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Guster – Simple Machine (Digital Single)guster

Guster burst onto my scene with their 2003 album, Keep it Together. Initially I was taken with them for the title track of that record, which had been featured in an episode of Fox television’s teen drama The O.C. I bought the album, which features so many great songs (“Amsterdam,” “Diane,” “Backyard,” etc.) and saw them in concert at Lee’s Palace in Toronto. But their earlier and subsequent work didn’t grab me as much (“Satellite,” and “One Man Wrecking Machine” from their following album notwithstanding). But this most recent single is great and more striking in the digital single variation featured here.

Guster website

Woods – Tambourine Light


This band has great album titles: How to Survive In (the Woods), At Echo Lake, etc. In needle-dropping my way through their eight-album catalogue, this song made me hit repeat. I love the mid-1960s trebly lead guitar sound of the simple but compelling riff used here to hook in the listener.

Woods website

Jeremy Fisher – A Song in My Heart


Fisher is a spot-on reincarnation of Paul Simon, if he were still writing great songs. From his latest album, 2014’s Lemon Squeeze, “A Song in My Heart” kicks off with a beat reminiscent of Norman Greenbaum’s “Spirit in the Sky” or Gary Glitter’s “Rock and Roll” only to shift gears into an infectiously catchy hook that anchors the song. Try not to smile as he sings “There’s a little song in my heart …” But just as Fisher settles us into his hook, he shifts the direction of the song again. Great organ instrumental fill three quarters of the way through basically echoing the main hook.

Jeremy Fisher website