Our first round of our Glassetonbury, All-Stars bracket is closed, and we’ve already seen some upsets. Finalists from previous brackets have been eliminated, and songs that previously got bounced in the first round have already exceeded their past Glassetonbury performance. Sixteen songs are left, but only one can 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 Saturday, October 2nd 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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“Harlem Stroll” – Snake Davis vs. “ONLY HEAVEN KNOWS.” – Arlana
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. 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. “Boy Named Paul” – Juke of June
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, 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. “Holden” – Parrotfish
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, 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. “Elucidated” – Stretched
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, 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. “Told Ya” – Lil Late
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, 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.
“My Place” – Goldpark vs. “Your Girl” – Julia Gomez
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. Meanwhile, 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.
“LALA” – Sam Soto vs. “All We Are” – Ro Bergman
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. Meanwhile, 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. “Heartbreak Aside” – Nothing More Cruel
“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, 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.
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