5 Stellar Singer-Songwriters

by Carly Schorman

Courtney Marie Andrews

“If I Told”

YabYum has loved Courtney Marie Andrews ever since she was a teenager playing First Fridays in downtown Phoenix for whatever tips people dropped in her guitar case. She’s come a long way since then and is all grow’d up now. Her committment to her craft shines through on every album she releases and, right now, she’s gearing up to release a brand new album, Old Flowers, this coming June. “If I Told” is the first single from the album. Andrews’ folk sensibility fuses together an earthy Americana with the delicacy of aged lace curtains hung in your grandmother’s windows. It’s the small flourishes – the lilting vocals, the attenuated harmonies, the gentle instrumental texturing – that really elevates “If I Told” from your average folk song to the level serious artistry.  Give “If I Told” a listen below and then hop over to Bandcamp to secure your “Sonoran Sky” blue vinyl copy of Old Flowers. Vinyl copies are limited so better get that pre-order in before they’re all gone.

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“Old Mountain Boy”

When I first heard “Old Mountain Boy,” I imagined it was written from the top of an Appalachian mountain and sung to the clouds overhead. I’m happy to say that I’m at least partially correct. Howard wrote “Old Mountain Boy” when he decided to drop out of medical school to pursue music. The songwriter said, “I wrote the song out in nature on top of a mountain and while looking out I felt paralyzed by my fear of this decision.” So, check on the mountain top part. Whether in Appalachia or sung to clouds remains to be determined, but the dulcet delivery overpowering the sense of trepidation feel like a sky-cast hope. This single comes to us from Howard’s new LP, Together Alone, which is available on Spotify. I definitely suggest you check it out because there is quite a bit of variation as you move through the tracks. The one constant is Howard’s impeccable songwriting. Howard, much like Beyoncé, opted to go by only his forename… which can be really hard to Google. So you’re going to want to follow Howard on his socials to stay up-to-date.

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“Dear Los Angeles”

A lot of musical transplants find themselves in the sunny city of Los Angeles, but few pay tribute to the city they call home in such a candid way. Armed with a stunning voice and a pensive approach to songwriting, golda captures the disillusionment of many young artists chasing their dreams in the less than angelic City of Angels on “Dear Los Angeles.” The songwriter started earning some early attention with the release of her 2019 single, “Wish I Was Someone Else,” but it looks like 2020 will be an even bigger year for golda. She released her sophmore single, “Under,” earlier this year and now “Dear Los Angeles” is slowly making its rise. Take the new single for a spin and then make sure you like/follow golda to stay apprised of more tracks from this songwriter as they come out. You don’t want to miss out.

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“Forever & Always”

Many of us in the PHX area are familiar with the super rowdy rockers of Doll Skin, but this six-piece based in Brooklyn known as GIRL SKIN has a much softer approach to music-making. Their latest single, “Forever & Always,” comes to us from the band’s debut album, Shade is on the other side, which will be available on April 17th through Jullian Records. At the helm of this endeavor sits singer-songwriter Sid Simons who wrote and recorded the album at his Brooklyn home with the help of his musical entourage. “Forever & Always” starts and ends with a simple indie-folk sound, but between those two points, the song swells and assumes different forms, sometimes achieving orchestral proportions. The love song sentiment is strong in “Forever & Always” and it definitely pulls on the heartstrings… even on a grumpy old writer like myself.  This song has the power to lift spirits to the lofty heights of new love. Check out GIRL SKIN below.

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“Flash Games”

Orionjustmelted  is a Phoenix-based singer-songwriter with a special knack for electronic composition. His latest single, “Flash Games,” pays homage to the all those time-sucking computer games that pulled us away from reality into candy-colored realms of addictive puzzles and patterns. And, much like all those flash games, the song has a similarly soothing effect. “Flash Games” sets nostalgic lyrics against a soundscape that could easily fill in the background of my next new favorite game. Probably some remake of Tetris. Let Orionjustmelted and the sounds of “Flash Games” take you back to a simpler time when the most challenging part of your day was beating the next level.

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