The 3 Of The Week column has been sadly neglected the past few weeks. In getting it back up and going, I thought about what the true value of the series is. In its simplest form, it is a way for writers here to show you some of what we’ve been listening to, what excites us, and the things that mean a lot to us in three songs. It’s our recommendation for what we think deserves your attention. While it’s always fun to have an article that puts together songs you already know, I personally feel that the best 3 Of The Week articles introduce you to something you might have never heard before.
This week, I’m going to share three songs from bands that are relatively new to me, that will probably secure spots on my “Best New Discoveries” list in December and might even end up making runs for my album or song of the year. These are somewhat smaller acts, but with the amount of talent and potential shown in their recent work, it’s not so unlikely that they could reach the popularity they deserve.
1. “Stick Up Kids” – Bad Rabbits
If there was a band I thought would have my favorite set at Warped Tour this year, it certainly wasn’t Bad Rabbits. Despite (or perhaps, due to) not being the typical fare, they absolutely captured my attention with their energy and musicianship and made a bunch of scene kids dance. This song is one of the standouts on their great debut EP, and manages to at once be laid-back and energetic, with gang vocals accenting lead vocalist Dua Boakye’s soulful melodies. I love the way the guitar sounds, particularly at the beginning of the track, and the rhythm section is flawless. I can still picture the synchronized dance moves from their set, and can’t wait to see them again on their fall tour with Taking Back Sunday and The Maine.
2. “The One That Got Away” – Hyland
Hyland’s Weights & Measures reminds me a lot of Anberlin: great guitar riffs, variety between songs, and a powerful voice tying everything together. It’s only fitting, then, that Stephen Christian lends his talents to “The One That Got Away” with some guest vocals. If you can listen to this song without some part of it getting stuck in your head for the next few hours, you weren’t actually listening. Everything about the song fits together perfectly, and the addition of Christian’s vocals are the icing on top of the cake, since the track would be great even without him. Though this is my favorite from the album, the rest of it is great, and definitely deserves your attention.
3. “Motions” – This Love
If there’s a band that’s exceeded my expectations more than any other this year, This Love is that band. While their debut EP had some nice moments, it never really captured my attention the way that each and every song on At War does. Joe McFaddin’s voice has always been great, but At War doesn’t use it as a crutch at all. The sound is dynamic and powerful, and the subject matter has a certain weight to it that The Beginning simply didn’t have, while the excerpts from speeches frame the lyrical content in the best way. This is how albums should be made. “Motions” is the track that best represents the record, as it goes from soft to loud and back again several times, with great guitar parts, impeccable drumming, and McFaddin’s voice tying it all together. Instrumental breaks are given their due without being overindulgent, and the production is top-notch. Songs and albums like this are why I continue to check out new bands, and I hope you take the time to give “Motions” and At War a chance.