Edge of Town – Middle Kids

Hailing from Sydney Australia, Middle Kids hit my headphones at the recommendation of my brother, Jarrett.

Generally our music tastes overlap, but often we find excitement in very different audio experiences.

Middle Kids is one of those bands that happily brings us together.

Lead singer Hannah Joy’s vocals ground the song’s emotional lyrics and are paired beautifully with the instrumental work of guitarist Tim Fitz and drummer Harry Day.

Joy’s vocals and the hook-laden chorus make this a song that could easily be sung in stadiums or small bar venues. The beauty is in the depth of the message and the simultaneous fun listen.

“I got all muddled up and journeyed to the edge of town

And then the road cracked open, sucked me in and I went down

We’re standing face to face with the king of the underground

Some things just don’t add up, I’m upside down I’m inside out.”

Gaining traction on NPR and Rolling Stone and currently on-tour with Cold War Kids, I don’t see this band staying under-the-radar for long.

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Pedestrian at Best – Courtney Barnett

No lie, I heard about Courtney Barnett through a post a friend put on Facebook. She was referencing the clowns in the video, but when I heard the song, it wouldn’t stop spinning in my head.

Then, this morning as we were pulling up to work, Brandon had put on WNKU, and they mentioned Barnett. It put her back into my consciousness, so I figured it was only appropriate to post about her.

Barnett’s album, Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit is WNKU’s album of the month for July and she’s received multiple accolades, including rave reviews in Rolling Stone, Paste, Pitchfork and The Guardian. Barnett has also been featured on shows like the Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, further cementing her encroach into the mainstream.

The Aussie musician is being hailed as a rising star, and no one seems to know quite how to define her. Some say she fits in a category called “slacker rock,” while others say that her lyrics defy that, and shine a light on the mundane parts of life, echoing Bob Dylan’s approach.

Regardless of her place in music, Barnett has a knack for making her presence feel natural to the listener. The slight twinge of her Australian accent gives her away in most songs, and her choices are always on-point and deliberate.

If you find yourself hopping from one song to the next on Sometimes I Sit don’t be alarmed. While “Pedestrian at Best” is her leading cry, the rest of the tracks provide a casual sound that will drag you in.

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Bills – Lunchmoney Lewis

I’m always looking for something new. As I said in an earlier post, I tend to exhaust myself on certain songs and artists (I’ve had a hard time listening to Mumford & Sons for about three years now).

So when this popped up in my Spotify, I immediately decided to save it.

Lunchmoney Lewis isn’t an easy artist to find out about. He collabed with Nicki Minaj on “Trini Dem Girls,” but other than “Bills,” there’s no singles from him yet.

But “Bills” is a great debut. It has a shit-ton of heart, and (don’t shoot me for this) reminds me of “Uptown Funk,” in that it’s bringing back soul but with a modern flair. Lewis’ voice is smooth and approachable, in addition to a fun piano line and trumpet solo. It feels way more homegrown than a lot of the autotune, EDM and intricate beats that are playing on the radio now. It’s super-upbeat and humanizes the idea of not being rich.

I got Bills I gotta pay
So I’ma gonn’ work work work every day
I got mouths I gotta feed,
So I’ma gonn’ make sure everybody eats
I got Bills!!

I can guarantee that this one is going to be a big summer hit. It’s already Number 1 in Australia, and it’s working its way up here in USA, too. Plus, Lewis received a shout-out from Rolling Stone, which (love them, or hate them) is only going to further his exposure.

I’m really hoping that when his album drops it is as fun and engaging as this song, because I’ll be kicking it on repeat if that’s the case.

Here’s to summer (which is on its way) and unfortunately, here’s to being broke.

XO