Updated: Nov 19, 2022
The tournament begins! 64 songs, one winner. Here are the Group 1 comments and results.
Just a quick note the team agreed to drop one song from the field of 64. That left Zach Bryan’s beautiful leaving song “Something in Orange” unchallenged and moving into the top 32 songs.
Goodbye Mr. Blue – Father John Misty
Pharmacist - Alvvays
Dane - These songs are difficult to compare. “Goodbye Mr. Blue” set the table for FJM's collection of love ballads, while “Pharmacist” is the lead single for a band that seems to have cemented their sound and place in indie music. I have to side with the incredible instrumentation and storytelling of Father John Misty and choose Goodbye Mr. Blue.
Old Man – this is tough starting with two bands I really like. The Alvvays song has the band’s trademark sound and a great guitar solo outro, but Goodbye Mr. Blue is one of my favorite vocals of the year. This song reminds me of early Glen Campbell. My vote is for Father John Misty.
Suhas – what got me was the contrast between the soothing vocals in “Goodbye Mr. Blue” and the angst-ridden lyrics. I pick Father John Misty on this one.
“Goodbye Mr. Blue” advances to the next round.
Buddy’s Rendezvous – Father John Misty
Glimpse of Us – Joji
Note: Father John has three songs out of the 64 and two randomly hit the same part of the bracket.
Old Man – It’s uncanny how these two emotional ballads got randomly matched up. Joji is a new artist for me. This is a beautiful song. The production is ethereal and the lyrics are lovely. Father John Misty’s song is every bit as emotive, but the feeling is a low-key painful ache. This one is such a hard decision. My vote is for Joji.
Dane – I was in an Uber the first time I heard Joji’s “Glimpse of Us”, I remember being immediately hit with the sentimentality of the song. It struck me to my core. I love the line in “Buddy’s Rendezvous about the ‘losers and old-timers.” It’s a great line. But “Glimpse of Us” gets my vote.
“Glimpse of Us” moves into the round of 32.
Angel Band (Jubilee Version) – Tyler Childers
On My Way – Dazy
Dane – “On My Way” has a great 90’s throwback sound. I like the fuzz. It sounds like it belongs on the soundtrack of Mallrats or Dead Man on Campus. Childers has my favorite voice in country music right now, but his new album didn’t blow me away. I really like “Angel Band” as the album’s lead single, the message, and the impressive instrumentation. In the end, Tyler’s voice makes this one my vote to move on.
Old Man – this paring might have the longest song in the group of 64 and the shortest. I’ve always loved Childers’ voice. This version of gospel music still has the feel of a dark country bar. On My Way feels like a breakout tune for the Virginia rocker (but it takes more than a good tune to get streams). I love the distorted rhythm guitar and vibe of this minute and 59-second tune. I feel like Tyler is doing more heavy lifting here, and though I won’t take that into consideration every time, this time it’s enough to get my vote.
Suhas – To me “On My Way” has the early 2000’s punk rock feel. I like the band's twist on that sound. My vote is for “On My Way.”
“Angel Band” ascends to the next round.