Cohenovich takes his time, Catch a Dinosaur catch a ride, Victoria’s Flight find paradise, Dalton comes home, Lodato X PollyAnna have sober second thoughts and Micky James walks the walk in today’s offerings from SubmitHub, the site where artists pay a small fee to send songs to reviewers like me. If you’d like to try to get in on that action, my page is here. But I warn you: The lineup is pretty long.
Roy Cohen is not a man who can be rushed. It takes two full minutes for the Israeli singer-songwriter and Cohenovich leader to utter the first words on his track Down/HEIGHTS. But make no mistake: It is well worth the wait. A dream-rock epic of the highest order, the seven-minute epic fuses everything from ambient synth tones and lush orchestral flourishes to a magnificently acrobatic bassline and serrated guitars — all in support of Cohen’s molasses croon and yearning ode to love’s destruction. It’s time well spent.
2 Catch a Dinosaur
We’ve all been taken for a ride at one time or another. That apparently includes the members of Massachusetts trio Catch a Dinosaur, according to the lyrics of their appropriately titled track The Ride (or at least the lyrics I can make out). But to their credit, they turn the seemingly shady experience into a laid-back psychedelic trip fuelled by a dreamy narrative, sleepy vocals and a piercing guitar solo. It’s a little like R.E.M. and War on Drugs cruising in the car-pool lane of your cerebral cortex. And who wouldn’t want to catch that ride?
3 Victoria’s Flight
When you get right down to it, heaven is where you find it. Just look at Scottish indie duo Victoria’s Flight. On their latest single, the two childhood friends discover Paradise in the joys of a solidly satisfying slice of ’80s-inspired pop-rock anchored by a nimble muscular beat, decorated with chiming intertwined guitars and topped with sugar-dusted vocals making their romantic case. It’s the first of three singles that will reportedly “tell the story of a summer of love and loss.” Pack your bags.
All the Light (Coming Home)
Some guys are better off alone. Singer-songwriter Nate Harar — who works and plays under the handle Dalton — seems like one of them. At the very least, it’s clear the bedroom-fi artist doesn’t need anyone’s help to make compelling music. That much is obvious from his latest home-recorded gem All the Light (Coming Home). In just 139 seconds, it spins an intriguing tale of “an ominous stranger, a lost son, and the inevitable end times,” set against a strikingly simple backdrop of acoustic folk-blues guitar, ghostly backup vocals and Dalton’s world-weary rasp. Sometimes, less really is more.
5 Lodato X PollyAnna
Dance music and moderation don’t usually go together. And they don’t this time either. Despite its clearheaded title, Sober is a sweet shot of intoxicating dance-pop and future house from the the international duo of New York producer Lodato and Dutch vocalist PollyAnna. He mixes the pumping groove, funky bassline and video-game synths; she serves it up with a side of attitude and a chorus guaranteed to be a summer-festival motto: “I’m gonna dance until it’s over / Drink until I’m sober.” Bottoms up. And keep ’em coming.
6 Micky James
Walk the Line
Micky James is his own man. And on Walk the Line — not to be confused with the Johnny Cash classic — the New Yorker continues to stylishly march to the beat of his own drummer. Spurred by a pumping piano, a thumping beat and chugging guitars that underpin his endearingly snotty vocals and catchy chorus, James melds ’60s pop and ’70s glam-rock with contemporary dance elements to fashion a hooky, vibrant hybrid that transcends time and genre. Clearly, he knows how to walk the walk, talk the talk — and colour way outside the lines.