amanda mair

Amanda Mair - Doubt
Amanda Mair - House
Amanda Mair - Sense

So far, Amanda Mair is three for three with her self-titled debut. All signs seem to indicate that the full ten-track album will knock socks off worldwide, thereby resulting in an awkwardly sock-less state of being for all citizens of the planet Earth. Enjoy your socks while you still can, folks! They’re gonna be gone before you have time to say goodbye.

Click through (or look below) to watch the music video for “Sense”:
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bears: greater lakes

Bears - Perfect Girl
Bears - The City Still
Bears - The City Still (Low in the Sky remix)

“I found the perfect girl, pretty as can be. I guess just not perfect for me.”

It took me approximately fifteen plays to truly listen to the lyrics of “Perfect Girl”. I’m not proud of this. But, but, but… On the surface level, it’s such an inoffensive, peppy indie-pop jam! If you’re not actually paying attention—which one might be prone to do whilst casually listening in their cubicle—you might fall victim to the song’s deceptively joyful vibe and carefree, Beach Boys-esque melodies.

BearsGreater Lakes works, overall, because it’s a mostly depressing album that only sounds depressing half of the time. Well, less than half of the time. Though you might hit the doldrums hard on “Don’t Wait”, “I Don’t Have You on My Mind” and “I Can’t Make Things Right”, each is followed by something significantly more upbeat (including closing track “Until The Very End”, one of the album’s lone moment of genuine happiness).

The beauty of Greater Lakes is that it’s whatever you make of it. You can turn it on and soak in every single emotion, or simply bop and sway to the music. From the unapologetic hermits’ anthem “More Left Out” to the instant dance party of “From Good to Bad”, this is an album that takes you on a journey. That isn’t always the case in today’s current musical climate. Kudos to Bears for achieving this.

Photo credit: Jersey Knitter

jordan bolton: love was always cruel…

Jordan Bolton - Love Was Always Cruel, It Just Wasn't Cruel To Me
Jordan Bolton - Black And Grey

Manchester’s Jordan Bolton makes indie-pop with an adult contemporary sensibility. That opening statement may sound like a backhanded compliment (or a downright insult if you’re super snobbish), but it’s an accurate description for his catchy, highly-hummable tunes. They sound like classics from the late nineties or early aughts. After a few listens, you almost feel like you’ve known these songs forever.

I kept thinking of Jack Johnson‘s “Flake” every time I listened to “Black And Grey”, while Bolton’s latest release “Love Was Always Cruel, It Just Wasn’t Cruel To Me” gives me a bit of a Joseph Arthur vibe. You can decide for yourself whether these comparisons are in any way accurate. Most likely, they are not! But at least I got you to listen to Jordan Bolton, and (hopefully) you will love it.