snowy psych pop and more [single reviews]

Girl Colors – “St Anthony’s Fire”: The debut music video from psych-rock collective Girl Colors brings to mind My Morning Jacket and Manchester Orchestra, and even somewhat Vampire Weekend, albeit with more colorful and less moody stylings than those two artists. The single projects an image of serious musicians making serious music without taking themselves too seriously. I could see this single making an impact at alternative radio in the sense that it’s catchy while being different from the over-saturated playlists of pop/rock anthems with synth and reverb. You can preorder Girl Colors’ forthcoming CD and cassette Japanese Roses here.

[su_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rzGSjJZM2s0″][/su_youtube]

La Poré – “Missing It”: I have to be honest, I wasn’t expecting to hear some subtle guitarwork in this rising synthpop artist’s latest release. La Poré is the alter ego of Captain Kidd’s Nick Samson, inspired by his mother’s surname. The song brings to mind two lovers enjoying an evening out on the town. It’s danceable but not a club song. It seems to be written for a more lowkey “enjoy things in the moment” mentality. As someone who’s experiencing a bit of stress at the moment, I appreciate how the song is upbeat and reassuring, neither flooding me with adrenaline nor putting me to sleep.

Muse – “Thought Contagion”: Muse is back with a surprise single, their second since the release of Drones. Some have compared this song to Coldplay, but a more fleshed out Imagine Dragons and 30 Seconds to Mars are more accurate in my mind. The song is anthemic and dystopian all at once. Long time fans will probably enjoy this song more than “Dig Down,” which felt like a rehashed “Madness.” This song feels like a B-side from their 2nd Law record. It also feels like somewhat of a sequel “Hysteria,” one of my favorite songs of theirs.

[su_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQ_3S-IQm38″][/su_youtube]

The Castros – “Savannah”: While those that have followed The Castros for a long time might think of the pair as “cutesy folk”, “Savannah,” the first single off of their forthcoming EP, is decidedly mature in its sound. The song is warm in tone yet still seems to fit the slow, pensive mood that often follows me around during the winter. It’s comforting and pensive. Nostalgic and grateful. Sara’s voice embodies these mindsets well, and Aubrey Liston (solo project Xioma) accentuates everything with some cello exploration.

[su_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QEmeSk6XjJs”][/su_youtube]

Mainland – “Hometown”: Fresh off a tour with The Wrecks and a smash single “I Found God,” Mainland is back with “Hometown.” The trio, as usual, brings to the table a distinct groove accentuated by frontman Jordan’s tenor vocals. The song has an early-evening drive vibe to it. It’s nighttime and things are about to go down. It’s a subtle bit of anticipation communicated throughout the song, along with some retrospective thoughts. This song is neither bombastic nor chill – it’s occupies that Goldilocks sweetspot found in many midtempo rockers.