Fresh Rotation | 4 new songs you should hear right now

Snarky synths from System Exclusive, art-pop from Kate Bollinger, ambient memories from Tonstartssbandht and somber swing from Horsegirl

Press photos of Tonstartssbandht, Kate Bollinger, System Exclusive, Horsegirl
Credit: (From left) Tonstartssbandht press photograph by Casa Mahen, Kate Bollinger press photograph by Audrey Steimer, System Exclusive press photograph courtesy of the artist, Horsegirl press photograph by Cheryl Dunn

Each and every week the JME team handpicks the juiciest new tunes from local, regional, national and international artists to add into our tasty, tall-glass-of-a-listening-experience that is our monthly Fresh Squeeze playlist. Each song is chosen with intention. And so we often feel like they are worthy of a broader discussion (or at least a bit of context).

Here are four songs that the JME team is listening to this week (all of which appear on our March Fresh Squeeze playlist).

“5FT7” by Tonstartssbandht

Okay, okay, Tonstartssbandht’s song “5FT7” came out in 2009, technically rendering it a better entry in an imaginary feature called Old Rotation. But in light of the Orlando-duo’s new album Petunia, the band’s label, Mexican Summer, has re-released the song, pairing the tune with previously unreleased footage spanning from June 2008-March 2009. The song, a quirky and playfully slowed down lo-fi bop, is sprinkled with the kind of stream-of-consciousness lyrics the band has become known (and beloved) for. Often called a jam band, Tonstartssbandht says “yes, and..” to the genre. Their songs seemingly fall from their minds as though one sampled traffic noise and the other looked out the window for quirky observational lyrics. The accompanying video is in the same vein; the brothers of Tonstartssbandht are ultimately documentarians of their time and space. As a consumer it will always be refreshing to see brilliant minds merely existing, especially when they’re doing a particularly good job.–Glenn Michael Van Dyke

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“Inline Online” by System Exclusive 

As synthesizers proliferate (yet again!) amongst the indie-inclined, it seems, in this incarnation, they’ve been deployed to lend gravity to music that, for better or worse, leans toward self-serious ambience, or a wash of navel-gazing. While they use a tried-and-true toolkit, genre-bending duo System Exclusive works a little differently. On their debut single “Inline Online” the pair –– Ari Blaisdell (guitar, vocals) and Matt Jones (drums/keys) –– offer synth stabs that ooze with snark over a zany, primal wallop, curating a madcap, noisy, undoubtedly enjoyable party, the imagined invitation to which would not only explode glitter upon opening, but remind guests to leave all pretension at the door.–Matthew Shaw   

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“Anti-glory” by Horsegirl

Currently lauded as an indie-rock thoroughbred from Chicago, the trio Horsegirl are readying for a three-day run of shows at SXSW to kick off a series of national and European dates. The debut single from their forthcoming full-length on Matador Records, “Anti-glory” has enough somber swing and bent-string drone to graduate the band from art-school curios to a confident standout in the Bandcamp deluge. While Horsegirl isn’t reinventing the wheel with  “Anti-glory”—familiar, contemporary rock signifiers abound—they surely have created an appealing sound and style to hopefully maintain forward motion through the kind of instant-hype that has felled lesser acts.–Daniel A. Brown 

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“Who Am I But Someone” by Kate Bollinger 

Unassuming Virginia-based singer-songwriter, Kate Bollinger, convincingly rationalizes her hallucinatory experience with the softly psychedelic single “Who Am I But Someone,” the second release from her upcoming EP, Look At It In The Light. Bubbly synth, buoyant bass and breezy reverb create the loungey abyss where Bollinger contemplates her identity crisis, questioning “Wait, who am I but someone?” With this new medley of moods from the rising musician, it is safe to say she has found her footing in the soul-infused, art-pop musical universe.–Rain Henderson

-Stream on Apple Music

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