The Music-Searching Mermaid's 25 Favorite Finds from August 2019
Oh, August. You’ve been good to us. We’ve been busy but never too busy for searching the depths of Spotify and Soundcloud and TMM submissions to find our favorite gems from brand new singles to tunes we may have missed over the years.
These past few weeks, we’ve been trapped in the pumping pep of cool-toned pop, so our most recent installment of The Music-Searching Mermaid features some major leaders like Aly & AJ and Taylor Swift along with artists like The Covasettes and Claud who are taking pop and twisting it up into something new and equally awesome. But don’t worry: there’s also some indie-rock and teeny, tiny twang on this playlist, too.
1. “Twit Twoo” by The Covasettes: UK indie rockers The Covasettes are destined for fame. They have the makings of every household name in indie-rock, all displayed in “Twit Twoo,” a rapid-fire, high-energy, hook-laden track with star quality and radio potential.
2. “Prophet” by King Princess: All hail King Princess, the one born with the golden gene that allows utter music magic to happen. “Prophet” is a fever dream of sexy, slinking rhythms that turn reflective in true King Princess fashion with unexpected moments of sonic divinity.
3. “Drink Too Much” by G Flip: There’s a lot to love about Australian artist G Flip’s track “Drink Too Much.” It’s one of those songs that’s just so complete, fleshed out by swollen clouds of gritty, punchy sound made vibrant by Georgia’s cool voice and care for surprising instrumental climaxes.
4. “Open Heart” by Kate Davis: Jazz genius Kate Davis returns with another impressive indie effort that reminds us she’s not just double bass and violin — she’s poetry, she’s quick wit, she’s thrumming arrangements, she’s soft rock, she’s golden voice.
5. “Heartbreaker” by Jonathan Something: The new single from multi-instrumentalist Jonathan Something is dizzying in its layers. At times, it merely slips through steady percussion and foggy vocals, but at other points, it’s dipped in divine baroque elements.
6. “Self-Lovin” by THE WLDLFE: If you don’t know Indiana-based band THE WLDLFE yet, you will. They’ve got the goods, as heard on new single “Self-Lovin,” a buzzy, blooming anthem full with alt-pop tendencies that result in an in-your-face effort to die for.
7. “Is This It?” by The Greeting Committee: From the get-go, “Is This It?” is addictive. It’s the kind of song you sort of just fall for, unexpectedly, head-over-heels. There’s something so special about it — it’s itself, a twinkling, swirling piece of dreamy indie-rock.
8. “Wide Right” by Bad Bad Hats: Kicking off with layered twang, this early 2019 single from indie-rock outfit Bad Bad Hats travels a quick expedition through genre-bending fields of space-rock trills, folksy guitar, dreamy vocals, and a whole lot more.
9. “If I Were You” by Claud: One of our newest obsessions has been Brooklyn-based pop artist Claud who’s out here dropping song after song of cool-toned, late-night bops. On their single “If I Were You,” they turn tender with vulnerable songwriting sung over quick acoustic strums and distant electronic pops.
10. “Life After” by Broods: Off New Zealand duo Broods’ new album, “Life After” is an utterly mesmerizing track made liquid with breathy harmonies and the faint buzz of revolving rhythms that swirl around in electronic hums then land, finally, to sit suspended in a wavy haze of Broods’ one-of-a-kind sound.
11. “Wild Wild Woman” by Your Smith: Through all her musical identities, Your Smith has explored what it means to be a woman and the ways in which we can shout it from the rooftops — the complex point being that we shouldn’t really have to. On “Wild Wild Woman,” she delivers a song so uniquely Your Smith: layered and sexy and important and pumping and sparkling. As always, it’s perfect.
12. “Geology” by Barrie: The very first note of “Geology” suggests a prog-rock or shoegaze track to come but instead, we get the gentle indie work of Brooklyn band Barrie, swirling with dreamy elements that keep themselves subtle so as to result in an unassuming, but supremely detailed, track worthy of repeats.
13. “Don’t Go Changing” by Aly & AJ: Again and again, Aly & AJ deliver the perfect alt-pop song. Every effort from them recently has been flawless, so it’s no surprise that “Don’t Go Changing” is another moment of glory oscillating between soft pop plinks and explosive electronic slices.
14. “Leaning On Myself” by Anna of the North: Everything by Norwegian pop artist Anna of the North is A+, but one of her best releases is “Leaning On Myself,” subtle in its slapping electronica so that her cool vocal tones can deliver some of her most self-aware lyrics yet.
15. “July” by Noah Cyrus: On her new single “July,” Noah Cyrus delivers two and a half minutes of gut-punch honesty. Accompanied by some matter-of-fact acoustic strums and resounding harmony, Noah gives her all to a heartfelt confession.
16. “Settle Down” by Del: Nigerian rapper Del’s “Settle Down” was the song of our summer. A rapid-fire singalong, it finds the young artist spitting witty wordplay among a vibrant soundscape of pitter-patter percussive beats and fun rhythms.
17. “i don’t miss u” by caro: Written and produced herself, “i don’t miss u” by caro is a really special moment of vulnerability packaged up as an emotionally intense, sonically relaxed effort for your sad-girl-summer.
18. “Too Much” by Reece: It’s a crime that Reece isn’t slapped onto bedroom walls and sobbed at in sold-out stadiums. On his newest single, he crafts a heart-heavy ballad featuring emotive falsetto, steady clacks of percussion, and soft guitar strums, but these words we’re writing here really don’t do the song justice, trust us.
19. “Sunflowers” by Matthew Chaim: Montreal-born, LA-based artist Matthew Chaim’s newest single is a tribute to his father who passed when Matthew was young. Throbbing with deep brass plumes and softened with airy vocals, “Sunflowers” is a remarkable sonic effort steeped in emotion.
20. “I Only Cry When I’m Alone” by Beth Bombara: Americana artist Beth Bombara’s track “I Only Cry When I’m Alone” is one for the ages. It’s a really stirring example of good old Americana twang: the soul-deep kind, the rocking kind, the honest kind.
21. “I Want You All To Myself” by Lucie Silvas: Drowsy with slow, searing guitar riffs, this one off singer-songwriter Lucie Silvas’ 2018 record is an impeccable example of heart-first songwriting. Lucie might be Grace Potter’s English counterpart — her work is equally as intense, rocking, and romantic.
22. “False God” by Taylor Swift: This entire list may as well have just been Lover, but if we have to pick one song we keep coming back to, it’s “False God,” a woozy slow-jam that finds Taylor exploring new territory that suits her well. It’s smooth, it’s sexy, it’s sax-y.
23. “Sleepwalker” by Kailey Prior: Brooklyn-based folk singer Kailey Prior is a songwriter of mythic proportions. Off her debut release, “Sleepwalker” is a loving piano-led piece touched by strings that lay a base for Kailey’s impassioned vocals to twist and turn atop.
24. “Taste” by Sleeping At Last: Prolific multi-instrumentalist Sleeping At Last is drowning in an extensive body of wildly impressive work. His 2016 tune "Taste” is him at his best: it goes by too fast but it’s crafted with great care, layers of rollicking rhythms and moments of crying strings providing a richness.
25. “Brooklyn” by Patrick Droney: Off soulful storyteller Patrick Droney’s eponymous debut EP, “Brooklyn” is an emotional power ballad detailing a New York narrative from taxi cabs to brownstones to love lost in a beautiful place.