We’ve officially completed eight brackets, and the moment calls for some reflection. Since starting this series last August, we’ve been able to feature eight winners and over 300 artists from all across the globe. There have been plenty of artists who have put up strong fights in our competition, only to come up just short, and we wanted to give some of them a second chance to take home our prize package of a featured interview on GlasseFactory.com, a stream/fan Q&A hosted on Instagram Live, and more.
Let’s take a look at our bracket:
Each matchup below will feature links to the songs, a brief description of each song and artist, and a poll for you to cast your vote. Polls will close on Wednesday, September 29th at 1:00 p.m. CST, and voting is limited to one vote per 24 hours. To prevent botting, we equip all of our polls with CAPTCHA protection, and while this is a necessary step to preserve the integrity of the tournament, sometimes this leads to problems when trying to vote on multiple polls at once. To ensure that your votes are properly counted, refresh the page before voting on a new poll, and make sure to click “Vote” again after you pass the CAPTCHA protection. Thank you for your patience and understanding.
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“Funk Me” – Nathan-Paul & The Admirables vs. “Harlem Stroll” – Snake Davis
Saxophonist Nathan-Paul made the Elite Eight of Glassetonbury, Vol. 4 with his instrumental jazz track “Tiny Whale.” He returns with his band The Admirables, offering a song with tons of groove entitled “Funk Me.” With a four-on-the-floor drum beat and a hard-with-a-capital-H swing, the pocket on this song is cargo-shorts deep. Meanwhile, fellow sax player Snake Davis was just in our Glassetonbury series, going all the way to the Finals with his song “JDH!8” in Vol. 8. This track, “Harlem Stroll,” came out on Davis’ 2008 album “Talking Bird” and sounds like it would fit right alongside some of Steely Dan‘s jazzier offerings.
“Chapter 8” – Jude The Obscure vs. “ONLY HEAVEN KNOWS.” – Arlana
Jude The Obscure made the Elite Eight of our first-ever Glassetonbury tournament with “Strong Enough,” and now he’s back with the silky-smooth yet driving “Chapter 8.” The UK singer/rapper/trumpeter brings an exciting jazz/rap/funk fusion to the table, and I wish we could get him in a room with Tom Misch, Jordan Rakei, and Loyle Carner right this second. Meanwhile, Arlana made it to the Elite Eight in Vol. 7 of Glassetonbury with her song “COMPLICATED.” In that time, she’s released her debut full-length album “SONGBIRD: UNE.” On a record full of interesting, complex neo-soul tracks, the standout for this writer is the reflective, delicate “ONLY HEAVEN KNOWS.” Full of smooth vocal runs, vivid lyrical imagery, and soothing instrumentation, this is not a song to miss.
“Push Me Away” – Landon Sears x Houston Kendrick vs. “Maize Glow” – Sunniva
Landon Sears made it to the Elite Eight of Glassetonbury, Vol. 4 with his song “Next Time We’re Flying,” which enlisted the help of Nashville R&B artist Bren Joy. On “Push Me Away,” Landon brings “RUDY” artist Houston Kendrick into the fold for a song that, comparatively, is a little slower and vibier. Make no mistake, though, it still carries ten tons of swagger from both Sears and Kendrick. It has a heavy groove and some interesting vocal effects. Meanwhile, Sunniva‘s “True Lies” made it to the Elite Eight in Vol. 7 of our Glassetonbury series. The prog-influenced rock band returns with “Maize Glow,” a head-nodding, mid-tempo jammer filled with swelling organs and booming saxes.
“Stardust” – Day Felice vs. “Boy Named Paul” – Juke of June
Day Felice‘s “Staying Quiet” made it all the way to the Final Four of Glassetonbury Vol. 7, and the band’s impressively-deep production and genre-blending resurface with “Stardust.” The piano sounds absolutely divine and dances over an energetic, ambient rock instrumental. It builds to some giant peaks and is absolutely worthy of a spot in our All-Stars bracket. Meanwhile, Nashville’s Juke of June lost to cross-town artist Brian Elliot in the finals of Glassetonbury, Vol. 3, despite entering a barnburner of a song in “Turn Around.” This time, they trade feels for funk and groove with “Boy Named Paul.” Zach McCoy has a standout drum take, and the whole band jams on this dancy track that assuredly is a live-show hit.
