Thee Attacks, “Stab”
When you think of a band with a retro ‘60s R&B sound, do you automatically think, “Ah, yes well it’s perfectly natural for such a band to come out of Denmark.” Well, if you do, then you’re probably a fan of Thee Attacks – the young Danish band who already have two albums under their belts. “Stab” brings to mind The Kinks, but more recently, The Kinks’ kissing cousin, The White Stripes. If you like an unvarnished sound with a lot of energy that’s wrapped in some very strong pop sensibilities, then I think you’re going to like this one from Thee Attacks.
Serena Ryder, “Stompa”
This single stiffed in the U.S. last year, but the label is trying to make another go of it. Seeing that “Stompa” went to #8 on the Canadian Hot 100 in 2012, perhaps Serena Ryder wasn’t ready for prime time south of the Canadian border. Sure, Ryder has had her songs featured on Grey’s Anatomy and Gossip Girl, but that doesn’t guarantee that your next song will take off. That said, I think “Stompa” has all the elements that make for a good song that will most likely get AAA play on the radio: it’s hypnotic, hook-filled, and even a little husky around the edges.
Many bands spend about a decade trying for a breakthrough song. For those who hit (and hit big), the pressure to come up with another “smash hit single” is huge. Phoenix had some success with the inclusion of “Too Young” on a couple of soundtracks (Lost in Translation and Shallow Hal), but it wasn’t until the song “1901” that the band achieved what many bands want: a huge hit. Following up, they did well with “Lisztomania.” Now a few years later, here’s Phoenix with the Asian-themed “Entertainment.” It took a few spins before I eventually got on board with this song. It has many appealing elements, but for some reason, I wasn’t feeling it at first. But then something clicked, and started playing this song more and more. I give Phoenix credit for trying to stretch beyond a winning formula. They do retain their signature sound on this single, but blend in enough new elements to keep the music fresh.
Caitlin Rose, “Menagerie”
Well, Caitlin Rose certainly has a musical pedigree that has taught her the power of strong melodies and tasty hooks (her mother is Liz Rose has written songs for Taylor Swift and Leann Womack). And she started her musical journey fairly young when at 16 when she submitted a song instead of an essay for one of her classes in high school. Well, that was almost a decade ago, and since then Rose has released three albums — but only this current one, The Stand-In, is moving up the charts. Sometimes it takes a few albums to find your voice, but if the single “Menagerie” is any indication of her ability to write catchy pop tunes that harken back to the Laurel Canyon music scene of the ‘70s … well, let’s just say that I’m pretty sure there will be no lack of music lovers who will want her music in their library.