Stick these hand-picked tracks in yer ‘pod, and hit play. Do it.
"Point of Surrender" by River City Extension
You have to love songs with a groundswell for an into. On this track, a choir of rising voices joins an off-putting procession and allows a banjo to dig its way through until the music explodes into a poppy tune with big vocals and swinging piano. Just when you think you know what to expect, it twists and turns. This eight-member band from New Jersey seems to be influenced by…well, by everything. Different sounds come from different directions and in this case, when those sounds converge it’s in a sweet tide.
"Gimmie the Sweet and Lowdown" by Social Distortion
Remember when videos mattered – when MTV actually showed them. We know it’s an old argument. And why do we need MTV showing us the same eight videos over and over when we have YouTube? In the tube of You, there’s as much access to 30-year-old punk bands like Social Distortion as there is for Rihanna. That’s great for Mike Ness, Social Distortion’s leader and mainstay, who recently released a pretty awesome animated video for this song off last year’s “Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes.” It’s the punk music history of Ness as a troubled kid, a band member, a drug addict, a rock icon, but most importantly – the inspiration behind his tattoos.
"Crazy Sufferin Style" by Selah Sue
What up? This is straight-up Belgian style – so put your hands in the air, if you’re down with the waffles! This is a showcase track off of 23 year-old Selah Sue’s debut album. All of her styles are on display – she lays down R&B vocals as smooth as Erykah Badu and her soulful choruses are a reggae catchiness that floats out on top of a bouncing mix. And yay - there’s no overwhelming Belgium accent, just funkiness.
Derrick Bracey, for Weekly Surge