“Whistling Tree” – Haunted Like Human vs. “Trouble In Mind” – Tom Joseph
Haunted Like Human‘s “Soothsayer” made a run to the Final Four in our fourth volume of Glassetonbury, and the Nashville folk duo is back with one of their most important songs to date in “Whistling Tree.” Touching on heavy issues like homophobia, suicide, and forbidden love, it’s probably vocalist Dale Chapman‘s most heart-wrenching and personal song yet. Meanwhile, despite only making it to the Sweet Sixteen, Tom Joseph‘s “I Wonder” was one of the standout acoustic songs of Vol. 7. He’s back with his latest single “Trouble In Mind.” Like “I Wonder,” it sounds like a cross between For Emma, Forever Ago-era Bon Iver and Jack Garratt. His vocals are immediately endearing, and the song’s energy is warm and re-playable.
“Whippits” – Self-Help vs. “Holden” – Parrotfish
Self-Help‘s “So Long, I Guess” made a bit of a Cinderella run to the finals of Glassetonbury, Vol. 6 before losing to Huxley Sun‘s “Waves And Walls” in the final round. “Whippits” has a little bit more meat on the bones than “So Long, I Guess” and has a whimsical indie-rock energy that feels like a good fit for fans of early Grouplove or Mac DeMarco. Meanwhile, Parrotfish was primed and ready to make the Final Four of Glassetonbury, Vol. 2 with their song “Bleeding,” but an eleventh-hour rally by their opponent led to an early elimination in the Elite Eight for the Nashville funk-rock quartet. With “Holden,” the band showcases tight vocal harmonies, verbed-out guitars, and a hard-hitting hook with a bass line that rides like a magic carpet.
“Kaleidoscopic Honeycomb” – The Uncle Steves vs. “Identity” – Lobby Language
The Uncle Steves made the Final Four of our most recent Glassetonbury tournament with “We’re Gonna Be Alright Now,” a looping, hypnotic earworm that steadily grows. “Kaleidoscopic Honeycomb” comes from their 2021 instrumental album “Flora and Fauna Rule The World.” It’s a fun track inspired by the Sonoran Desert. Meanwhile, Nashville rock band Lobby Language led a strong fan-vote campaign en route to an appearance in the Elite Eight of Glassetonbury Vol. 7 with their song “The Enemy.” The track was the lead single from their three-years-in-the-making album “Growing Pains.” In this bracket, their song “Identity” captures the rawness and explosiveness of mid-late 2000s rock perfectly. If we could only retroactively put this in the Madden NFL 07 soundtrack where it belongs…
“Change Your Mind” – Martyr For Madison vs. “Elucidated” – Stretched
Martyr For Madison went all the way to the finals in Glassetonbury, Vol. 7 with their song “Heliocentric,” a track that flirted with the line between emo and metal. “Change Your Mind” rides that same line, and it might actually stick in your head a little more than “Heliocentric.” The percussion on this track is out-of-this-world, and the rest of the Grand Rapids outfit showed up to the studio ready to impress, as well. Meanwhile, Stretched also brought the emo vibes to Glassetonbury, Vol. 4 with “Situational,” a Yellowcard-esque West Coast pop punk track that made it all the way to the Elite Eight. “Elucidated” comes from the same EP, and it’s a fun, angsty song with crunchy, distorted guitars that reminds me a bit of Teenage Wrist.
“Cutting Ties” – Dan Kiernan vs. “A House I Hate” – CYPRSS
In the Elite Eight of Glassetonbury, Vol. 5, Dan Kiernan‘s “The Other Side” lost one of the most hard-fought battles in series history against Chase Stephen‘s “leaf szn,” but the pop vocalist gets another chance with his latest single “Cutting Ties.” While “The Other Side” was a slower ballad full of emotion and power, this captures a much more club-friendly and fun-loving energy. Imagine “Sucker” by The Jonas Brothers with an extra dose of Miami vibes. Meanwhile, CYPRSS made the Final Four of our very first Glassetonbury tournament, teaming up with Matt Sperrazza on “Dive” and leading a huge voting rally on social media. The Nashville-based singer-songwriter is back with “A House I Hate,” a more mature and brooding track perfectly timed for spooky season. The Twenty-One Pilots influence is present but not overwhelming, and fans of the Columbus duo would do well to check CYPRSS out.
“MYMU” – Team x Owen St vs. “Told Ya” – Lil Late
“MYMU” (Make Your Mind Up) is a collaboration between two Glassetonbury alumni. Team‘s “Love OD” made the Sweet Sixteen of Vol 2, while Owen St‘s “Laela” went all the way to the Final Four in Vol. 4. This John Mayer-meets-LANY track will put you right in your feels, and Owen’s verse really helps to tie the whole track together. Meanwhile, Lil Late‘s “Superglue” went all the way to the Glassetonbury, Vol. 4 Finals, and he’ll hope to win the whole thing with “Told Ya.” It has an Gorilla-Glue-sticky hook and a big Post Malone energy that doesn’t require hard work to imagine on Top 40 radio.
