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Runaway Dorothy - Dave Parnell

       In February I had the chance to speak with Runaway Dorothy's Dave Parnell ahead of the release of their latest album, The Wait. See what he had to say about his musical style, the band's second album, and performing in New York City's subways.

E: The album's sound is sparse and, while I respect that you chose to let the songs stand by themselves rather than stuffing them full of theatrics, why did you decide you wanted to make this style of music?
Dave Parnell: Stylistically, I guess, it's kind of new for me; I've always been into rock bands and full production stuff and layered [tracks] and I like the idea of that, but sometimes it can overshadow what the song is doing. I've always created with [the] unsung philosophy of simplicity upon simplicity upon simplicity: almost like a symphony kind of thing, where you have your violin in one part and your cellos in one little part but, when you start bringing it together, they complement each other. The guys I have in the band are such good musicians, if I'm just like "go, do whatever you want" they really could be so technically proficient; they're also smart enough to know that what they do helps move the song forward
   I got obsessed with a band called The Jayhawks, just with their arrangements and stuff; I was just like, that is so melodically beautiful [and] catchy, with every instrument they did. It wasn't just that the vocal melodies were so melodic, it was the guitar parts and the bass lines and anything they did with the keys; everything seemed to push the song forward.

E: So, what was the first band you played in?
DP: The first band I played in was like this U2, bad.. I mean, they were a good band, we just sounded like a bad U2 cover band.

E: You recorded Runaway Dorothy's debut album by yourself; was it important for you to see how everything came together, musically, before you brought anyone else in?
DP: I had just moved to New York from Charleston, South Carolina and written a bunch of demos and put them together in my apartment and sent them to my friend who was still living in North Carolina. He was driving around in his car one day and I get this phone call from him [saying] "what are you doing; you need to go record these immediately" and, at this point, I'd been in bands before, but I'd never been 'the guy': the guy who had to coordinate everything and who had to make all the decisions. So [my friend] was like "I'm going to call the studio now and I'm going to set it up for you. You're just going to fly out to Missouri to work with this producer I know; he's going to take care of everything and I'll come out and join you". So, like, three months later I get a call; everything's booked and I'm flying out of New York City to the middle of Missouri and I'm working with this guy I've never met before but in ten days we're going to finish this album, and that's kind of what happened. My best friend who lives in North Carolina flew out and he, Oran -the producer-, and myself kind of banged out the perfect album in about ten days.
   Now that I think about it, probably yes [it was important] because, at that point, I had been in bands and I'd had roles in bands where I was writing; there's always this camaraderie around a band of people being able to check you and [say] "that's not very good" or "let's work on that" and in this situation, even if it was bad, I could pull the trigger and say "let's do that". I went and did this and by the time I got done with it I [could] trust myself a lot more in my decision making. Then I was able to bring in the band and kind of become more of a leader, because I knew what I wanted going in: I could hear the sound, kind of in my head, and it was just learning the language of moving it from there to the recording. I think having that first album where I kind of had to do all of it, when I brought in other people I was able to communicate to them what I was looking for.

E: How did you decide who to bring into the band, aside from your brother, after completing the first album?
DP: My friend and I started the band and we started with two other guys I'd never even met. I was living in New York, he was living in North Carolina [and] whenever we toured I would just fly down to meet them and we'd rehearse for a week and then go out [and perform] and we did that for about a year, where we would go back and forth. We were doing pretty well but then I started getting more shows in the Northeast and it became more difficult for them to travel [but] I was living with my brother at the time and he's pretty much the best guitar player I've ever met so I was like "I'm going to have you fill in on these gigs for me". Then the bass player that was living in North Carolina decided to move: he graduated from college and was ready to get out of the state so he moved to New York; so then I had three fourths of the band here. I was helping a buddy of mine on a project that he was working with and I kind of stole him and, before I knew it, I had bumped into all these people that were musically on the same page as I was and [I] just kind of beg and stole them into Runaway Dorothy.

