Artist: Lael Neale
Song: “I Am the River”
Album: Star Eaters Delight (April 21, 2023)
Label: Sub Pop
Genre: Indie, Indie Rock, Alternative
While most of us follow the artists we like on social media, I always make sure to follow the labels I like too. Certain ones just seem to have the kind of musical taste where you can trust that if they’re signing an artist, they’re worth listening to. Such is how I discovered Lael Neale, as her label Sup Pop, which any music fan should be familiar with, was promoting her latest single “Faster Than the Medicine”. I quickly checked that one out, along with the two other songs released from her upcoming album Star Eaters Delight. “I am the River” was the one that really caught my attention.
Musically, the track can best be described as a ditty bop. A simple guitar line, key board accompaniment, a shuffling drum beat give the track a fun, catchy frolic while Neale’s vocals deliver eco-empowerment lyrics (“I pledge allegiance to tree and meadow. I have no need to conquer or keep them”) in an unadorned yet endearing speak-sung style. There’s a simplicity to it that works in its favor; it’s the kind of song that can inspire listeners to make music of their own, because it sounds great yet not impossible to recreate. It’s an effervescent indie rock gem that should be blasted out at hip speakeasys and vinyl record shops the world over.
Check it out in our Check This 2023 Playlist on Spotify or Apple Music, and listen to the album in our NMF Playlist this Friday!