Single-Play Stretch

Paper Route, “Chariots”

I was and am a huge fan of Paper Route’s album The Peace of Wild Things. With great pop hooks, excellent production, and heartfelt lyrics, I was completely drawn into their orbit and had that album on high rotation in 2012. Now, four years later the Nashville trio has regrouped and released “Chariots” as a second single from their upcoming album, Real Emotion. The band’s sounds is evolving into something that can’t be pigeonholed — as evidenced by Paper Route’s use of more ethereal sounds layered onto a thundering backbeat. The chorus is somewhat muted in favor of more interesting melodies going on in verses. Overall, it’s a pleasing effect that shows Paper Route can break out of genres that defined them on their previous record.

Bad Sounds, “Avalanche”

If you like fun, psychedelic throwback sounds, “Avalanche” by Bad Sounds is the ticket. There’s a laconic delivery to the lead vocals, but it adds a good counterpoint to the wonderfully hooky chorus that keeps this tune a light, fluffy romp through familiar (and nostalgic) sounds. I wish I knew more about the band other than they are from England and are a five piece group. Maybe in an age when so much about one’s personal life is shared, it’s nice to have a little mystery about the members of a band.

The Wans, “Not So Pretty”

Now, if you like rock with a real ballsy sound, you’re going to like Nashville based, The Wans. Their new EP Run Baby Run comes out on June 24th, and if “Not So Pretty” is any indication of the rest of the record, it will have a judicious mix of hard rock and pop elements. There’s a little Jack White thing going with Simon Kerr’s vocals, but it’s a lot more manic. And it needs to be since Kerr wrote the song about a personal experience in his past that clearly didn’t end well.

Gringo Star, “Rotten”

Perhaps it’s the cyclical nature of music, but it seems sounds from the late ‘60s and early ‘70s rock are getting remixed into current music. Atlanta based Gringo Star is clearly channeling that kind of raw, no-frills rock The Kinks or even The Animals excelled in. “Rotten,” like “Avalanche” by Bad Sounds, has a familiar throwback quality that makes it instantly likable — but there are enough more contemporary elements mixed in to keep their sound fresh. Good stuff!