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Alt Pop





Hollow River has fun with confessions in new single "Known To Lie"

Mark MacDonald, also known as Hollow River, has released a single slippery-fun that flows beautifully and crashes with alternative rock power. “Known To Lie” has a turn-of-the-millennium sonic innocence to it, in the alt-rock, power pop style of groups like Smash Mouth: the music makes you feel good, maybe like partying. MacDonald flows in each verse with plentiful charisma and allows for revved up electric guitars to do the rest of the talking when the choruses arrive. For a summer hit, the music and its theme should be an anthemic escape from the weight of the prior seasons, “Known To Lie” fits that criteria. Another weekend arrives in an unusual 2020, stream “Known To Lie” to get through it with a gleeful smile. - Rene Cobar, photo by Sergio P. 





Unnamed Colors show pure class in new record "Be Where I Am"

Every once in a while, the week does not start with a bang, but rather it eases in with grace and much a soothing energy: that can be said of Be Where I Am, a new record from Newburyport’s Unnamed Colors. Each piano-led track is honeyed with glossy electric guitar embellishments, swinging rhythms, and the impressive vocals of Sierra Partlan, which take the classy music to the next level of finesse. “Come and Go” is an excellent example of the group’s ability to sway the sonic winds of arpeggiating guitars and rapid drum fills into a whirlwind worth admiring. “Come Play with Me” shows off the jazzy elements of Unnamed Colors, so exquisite and supported by a skilled bassline that buries itself in the heart of the listener. For each day we wake to there is something of a promise made that today will be better than yesterday, with Be Where I Am in your ears you are well on your way to a promise kept; stream the upbeat track “Kindling” from the new record below. - Rene Cobar





Kerrin Connolly soars in new record "Almost"

Kerrin Connolly gives us something sweet to chew on, something excitable to muse over with the release of her fun indie-rock record Almost. The new compilation of tracks by this talented Weymouth, Massachusetts resident is a blast from start to finish: tracks like “It’s a Conspiracy,” and “Planesong” blend ukulele strings with slightly overdriven electric guitar riffs and bop-pop drums for a chill type of entertainment. “Contagious”  is true to its namesake: funny, catchy, and almost theatrical in its presentation. The title track features a groovy bassline, slow dance-inducing, and Connolly’s impressive vocal elevations reaching falsettos that soothe ears with their lovely warmth. “Thanks for Playing” is intimate and honest, like the whole record, and that is the charm that Connolly can’t separate from—thank goodness for that. Stream “Contagious” below for a style you won’t soon forget, for an artist destined to be a part of your playlist. - Rene Cobar





Van lifer flowers de moon releases single & video for "Anthem of Bob"

It is a time to celebrate whatever freedom we can, and Doug Fraley's doing so with his solo project flowers de moon and new single "Anthem of Bob". Fraley's new track gives praise to the van life, a life upon which Fraley embarked last year as he trekked from his home base of Pittsburgh to his new digs in Highland Park. "Anthem of Bob" is Fraley's LA debut, as well as his first release as a solo project, although the new single does include contributions from former bandmate Olivia Price. The video features the indietronica track over clips of Fraley near the Salton Sea, all of which were filmed before quarantine. The song and video stand as a testament to freedom of spirit and location, which will hopefully resume in full force soon. Take a look at the video for "Anthem of Bob" below. - Will Sisskind





Aubrey Haddard embraces (and avoids) the spotlight on “Thin Line”

Brooklyn-based performer Aubrey Haddard understands the scrutiny one faces as a performer — the inkling that “everyone’s watching,” of feel[ing] on the display.” Such sentiments influenced her latest single “Thin Line,” a new pop offering with strong indie rock roots. Driven by a walking alt soul baseline and a punchy percussive backbone, Haddard’s melodious range dominates the space, bringing the necessary bravado this maximalist effort, while lyrically detailing feelings of uncertainty, or in her own words, “starting to realize I’m walking on a thin line” just as everything seems to be going fine. It’s a clever(and catchy) exploration of the singer’s psyche, a track that splits the difference between extreme confidence and self-doubt that feels quintessentially human — watch the video below, and keep an eye out for Haddard’s forthcoming LP, out later this year.

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