I recently joined SubmitHub, a site where artists pay a small fee to send songs to reviewers, labels, bloggers and radio stations. I’m trying it out to see if I like it. But based on the response — hundreds of people have already sent me tunes — I won’t run out of options anytime soon. And honestly, nearly everything I’ve come across so far has been pretty decent. Here’s what I listened to today. And if you’d like to add to my SubmitHub list, click here.
1 Marquee Mayfield
Marquee Mayfield is a hopeless romantic. Emphasis on hopeless. The hilariously kitschy high-concept video for his slick single Databyte Diva captures the Nashville nerd looking for love in the all the wrong places — specifically, the computer-dating world of the ’80s. Thankfully, all those vintage visuals and thrift-shop threads make a perfect match for the nostalgic track, an authentic throwback to the smoove grooves, silky falsettos and candy-coloured combo platter of soul, R&B and electro-funk concocted by the likes of Prince, George Clinton and Jamiroquai. Swipe right.
2 Lil Tecca
Youth is not always wasted on the young. Case in point: Lil Tecca. The New York rapper is supposedly just 16 years old, but you’d never know it from his latest track Molly Girl. A short ’n’ sweet slow-roller stylishly assembled by producer Menoh, it serves as a strong showcase for his precocious skill set: A laid-back drawl, easy swagger, nimble wordplay, innate flow and strong sense of melody. Bottom line: He’s one to watch. And one to listen to.
According to their bio, this Buffalo brigade used to be called Ponder the Giraffe, but decided to shorten the handle. Good call, that. Another good call: Writing songs as interesting as Greener. Equal parts jammy, jazzy and funky, it’s a briskly paced charmer that deftly combines breezy vocals, tasteful fretwork and crisp performances into a track that takes you for a scenic ride without losing you along the way. It could (and should) earn them a spot on festival stages — and on your summer playlist. That would also be a good call.
Have you ever been experienced? Beezewax have. These Norwegian alt-rockers got their start way back in the ’90s. And it shows — their latest single Two Diamonds resurrects the glory days of college-rock with a spry groove, choppy guitars, dusty vocals and a sugar-buzz vibe. Thankfully, good songwriting never goes out of style, so this sounds just as fresh as it would have coming out of your dad’s Walkman back in the day. Clearly, they’ve benefitted from their experience. Now it’s your turn.
5 Brad Sample
The Long Black Veil
There are a few ways to cover a classic. Some artists opt for reverent recreation. Others go for rebellious reinvention. Nashville singer-guitarist Brad Sample follows a third path for his incarnation of the country standard The Long Black Veil. Stripping the song down to just his twangy, vibrato-soaked guitar and his tenderly reedy pipes, he delivers a striking variation that emphasizes the track’s haunting beauty while putting his own stamp on the proceedings. Try it on for size.