Every month, Utne Reader presents free, downloadable music gleaned from current and upcoming releases on independent music labels. This sampler was curated by editor in chief Christian Williams and associate editor Ben Sauder.
Artist: Shana Falana
Location: San Francisco/Brooklyn
Record label: Team Love Records
Latest album: Here Comes The Wave (out October 21)
Featured song: “You Did”
Why we like this song: The dark, repetitive guitar lines riffing along Falana’s chanting vocals makes for a hypnotic listen.
Artist: Baird Hersey & Prana with Nexus
Record label: Bent Records
Latest album: Chiaroscuro (out now)
Featured song: “A Crown of Radiant Fire”
Why we like this song: The mesmerizing harmonies of Prana, powerful percussion of Nexus, and hypnotic chimes of a new instrument called a vistaphone meld beautifully in this original composition by Baird Hersey.
Artist: Pony Hunt
Location: Oakland/New Orleans
Latest album: Heart Creek (out October 7)
Featured song: “Over You”
Why we like this song: The simple and laid-back Les Paul and Mary Ford vibe helps us hold onto the feeling of summer for a little longer.
Artist: Sun Angle
Record label: XRAY
Latest album: Skullflower (out October 21)
Featured song: “Drink the Moon”
Why we like this song: What starts off as a straight forward rock song is pleasantly disrupted with blaring horns.
Record label: XRAY
Latest album: Light Years (out October 28)
Featured song: “Refraction”
Why we like this song: The droney guitars, “There, There,” drumbeat, and 80’s space synth bursts are enough to win us over.
Artist: Dave McGraw and Mandy Fer
Location: Washington State
Record label: Self-released
Latest album: Off-Grid Lo-Fi (out now)
Featured song: “Trainwreck”
Why we like this song: We featured the stellar songwriting of McGraw in the June sampler with “Mantra” off the folk duo’s latest; here’s a taste of Fer’s exceptional guitar playing on the instrumental “Trainwreck.”