves. It’s only then that the musician can you really start exploring.