Press Play vol. 1: “Tried to Call You Up on a Broken Phone”

(Ned Simes/Lifewithoutandy)

Caleb Robbins

Press Play is my weekly series of (mostly) indie tracks from the barely discovered depths of corporate DSPs. All my recommended tracks are compiled into the Spotify playlist linked below, which is updated weekly.

Royel Otis, “Without U”

Released a month ago by this hardly known duo, this track is about catching up with a girl they haven’t seen in a long time. It features one of the catchiest choruses that I have heard this year and this gem of a verse:

“Tried to call you up on a broken phone / Crack screen means “Dear, I’m here alone.”

They just released a rather solid EP, titled “Campus,” if you want to check out more of their music.

Maude Latour, “Clean”

I’ve been a Maude Latour fan for a few months now. Her songwriting is certainly influenced by Taylor Swift because she has the same knack for storytelling. In this song, Latour uses a clean room as a metaphor for getting her life together after a breakup. It’s creatively written and has a killer rhyme scheme on the chorus. 

Big Thief, “Little Things”

This song from the folk-rock band embodies the music genre of jangle pop. What is jangle pop? I’m glad you asked. While it sounds more like a popcorn brand than a music genre, it is characterized by a multitude of guitars being strum simultaneously in an inharmonious manner. Listening to this track makes you feel like you’re being pulled in five different directions, but you always arrive at the same spot. 

Sam Austins feat. Sir Chloe, “JOY FOR YOUTH”

Sam Austins is a major label artist, but I had to include this joyride of a track. This song captures rebellion, carefree youth and nostalgia in its three-minute runtime. It’s a beautiful contrast to the realities of Gen Z. We worry about everything from plastic straws to those murder hornets that everyone forgot about in the span of 48 hours.

Japanese Breakfast, “Glider”

Japanese Breakfast has been on a tear this year. First, there was the release of her third LP, “Jubilee,” which was one of the better indie-pop releases of this year. Two weeks ago, she also released a soundtrack to the video game “Sable,” and it features this mesmerizing song. It’s dreamy and majestic, with a pleasant payoff towards the end.

You can find all the tracks from this week here:

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