In this – the age of the Coronavirus – many of us are stuck at home, isolated with only TV screens and the glow of laptops and phones to keep us connected. In other words, there isn’t much to do.
Videos by American Songwriter
However, one thing that is available to us all is the wide world of recorded music. And now is as good a time as ever to get to know some bands you may not have heard of but ones that you will assuredly enjoy, dear reader.
So, buckle up and get ready for a digital ride around Seattle, Atlanta, Bogotá (Colombia), Los Angeles and Palm Springs (California).
Chong the Nomad, “Take Two (feat Hollis),” Seattle
Few artists in the world make music with as particular a sound as the Emerald City’s Chong the Nomad. Add to that the lollipop sweet lyrics from the Grammy-nominated artist, Hollis, and the result is a song that slaps, dashes, departs and comes back again to lay by the pool before impressing another swath of music aficionados. Mark our words, a year from now, Chong the Nomad will be on everyone’s playlist.
McCall, “Disaster,” Atlanta
Some songs build without you even noticing it. They begin subdued, like an indie movie shot by talented folks with a light budget. But, nevertheless, they evoke. They push and propel. They pierce you and you aren’t even sure why or how. Suddenly, the work crescendos and your heart is racing. That’s what “Disaster” from Atlanta’s McCall is like. It’s a rush that hits before you even knew it was nearby.
Loyal Lobos, “Whatever It Is,” Bogotá
This pensive song from Colombia’s Loyal Lobos has a numinous quality. Like the air we breathe, there is something ubiquitous, numinous about the music. Perhaps it’s the quizzical undertones, the implicit wonder for a better future. Maybe it’s the bucolic music video complete with fog, green hillsides and horses. Maybe the whole thing is the sound of the earth turning again to reveal another day and, soon, another night.
TRISHES, “Gaslight,” Los Angeles
One of the many difficult things about being human is the general need to not feel crazy. Sanity, though, is hard to define on your own. In fact, that’s the general charge everyone in the world is going through now. In an era where global ethics are changing (for better and, at times, for worse), one has to feel self-assured because it’s hard to know who ever to trust. In “Gaslight,” TRISHES sums up the melancholic mood of this moment deftly. And the accompanying video for the song features some amazing home bedroom and bathroom quarantine choreography!
DoNormaal, “Buddy,” Palm Springs
The nomadic DoNormaal, currently based in the California desert, is a relentless rapper. It’s like her brain channels language from the ether, plucking words from some invisible stream. “Buddy” is yet one more example of the writer’s prowess. Who knows? This particular song may have been painstaking in its creation. But it’s also easy to imagine – because she’s so skilled – that she wrote the entire track in her sleep after a long night of trouncing the stage.