Chelsea Ravenn – “You Make Me Hot”: The Columbus, Ohio singer-songwriter returns with her follow-up to the well-received single “Steady Butterflies”. Although Chelsea dropped the new bop on October 29, she actually penned it two years ago. This a must listen for any pop lovers as it is a major departure from its piano-laden predecessor. Longtime fans will be positively surprised by the track’s tempo and tone and it is sure to attract a brand new audience for Ravenn. The tune was produced by highly regarded multi-instrumentalist Jakob Mooney, who also performed drums and bass on the song, with guitar work conducted by Clay Hughes. “You Make Me Hot” is every bit as good as what the Top 40 stations are playing and with a proper record deal, it would perform quite well on the charts. Those who fancy the likes of BLACKPINK, Selena Gomez, and Billie Eilish should get a kick and more out of Chelsea’s latest gem and be drawn to her next sizzing song.

Rooftops – “Falling”: Central Ohio musician Bryan Ream of Threat Level Midnight, Frankie Soleil, and Jacob Lones fame scores with ease on his solo project debut. Released three days ago, “Falling” will remind alternative rock lovers of respected groups Two Door Cinema Club, Arctic Monkeys, and Vampire Weekend. Ream takes his experience in bands and as an engineer to craft a remarkable first single. If submitted to independently and locally owned rock outlet CD 102.5 and other Internet radio stations, “Falling” will be heavy on the spins and streams. In less than 36 hours, the song has over 1,000 Spotify plays. Folks may not have known what to expect from Ream, but after just one listen it is crystal clear that the sky is the limit for Rooftops and when it comes to the next single or album release, expectations will be justifiably high to match the quality of Ream’s first banger.

Cream Camino – “Riders on the River”: The Ohio rock trio released this ravishing single back on Halloween to much fanfare thanks to their recently live stream concert the night before. “Riders on the River” is as rock n’ roll as it gets and combines vivid vocals, dynamic drum work, and gritty guitar play. Members Jeff Manning (vocals, guitar), Jarrod Pinkerton (bass), and Jon Gunder (drums). The song has a sense of familiarity, but obtains the utmost originality that will leave listeners with extreme curiosity on what else the lads have to offer. At their most recent show, the band premiered an animated video for the song with the animation and editing handled by Pinkerton.  In addition to their outstanding originals such as “Captured” and “In the Caves Again”, Cream Camino is known for cunning covers at their concerts from artists ranging from Adele to Chris Isaak. Any music that these three perform is going to be polished and pristine, which shows their dedication to the craft.

Lisa Gain & The Rusty Silos – “Get That Tree Up (On the Roof)”: The Central Ohio group dropped this Christmas tune eight days ago to get folks in the holiday mood. It is a bluesy tune, but unlike songs of that genre is positive in nature. “Get That Tree Up” is part of that signature folk sound Gain and the gang is known for, as evidenced by their acclaimed self-titled LP from earlier this year. Fans of this song will notice it stands out among the modern Christmas songs from Jon Bon Jovi, Wham! and Mariah Carey, but they should love its spirit all the same The song and the band’s spirit are sure to lighten listeners spirits with high class musicianship and escapism from the year’s ills during the holiday season. Leave it to a dynamic bunch to liven things up and boost morale for everyone in these trying and divided times.

ANSON – “Runaway”: The L.A.-based musical act led by Anson Li has a smashing new song out as of October 23. This pop-punk banger is a terrific teaser for the band’s upcoming album, which is sure to be just as superb as this latest single is. Although there is a mix of Jimmy Eat World and Papa Roach from a musical standpoint, Li’s vocals stand out and gives “Runaway” the power to stand on its own merit. Everyone associated with the song should be proud of a job well done as it does the genre justice. It is a familiar commodity with an appropriate amount of originality to provide a head banding rock tune late in the year.  The song is equally as sizzling as some ANSON’s most popular Spotify songs “Hailey” and “Hot Girl Bummer” and could surpass one or both of those tracks with time. The song is off to a great start, showing that the hybrid of 2000s rock nostalgia with a modern twist is working quite well for them.

