(Photo Credit: Bonnie Nichoalds)

The Capital G – Ernest Baker

Hailing from Boston, MA, The Capital G is making us take notice with the release of his new EP GIDDY. We decided to pluck “Ernest Baker” from the EP for our list this week. Yes, the song was released a while back, but given the release of the EP, it feels right to look at it again. Each track on the EP goes through an array of alternative hip-hop settings, and “Ernest Baker” is a hell of a closer. It’s just a colossal sound that rattles your bones.

The Capital G’s delivery is subtle at the beginning, playing with the beat and the environment around it rather than forcing himself onto the track – it’s all about the atmosphere and presence. The backing vocal track adds something mysterious to all of this, and when he does step into the track, my god, just sit back – it goes hard, reels itself back, and then lets it all go one more time.

(Photo credit: Mike Mangov)


When you listen to KNIFEY, it’s pretty difficult to not have a great time, and that’s especially true on “Serf.” The track is taken from last year’s ripper of an album Beached, and it came back into our ears courtesy of the newly released video, which carries the banner of early era Fat Wreck Chords releases. While the video takes place on a pretty chilly beach, the guys were kind enough to unleash it at just the right time when there are hints of spring and warm temperatures finally in the air.

Guitars smack you in the face, and the rhythm section pulls you up and drags you along for the party, whether you’re up for it or not. This is some of the most fun you’ll have while thinking about how things are trending for the worse. But you’ll definitely force yourself to live life a little in spite of that.

(Photo credit: Jacqueline Verdugo)

Moonheart – Bridestep

“Bridestep” was written by Kim Mayo as a cathartic process that helped close the chapter on a relationship that left some questions unattended to and a lot of communication unresolved. Moonheart, the duo of Mayo and Michael Sachs, met in Boston and relocated to Brooklyn, and they’re about to release a new LP, Feel It Out, in the near future. Again, this is another one that came to us via video – one that escapes the city and goes deep into the outdoors to add to the natural, organic feeling of the track.

Mayo’s voice operates in a tight, ethereal realm – shaky at times, but also capable of finding its footing at just the right moment. Sachs delivers production that opens up, rushes towards the listener, and loops back in a way that creates a delicate restraint that’s needed for the subject matter at hand.

(Photo credit: Laura Carrick)

Polish Club – Beeping

Polish Club have a newer single out now (“Able”), but this one has been an earworm for us since we first heard it. Yet again, this is another one that came to us as a video – one that’s a hurried stop-motion set played out in black and white Polaroid images. With drums that have been shaken down from the heavens and a guitar that sets the streets on fire, you might get a little wild with this one.

“Beeping” is a soulful balance between Japandroids and Against Me! It feels classic and anchored in the ethos of punk, but the duo also feels like the much needed gap and next step in making rock ‘n’ roll matter again. Be careful listening to this one with headphones on because you’re going to want to take it to 11, and don’t be surprised if you start slicing up the floor from the first up-pick.

TamTam – Blue

TamTam was born and raised in Saudi Arabia for a while before she relocated to California. She uses these cross-cultural borders to create her specific sound and to merge various influences. According to the artist, the track is about heartbreak and the lingering pain found in the end of a relationship. Furthermore, she found inspiration in nature and used it as a guide to create texture to the track, which is definitely apparent.

“Blue” drops and dips through minor tones in a sinking pool during a moonlit glow. Lyrically, it leaves her questioning her role and wondering why events transpired the way they did. The drop plunges and chimes like the stroke of midnight, wrapped in absolute darkness as she tries to move in the right direction through an unknown emptiness.

YellowStraps – Blame

“Blame” is an engrossing, swirling blend of various sounds that dribble onto the canvas to create new texture and life to the work. YellowStraps, from Belgium, are releasing an EP of the same name soon, and needless to say, we’re more than intrigued. This particular track opens in a way similar to how life began to evolve on earth – quiet minimalism that quickly turns into something more and grows throughout millennia in a matter of minutes.

The single is about a couple that’s in love but can’t find a middle ground or a place of humility, which ends up stifling the situation and growth in the relationship. It’s easy to fall into a groove with the track, but the horns that fall in then out, and the synth that takes their place to deliver a new twist, keep you from becoming too complacent.