It’s said that absence makes the heart grow fonder. I do hope that my “Single Play” absence has done just that with you, faithful reader. It’s good to be back with a nice potpourri of artist who run the gamut of hypnotic to brash. Let’s get started, shall we?
MS MR, “Painted”
For a band like MS MR, it’s easy to get pigeonholed into a Florence + The Machine/London Grammar kind of niche. Not a bad place to be, but if you want to stretch out as an artist, you have to move beyond a kind of Johnny One-Note sound. Some artists try to move on before their “sound” has a chance to jell with an audience — and the result can be a bit of flop in terms of momentum. However, that’s not the case with “Painted.” MS MR has upped the tempo, and ditched the slow-sway atmospherics, to create a hard-driving (and catchy) song that’s going to fit right in with the Alternative Rock crowd.
Marika Hackman, “Ophelia”
Marika Hackman is a good example of trying not to lose momentum with a particular sound. I really enjoyed the vibe of her earlier single, “Before I Sleep,” and was eager to hear what her follow-up would be. “Ophelia” continues Hackman’s mediative and hypnotic sound she displayed on “Before I Sleep” — and she does so without being introspective in a cliched way. “Ophelia” has more hooks than her last single, so I’m sure either Alternative or Triple A formatted radio station will find the song an enticing add to their music playlist.
Leitbur, “Strange in L.A.”
The dream of the ’90s may be alive and well in Portland, Oregon, but the synth pop of the ’80s is alive an well in Los Angeles. Leitbur (“light-brr”) is fronted by Jaron Widman and Samantha Krzyston, and “Strange in L.A.” evokes The Human League in a way. I got an advanced listen to the group’s upcoming EP, The Moment That I Knew You, and it’s pretty solid. “Strange in L.A.” is a great lead single that will more than tease you in to want to hear more.
Boom! Bap! Pow!, “Suit”
Okay, posting “Suit” by Boom! Bap! Pow! is a case of it being a regional hit in Australia, and slowly (and I do mean slowly) gaining traction outside of Oz to finally wash upon the North American shores (and even farther to the east in jolly old England). But it took two years! If you haven’t done the math in your head yet, “Suit” was a hit down under in 2013 and, due to its use in a Diet Coke commercial, it’s now gaining steam with its blend of retro and sassiness.