Lauren Ruth Ward-“Sideways”

Following up on a strong EP in 2016 and a couple singles last year, Lauren Ruth Ward is preparing her first full-length album for release February 9th. The song feels like driving down the California coast, so it’s no wonder the singer left her hometown of  Baltimore for the sunny streets of Los Angeles. Some aspects of the song remind me of Courtney Barnett, but … Continue reading Lauren Ruth Ward-“Sideways”

H.C. McEntire-“Quartz In The Valley”

Monday mornings are always rough, but winter Monday’s are especially painful. It’s days like these I’m thankful for the good folks at Merge who always seem to have something new in my inbox to get my week going. This new single from H.C. McEntire is hitting all the right notes for me, so maybe today won’t be so bad. Almost left behind until Kathleen Hanna … Continue reading H.C. McEntire-“Quartz In The Valley”

Hood Smoke-“Depending On The Fool”

Hood Smoke, the Chicago-based pop quintet, released a new single a couple weeks ago and I’m just now catching up to it. It’s a bit hypnotic in it’s structure, giving me the same kind of feeling I got the first time I heard Mazzy Star’s “Fade Into You,” which I played endlessly on a cassette I dubbed off the radio back in the day. It’s … Continue reading Hood Smoke-“Depending On The Fool”

Grand Am-“All That I Ever Do”

It’s been a while since I’ve heard any new music from one of my favorite Chicago bands, Fort Frances. It was six years ago today that the singer/songwriter David McMillin stopped by Handwritten Recording to lay down a solo version of the band’s amazing song “City By The Sea.” Sadly, it’ll be a while before we get new stuff from them, but David has been … Continue reading Grand Am-“All That I Ever Do”

N.E.R.D. featuring Rihanna-“Lemon”

It’s been a while since we last heard from N.E.R.D. Other than some music on the Spongebob Squarepants soundtrack, the group hasn’t released anything since 2010. They worked with Nelly Furtado for “Hot-n-Fun” then, and now they’ve got Rihanna joining them for “Lemon.” It isn’t the best work they’ve done, though it is fun to listen to Rihanna rap over their beats. I’m glad they’re … Continue reading N.E.R.D. featuring Rihanna-“Lemon”

The Rigs-“Hunted”

After listening to the first minute of The Rigs new single, it’s no wonder TV and film music supervisors have used their songs multiple times. They have a very cinematic sound that fits well as a driving force of drama. “Hunted” is a dark and compelling track that combines synthpop and dark wave influences to form a song anoint standing upfront what you believe. TJ … Continue reading The Rigs-“Hunted”

Dan Rico-Flesh & Bone

The greatest joys in life come at you unexpectedly, and that is the case with the new single from Dan Rico. Despite being a Chicago-based singer/songwriter, I was completely unfamiliar with him until a couple days ago. His brash garage-pop is immensely enjoyable. It feels like a basement freak out with your friends, only with much better results. The guitar sounds harken back to Marc … Continue reading Dan Rico-Flesh & Bone