Here in Nashville, there’s no shortage of new artists to discover, and new songs to steal your attention- especially when you’re a student at a high-end music school. One month into the New Year, and the jams just keep churning out. I proudly give you my Top 5 January Releases from today’s Belmont students.
5. Legit Smitty- Feelin’ Rough
Life in distortion is what we get with Legit Smitty’s newest single “Feelin’ Rough” off his The Goodwill Steeple EP. A track that’s constituted in every ‘bad luck’ situation the universe loves to mock us with, Smitty makes an effort to prevent these plights from discouraging him, attempting to recover with ease and determined to hurdle past the standstills of misfortune. But as days go by and he grows older, Smitty realizes that he may need a bit more help managing nature’s predicaments than he previously anticipated. This tune is smothered in a coming-of-age ambience, filtered through a disposable camera perception that’s wrapped up in the simplicity of adolescence.
4. Juke of June- Doin’ Fine
This past month, Juke of June released their live My Own Time EP, graced with 4 fresh and new tracks that effectively displayed the band’s versatility. One song in particular that stood out for its message was “Doin’ Fine”, a mellow, soulful tune that questions the status quo. In an almost backhanded acknowledgement to the world’s current reaction to destruction, lead singer Jackson Hahn struggles to understand how we can become so ‘wrapped up in other people’s minds’ to the point where there’s evanescence of affection in our hearts. It’s a waste of time to be anything but united, and this song patiently invites us to focus on ourselves rather than the distractions of others.
3. Mary Reinman- I Would Love to Love You
I’m a sucker for a song with a sentimental origin story, and Mary Reinman’s latest single, “I Would Love to Love You” may just have one of the most precious ones I’ve heard. The track was originally written in 1984 by Reinman’s father who was 20 at the time of its creation. Inspired, Reinman (who was also 20) approached him with the suggestion that she reproduce a modernized version of the song, integrating an R&B twist. With dad’s signal of approval, Reinman gracefully recreated a track dedicated to the enamored devotion to another, sweeping in luscious riffs and tender harmonies. This one goes out to all the lovesick sweethearts of the 21st century.
2. Lauren Weintraub- She’s Mine
Lauren Weintraub has swiftly made a massive first impression with her first single, “She’s Mine.” Soaked in sleek, country sincerity, Weintraub sings a heart wrenching ode to her ex’s new girl, over-analyzing what this new relationship has compared to what her old one lacked. It’s a cruel and torturous thing, thinking about the one you love with somebody else, and Weintraub embraces it head-on with an aching conviction, asking questions she presumably doesn’t want the answers to but failing to stop herself from uncovering the heartbreaking truth. Effortlessly exuding a mix of frustration and longing, this track is one of those scream-in-your-car-while-zooming-down-the-highway type tunes, and how can we ever get tired of those?
1. Grace Lee- Need
You’ll have no problem living in a dream-like serenity when it comes to Grace Lee. Her voice alone is transcendentally angelic, and when you pair it with reverb-type elements that drift you away, out pours a river of mesmerizing hues. As one of the two singles released off her upcoming EP, the track is adorned with gentle guitar riffs and echoing beats, while Lee yearns for someone to be more than just a passing of time. “Feels like I only fall half-way in love…” Lee begins as we get swept away into a tranquil state of desire for a love worth missing. A golden hour afterglow rich in a pastel haze, this song sedates you like a summer evening breeze.