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New Music Radar

New Music Radar for January 17th, 2024

Added by Kate Bryan

Stop Light Observations – “LEVI”

Charleston-born pop-rock groovers Stop Light Observations dropped a sweet, sun-drenched new tune, “LEVI,” last week. Will Blackburn’s voice is breezy against buoyant drums and jangly guitar, opening the track with a scene that centers around carpool drop-off.  “I know you’re tired and I know it’s hard / But your friends just want to see you smile,” he sings, reassuringly. Synthesizers sweep through the song as Blackburn croons, the beat repeating and folding over on itself in bright layers. An echoing, full-bodied refrain, “Hold tight, Levi,” drives the single forward from start to finish. 

Little Bird – “be like that”

Little Bird dropped another new single, “be like that,” and, like all Little Bird tracks, it’s identifiable through its psychedelic sensibility and Jay Hurtt’s distinct vocals, but offers up fresh sound and experimentation. This song is gauzy with a deep, electric undercurrent and an almost underwater sense of bubbling beat. Lyrically, it’s hard to distinguish much other than “It really be like that sometimes,” but it doesn’t really matter, because the nature of the instrumentation and production is so expressive. Little Bird is seemingly unafraid to pull from  a myriad of genres, but the through-line of the song is a driving beat. 

Suki Waterhouse – “OMG”

“OMG,” the new song from English singer and actress Suki Waterhouse, is a lush, anthemic pop banger about ill-fated romance. Waterhouse’s vocals smolder against bold guitar and a vibrant beat. Each verse is delivered in a smoky monotone, standing in stark contrast to the explosive chorus. “Oh my god,” she sings, “take me back the way that I was.” The song is stripped down about a third of the way through, when Waterhouse repeats “My baby’s no good for me,” a deliciously familiar sentiment to anyone who has engaged in a relationship that is, in one way or another, dangerous.

Added by Thaddeus Adams

$wvnk – “2Day!”

Greenville Artist and fashionista, $wvnk, popped off the year with a visual for her most recent release “2Day!”. The song, produced by DatBoiWill, is a quick and pungent free-verse, with a ‘pop and snap’ trap beat that forges a path for $wvnk to bless us with a hot 16, served with a catchy chant. Paired with a ‘short and sweet’ Bueze Nnodim directed visual, showing $wvnk in the element of her own vibe-this is the perfect rollout to set the stage for a strong 2024 from the Greenville songstress.

Heartbreak Hutch & Bluflame James – “C.A.B. – Live”

Editor’s note: This track comes from the recent collaborative album release from Heartbreak Hutch & Bluflame James, LIVE FROM THE WOODS, released last week. See the full #GxldApproved album review to learn more.

JTRawwwww – “Keep It Movin”

Editor’s note: This track comes from JTRawwww’s newest album, Sensei Hendrix (act2). See the full #GxldApproved album review to learn more.

Added by Sarah Grace Sherbondy

Stop Light Observations – “LEVI”

Stop Light Observations just released their first single of the year, “LEVI” on Friday. The transformative and cathartic track embodies a universal message through boundless acoustics and melancholic lyrics that punch with a jovial delivery while also radiating a heartbreaking yet existential aura in every note. “Levi is a mirror, a reflection of who we are as a society in our collective helplessness to address the urgent need for reasoning and meaning. The veil that obscures the truth. A glimpse into a parallel world. We are Levi,” the band shared on Instagram.

Hound – “Pogo” / “Mesothelioma”

Charleston’s newest post-punk four-piece, Hound, has just released their very first (double) single Saturday, since forming the group in 2023. The band that “goes hard then goes home” consists of Blake Ryan (lead vocals, guitar), Connor Stephens (guitar), Alex Brouwer (drums), and Jackson Hudson-Jacoby (bass). The double single was recorded at The Space with Wolfgang Zimmerman, and sets a hard line for punk music in Charleston with radically unhinged instrumentals, cutting-edge melodies, and intricate patterns accentuated through a scorching fuzz. 

Hound debuted their latest tracks on January 13th, alongside rock outfit Baby Yaga, who finished out their East Coast tour at The Wedge, in Raleigh, NC.

The Thing – “Midnight”

Music Video

The Thing, who was just announced as a contributor to The Governors Ball lineup, just dropped their third and final single to make up The Thing Is, the upcoming sophomore record set to release on February 2nd. The group is on a roll with a pocket full of releases since the unleashing of their first full-length album Here’s The Thing in April 2023, with singles dropping every month since November. “Midnight” contributes a rivalrous vintage rock draw with a contemporary turbulent vitality that seeps within every instrumentally struck tension. 

Added by Chris Huber

Holler Choir – “Summersville”

This band backed up Justin Osborne during the SUSTO String Band tour in late 2023, providing an opening set of originals to kick off the evening. Their debut full-length album, Songs Before They Write Themselves, dropped last week. With a backdrop of bluegrass-influenced acoustic arrangements, the songs maintain a focus on lyrical songwriting without delving into jamgrass like so many modern groups seem to be doing.

For the playlist, I’ve chosen “Summersville,” the dreamy track that tells the story of a beat-down small Southern town, where nothing ever seems to change. There’s a cynicism towards religion that reveals itself, when he sings of God as a “bitter ex-husband,” making it clear why Justin Osborne of SUSTO chose to put this group on. “Hard Pill” is another good one, following “Summersville” on the record and released as a single in October.

Tony Trischka & Billy Strings – “Brown’s Ferry Blues”

Banjo legend Tony Trischka has announced a new album, Earl Jam: A Tribute to Earl Scuggs, set for release on June 7th. The announcement was paired with a cover of the bluegrass standard “Brown’s Ferry Blues” featuring none other than Billy Strings. The live in-studio recording provides a compelling argument for why people like bluegrass music, packed into an accessible under-four-minute package. In addition to acoustic guitar work, Billy Strings sings lead vocal and we can hear his undeniable spirited personality shine through, alongside his regular guy vocals. Billy has been performing “Brown’s Ferry Blues” in public since as early as 2012.

Tyler Ramsey – “These Ghosts”

Former Band of Horses guitarist (2007-2017) Tyler Ramsey is gearing up to release a new solo album, New Lost Age, on February 9th. Lead single “These Ghosts” was released on Friday, along with a music video via Paste. Tyler says: “This song is for anyone who has left a bad situation behind them only to look down and realize they are still carrying it with them somehow. Letting go – even letting go of something that’s no good – can take time. The pain in your head is just the smoke from a fire that burned out a long time ago.” To me, it sounds very Band of Horses-adjacent.