This week’s Tuesday Tracks picks includes electrifying punk from Belvedere, The Wandering Hearts’ powerhouse Americana and CMAT’s confessional pop anthem.
The Wandering Hearts, “Gold” — This uplifting folk Americana track jumps in with A.J. Dean Revington’s sensational vocals, backed by rhythmic acoustic palm muting that complements underlining piano phrases and drum beats, slowly building up to the explosive chorus. There, Revington is joined by Tara Wilcox and Francesca “Chess” Whiffin, who bring the ultimate strength in their powerhouse harmonies. The trio reveals a light at the end of the tunnel with: “Scars are stories to be told/ By the way, by the way, all the broken pieces/ Of your heart are made to be filled with gold/ So don’t hide away.” This song acts as a remedy for those going through a tough time in their lives and uplifts the spirit with a continued message of hope.
Belvedere, “Elephant March” — This punk rock anthem blasts off with electrifying guitar riffs by guitarists Steve Rawles and Dan Wollach, as Ryan Mumby pours out the bass and Casey Lewis lights a fire with his drum beats. After a nearly 20-second intro, Rawles prevails with robust vocals. Rawles said the song was inspired by John Godfrey Saxe’s poem “The Elephant Poem,” where six blind people were led to an elephant, each feeling its texture and describing it in different ways. It acts as a symbol for our own lives—each of us all essentially are walking through the same life journey, yet have different needs and dreams and must confront them in different ways, and learn to accept their fate.
CMAT, “I Don’t Really Care For You” — This Swedish pop-inspired anthem has a touch of the 1940s, as percussive pops are underlined by a doo-wop-sounding vocal chorus. Meanwhile, CMAT’s Ciara Mary-Alice Thompson, singing with he pitch and timbre of Alex Winston, takes the show with her silky vocals as she looks back at a past relationship and admits to her own wrongdoings. A four-note piano phrase is repeated throughout the song, emphasized by Thompson in the outro.
Livingmore, “Sharp” — This disco-rock track features the shimmering energy by lead vocalist and guitarist Alex Moore, vocalist and guitarist Spencer Livingston, drummer and keyboardist Mike Schadel and bassist Rodrigo Moreno. The heavily electric intro moves into guitar-layered verses as Moore’s sweeping vocals put a modern spin on retro pop. Mixed and mastered by Josiah Mazzaschi, this track emphasizes feeling comfortable in your own skin and expressing yourself the way you wish, instead of caring more about how others want you to be.
The Joy Formidable, “Into the Blue” — This new age punk-pop track, the first release from The Joy Formidable in three years, is highlighted by blends of Rhydian Dafydd’s pulsating bass synths and steady ‘80s poppy drumming by Matthew James Thomas. All the while, lead singer and guitarist Ritzy Bryan seems to balance vocal techniques influenced by a variety of genres—a little bit of rock mixed with a touch of blues in her tone. The song reflects on letting go of fear and doubt and surrendering to love and positive days ahead. Bryan assures: “Don’t fear the move out of the past/ Let time take your hand and guide you/ It’s time to move/ Into the blue once again.”
Kris Delmhorst, “Light Breaks Through” — The namesake of her new EP acts as a “Part 2” chapter of Delmhorst’s album Long Day in the Milky Way. The album looks ahead out of the pandemic with hopeful messages, while “Light Breaks Through” is a reassurance that the hope turned into a reality of dark times fading. Delmhorst can be heard taking a deep breath as the song opens with, “Darkness fell like an iron bell.” Her distinct vocals are infused with folk styles, backed by a sunny chorus during the signature “light breaks through” in the chorus. A strong presence of keyboards and layered guitar riffs blend for an upbeat dance anthem suitable for a declining pandemic.
Amelia’s pick — This week featured so many standouts, especially in the rock category, but my pick ultimately goes to Belvedere’s “Elephant March.” Not only does its high-energy punk rock vibes make for a good inspirational jam, but its message digs deeper into the surface and really triggers the listener to think and reflect.
Follow writer Amelia Parreira at Twitter.com/AmeliaParreira.