Liv Slingerland – Hey You
Genre: Indie Rock
Similar artists: Halsey, Olivia Rodrigo, Ani DiFranco, Lauren Ruth Ward, Alex Lahey
Highly proficient-executed pop music can’t really be enjoyed while it is being made. Not, at least, if you are one of the serious music fans, the kind that collects the fabled b-sides and imports. After all, pop music, we all know it, is made up of tunes that are meant to be enjoyed precisely at the moment that they are hot and then, like a McDonald’s wrapper, thrown away.
Only that this is not true. It takes music critics a decade or two, but almost without exception, they end up praising pop music of yesteryear as inventive, and well constructed. They even go so far as to claim that this kind of music serves as an inspiration to hordes of musical groups of the present, usually of some kind of alt-pop variety. The fact is that all of these things are true.
Liv Slingerland’s Hey you showcase a young songwriter in the rare and privileged position of having already played to colossal audiences all around the world. This may be a pop track. But, it is one with enough clever production and writing tricks to avoid making it sound dated in a few years’ time, and to also get the artist the kind of attention that they are, no doubt, seeking. Pop music sometimes indicates the way forward, and for that, it is worth giving it our attention.
Andrew Adkins – Satellite Mind
Genre: Indie Rock, Alternative Rock
Similar artists: The Beatles, Jack White, Wilco
The greatest songs, at least the ones in the pop-rock idiom, are the ones that sound as if they have always existed. Perhaps, this is something to do with the timeless quality of great pop tunes. Or, maybe, it is because our ears simply demand something familiar. Heaven knows that fans of classic rock aren’t exactly rushing to listen to hyper pop, or djent.
Then why are some modern artists that echo the past derided, and some paraded as heroes? I mean, those young men in their Zeppelin-worshipping Greta van Fleet can certainly play. You don’t hear many throwing the same amount of criticism at Rival Sons. At the end of the day, maybe there’s a simple matter at play. Some just sound and look less ridiculous than the others while doing it. This is not easy to do, considering that the work of a rock star is, essentially to strut in front of strangers.
Andrew Adkins’ Satellite Mind is one of the retro-rock songs that are cool enough to pull a car commercial. It swaggers, is melodic, and contains musical references to all the influences. And, it’s daring and confident with the kind of backbone and muscle behind it that you would certainly think twice before sneering at it. It’s also a song that brings to mind Jack White at his most hook-swinging. Finally, Andrew Adkins proves that retro-rock has a place in the future if it plays its cards right.