2020: the year of doubts, disappointments, tragedy- aka, a total bummer. At times it feels like life is completely out of our control, and as much as we try to hold on as tightly as we can, we always end up slipping ever so slightly. Down, down, down. But with this, one significant constant has still remained in everyone’s lives. One thing has brought us together rather than tear us apart. Want to take a wild guess?
Shocker! It’s music (hopefully you got that), and this past month alone has brought us several ear-blessing tunes, more specifically from Nashville-based artists. And even more specifically, from alternative/indie rock Nashville-based artists. In case you’re like us and you haven’t been able to take the appropriate amount of time to discover/listen to new artists and their releases, I’ve compiled a list of the top songs released last month.
Get ready to be immeasurably pleased.
5. Dylan Taylor & Hippie Speedball – Swimming in Trouble
A collaboration that has made quite an impression on the indie rock scene is that of Dylan Taylor and Hippie Speedball. Adorning a psychedelic fervor, their newest track is heartbreak with a cutting-edge groove. Resonant drums, a seductive bass line, and the commanding strum of an electric guitar set the foundation, while Taylor’s voice is caked in an uncompromising rasp that’s mirrored by the same desperate disposition from lines like “You’re in every corner every crack/Like dust in the grooves/There’s no getting rid of you”. Taylor’s always been known for her bold, reflective lyrics and this track is no different. If you want a song you can scream out in angst in your car, this is it.
It would simply be a disservice not to include COIN in this list being that they’ve managed to cultivate a prominent following from the confines of a dorm room; an inspiration for local students who could use a gentle reminder that consistent hard work can actually pay off. The band recently released a 4-track EP titled Indigo Violet, the first installment of their Rainbow Mixtape series, where the title is meant to embody a specific mood the trio intends to convey. “I Feel Alive?” sets the scene to this EP’s harmonious end. During the chorus you’ll hear a children’s choir chanting the lyrics in a euphoric hue, calling you to join them in their joyous mantra, loud and proud. Will this song make you feel alive? I’d say there’s a 99.9% chance.
3. The Rally Club – Radio Cafe
Having just put out their debut album along with a string of noteworthy singles, The Rally Club’s “Radio Cafe” is yet to receive its own special shout out… until now. Formed and fronted by Hannah Dempsey and Benjamin Lusk, the duo takes you back in time to vintage jukeboxes, trendy diners, and a life where masks ceased to exist, literally and metaphorically. The track is a real life ode to Nashville’s Radio Cafe that unfortunately went out of business not too long before the band released the record. It was Dempsey’s favorite place to spend her time, and the song replicates this with a fun, upbeat tune that immerses you into her beloved haven. It’s no wonder that it was Dempsey’s most enjoyable song to create – the track exudes a period of gaiety that’s been tremendously missed.
2. Annie Dirusso – Judgements From The World’s Greatest Band
As a current Belmont student, Dirusso has been slowly establishing a name for herself, releasing songs with empowering statements and a sarcastic flair that are perfectly suited for today’s generation. In her newest release, Dirusso exhibits a more humorous side to her technicolor style. Based around her love for The Beatles and her curiosity on what they’d say if her poster of them could talk, Dirusso sings with power – a voice that dominates with an enviable nonchalance. Booming drums and a raging guitar that parallel the likes of Green Day complete the track, producing a sound that rivals early Paramore charm mixed with a Billie Joe Armstrong demeanor. Not a bad combination if you ask me. Not bad at all.
Betcha released their sophomore album a few weeks ago, and even though “Talking to Myself” was not a single, the band have claimed it to be their “favorite song to date.” It’s about the voice inside your head, you know, the one that drains you every time you try to shut it up? We’ve all been there. Divulging into a more experimental side to their sound, the track sticks out like a sore thumb in the best of ways, giving off a trippy dream-like vibe similar to Tame Impala hits, only with the added Betcha trademark of a hypnotic guitar that packs a punch. It’s a song you can easily vibe to, whether that be on a night-time cruise, or your bedroom oasis. A lustrous passage to a multicolored dreamscape.