E: Was the songwriting for 'The Wait' a group effort?
DP: I still do all the songwriting. The way I kind of do it is I go off on my own, write the songs, and then I usually do a little demo in my apartment of the song, send it out to the guys early in the week, before we have rehearsal, and kind of let them get the song in their ear and then I'll call them and say "I know I want this, I know I want that, and I kind of hear this guitar part" and then I usually whistle the melody and then I give it to them and trust what they do with their instruments. I don't give them too much direction because I don't want them just to be doing exactly what I'm saying. [I] give them enough to where it kind of puts them in the direction and then just let them go do what they want; I can always say "well, no let's do it this way".
   Our new guitar player is such a great guy and great player that I don't want to hinder him in any way; like we came up with this song called "Desperation": I've had it for awhile but it never really was working and I brought it into rehearsal and he started playing this guitar part and I was like, "that's nice but I want it a little more playful. It's gotta have this kind of vibe to it" and in three seconds he knew exactly what I was talking about and [the song] took on this new life that I never expected. I kind of like to give them a little direction and then get out of their way for a little bit; let them make their own arrangements because, really, each person in the band has their biggest strong-suit and I think mine is bringing the songs to the band. Our bass player, Warren, is such a great singer: he has this ear for melody and harmony and he helps us work out everything vocally that we're doing. And my brother went to Yale for classical music; his arrangement skills are just insane. He can hear everything in small pieces and make sure no one is stepping on each other's parts.

E: You said your bass player has a great voice; does he sing on this album?
DP: He actually doesn't do any [singing] on the new album. We're working on this third album now, kind of in secret, and we kind of feature him a lot more on [the third] album. On the first album I did like ninety percent of the vocals and brought in a little bit of harmony and then we started exploring with a lot more, almost like Mumford & Sons, with lots of three and four part harmonies. Everybody in the band has to sing and I know a lot of stuff on our newest album is going to feature a lot of it too, but we let him [Warren] have his moment to shine on a lot of the stuff live because he has an incredible voice.

E: What inspired the album's lead single, "Give Me A Reason"?
DP: I was obsessed with Oasis when I was a kid: I loved the idea of having your brother in the band -I definitely hit with that- and I loved their song "Wonderwall" and I wanted to write almost like an alt-country version of "Wonderwall". A lot of songs on the album are reflections of relationships that -specifically one or two- didn't work out for some reason or another and "Give Me A Reason" is kind of this apology song. It's this guy who is dating someone who is really good for him but he's such a volatile, crazy person that, at any moment, he's just going to run out the door and it's like he's pleading with the person he's with like, "tell me to stay. Tell me a reason to stay here with you and I'll do it, otherwise I'm probably going to go and you might not ever see me again". It's kind of this weird romantic way of him trying to tell the person that "I know you're good for me and I know this is going to be great, but I have such crazy tendencies of running away that you just have to step in and put your foot down".

E: Is there a particular song from The Wait which you're most proud of?
I think one of my favorites on the album is the very last song, "The Ballad of a Dead Man". As far as story-telling quality, it's the most unlikely that I think I've written because, when I look back at writing it, it doesn't even make any sense to me like, this is not anything I would do. I was living in a friend's basement for about six weeks; we were working on some recording stuff and [the basement] got no sunlight and all he had was this massive T.V. - I mean, it was probably five feet by five feet- so that was the only light and [the T.V.] would always be left on. So I remember waking up one day and National Geographic or one of those channels was playing a serial killer documentary and I [thought] it would be interesting if I could write a song about a serial killer; I didn't want to glorify that in any way but I wanted to figure out a cool way that we could empathize with someone who had to murder somebody. I got the idea of the story and created it and, little by little, I started filling in the holes; like I would write a little bit of the first verse and then a little bit of the last verse and then it kind of met in the middle. All of the melodies - I have no idea where they came from, I was just hearing it in my head - I finished it all in a matter of minutes and I kind of put it away because I was like "it's not really catchy [or] upbeat and we're never going to play it live". I didn't think I would ever record [the track] but, when it came time to do the second album, I was like "alright, we're putting it on the album".
   I don't know that there's a special meaning behind it. Usually, whenever I play that song for friends, I give them a twenty minute introduction of what the back story of the song is; one of my goals in life is to write a novel that is the back story to that song: the last page of the novel is sort of the first note of the song. I think a lot of the themes on this album kind of deal with making tough decisions and heartbreak in a way that's not a traditional heartbreak and I think that, just the way the song parallels to my life in that I've had loss and how I'm dealing with it, and kind of how the main character feels, I guess, because the song is told from the perspective of a little boy, it fits on this album.

