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"Less Than Nothing" is Jet Setting's sly, hard-rock take-down

 Get ready for some of the most savage lyrics of the summer: "When the bathroom drugs run out, and the barkeep's taking up her count / And you find yourself alone, with the strangers in your phone /  Are you happy now? I have my doubts." Jet Setting is a hard-rock band that isn't afraid to tell it like it is- which means, they're ready to expose the shady exes that need to be exposed. "Less Than Nothing" is a pretty harsh song title, and the distorted electric guitars, heavy bass sound and crunchy drums are in full support of that grim tone. Singer Logan Coats' vocals are spitting and spiteful, just the way you'd sound if someone had betrayed you. Jet Setting nailed the subject matter with the most savage sonic wall of thrashing rock that you always wanted. -Geena Kloeppel



Bill Eberle's "Soft" is radical- but not in the way you'd think

"On the night of the election, I put my daughter to bed and I walked in to find my pregnant wife. We sat together and cried. We thought, ‘We’d better sleep, because tomorrow the real work begins." Bill Eberle's statement describing his upcoming record Soft Light (9/18) is a sentiment that rings true for many. "Soft" is strangely soothing- not quite the way you'd imagine a protest song to sound. Eberle seems to find solace in the fragility of the world and asserts the healing power of music during darker times. The abstract, old-timey music video highlights the spacey, open-ended textures of the song, taking the fragmented state of the world and turning it into a visual. Bill Eberle plays the Cobra on 8/12. -Geena Kloeppel

Forlorn Strangers release bright folk rock jam "Natalie Cole"

 You guessed it- "Natalie Cole" is partially about the death of singer and actress Natalie Cole (yep, that's Nat King Cole's daughter.) Indie folk rockers Forlorn Strangers have built a funky, folksy arrangement (featuring a mellotron?) around what could be a pretty dark song. "I don't wanna feel this anymore / all the things I ever loved before / are slipping through my hands" is a relatable lyric in the singable, hooky chorus. But even the most existential lyrics are paired with bright melodies and warm chord progressions. -Geena Kloeppel


"Tennessee Is Alive" is a reflection on a hometown

 "My hometown is losing pride / there's some folks 'round here tryna skin it alive" sings Emily Kohavi of Wildeyes on the band's new single "Tennessee Is Alive." But the song doesn't sound like an accusation. There's a sweetness to it, perhaps a subtle challenge- for said "folks" to try harder to be better. All that aside, the Americana arrangement of the song is full of beautiful, genre-specific moments: the words where Kohavi's drawl rings through, the groove of the bass, the band's wall of harmonies, a fiddle solo... "Tennessee Is Alive" is truly gorgeous. The band's next show is at the Station in Louisville on 7.27. -Geena Kloeppel



David Smalt's "Grand Theft Cosmos" is a neo-folk masterpiece

David Smalt's vocal timbre alone is so enchanting, with a stunning mixture of grit and tenderness, that I had a hard time paying attention to the words he was actually singing the first time listening to "Grand Theft Cosmos." Then I listened again, and still found myself entranced by Smalt's voice. He could sing the phonebook and it would sound good. Without giving too much away about the song (you should really just listen), the lyric "Since you stopped by, star-bright / I am frozen sunshine" absolutely took the air out of my body. Though it's hard to pinpoint where exactly the sound of "Grand Theft Cosmos" evolved from, it's reminiscent of Bon Iver, Bob Dylan and James Taylor- there's a great guitar line, a sweet piano thrown in toward the end, simple percussion. David Smalt's new record Fragile Magick is out 9/7. I can't wait. -Geena Kloeppel



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