Audible/Visual Hoots: Daniel Caesar, Charlotte Cornfield, Chris Velan & more

Daniel Caesar (photo via FB)
Daniel Caesar (photo via FB)

“Death & Taxes” – Daniel Caesar 

With the quality of songs he puts out, before you know it, Daniel Caesar will be a household name. In “Death & Taxes” from Caesar’s soulful debut LP Pilgrim’s Paradise released late last year, a bluesy guitar anchors Caesar’s vocally stunning examination of his relationship with God. Make it three things sure in life: death, taxes, Daniel Caesar’s pending rise to fame. – Laura Stanley

“Un-American Gothic” – Chris Velan

As winter begins to set in, the first single from Chris Velan’s upcoming Glow album is just the warmth we need. On this album Velan has got a wickedly talented backup cast, featuring members of Suuns, AoarA, Islands and more, and the result is the stunning and catchy “Un-American Gothic,” which constructs a tropical groove out of some synths and laid-back guitar. “I’m afraid we’ve gone too far/No one can save us now,” the chorus says, but this song is just right. –Michael Thomas

“Aslan” – Charlotte Cornfield

Charlotte Cornfield has this incredible way of singing about very detailed moments but also manages to capture the universal emotions behind them that leaves you wondering how she knew exactly what happened to you. In “Aslan,” her long awaited return, an allusive lover (“I got the keys to many doors but I can’t find the keys to you”) fuels anxiety, disappointment, but, most importantly, an assertiveness from Cornfield that equals a tight, up-tempo folk-pop track and a promising preview of her forthcoming record Future Snowbird– LS

“Lights in the Sky” – Artifiseer

Ian Livingstone has made an impressive amount of music on his own as Artifiseer, and now he’s tried his hand at directing music videos with “Lights in the Sky” from his wonderful album Catalyst. Here the bright, spacey synths back up scenes of Livingstone alternately staring across the water and seemingly tortured by dark-cloaked figure. It’s never flat-out gross, but you’ll be wondering throughout how he got there and what the figure’s intentions are. –MT

“Restless Wind” – Steve Benjamins

“Restless” really is the best description for Steven Benjamins’ “Restless Wind.” His track is not a flurry of activity but it is unsettled. An electronic beat nervously throbs throughout and a bright, poppy melody flashes in the background to create an ominous soundscape. With these components, it would make sense if “Restless Wind” made listeners uneasy but it doesn’t. With help from Benjamins’ smooth vocals, there’s a calmness nestled in this song that’s completely catching. – LS

“Blind Luck” – Minotaurs

The second single off of the band’s upcoming Weird Waves album is a little self-contained world. Droning synths, modded vocals, angular guitars and so much more pass through your ears over the course of five-and-a-half minutes. The group’s large membership has always allowed Minotaurs to be wide and weird, and this one is no exception. –MT

“After All” – Charlotte Day Wilson

It can be really hard to leave the house. Especially in the winter. The WAYO’s Charlotte Day Wilson knows this but also knows how important it is to go out and hang with good people. In “After All,” she sings of trying new things, looking at life a little differently, and spending time with someone who can join you on both of those journeys. “After All” is a smooth and soulful little number with an ice-meltingly hot beat and is a must hear this month. – LS

“You are the Cup” – The Most Loyal

Not long after I wrote about the group’s trip into the “Deep Sea,” Sarah Davignon et al. return for another dreamlike landscape. The heavenly combination of harp and picked guitar primarily give weight to lyrics like “I sailed by your side/Your eyes/bread and wine/love and anger.” We could just daydream to the Most Loyal’s music all day. –MT

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