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Dogs on Shady Lane reflects on sweet and sour notes in new single "18"

Something dreamy, something sad—that is the glow that radiates from “18,” the new indie-folk single from Providence’s Dogs on Shady Lane. The acoustic guitar strums that softly thread about during the track begin to brighten as dreamy electric guitar accents pile up, and the reverbed vocals of project leader Tori Hall gently reflect on life and its sweet and sour melodies. Refrains such as “thick as brick but stick stone, hurt/me less than silence and warn/but burning hands mend me like wool, so feel me up/I’m too old to be crying so much” hint at strength and vulnerability, at the physical and its memory. The new track by Dogs on Shady Lane has in it all the charm of the indie-folk genre: escapist sounds you can drift away to and lyrics that ground you to a reality you help to shape; if you need a moment away from your busy Monday, we have it for you streaming below. - Rene Cobar, photo by Kannetha Brown

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Streetlight Shakers offer a better view in "The Story"

Streetlight Shakers are back! Well, they have not really been gone at all, but their new single “The Story” is just as triumphant, just as worthy of a hero’s welcome. The uplifting track serves as the hymn the three men from Connecticut share with the masses: a single jam-packed with the symbiotic rhythm that Nick Powell (drums, vocals) and Silvain Castellano (bass, vocals) produce + Jeff Boratko’s piano leads and vocal scales is all that is needed to celebrate a better tomorrow ahead. For the past few somber months, the group has managed to entertain its fans with creative recordings from home, showing them a glimmer of light among the shadows, something worth producing a smile for indeed. “The Story” feels like the end of the tunnel, or damn near close to it, it is a song meant to take you on the journey you have been longing for, somewhere away from troubles and closer to a better view. Stream “The Story” below for the midweek break you deserve. - Rene Cobar

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Alan Scardapane tells his story in demo album "Winter House"

Putting a collection together of one’s work is no easy task, each piece is part of a greater story being told, and it must be told well. Boston’s Alan Scardapane does this brilliantly with his collection titled Winter House. Each track showcases Alan’s easy-going approach to music and serious melodic chops. Songs like “Camden Yards” drop you into a place of comfort: the music, with its lingering harmonies, and soft acoustic guitar plucks, flows like a cool river or a spring breeze you want to listen to, to breathe in, take in. “Without You” is folk-rock for the moodiest of days and the warmest summer evenings. Alan has collected his best tunes of 2014-16, and it shows; stream the edgy “Whiskey Girl” below for a proper weekend greeting. - Rene Cobar

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The Collect Pond offers familiarity in new single "Traveling"

Boston's Danny Moffat (The Collect Pond) has been keeping busy alongside his acoustic guitar and soul-merging loops; his latest offering, “Traveling,”  is an ode to that which we hope for most at the moment: peace and familiarity. With a combination of gentle strums and relaxed-captivating vocals, Danny slows down the heartbeat, sharpens focus, and suspends you into a better reality. His indie folk track takes on a fun, fast-paced rhythm toward the end that is fitting, so pop-punk of him, a la acoustic that is, of course. Steam Danny’s latest track below for a mid-week mood uplift. - Rene Cobar

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The Q-Tip Bandits are all class in debut record "Ain't It Great"

TGIF! For many reasons, but of the oh so many perhaps there is none as cheerful as the release of The Q-Tip Bandits’ debut EP Ain’t It Great. This sonic triple-threat is as sophisticated as we have come to expect from previous Q-Tip Bandits singles, but the jazz mousse is heavy atop the group’s upbeat indie rock/pop hybrid. The title track opens up with the brass instrumentation that characterizes the group, flowing slowly past the assertive electric guitar riff at the heart of the song, the build-ups bursting to reveal cheery choruses and festive breakdowns. “What’s Your Drug” lets the full bassline of Claire Davis lead the way as Leo Son’s vocals cleave with emotion, and then you know who you are listening to. Dakota Maykrantz' chic drums provide a rhythmic foundation that adapts and delivers though each hit of the snare the passion the music demands. “The Wolf” finishes an indie rock/pop delicacy of an EP that is a glossy calling card for the talented band. Listen to Maclin Tucker (trumpet), and Stephan Tenney (trombone) make their instruments howl in “The Wolf” streaming below. - Rene Cobar, photo by Sophie Park

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