Today’s Top Tune sets its laser beam on brand new discoveries this week by UK’s Carmody and Portland-based bilingual artists Y La Bamba, who head to Soho in Santa Barbara on September 11. Sharon Van Etten helps raise awareness for gun safety. Ethan Burns turns in a brooding, mesmerizing song, and Mild High Club resorts to easy breezy rock.
UK singer/songwriter Carmody found success in the last couple of years while collaborating on a project with Tom Misch. Her solo debut EP simply has three highly curated songs. We’re falling in love with the title track, “Skin.”
After the Orlando Pulse Nightclub shootings Sharon Van Etten turned her sadness into song and said, “We’re all trying to just fit in, to belong, and to be ourselves. It’s not even whether you’re straight or gay or white or black — it’s not any of those things. It’s about being safe and being able to be yourself.” Her new song, “Not Myself,” was written in memory of the victims of Orlando with proceeds from the song supporting the work of the organization Everytown for Gun Safety.
Raised by two postal workers on California’s Central Coast and a steady diet of Gospel music, Ethan Burns likes to flip through the radio challenging himself to learn new songs by ear. His latest, “22 Knots,” is a soulful brooding tale about his youth that will be on his debut EP out later this month.
One way to expand a musical palette is for artists to explore their own identity. In the case of Y La Bamba, frontwoman Luz Elena Mendoza explores her Mexican identity by looking back on echoes of childhood summers spent playing with her cousins in the orchards around the San Joaquin valley as they soaked up melodies and stories told through traditional folk songs. “Libre” is a happy song sung both in Spanish and English.
In just one calendar year, Mild High Club has been able to release its album debut and quickly followed up with a second full length recording. A celebration of easy flowing soft rock, “Homage” recalls songs that rippled from the radio in the early 70’s with singers like Michael Franks and Steely Dan.