First Responder – “Route 23”: The 2:30 ditty was dropped by the Columbus alternative outfit on October 28. Comprised of Sierra “PJ” Mollenkopf (lead vocals, guitar), Cameron Carr (guitar), Zayn Dweik (drums), and Collin Geddis (bass), the band has been building its reputation as indie rock darlings for the past four years. “Route 23” is terrifically performed by the group with every note serving as the perfect backdrop to Mollenkopf’s vocals. The single is a sneak peek to the group’s upcoming album titled Earth Angel that will commence with a performance at CD 102.5’s The Big Room. The band subscribes to the DIY indie rock model as guitarist Carr served as the album’s producer and handled the mixing and mastering to boot. First Responder garners respect from the local music aficionados not only for the magnificent music they put out, but for keeping themselves productive in a year that includes a health crisis, civil unrest, political divisiveness, among other things. If the rest of Earth Angel is on par with the new single, Sierra, Cameron, Zayn, and Collin will have themselves a great deal of momentum going into the new year.

Confusions – “I’ve Seen”: This marks the Columbus outfit’s new single fresh off their announcement of signing to the record label Earth Libraries. Released just one weeks ago, the song’s subject matter is timely coming off the heels of Election Week. The band considers “I’ve Seen” to be a protest song as a call to action for change in the nation’s direction. The tune also has an accompanying powerful music video compiled and edited by Brian Rogers. Principle members of Confusions are Ben Turner and Jake Summers, but they have worked with bassist Alex Cirado and trumpeter Kevin Cardoso in some capacity. The song contains a ton of vigor and spunk which reinforces that Turner and Summers have a bright and long-lasting future as an experimental indie rock duo. The song is brilliantly performed with the vocals a precise match with the music these lads have created. Once concerts are a go again, this is one band not to miss live on stage as their in-person performances are on par with their latest recorded material.

Leila – “Go on Young Soul”: On this track from the album Glass Highways, the Pennsylvania-born singer-songwriter has created her own call for the youth of America to make a difference with this politically inspired single. She states, “There’s no escaping the mania of 2020, but there is desperate hope amongst millennials to improve it by casting our ballots.” Now based in Los Angeles, pianist Leila’s musical background is a mix of jazz and soul with a reputation of memorable vocals and thought-provoking lyrics. Leila does not mess around on this song as it clocks in at over five minutes and the ballad combines simple, yet compelling piano play with her polished and haunting vocals. She stands out as an atypical pop artist with songwriting influences such as Chopin and Debussy providing a classiness that is unheard of in much mainstream music these days. “Go on Young Soul” will grip you from the first note until the last and influences the new generation to make society a better place than it is today. Leila also released a video for the single that is well produced and is the perfect visual for the song. Other tunes from Glass Highways worthy of streaming include “Gone for Long” and “Missing You”.

AIRPORTS – “Loser”: Australian singer-songwriter-producer Aaron Lee has crossed multiple genres over his many years in the business. His latest offering under the moniker AIRPORTS is a well-constructed pop bop that will have music lovers reminiscing about pop outfit Savage Garden. On this new tune, the subject matter and approach are very different from anything that Darren Hayes and Daniel Jones released as a duo decades ago Lee has a unique and ever-changing world view and the new song, though very radio friendly, is reflective of his sarcastic gaze. The tune has gained traction as of late with mentions at outlets Live Nation’s ‘Ones To Watch’ and Flaunt Magazine along with airplay on Triple J and George FM. “Loser” is the polar opposite of its title as the song is well worthy of airplay and accolades. Known for his work with J-Pop act ARASHI, the song is very slickly produced and performed making listeners long for more. Those curious for more of Lee’s talent should look no further than AIRPORTS’ previous 2020 releases “Don’t Sleep Anymore” and “U Feel It 2”.

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