Every month, Utne Reader presents free, downloadable music gleaned from current and upcoming releases on independent music labels. This sampler was curated by associate editor Ben Sauder.


December 2016

Artist: David Bazan
Location:
Seattle, Washington
Record label: Suicide Squeeze
Latest album:
Dark Sacred Night (out now)
Featured song:
“All I Want For Christmas”
Why we like this song:
The dark and somber piano ballad combines two Christmas classics in a way that seems appropriate to close out 2016.


Artist: Serengeti & Sicker Man
Location:
Chicago, Illinois
Record label: Graveface Records
Latest album:
Doctor My Own Patience (out December 16)
Featured song: “Doctor My Own Patience”
Why we like this song:
Opening with sustained minor piano chords, this song doesn’t go where expected, but the place it ends up is infectious and positive.


Artist: Serafim Tsotsonis
Location:
Athens, Greece
Record label: Hush Hush Records
Latest album:
She Swims (out December 9)
Featured song:
“Cold Naïve”
Why we like this song:
From a contemplative and dreamy opening, “Cold Naïve” falls into an upbeat, jazzy rhythm full of choral angels and horns aplenty.


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Artist: Forth Wanderers
Location:
Montclair, New Jersey
Record label: Father/Daughter
Latest album:
Slop EP (out now)
Featured song:
“Nerves”
Why we like this song:
An entrancing and gritty guitar line weaves in and out of Ava Trilling’s beautiful vocal melody.


Artist: Adrian + Meredith
Location:
Nashville, Tennessee
Latest album:
More Than a Little (out now)
Featured song:
“Take a Boat”
Why we like this song:
A tight rhythm section, soaring fiddle work, and a strong lead vocal by Adrian Krygowki are highlights of this recording.


Artist: Nude With Lyre
Location:
Athens, Georgia
Latest album:
Blood (out December 9)
Featured song:
“Climbing”
Why we like this song:
To this sober listener, this ambient track sounds like a mid-morning winter adventure into the dark and drippy bowels of a crystal cavern.


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