E: Do you have a favorite song to perform live?
DP: Right now we just brought in this song called "Desperation" which is not on the first album; not on the second; it's from the third album. The song should not be fun, it's about sad things that are hidden inside this happy, up-tempo song but, just the way everybody in the band sort of plays their parts, [this song] feels the most cohesive to the band.

E: Now that the band has been together for a while, would you say it has hit its sweet spot?
DP: I think so. I'm surprised every time I go in to do a rehearsal or to do shows [by] how comfortable everyone is on stage with each other and we can go into little tangents and everybody follows everybody else and I kind of catch myself sometimes listening to the band and being like "I would listen to this band, I really like this". It makes me happy to know that putting in that work and somehow finding the right people to be in the band has paid off.

E: Have any fun stories from performing on the subway platforms in New York City?
DP: Honestly, it's one of the most fun times I've ever had playing. When you live in New York or when you're going on tour, you're going to places and you're trying to convince people to come see you play. The long and short of it is like "I'm here; come see us play" and you almost feel like a really bad advertisement so when you go [to the show] and people show up, you're in a good mood; but when you go and people don't show up you're like "man, we just drove all this way and no one cares" so it can kind of take away from the thing you wanted to do to begin with: I just want to show up and play music.
   So we started doing this thing where we would rehearse on Friday and then, at the end of rehearsal, pack up and do the rest of our rehearsal in the subway. We were working on our harmonies and wanted to make sure what we were doing was really working. It was kind of like boot camp for our band. You have to stand really close together to hear each other and you have to be extra good when you're playing or people won't care and they won't listen.  
   We started playing the subway to see who would react to [our music] and we were doing it at rush hour on a Friday, when New Yorkers should not care, but we were finding people were stopping and listening and it wasn't just the people we thought it would be either, it was all over the board: I couldn't come up with a better demographic.
   We had this one time - this is probably the most amazing experience I ever had - this super elderly Chinese grandmother came through - she had heard the music and clearly just come from the grocery store and did not speak a word of English - she came through and gave us two of her oranges that she had just bought from the grocery. Now, that's pretty cool, because we connected even though she had no idea what we were talking about; we brought her joy with our music and it was the best kind of response that we could get.

E: You've made some mentions of your third album; have you chosen a direction for the next album?
DP: Yeah, it's more [of a] reflection of our live set: the first album was more of a singer-songwriter type album and the second was an expansion on that, but the third is what it's like here; just five guys together in a room playing off each other. It's stripped down and we're sort of following The Strokes philosophy, that you don't do anything in the song that can't be performed live, and the tracks sort of take on that live energy.

E: Is there anything you want to say to your fans about the album or your music in general?
DP: Just, thank you for listening. A lot of the songs are written for selfish reasons, like I have to get it out, but our connection to people, because of those songs, has been really great. [I] get messages from people every couple of weeks that say "thank you for writing this song; it helped me get through this", and I just think that's great because I almost didn't write the song.

