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ReviewsCHILLFILTRalbum

Questions by Jacob McCoy

It is the sound of movement, of migration, of difficult choices, and easy ones; the sound of love, and after-the-fact analysis, painted with the brush of poetry and steel-string guitar.

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Questions by Jacob McCoy
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FINNEAS - Luck Pusher

The under-sketch of raw poise is still visible beneath the muted and scant contexture: simple beauty, served over a framework of vulnerability.

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FINNEAS - Luck Pusher
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The Mercy Stone - Above the Towers

It’s a satisfying, introspective, and deeply original sound, extending the power of vocal cadence and western harmony over a ragged backdrop of overlapping phrases and syncopated orchestral ostinati.

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The Mercy Stone - Above the Towers
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Jack Carty - Stargazer (V2)

Carty somehow mirrors the then-acoustic sound of The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan, with generous verses and a feeling of absolute truth, just with a full band and better vocals.

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Jack Carty - Stargazer (V2)
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The Kelseys - Forester Drive

The quality of collectivism and the level of balance between boisterous college-pop and a more restrained art-rock make The Kelseys a band to watch out for.

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The Kelseys - Forester Drive
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Mary-Elaine Jenkins - Hold Still

Because where exactly is the line between asking and begging, if the game is love, and your heart is the money?

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Mary-Elaine Jenkins - Hold Still
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David Berkeley - The Faded Red And Blue

The final message is one of hope, and solidarity - which we need right now, in all its raw melancholy.

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David Berkeley - The Faded Red And Blue
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Wander Marchal - Where There's Smoke

As usual with Marchal the texture of the groove and the lead vocal itself is infused with grit and style.

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Wander Marchal - Where There's Smoke
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Paul De Leon - Kings

The dynamics of the arrangement work flawlessly to create contrast between kick-and-snare-heavy elevation and the low purr of a synth patch.

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Paul De Leon - Kings
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The Chainsmokers ft. Kelsea Ballerini - This Feeling

With their Midas touch, The Chainsmokers have created another pop mint stamped with the message of follow your heart, and the smiling face of Kelsea Ballerini.

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The Chainsmokers ft. Kelsea Ballerini - This Feeling
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Riley Catherall - Robin

Inhabiting the space between Damien Rice and Ryan Adams, this syrupy-sweet slow-burner does not disappoint.

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Riley Catherall - Robin
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Orouni - Speedball (feat. Emma Broughton)

With the sweet vaudevillian vocals of Emma Broughton, we have a cross-genre live gem that melds influences from Leonard Cohen, The Kinks and Stereolab.

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Orouni - Speedball (feat. Emma Broughton)
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Mark Anthony Burke - It Was A Lie

There is a palpable gravitas to the lead vocal, projected from the existential pain of life itself, that informs the mood.

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Mark Anthony Burke - It Was A Lie
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David Ayscue - New York

Woven into the string of emotions, both remembered and sudden, is that poetic determinism that belongs to the romantic.

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David Ayscue - New York
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Amy Jay - Grief

Grief is a track that deals with a difficult subject by using catharsis, by replacing the sense of loss with a feeling of accomplishment.

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Amy Jay - Grief
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Long Range Hustle - Morning Clover

It’s a recipe that has been used before by The Lumineers, but this feels less surgical, and more of a party; the synergy here between elements is undeniable.

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Long Range Hustle - Morning Clover