James Bay

If James Morrison and Ray LaMontage vocally morphed into one person it would be James Bay. The acoustically driven EP, The Dark of the Morning, is filled with soulful moody tracks. The most familiar may be "Move Together" a haunting melody delivered in a slow burn vocal. But it is on the more upbeat "When We Were on Fire" that really shows what Bay can do. With an underscore of an organ, hand claps, and of course, Bay's gravelly vocals, he forcefully sings of a relationship's better days. (We're losing light/Take me back when we were on fire.)

It seems cliche to say that James Bay could sing the phone book and make it sound good, but it fits here. If this is what Bay sounds like on an EP, only good things are in store for a full length. You can get The Dark of the Morning for free on NoiseTrade.

James Bay- Facebook
When We Were on Fire-


A Thousand Horses

Indie country rock sounds like it won't work. Usually bands try to please fans of both genres and end up alienating everyone. It's too country or too rock. A Thousand Horses does one better- they blur them. (Robin Thicke would be proud) Hailing from Nashville, these guys wear their roots on their sleeves. Their sophomore EP, titled The Landslide, is brimming with rollicking energy. "Tennessee Whiskey" is probably their most "country-fied" song with its story of the road taking its toll on a relationship.

Lead singer Michael Hobby has vocal grit to spare on the soaring mid-tempo rocker "What's Happening to Me," the ultimate 'it's not you, it's me' track. Hobby sings, "In the middle of my last free fall I was counting my mistakes/I was cleaning out my closet / Forgot how much these bones could weigh." Put your money on their future now.

A Thousand Horses- Facebook
What's Happening to Me-

Tennessee Whiskey-