       Make sure to check out the band in the links below and grab their sophomore album, The Wait, now for sweet alt-country tracks you can listen to on repeat. 
Runaway Dorothy
- E


Ashley Riley

       I had the opportunity to talk to Ashley Riley about her song- writing preferences, inspirations, and her third album, All the Pretty Things. See what she had to say below. 

E: Your vocals have had comparisons to Stevie Nicks and your music seems to emulate a lot of the strong Americana sound; which artists have most inspired you?
Ashley Riley: I think I've been most inspired by Patty Griffin and Neil Young; I really like his guitar playing even though some people say it's sloppy. I actually just discovered Lori McKenna and I think she's a really good lyric writer.

E: Where does your inspiration come from when you're putting together something new?
AR: A lot of times I'll just kind of sit down and play and sometimes I don't actually know what a song is about until I'm about halfway through it. Sometimes I actually do sit down with something in mind that I want to write about so it's kind of different every time. It's usually just [inspiration from] my life, my friends, and just everything around me.

E: When did you start actually playing and writing songs?
AR: In 2008. I think my first show was on Valentine's Day.

E: All the Pretty Things is your third album. How has your style matured since your first album's release?
AR: I would say that my first album was pretty much just me: solo acoustic. Since then, I feel like I've just kind of grown my sound each time. The second album had a full band behind it, well, actually, not a full band, just bass and drums, and this new album actually has a lot more organ and keyboard and lead guitar. I feel like I just kind of keep making it a little more sophisticated sounding.

E: What made you decide to add a band on your second and third albums after releasing a solo debut album?
AR: Well, I think just the way that I kind of got started was [as a solo artist]. I just got a guitar and started taking lessons and writing songs pretty much instantly and once I started getting more confident in that I started going out to a lot of open mics in the area and eventually became the host of one. From there I met my future band and started collaborating a little bit more. [The band were] other artists that would come to the shows and [we] just became friends and decided to play some stuff together and became a band that way.

E: Do you prefer working with a band over the solo work you used to do?
AR: I mean, I still write by myself; I still write everything and then take it to the band. We haven't collaborated yet, maybe it's something I should try, but we haven't done that yet.

E: I'm a fan of "Bulletproof"; where did the inspiration for that song come from?
AR: That song is actually kind of sad. It's about someone who OD'd on heroin actually and it's just kind of like the people around trying to help. It was a family member of a friend so I'm kind of like a third person in that story.

E: Is there a song on the album you most prefer to perform live?
AR: I think, actually, the title track, "All the Pretty Things", is the most fun to play live. It's just got a lot of dynamics with it, like it's kind of quiet but the choruses get really loud so that one's pretty fun. And people seem to really like "Love Shark"; a lot of people tell me that's their favorite one.

E: Where did the inspiration for the title track come from?
AR: That was actually a song that I was trying to write on purpose. I was trying to write more of a fun song because a lot of my music seems to be a little downbeat and kind of, I don't know, people will be like 'are you okay? Are you upset?', so I was trying to write something a little happier.

E: Does that downbeat tempo reflect the music you most enjoy or would you rather begin writing more of these upbeat tracks?
AR: It does. I kind of enjoy more mellow music or I kind of joke that my iPod is basically like Lilith Fair or something. So I do enjoy that kind of music and I think that's why I write a lot of it but it is fun to perform those upbeat songs; you can rock out and that's fun.

E: You said that your favorite track to perform live was "All the Pretty Things", but do you have a favorite track from all the songs which you have written throughout your career?
AR: Honestly, I think that my favorite is usually the song that I just wrote. It's usually the last song I wrote because you're kind of really invested in it and you're just, you know, really playing it a lot when you're trying to write a song. I usually find that when I'm writing a song it ends up being my favorite until I write a new one.

