1. B.R. Liveley's "The Blue" is a warm contemplation of the transitory nature of life.
2. Australia's Outside the Academy bring us "Anaesthetise." The song not only challenges American spellings of words, but successfully marries dreamy bedroom folk with electronic drums.
3. Jack Cookson delivers warm British folk rock on "Thistle." Cookson brings out the best in the tradition with his finely detailed account of his travels.
4. Beale Young's "American Radio" is a plaintive call to arms for discerning music lovers such as ourselves.
5. JUTUAN's "Let it Die" is a rocking number that evokes blues, soul, and gospel. Songs don't get much better than this one.
6. Jay Lewis's "Lost" is a sweet song of encouragement that will quietly strengthen you throughout your day.
7. La Bête Blooms kick off their post-apocalyptic post-punk rock opera with "Lost and Found." Don't worry -- a song with a kickass beat and killer riffs doesn't get lost in the concept.
8. The slow build in Pavey Ark's "Close Your Eyes and Think of Nothing" is worth the payout in this beautiful folk song.
9. Radio for June rounds us out with "A Minor Maze," an elegant composite of pop folk duets, contemporary indie rock beats, and warm fuzzed-out guitars.
10. Bradley Wik's "Some Girls (Still Love Rock'n'Roll)" is a really excellent example of what I have controversially (apparently) called the Tragic Woman. As the song unfolds, Wik's deep empathy and understand for the character is evidently clear. The subject isn't a source of objectification or moralizing. Whether or not this woman is real, in the song she is a complex and fully realized human. Straight cis male singer-songwriters of the world, take note: this is how you write a song about a woman.
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