Summer Music Radar


Derby Roan

ELEL rocks the stage of the Mill & Mine in Knoxville, Tenn., on Feb. 24, 2017.

Derby Roan, Managing Editor

ELEL—When She Walks
The members of ELEL pride themselves on their genre of “world pop,” expressing their own diverse music interests in the songs they compose. The Nashville-native band has a skill for creating an intimate atmosphere while maintaining a bubbly, cheery sound. ‘When She Walks’ is a song about a girl that makes the whole world slow down, no matter how fast everything else is moving.
“When she walks by/All the buzzing stops in this beehive”


St. Paul and the Broken Bones—Call Me
Originally started as two friends’ final hurrah before settling down with careers, St. Paul and the Broken Bones transformed into soul band it is today. It’s now a six-piece band carried by the sax and tenor Paul Janeway’s voice. ‘Call Me’ is reminiscent of old-school soul music, blending the power of music and of the spoken word to create a song unlike anything today’s mainstream has to offer.
“I need you to pick up that telephone/And dial this lover’s heartache/I need you to call me”


Phoenix—Playground Love
French-native Phoenix is a soft rock band best known for their hit ‘Lisztomania.’ Singer Thomas Mars’ voice is the star of ‘Playground Love.’ The song is simple, soft and ear-catching, perfectly capturing the feeling of first love.
“Love is all, all my soul/You’re my playground love”


American Wrestlers performs at the Grove Fest in St. Louis, Mo., on Oct. 1, 2016.

American Wrestlers—Terrible Youth
Far from the polished music we’re used to, St. Louis-native American Wrestlers creates stripped-down, home-recorded rock. Their music carries all the intimacy and imperfection of homemade music, and is a welcome throwback to the days before music was tweaked and autotuned to perfection. ‘Terrible Youth,’ released on the album ‘Goodbye Terrible Youth,’ is an angsty song about growing up.
“Now they’re done with you/Goodbye terrible youth”


Alt-J is an English indie rock band known for ambiguous and exploratory lyrics and vocalist Joe Newman’s carrying voice. ‘Tessallate’ is a song that takes full advantage of percussion and rhythm to create an atmosphere for Newman’s voice to shine. The song flows perfectly through tempo and instrumental shifts. What should sound like chaos instead sounds like a masterpiece.
“Toe to toe, back to back, let’s go, my love; it’s very late/’Til morning comes, let’s tessellate”


Tank and the Bangas—Rollercoasters
Combining elements of spoken word, soul and funk, Tank and the Bangas has a versatile, unique sound that anyone could enjoy. ‘Rollercoasters’ is most noticeably influenced by spoken word and soul. The song is about Hurricaine Katrina’s lasting effects on New Orleans, falling in love, letting go–and rollercoasters.
“You see, rollercoasters, rollercoasters are for people who have never been in love/They want to know how it feels to just fall”

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