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Alt Pop





Aubrey Haddard embraces (and avoids) the spotlight on “Thin Line”

Brooklyn-based performer Aubrey Haddard understands the scrutiny one faces as a performer — the inkling that “everyone’s watching,” of feel[ing] on the display.” Such sentiments influenced her latest single “Thin Line,” a new pop offering with strong indie rock roots. Driven by a walking alt soul baseline and a punchy percussive backbone, Haddard’s melodious range dominates the space, bringing the necessary bravado this maximalist effort, while lyrically detailing feelings of uncertainty, or in her own words, “starting to realize I’m walking on a thin line” just as everything seems to be going fine. It’s a clever(and catchy) exploration of the singer’s psyche, a track that splits the difference between extreme confidence and self-doubt that feels quintessentially human — watch the video below, and keep an eye out for Haddard’s forthcoming LP, out later this year.

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Paper Jackets release energetic single "Baby Teeth" from upcoming summer EP

In 2018, Paper Jackets continued the age-old tradition of making indie songs out of hip-hop hits with their twinkling cover of Cardi B's "Bodak Yellow". The now six-piece group have evolved in the past two years, with Souvenirs Volume One -- their first full-length collection of tracks -- due out this summer. Paper Jackets dropped their first single from the album, called "What They Call A Life", earlier this spring. Now the band has released the energetic follow-up, "Baby Teeth", which has enough song-of-the-summer spirit to power fans through what might be an unconventional season. "Baby Teeth" and "What They Call A Life" convey the urgency and passion behind everything that's to come on Souvenirs Volume One; keep an ear out for it this summer. Take a listen to "Baby Teeth" below. - Will Sisskind

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The Blossom shares "Bored Baby Blues" from home in Australia

The pandemic hasn't stopped musicians from putting out work, even if they've had to travel halfway around the world. The Blossom -- the project of Lily Lizotte -- has released her new single "Bored Baby Blues", a song pulsing with dream pop nostalgia and a sense of coming home. The video for the song consists of footage Lizotte took after arriving back in her native home of Sydney, showing her biking around and driving around her neighborhood in the earliest days of the pandemic. Surrounded by uncertain energy, the video shows Lizotte enjoying what freedom she can get. Take a look at the video for "Bored Baby Blues" below. - Will Sisskind





Iris Lune weaves through grief and loss on new track "Note to Self"

Mother’s Day can be a surprisingly reflective holiday — wherein we not only celebrate moms, but perhaps consider the necessary sacrifices inherent to parenthood. Songwriter Iris Lune commemorates her own late mother in new track “Note to Self,” released yesterday, in manners electronic and folky. A tactile, innovative indie pop single with elements evocative of Passion Pit, its instrumentals dramatically build to an explosive, emotive tribute, lyrically detailing grief and loss amongst punching drums and glittering synth. Such an effort serves well hidden nature of this past Sunday, and makes for a sentimental (and at times, soul stirring) listen; stream it below (and call your mom), and keep an eye out for Lune’s forthcoming LP lovelosslove dropping June 5th. Photo by Nir Aireli

 

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Zero Front keeps it simple in new EP "Static Faces"

Like a cup of black coffee, New Hampshire’s Zero Front keeps things quite simple but oh so good. In his new EP, Static Faces, the singer/songwriter/loop perfectionist mixes clean electric guitar strums with modernist sound loops that create an environment fit for both an existential contemplation or escapism rejecting the former idea. “Cold Coffee” is groovy, with sustained sounds like robots conversing. Where “Vanity Plates” is as serene as a walk among a familiar place, “Sea of Tranquility (The Moon Song)” is the wrong turn that ends up being not the wrong turn, almost psychedelic in its slow nature. Zero Front has created a piece of work that feels like it was meant to belong only to him but has accidentally become something for all to enjoy and understand. Stream “Cold Coffee” for a simplicity that just feels and sounds like what you need this weekend. - Rene Cobar, photo by Ryan Burnham

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