1. Active Child Mercy
Pat Grossi’s Active Child project is in the world of alt R&B (which the internet has ironically titled PBR&B) and finds a lot of commonalities with How To Dress Well. The Sophomore LP is more of the same sorrowful, paced work from his debut. The voice Grossi uses in those high registers is the most hypnotic thing here.
Standout Track: “These Arms”
2. MIKA No Place in Heaven
I think I’m surprised MIKA is still releasing albums because his debut album (all the way back in 2007) Life in Cartoon Motion seemed like such a novelty. In 2015, he is releasing his 4th album and it is more of the same bubblegum pop that is expected from the singer-songwriter. Oddly, MIKA has also spent the last few years working as a judge on European versions of The X Factor and The Voice.
Standout Track: “No Place in Heaven”
3. Dawes All Your Favorite Bands
Dawes does a great job getting the music to serve the lyrics. The plays simple tunes to not distract the listeners from linking quickly with lead singer Taylor Goldsmith’s messages of love and life.
Standout Track: “All Your Favorite Bands”
4. Mates of State You’re Going to Make It EP
Keyboard teen pop from the late 2000s lives on through bands like Matt and Kim and Mates of State. Here, the latter group release an EP of songs that do little to deviate from the sound that makes them identifiable.
Standout Track: “Starring Contest”
Extra Shoutouts: Miguel Wild Heart ; Vince Staples Summertime ’06 ; Ryn Weaver The Fool; Of Monsters and Men Beneath the Skin; Son Lux Bones
Music Video of the Month: