With summer just around the corner, local bands are scrambling to give their fans something to stream over the summer. Almost all these bands include a horn section in their recent releases — or they should consider using one for their upcoming performances. Let’s dive into the newest music from Bloomington bands.
“The One” by Street Pennies
While the lyricism was not my favorite part, this song is fun and playful with incredible production. The song follows two lovers telling each other that they are not the one. This conversational style of music makes you lean in and listen more closely. Both vocalists are incredible. The song is carefully crafted for a beautiful summer day playing frisbee with friends.
“Sally’s Song” by Middle Name Basis
The first thing I noticed about “Sally’s Song” was the theatrical sound the band created. I totally thought they were covering something from “Waitress” at first, but the playful lyrics made it clear that it was a Middle Name Basis original. The ending is a bit silly with a very quick and quiet “bitch” being uttered right before the song cuts out. It’s not my vibe, but it is fun and made for a late-night sing along.
“Tino’s Place” EP by Six Foot Blonde
When I interviewed the band two weeks ago, they told me that their EP would contain five and a half songs. They were entirely correct, with the title track being a horn solo clocking in at just around a minute and a half. “Tino’s Place” shows off the band’s cohesion and incredible ability to create an EP that sounds like their live performances just slightly polished up.
“Callin’ to Karma” is the perfect opening track for this EP. The vocals are gorgeous, and the horns are fun, setting the stage for more Amy-Winehouse-meets-Peach-Pit tunes. “Red Wine, White Wine” has to be one of my favorites purely based on the sexy feel of the song. If Six Foot Blonde makes more songs like this, they could be at the forefront of a new wave of cabaret rock.
Suddenly, the cohesive feel changes with the start of “Nora.” It’s calmer and more intimate while still hanging on to the horns from earlier. The refrain of “This is your life / Don’t let it pass by” feels like a mantra from a meditation which adds even more to the subdued feel of the song.
After being graced by the horns in “Tino’s Place,” “Lady” hits it off with a bang. Although it’s been out for the past semester, it never gets old. “Lady” shows off what Six Foot Blonde does best. If you haven’t listened to it yet, you’re missing out on a great song to dance around your room to.
The EP closes with “15 Months,” a slower acoustic song with insane fingerpicking abilities. I fell in love with it as soon as it started. I will be listening to this song all summer long. If you’re a fan of beabadoobee’s latest album, this song will be right up your alley.
“Happy Little Accidents” EP by Thin Lines
I thought this would be a Midwest emo EP from the strained emotion coming from the lead vocalist. I couldn’t have been more wrong. This EP is such a weird collection of songs; there’s not really a main theme connecting them or even a main genre. Thin Lines has removed themselves from any constraint one genre would place on them. In this specific case, I’m not sure if that works in their favor.
The first two songs are my favorites from this EP. “Thank You, I’m Sorry” feels like it could be a Prince Daddy & the Hyena song, which I love. It’s fun and screamy and just silly enough to qualify for the title of Midwest emo. “I’m Alright... Right?” carries that vibe through with a stellar opening that made me excited for the rest of the song. The vocals are a bit rough when they come in, but I think that’s the point.
Thin Lines lost me with their last three songs. “Imagination Station” is a complete departure from the first two songs, leaning more into a weird interpretation of classic rock. I don’t think it entirely works for the voice on the song. “I Love You, I Hate You” seemed to get back to the original vibe of Midwest emo-adjacent but introduced a weird electronic hi-hat that doesn’t fit. The rapping wasn’t what I expected and made “Airplanes” not the song for me. Personally, I love the start, but the end wasn’t something for me.