“Fool For You” – Chris Howard vs. “My Place” – Goldpark
Chris Howard rode a rocket ship to the Final Four in Vol. 6 of Glassetonbury with “After The Alley,” a funky track about the seedier side of addiction to one’s vices. “Fool For You” is slower, but it might groove harder. It features tasty synth lines and some impressive vocals over a 6/8 drum beat. Meanwhile, Goldpark, the band that should have opened Bonnaroo this year before inclement weather forced the event to cancel, made an appearance in the Elite Eight of Vol. 6 with “Beautiful Desperation.” If the former song channeled their inner Springsteen, “My Place” channels The Band CAMINO with ambient guitars and a hook that you can’t help but want to sing along to.
“Your Girl” – Julia Gomez vs. “Street” – Shalisa Taylor
Julia Gomez made Glassetonbury, Vol. 6’s Final Four with “Cry Over You,” an upbeat summer anthem about not wasting tears on the wrong person. With “Your Girl,” she’s come full circle and is longing for the attention of the person she wants to be with. The song is ready-made for radio and will be a favorite for people with a wide variety of pop, indie, or rock backgrounds. Meanwhile, Shalisa Taylor‘s “One” made the Final Four of Glassetonbury, Vol. 5. “Street” is a little more uptempo, but her vocal delivery and instrumental choices would still make this an excellent playlist addition for any Maggie Rogers fans.
“Take It Away” – Stevie Stubborn vs. “LALA” – Sam Soto
Stevie Stubborn made it to the Final Four in our most recent tournament with “Tough Love,” and “Take It Away” is an even stronger track that fits perfectly on pop radio right now. Big vocals and pop production combine with a very singable hook built for a crowd. Meanwhile, Sam Soto, the “Cherry Coke Soda” artist who made the Elite Eight in Vol. 3 with “Info Nympho,” returns with the soaring pop track “LALA.” It kind of reminds me of “Symphonies”-era Dan Black merging with early WALK THE MOON and is my favorite performance of Soto’s to date.
“Ease” – Joel Ansett vs. “All We Are” – Ro Bergman
Joel Ansett made it to the Final Four in Glassetonbury, Vol. 7 with “Expectations,” a soulful pop track in the vein of some of Nick Wilson‘s work. With “Ease,” Ansett delivers a smooth and relaxing John Mayer-esque vocal over a track that slowly builds throughout but stays relatively chilled. Ro Bergman‘s “Animal” put up a strong fight and narrowly lost in the Round of 32 of Glassetonbury, Vol. 5. Like “Animal,” “All We Are” features some belted vocals over a constantly-growing, expansive instrumental. This song feels a little less ambitious and a little more tender than its predecessor.
“Tambourine Addict Who Plays the Drugs” – Fingerless vs. “Like A Thief” – Sorry Ghost
“Leaf Of Stone” by Fingerless was one of the standout tracks of Glassetonbury, Vol. 8, making it to the Elite Eight before being eliminated. Like “Leaf Of Stone,” “Tambourine Addict Who Plays The Drugs” is a slow-burn rock song with some elements of prog, psychedelic, and jam. It grows to a tremendous peak with cascading drums and immersive guitars. Meanwhile, Baton Rouge’s Sorry Ghost made the Sweet Sixteen of Glassetonbury, Vol. 5 with the delightfully pop-punk “Nosedive.” While the band has seen some personnel changes since then, they still return with the same energy on “Like a Thief,” a track that may be a touch poppier, but features a killer performance from vocalist Daniel Anton.
“Heartbreak Aside” – Nothing More Cruel vs. “The Blizzard” – Stratos Fygetakis
Nothing More Cruel‘s “Postcards From Her Forest Boy” was eliminated very early in Glassetonbury, Vol. 5 despite a strong showing in the polls, and simply put, he deserved more. With “Heartbreak Aside,” the opening track from his June 2021 album “Sincerely, The Killing Floor,” his soft voice pushes over a driving, bright indie-rock instrumental in a style reminiscent of artists like Briston Maroney. Meanwhile, Stratos Fygetakis came out of nowhere to make it all the way to the Elite Eight with “Her” in Vol. 8, and his song “The Blizzard” shares a lot of the qualities that made “Her” successful. In fact, “The Blizzard” showcases Fygetakis’s guitar skills better. His vocal raspiness almost channels Eddie Vedder, but in a subtle, natural way.
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