E: Is there anything else you want to say to your fans about this upcoming album or any of your music in general?
AR: I really just am proud of this album. I actually worked on it for about two years and I think that I've really just kind of found my sound through all of the songs that I've written and albums that I've done. I feel like this time around it just kind of really is what I wanted it to sound like. I think that it's more personal [than former albums]. I finally got exactly what I wanted to get across in the recordings.
       Make sure to purchase your copy of All the Pretty Things to hear Riley's gorgeously simple and stripped down sound. 
- E

Maggie McClure

       In November I had the chance to sit down with Maggie McClure and discuss her inspirations, musical styles, and her latest album Time Moves On.  Check out the interview below and get Time Moves On now. 

E: When did you first become interested in writing and making music?
Maggie McClure: Well, I started piano lessons when I was five years old and so I've been involved in music pretty much my entire life. I actually wrote my first song when I was eight years old and it just came really naturally and was something that I did for fun. I started singing and playing piano at the same time when I was in middle school and started writing songs at the piano when I was about twelve or thirteen and so, honestly, it was just really fun, to me, and that's how I got interested in doing it. [I was] just so inspired by listening to other artists and wanted to do it myself.

E: Which artists inspired you?
MM: When I was younger, my first few inspirations were Amy Grant and Bonnie Raitt. I remember just being so impressed with them, so they've had a big impact on my musical influences and then, later on, Carole King; I started listening to her [Carole King] and got to see her live in concert and Sarah McLachlan, I'm a huge fan of hers, and Norah Jones. So, just, a lot of these piano driven pop artists, females in particular, really inspired me, and especially when I got to see them live, you know, there's nothing like a live concert experience and seeing someone do, ultimately, what you want to do when you're older. So, they've all had an impact on my music, in some way, over the years.

E: Speaking of live concerts, do you have a favorite song that you like to perform live?
MM: Oh, man, I mean, it's hard to pick one song that I like to perform more than others because I write all my own music and so they all, all the songs have a special meaning to me and they're all, you know, basically excerpts from my journal put to song so they all mean so much to me. I think, now that I'm releasing this new record, it is really fun to perform the brand new songs and, in particular, I really like playing "Reset", which is actually the first song on the album.

E: Personally, that's my favorite track, both the lyrics and composition are so great; what's the inspiration behind the song?
MM: Thank you, I appreciate that. Basically, that song came about after I had run into an old friend from high school that I hadn't seen in a couple years and we ran into each other at a CVS and we were just talking. We had a heart to heart conversation in the middle of the pharmacy section and he was going through some personal stuff and I was trying to figure out what I was going to do, us being the age we are, trying to figure out what we're going to do with our careers and lives; I think we all feel like that throughout our lives, no matter what our ages. 
   We were having this conversation and he said something to me that just really spoke to me and he said "sometimes in life we just need to hit the reset button" and I was just so inspired by that and immediately went home and wrote this song in, like, thirty minutes and basically just took that conversation and wrote this song based upon taking the time to really regroup and reset and gain perspective on what to do next. That's what the song is about and it really does mean a lot to me and I even emailed him and told him about it and he was just so excited. Our short little ten minute conversation inspired the song: it's pretty cool how everyday life experiences can turn into these songs.

E: Generally, what is your inspiration when you're coming up with a new song? Do they [the songs] mostly stem from those everyday experiences?
MM: Honestly, I just try to be aware of what's going on around me and what people are going through and a lot of these songs are straight from my heart about stuff that I'm going through. I just moved a year and a half ago from Oklahoma to Los Angeles and so this whole record is about dealing with change and trying to make the most of the time that we've been given and adapting to new environments and, just, staying on the path. A lot of things have inspired this album but the whole theme of it all is adapting to change and making the most of every day. A lot of these songs are literally taken from my journal and then I just sit at the piano and turn them into songs.

