newengland

The Q-Tip Bandits are all class in debut record "Ain't It Great"

TGIF! For many reasons, but of the oh so many perhaps there is none as cheerful as the release of The Q-Tip Bandits’ debut EP Ain’t It Great. This sonic triple-threat is as sophisticated as we have come to expect from previous Q-Tip Bandits singles, but the jazz mousse is heavy atop the group’s upbeat indie rock/pop hybrid. The title track opens up with the brass instrumentation that characterizes the group, flowing slowly past the assertive electric guitar riff at the heart of the song, the build-ups bursting to reveal cheery choruses and festive breakdowns. “What’s Your Drug” lets the full bassline of Claire Davis lead the way as Leo Son’s vocals cleave with emotion, and then you know who you are listening to. Dakota Maykrantz' chic drums provide a rhythmic foundation that adapts and delivers though each hit of the snare the passion the music demands. “The Wolf” finishes an indie rock/pop delicacy of an EP that is a glossy calling card for the talented band. Listen to Maclin Tucker (trumpet), and Stephan Tenney (trombone) make their instruments howl in “The Wolf” streaming below. - Rene Cobar, photo by Sophie Park

   

Kidhimself recalls a hazy romance in new single "Hooked On You"

Portland, Maine’s Kidhimself is quite serious about his feelings in his latest track “Hooked On You” which is a cool, laid-back pop song that is gooey with dreamy thoughts sprung from love and recreation. The atmospheric song recalls amid its swelling ambiance and snappy rhythm someone worth remembering, in a haze or otherwise. If love is fleeting, the music of Kidhimself is forever ever, mostly because its chill/wavy vibe is a keen sonic translation of the coastal New England winds that surely inspired it. For something to get lost in, for someone to remember, “Hooked On You” is streaming below. - Rene Cobar 

   

Anna May highlights sincerity in new record "I’m still thinking of you"

Waterford, Connecticut’s Anna May, takes her time, she allows the full sonic embrace of her new record I’m still thinking of you to grip, to heal. “I believed” is the long track that welcomes you to a world formed by Anna’s light acoustic guitar strums, rich vocals, and heartfelt, succinct lyrics. Tracks like “Velvet and gold,” tell through upbeat folk music stories of people you may want to know, precious individuals, as precious as they are described. “Where I belong” is the type of country-style song that is as sincere in its storytelling as it is pleasant in sound. There is a soothing nature that exists in the picturesque tales Anna presents; in times of uncertainty, music, and tales are exactly what we need. Stream the title track below for a glance at the imagery the music elicits. - Rene Cobar

   

Alex and the People debut contrasting singles "Broken Elevator" and "Waitin' for My Train to Come"

Boston’s Alex and the People are grooving their way toward the light at the end of the tunnel, loud as can be. The group has a dual single release that is one side dance-crazed rock ‘n’ roll and one side folk acoustic serenity. One could say the music provides a much-needed duality for the varying mood shifts we face these days. “Waitin' for My Train to Come” is short and sincere, revealing in each lyric patience and acceptance that only wisdom grants. “Broken Elevator” is a heightened song, laced with funky electric guitar riffs and even funkier rhythms. The song is an anthem for whatever you want to relate it to, with slick solos for your imagination. The release, begs you to choose your current mood, for us, it is “Broken Elevator” streaming below. - Rene Cobar

   

Cap'n Marble whisks you away in new record "Come 2 California"

For the bad news, some good music is in order. Cap’n Marble’s new record Come 2 California is an easy-listening psych-pop experience lightly sprayed with surf rock for an exquisite mixture of sounds. The opening title track whisks you away to your place of comfort; the music is a little hot and humid with its lingering harmonies and semi-spooky synths that contrast sparkly acoustic guitar embellishments. “In Too Deep” boasts an irresistible bassline, for your most exciting fantasies while “When the Sun” has a rhythm that is sultry and vocals like a cool breeze you can feel brush over your senses. We dare say that “Evermore” has an alluring, start-of-evening feel to it that fits as a finale to an album tailored for your worst and best days. Stream the title track from this Boston duo below for a hint of clarity from the confusion that saturates the air. - Rene Cobar