OE Monomania – The Tracks We Can’t Stop Listening To 1/4


In this week’s OpenEars Monomania, the tracks we can’t get out of our head, the songs that are constantly on repeat, we’ve got a little bit of everything from Americana, to synth pop, to psychedelic rock, folk and more. In addition to regular OpenEars contributors, we’ve invited musicians, industry folks, and friends alike with a passion for discovering new music and sharing with others to contribute their own monomania songs to the list each week. These are the tracks we are loving, that have etched themselves into our minds currently 1/4/16, complete with Spotify playlist at the end. We hope you will find something new you dig.

Caleb Caudle – “Steel & Stone”

Caleb Caudle is on his way to one hell of a 2016. With the announcement of his latest album, Carolina Ghost out February 26th via This Is American Music, and the first two singles released, Caudle continues to build on the momentum from 2014’s Paint Another Layer On My Heart. “Steele & Stone” is another Americana beauty of honesty that seems like the perfect listen for a North Carolina sunset with his smooth vocals drawing you in. Caleb’s in love, and as the Huffington Post pointed out calling Caudle the next Jason Isbell, America is about to be in love with him. – MG

Car Seat Headrest – “Sober to Death”

I know nothing about this band, but they sounded a little bit like Cloud Nothings to me so I kept listening. Thank you, Spotify discover playlist. – EH

Cemeteries – “Sodus”

It was quite honestly hard to choose a favorite off this album! If I could, I would have submitted all nine songs.  It wasn’t very hard for me to make this one of my submissions for our list of Best Albums of 2015. Portland Oregon’s Kyle Reigle is the mastermind behind the beautiful composition of the album Barrow (Snowbeast Records, July 2015). The builds within each song, and then its transition on to the next is seamless.  He weaves the layers of dream pop and Shoegaze so beautifully it leaves you craving more and more from each song. “Sodus” is no exception and I wouldn’t hesitate to make someone listen to it and say “I dare you to hate it”! – LP

Culture Culture – “Ashton Kutcher, Come Back”

Last year, Atlanta’s Culture Culture got me with their single “Baby Blue” off their self titled debut EP, it was like some kind of a perfect easy listening 80’s style synth pop with the smoothest groove to dance along to. It always put me into a perfect mood. With a new EP planned for this month, the first single “Ashton Kutcher, Come Back” sounds every bit as infectious as the band continues to explore and experiment with synths in indie rock ‘n’ roll landscape. This is one EP to watch out for, it might just live in your head for the next few months. – MG

Dylan Kelly – All My Friends (420 Version) 

With it being so hot over The holidays, I couldn’t help but rock my new favorite “summer jam”. This laid back, luscious pop tune is too catchy and playful to not pass along! – BB

Julien Baker – “Something”

“Something” is the sixth track on Julien Baker’s Sprained Ankle (out now via 6131 Records). It’s painful and beautiful like the rest of her incredible album. – EH

King Charles – “Loose Change For The Boatman”

It’s been almost four years since UK artist, King Charles, made waves with his album Loveblood.  “Loose Change for the Boatman”, is the first single off the January 22 release of Gamble for a Rose.  Known for his fast, intricate lyrics and melodies, King Charles does not disappoint with his newest piece.  It’s almost as if there are two songs intertwined within “Loose Change”, starting off slow with a solo voice and guitar to about midway through when the tempo picks up and you’re immersed in full on rock.  The wait has been long, but if this first single is indicative of what the album holds, listeners are in for a treat. – AE

Download King Charles “Loose Change for the Boatman” for free here.

