Like almost everyone, I loved Beyoncé, Lizzo, Kate Bush, and Harry Styles songs this year. But enough about icons. What about the icon you are working on? Here are some unforgettable songs by local heroes that are as good as “As It Was.”
“X Boyfriend” Ali McGurk
The first ten seconds of Ali McGuirk’s new album Til It’s Gone are the best on the record. That’s not to say the entire LP isn’t filled with sublime magic. But there’s something about the warm, smart harmonies when McGuirk and her backing vocalist sing a cappella. Bittersweet koans, words and melodies that magnetize the mind and heart.
“Think carefully” to know know-how
No, this is not a feel-good song. Instead, it focuses on the animosity between the governments of the United States and Iran and the negative stereotypes that the media all too often carry out when the conflict escalates. It veers between beautiful melodies and amplified dissonances, completing a guitar solo that incorporates jazz master Joe Pass, Persian scales and dark-hued rock.
“Halftime Lover” Chris Walton
Chris Walton will dominate 2023. Please wait. We may have to wait until his local show at Brighton Music Hall on March 15th. A breezy ballad with a retro vibe, the song evokes the Top 40s of the ’80s, the quiet storms of his R&B of the ’70s, the neo-soul of the ’90s, and the pop of today’s downtempo, slow his jams. The magic of
“Shimmer”, STL GLD & Darlingside
All STL GLD tag teams are looking forward to it. every day. single. one. This one-on-two punch from Boston hip-hop band and quiet indie act Darlingside keeps the musical streak going. This song is a sublime dream. A frenetic soundscape spiked with bold hip-hop and whispers, electronic loops and acoustic instruments, and bold crescendos.
“Italian Leather” Gatch
When producer Arcitype connected with Gatch, the young artist felt like a singer-songwriter. However, the two leaned in the direction of dance when they worked on their 2021 EP, Party People. rice field. “Italian Leather” is an endless sound, a pure pop disco dance groove. This cut could be the B-side of “Uptown Funk.” I say “possibly” because “Italian leather” is clearly a-side.
“Bleach” Isaac Dunbar
Growing up on Cape Cod, Isaac Dunbar’s music pulls from a wide variety of sources, including pure pop from the 60’s and 70’s, psychedelic grooves and all manner of alternative rock from the 90’s and 2000’s. His lyrics build on the history of being born to an Italian mother and a Liberian father, and before reaching double digits Lady He was an outsider who was obsessed with Gaga. In “Bleach,” the words, the melody, and the production come together in a frenetic dream like unicorns, rainbows, and Top 40 framing his Lips. A year later he would be a superstar.