E: You did a lot of experimenting with this album; which parts did you most experiment with and how has your style changed from your last album to this new one?
MM: I was just more open to doing things a little bit differently than I have before. Maybe not so much in the song-writing as in the production of the record, just trying new sounds and being completely open to what the producer and musicians brought to the table and letting the songs develop like they needed to instead of putting them in a box and saying 'this is what it needs to sound like': just letting it come to life, whatever that specific song needed, and letting that happen instead of trying to make it a certain way. That's where we really experimented, was in the production.
   In the song-writing, like I said, being more open to maybe not doing such a cookie cutter pop song. Like, in "Uncertainty", the chorus is just "ooh", like a bunch of "ooh"'s which is just, you know, normally there are words in a chorus. So, some things like that where I was just like 'you know, this is what the song needs, this is how I want it to be, and this is what feels right so let's do it'. Definitely, now that I think about it, there was experimenting in all areas.

E: Reflecting on your move from the Midwest to the West Coast, would you say that this album more personally reflects your current lifestyle than that of your previous albums?
MM: All the songs talk about specific issues, I guess you would say, with moving, but a lot of the songs have just been about dealing with all of the changes because, obviously, life in general is just so much more different in L.A. than it is in Norman, Oklahoma. Time Moves On is just about pursuing the dream even though it's not exactly easy: making my own path and creating opportunities for myself. A lot of people will not come out here because they don't have anything going on: they need a reason. You just have to take that leap of faith and start creating opportunities for yourself and so that's what I've been doing and it has been completely unpredictable and crazy and scary, all at the same time, but so exciting; all these songs reflect that in one way or another.
   "Uncertainty" [is about] not knowing what to do or where to go and just feeling helpless when you think you have an idea of what to do next, then the next day something happens and that gets completely changed and doesn't happen; just having faith and not being so vulnerable that you get knocked down and can't keep going.
   "Closer Than Before" is a song about moving here [to Los Angeles] and it's a love song. My husband and I both are musicians and he's from Oklahoma, as well, so we made that move together. It's really cool that we have each other to lean on because there are so many things in our lives that are unpredictable and inconsistent in every way, so it's really nice to have each other to remind ourselves that we are getting closer to what our goals are even though, on a daily basis, it's hard to see that. But, when you take a step back and look at it all it's like 'oh, okay, we're doing something. Coming here was a good idea'.

E: You are your own booking agent and manager. How do you blend the creative talents with business management and balance those two diverse roles?
MM: Thankfully, I went to college and got a music business degree and so I was a music major with a business minor and I am so thankful that I did that [because] now it's, unfortunately, almost seventy-five percent business. I always want to be doing more of the creative but, right now, I don't have management or booking so I'm doing all of that as well as creating the music and everything else that comes with being an artist so it's pretty crazy. I try to find a good balance but my husband, Shane, can tell you I spend way too much time on the computer trying to make stuff happen and create opportunities: booking shows and making calls and interviewing publicists and all kinds of stuff. I've had management before and I would definitely be open to having it again; things are starting to get kind of crazy and I would like to have more time to focus on just the art itself but, right now, I'm just doing as much as I can and working as hard as I can and trying to not go crazy at the same time.

E: Which song from the new album are you most excited for your fans to hear?
MM: I honestly think every single song on [Times Moves On] has a purpose. I had about forty, fifty songs to choose from so when I chose these nine songs I chose them because they were the strongest, in my opinion, and in the producers opinion. I don't think any of them are just what you would call 'filler songs', but each one of them really has a purpose, so I'm excited for my fans to hear the entire record and I hope that they listen to it all, because every song is so different and people will connect to different songs. I definitely think "Reset" is one of my favorites and "Time Moves On" also; "Daydream at Midnight" I really like and I'm really into "Liar, Liar", as well. All of them are pretty different but they're still all covering the same theme; I'm excited.

E: Do you plan on bringing any of the cut songs back on a later album?
MM: I don't know.. Right now I would definitely be open to that, it just depends on what happens later down the road but, yeah, definitely. There are so many [songs] that I really like and I think would be great but I can't record fifty songs right now. Even on this batch of songs, I wrote "Troubled Heart" back when I was writing for my last record and it actually ended up on this record, even though it didn't make it for my last album, so there's definitely a chance that some of the songs I wrote for this one that didn't make it will make it onto future projects.

