The Boom Shakalas — "Last Man Alive"
The apocalypse is a rockin' good time when you're in the hands of this Cleveland band. On this track, which each member contributed to from their respective quarantines, the band's rockabilly sensibilities and frenetic guitar solos blend perfectly with the chorus's catchy harmonies and make it not seem all that bad to be "Last Man Alive."
Emily Keener — "Nap"
The second single off of the Cleveland indie pop artist's forthcoming album I Do Not Have To Be Good, out May 22, is a brooding confessional folk song with booming percussion and a wavy, lightly strummed guitar. Famous for her stint on The Voice, the single is more evidence that Keener is coming into her own as a singer-songwriter and builds excitement for a promising release.
Uptight Sugar — "Everyone Is Saying (So It Must Be True)"
Funky and hard-rocking with Beatles-esque songwriting sensibilities, Uptight Sugar is an absolute force. Its most recent release is a jangly good time with a laser beam synth that takes you on a psychedelic journey.
Hollin Kings — "Hold On"
With three solid singles in the past six months, the alt-rock band solidifies its presence on Cleveland's rock scene with "Hold On." Come for the heavy riffs and stay for vocalist Max Ostrowski's pleading, distorted cry, "Don't let go, just hold on to me."
Michael McFarland — "More Than You Believe You"
The multimedia artist and house show host is known for his epic songs, and this one's no difference. Kicking off like a lounge singer on a spaceship, this song's chorus explodes into the rocket blast you need to conquer the day.
The Modern Electric — "Queen Jane Approximately"
Part of a collection of Bob Dylan covers done by local artists to support Cleveland Verses, a nonprofit supporting the music scene during the COVID-19 fallout, the cinematic rock band puts a theatrical, upbeat and piano-driven spin on the Dylan classic.
Mourning [A] BLKstar — "Mist :: Missed"
Not many bands can blend trap rap beats, jazz trumpets and powerful, poignant lyrics, but this politically charged anthem off the band's new album The Cycle does just that.
Nathan-Paul — "Never New"
Fresh off a February EP and an April Album, the local saxophonist and instrumentalist released another new single in May. The only complaint we have about this jazzy track over a hip-hop beat, a perfect entryway into the prolific artist's jazz fusion catalogue, is that it ends too soon at just 2 minutes long. Luckily, the "slow" reprise kicks in for a few more minutes of groove.
Ray Flanagan & Brent Kirby — "Down Time"
The two-song collaborative EP from two of Cleveland's premier singer-songwriters might be the defining Cleveland songs of the COVID-19 era. With themes of family, relaxation, reflection and togetherness, "Lay Down" and "With This Time," duets recorded separately from each artist's self-isolation, are meditative, topical tracks that sit perfectly between the political divineness of the time and highlight each writer's singular style.
Walker OG, ¢el — "Anything"
Try not to bob your head to this smooth hip-hop banger — you can't, we promise. The track highlights the Clevelanders' great new five-song EP "The Pursuit Of."
1:30 PM EST
May 20, 2020