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Glasse-tonbury, Vol. 1: First Round, Part 1

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:::THE MATCHUPS:::

Marigold” – Blondfire vs. “Paradise” – Erik Frank

I Want My Hoodie Back” – Kid Travis vs. “Twin Flames” – Ishani

Bored” – Tessa Violet x MisterWives vs. “Turn Off Netflix” – Clapper The Rapper

Homegrown” – Christy vs. “The Truth” – Kate Vogel

Deep Shit” – Devin Kennedy vs. “This Love Is Real” – They Kiss

Insecure” – Alpha23 vs. “Andale” – Amaru Cloud

Dive” – Cypress & Co. x Matt Sperrazza vs. “Moderation” – Eluera

Free” – PINEO & LOEB x Liinks x Kayo vs. “Believe In Me” – Bri Fletcher

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Marigold” – Blondfire vs. “Paradise” – Erik Frank

Our first matchup features a clash of styles, pitting a guitar-driven indie-pop song against a radio-ready pop-R&B song. In one corner is “Marigold,” Blondfire‘s second single of 2020. Musically, it almost sounds like if Emily Haines from Metric were singing a Tom Petty or Fleetwood Mac song. On the other side is “Paradise,” the second of five singles released this year by Erik Frank. The Post Malone-meets-Khalid singer originally from a 200-person village in Spain showcases rich vocals and legitimate range over modern pop production.

Vote here.

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I Want My Hoodie Back” – Kid Travis vs. “Twin Flames” – Ishani

The sixth selection from Kid Travis‘ “Strawberry Skies” album, “I Want My Hoodie Back” features smooth, vibey R&B vocal runs aplenty. If you want to like Chris Brown, but you can’t support Chris Brown as a person, give this track a listen. On the other side, London singer-songwriter-producer Ishani brings her “atmospheric, glitchy beats” to the table with her track “Twin Flames.” It’s pretty unique, and is perhaps best comparable to someone like M.I.A.

Vote here.

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Bored” – Tessa Violet x MisterWives vs. “Turn Off Netflix” – Clapper The Rapper

While this alt-pop song was originally released as a solo track in 2019, New York-based artist Tessa Violet enlists the help of MisterWives on “Bored,” an upbeat track that muses on the pains of having too much time and not enough to do. On “Turn Off Netflix,” Clapper The Rapper showcases impressive technical ability while celebrating an active, live-in-the-moment lifestyle.

Vote here.

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Homegrown” – Christy vs. “The Truth” – Kate Vogel

With “Homegrown,” Glasgow-based artist Christy delivers a driving piano ballad featuring the kind of tender, soulful vocals you would expect from someone like Nick Wilson or The Fray‘s Isaac Slade. “The Truth,” Kate Vogel‘s second single of the year, is another ballad. This time, the acoustic guitar takes the lead as she reflects on her experience as a victim of sexual assault in an emotional, stripped-back piece.

Vote here.

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Deep Shit” – Devin Kennedy vs. “This Love Is Real” – They Kiss

Devin Kennedy‘s third single of 2020, “Deep Shit,” is an infinitely danceable summertime jam with jangly guitars that reminds me of a slightly more indie-rock Still Woozy. Meanwhile, “This Love Is Real” comes from fellow Los Angeles musicians They Kiss, a synth pop duo making their debut with this brooding single.

Vote here.

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Insecure” – Alpha23 vs. “Andale” – Amaru Cloud

2020 has been a busy year for Atlanta rapper Alpha23, and “Insecure” stands out as one of his best so far. On the track, he raps over a somber piano rap beat reminiscent of J. Cole‘s “Love Yourz” or Saba‘s “PROM / KING.” With “Andale,” New Jersey rapper Amaru Cloud brings a braggadocious verse to a Latin-inspired track. The song has become the artist’s second-most popular track on Spotify.

Vote here.

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Dive” – Cypress & Co. x Matt Sperrazza vs. “Moderation” – Eluera

Nashville-based artists and Belmont University alumni Cypress & Co. and Matt Sperrazza collaborate on pop ballad “Dive,” which released on August 7. The song features modern production and introspective lyrics and manages to be a bit dark without being completely somber. Meanwhile, Australia’s Eluera released her latest single “Moderation” a week later, and her admiration for artists like Lorde and Lennon Stella shows on this upbeat, yet vulnerable, pop song.

Vote here.

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Free” – PINEO & LOEB x Liinks x Kayo vs. “Believe In Me” – Bri Fletcher

Pop/EDM track “Free” from Canadian duo PINEO & LOEB has energy for days and makes for a great summer jam. It features a triumphant trumpet dancing over well-built drops and has great contributions from Liinks and Kayo. “Believe In Me” comes from Nashville-based Bri Fletcher, who you may recognize from Season 5 of The Voice. The song ties into the message of inclusion, kindness, and anti-bullying that she has used her platform to promote since she started.

Vote here.

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