E: Is there anything else you want to add or say to your fans that I haven't asked yet?
MM: Just that my whole philosophy behind what I do is to encourage people and bring substance to my music, and music in general. I hope that my songs and music speak to people and bring encouragement to them and I really feel like that's what I meant to do [with this album] and so I hope that these songs reflect that. They have a lot of meaning and I hope people will think the same.  

       Get your copy of Time Moves On  now for a refreshing take on female pop songs which is sure to be your newest addiction. 
- E


Got To My Head

       WATERS' "Got To My Head" features a youthful rhythm dripping with fun vocal hooks and addictive guitar riffs and is paired with a video just as unobtrusively fun and wonderfully simple as the song itself. A chorus which insists "maybe you got to my head" is easy to sing along with from your first listen while great lines like "like rain on sun-soaked days, I never thought you'd stray, and now I can't stop thinking" keep the song interesting long after you've memorized its sound.
       Check out their impossibly fun single for a track you won't mind having stuck in your head the rest of the night.
"Got To My Head" WATERS
- E



       Sir Sly's "Gold" holds all the trepidation, honest lyrics, and pleading notes of the ever-popular The Neighbourhood, but without that constant pit of despair which beckons you in whether you're ready or not, making Sir Sly's track that much better (in this niche) because I can only take so much empathy before I'm ready to leave and find music that understands me, rather than a track that begs for my consideration. 
       A trippy video which features the constantly haunted protagonist running from himself while the lines "darling never settle, chasing down the devil, chasing down the gods, I hope you find your dream" traipse across the backdrop makes the video hit harder than any of this year's other releases from popular artists, which all seem to support the same light and running theme (i.e. "we're young, adorable, and cooler than you"). 
       A solid composition and a video interesting enough to keep you watching through the final scene while lyrics as great as "nothing in my life worth proving, chasing, all my time is wasted" and "it's the push and the pull, it's the rise and the fall, I don't owe you a single thing, I don't owe you anything" are brought to life makes "Gold" completely refreshing and worthy of all your late night summer playlists.
"Gold" Sir Sly
- E



       One of my favorite people in the world is going to be back in the US today PLUS summer is finally here and this oppressive heat is demanding that you face summer head on, so check out the playlist then lay back and chill in the pool or go out and have fun; either way, you can't go wrong with these awesome tracks. 
"Animals" Lux Lisbon
"Be Brave"  YLHCSD
"Sweet Ophelia" Zella Day
"Young Hearts" Strange Talk
"Lay Me Down" Dirty Heads (stop everything you're doing and see Dirty Heads perform live. Right now)
"Paris" Magic Man
"Lessons Learned" Matt and Kim 
"Waves" Sleeper Agent
"Since Last Wednesday" Highasakite
"Coastline" B.o.B
"Goodness Gracious" Ellie Goulding 
"Look To The Stars" Semi Precious Weapons
"Youth" Foxes
"Remember Me At All" The Middle Names
"My Body" Young the Giant
"First Things First" Neon Trees
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       With any hope, you're like me and finished your last final today and have a few weeks off from classes and are more than a little ready for summer to finally be here, and The Head and The Heart's release for their "Summertime" video could not be more perfect. 
       The track features lead vocals, for the first time ever, from Charity Rose Thielen (violinist/back-up singer) and holds a sweet melody that carries you away and strays just far enough from the band's normal root rock sound that the track, fittingly so, feels like a vacation from the rest of the album. 
       Even if you still have another week or so of classes to slough through before you finally get a taste of freedom, you can still check out the slightly trippy and completely sweet stop-motion animation video of a track that promises long days and warm nights to come. 
       Grab "Summertime" from THATH's sophomore album, Let's Be Still, and catch the band on tour this summer. 
"Summertime" The Head and The Heart
The Head and The Heart
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