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One More Song: Sara Radle, The White Ravens, and Jenny and Johnny

I hear you pounding your feet. Summer vacation’s almost over and, soon, you’ll have to go back to work. You want more cool songs to listen to, so I’ve waded through a pile of them. Add these to your playlist as an encore for your musical enjoyment.

“Song For Adam” from Four by Sara Radle

Best known as part of the new lineup of former Weezer bassist Matt Sharp’s The Rentals, this talented 30-year-old from San Antonio, Texas has fronted two other bands and recorded three solo albums. On those albums, she not only played all the instruments, she starred in, shot, and edited music videos for the songs “Mess Like You” and “Nobody’s Watching.”

Her latest solo effort Four comes out in September 14th. “Song For Adam” sounds glossy for indie music, but Radle doesn’t fake any emotions. If you get a chance, get Calamity Magnet’s self-titled release in addition to Four. It’s pop-rock with a hint of 60’s girl groups and country.

“Tick-Tock” from Gargoyles and Weather Vanes by The White Ravens

This next band hails from Ann Arbor, Michigan, which is also home to the crazy rocker Iggy Pop. Aside from the word “pop” that’s about all they have in common. This young band consists of bassist/vocalist Amy Bennett, keyboardist/guitarist Will Bennett, guitarist Andrew Brown, and drummer Vince Russo.

Happily geeky, the influence of They Might Be Giants shines from their debut Gargoyles and Weather Vanes. Bright upbeat 60′s rock with goofy lyrics could totally act as the soundtrack for an early morning kids show. It’s catchy and the picture book metaphors about alligators and alarm clocks are more complex than they seem. The album is out now. Those of you living on the East Coast can see them live this August and September.

“Scissor Runner” from I’m Having Fun Now by Jenny and Johnny

A side project for Rilo Kiley’s Jenny Lewis and singer-songwriter Johnathan Rice, they envisioned it while working on each other’s solo albums. Lewis leans into country and folk while Rice combines country and rock. With the arrival of I’m Having Fun Now, I think they’ve succeeded in writing different music than what they’re known for.

Listening to “Big Wave” and “Scissor Runner,” the record will likely vary moods with each song. The latter power-pop song, fueled by a big bass riff and boy-girl harmonies, sounds the better of the two. The twee lyrics remind me of new loves just starting out and sound perfect for the summer. I’m Having Fun Now comes out on August 31st. Catch them on tour in September.

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