Levitation Room – “Crystal Ball”

 For whatever reason, I’ve been on a psychedelic rock kick lately, though I think it’s primarily because some good psych rock like Mystic Braves have dropped in my lap. Enter Levitation Room‘s first single off of their upcoming debut album ETHOS which drops 2/19 on BURGER RECORDS. It’s another hallucinogenic throwback to the hazy 60’s that take on The Beatles at their most drug induced and throw in their own tripped out rock ‘n’ roll. The LA psych rock scene is alive, and I think a trip out west to live in it is needed in the future. – MG

Stranger Cat – “Empty Little Word”

Considered an electronic music project for Cat Martino with her label Joyful Noise Recordings. Cat has certainly already made a name for herself touring with the likes of Sharon Van Etten, The Shins, as well as long-time friend Sufjan Stevens. Cat joined with Sven Britt, have put out their debut album as Stranger Cat with In the Wilderness (Joyful Noise Recordings, 2015). “Empty Little Word” is that song you can get lost in while out clearing your head. With Cat’s ethereal voice against the drum machines and synth brings these irresistible dramatic builds throughout the song. – LP

Suntrodden – “Sunrise To Sunset”

2016 is going to be a busy year for Erik Stephansson’s home-studio project Suntrodden. “Sunrise To Sunset” is a peek behind the curtain of what will be 3 (yes THREE!) EP releases this year. Shimmering acoustic focused production makes this an easy track to fall in love with. Stephansson’s doubled falsetto seems effortless, and should resonate with any fans of XO and Either/Or era Elliott Smith. The first of Suntrodden’s trio of EPs drops on February 5th, and we’ll keep our ears open for what new sounds the other two EPs bring our way. – MJ

The Babe Rainbow – “Aloe Vera”

The Babe Rainbow out of Byron Bay earlier this year released their surf-psych self-titled debut EP earning them recognition in Australia.  “Aloe Vera” is the first single from their debut LP, due out early in 2016 via Flightless, serving notice as another Aussie band to pay attention to, combining a breezy, catchy single with plenty of psych to keeping it interesting, Whether 1966 or 2016 I’m dancing right along. – MG

The Boy Jones – “10 Days After The 4th Of July”

Sometimes all that is needed is an acoustic guitar, a harmonica, some whit and plenty of honesty to write an impactful song. Atlanta’s The Boy Jones has plenty of that on his self titled EP release from August. “See you don’t need to be a gentleman, but you need to see the way things bend, you can tear things up, but don’t tamper with hearts” The Boy Jones sings on “10 Days After The 4th of July”. This guy has a way about him, and after catching The Boy Jones open and host at The EARL for The Benefit For Josh Yoder, I can’t wait to hear more. – MG

The Walters – “City Blues”

It’s the perfect combination of Beach Boys meets Dr. Dog meets Weezer? If that makes any sense?  They brilliantly combine a great sense of humor to their swoon-worthy harmonies. “City Blues” is from their recently released album Young Men (Dec.23,2015). The boys remain cheeky with their album cover mocking a photo of the Beach Boys holding a surfboard in matching outfits; instead, they ditched the board and swapped it out for a publishers clearinghouse sized check instead. If my reference to it sounding like a sick sadistic weird little incest baby of the three bands above wasn’t enough, then there may be something wrong with you. The Chi-town based quintet is producing music that brings a slight soulful vibe to its surf indie rock sound. – LP

Youth Lagoon – “I’ve Seen”

Recorded after Savage Hills Ballroom, which was in our top 50 Best Albums of 2015, Trevor Powers posted on the Fat Possum Soundcloud with the new song: “SHB is grounded in satire. It is a microcosm of a perfect society, decorated in gold & elegance to serve as a mockery of how we present ourselves to those around us. I wrote “I’ve Seen” as a farewell song to this ballroom.” “I’ve Seen” has quickly become one of my favorite songs I’ve heard from Youth Lagoon, 7 minutes of piano driven, experimental soundscapes pushed by Trevor’s  pulsating, yet fragile vocals and songwriting. – MG

Tracks currently on Spotify all added together into one easy to listen playlist:

This week’s contributors: Amanda Eckert (AE); Brittany Burdett (BB), Asst. Talent Buyer – Smith’s Olde BarEmily Hogan(EH);  Lisa Parish (LP); Mike Gerry (MG); Matt Jarrard (MJ), cellist for Oryx & Crake; 


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Mike Gerry

Head music fiend at OpenEars Music

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