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"The only truth is music." ~ Jack Kerouac

Columbus Bands

A Selection of Singles for the End of Summer

The last time I did a singles roundup was right before spring, so I figured I would come back with a fresh slate of local jams as we start breaking out the sweaters and prepare for fall. The leaves are starting to change, the weather will (hopefully) start getting more tolerable, and live music is finally returning to town. Here are 9 new local tunes for your listening pleasure.


Laveer brings back their upbeat brand of synth-pop with Surefire. It’s an atmospheric fun love song that makes you want to sing. In fact, it’s hard to listen to it without nodding your head and smiling. The song feels like it should be playing in a movie montage where two people fall in love. There just aren’t enough happy love songs in the world, and Laveer seems happy to pick up the slack.

Official video link here.

Rat Motel

Hey World by Rat Motel is also a happy song, but in a completely different way. It’s the same happy you feel when you’re drunk at 5pm with your friends watching football. It’s the happy you get when everyone in a bar is singing along to some song from the ’90s. The echo-ey vocals give it the feel of being played in a crowded basement venue, which I think would be the ideal listening condition. When the gang vocals come in after the verse, it is hard not to sing along. In fact, I feel the whole thing should be sung along to with friends, and it’s a song that I bet is great live.

Official video link here.


If I had a nickel for every time a metal-core band released a song with a title referencing a mid-2000s Ben Stiller movie, that turned out to be one of my favorite songs of the year, I would have two nickels. I know that isn’t a lot, but it’s strange that it happened twice. Atimera has returned with their single I’ve Got the Black Lung, Pop, only their third song released since their debut EP in 2019. The single shows a new intensity that wasn’t present in previous material, with more brutal and dynamic vocals, a punishing twin guitar attack and just a more mature sound in general. With another set at Inkcarceration under their belt, Atimera seem poised to pick up right where they left off before the world got put on pause eighteen months ago.

Video link here.

The Stars Collapse

The Stars Collapse’s new song Such Cold Hands has been stuck in my head since I first listened to it. It is infectious and groovy, and I find myself whistling the refrain any time I’m not listening to something else. It’s one of those rare slow-but-not-heavy metal songs that makes me want to bang my head. My favorite moment is during the bridge, where the guitar and vocals completely drop out and they isolate the bass over the drum track – it is so rad. It catches me by surprise every time I play to the song and it is still so good with each listen.

Frankie Soleil

There is something rapturous about Frankie Soleil’s vocals on their latest single, Colors, and I am obsessed with the high note run on the final chorus. I really like the instruments dropping back during the verses to give the vocals room to breathe, but then kicking back up to match their energy during the choruses. There is an intensity to the instruments that, when juxtaposed with the vocals, adds a gravity that seems to just come naturally for Frankie.

Video link here.

Tha Clarity/Use Bombs Wisely cover

Fresh off his big break rapping in a Stanley Steemer commercial, MC Freeman is back with a dual single with Black Jelly, formerly LumberJack Dorsey. Tha Clarity / Use Bombs Wisely is chock full of pop culture and video game references, with even the title Use Bombs Wisely being a reference to the 1993 SNES banger Star Fox. Tha Clarity speeds by at under a minute and a half, and Freeman takes no breaks, rapping for all but five seconds over a pulsing industrial beat. Conversely, Use Bombs Wisely feels like the it has been stuck in some sort of sludge, with the vocals becoming much more sluggish, although not to the song’s detriment. Both are wonderful examples of MC Freeman’s lyricism; barely stopping to breath in Tha Clarity then slamming on the brakes to deliver surgical bars on Use Bombs Wisely.

We Are The Movies

Y’all remember the “Punk Goes Pop…” records that Fearless used to put out? If you don’t, it was essentially an excuse to get an August Burns Red cover of Wrecking Ball by Miley Cyrus and other ridiculous amalgamations. They were fun and dumb, and I will die on the hill that they were great. Along those lines, local titans We Are the Movies have recruited up-and-coming pop-punk darlings Cotter to bring those days back with their cover of Stay, originally by The Kid LAROI & Justin Beiber. The original song is all over Tik Tok, but the Ohio boys turn it into something completely their own. It starts of like a by-the-numbers cover until the guitar and drums kick in after the first chorus. I forgot how fun it is to have unclean vocals worked into modern pop songs, and the vocalists here do such a good job of not making it feel forced. The addition of Cotter is what really takes this track to another level. I think these bands work so well together, and I wouldn’t be opposed to hearing more from these two in the future, even if it is just more covers.

Official video link here.

Fever Fever

The standout in Fever Fever’s newest single Normadic is their haunting and rich vocals. There is a harmony on top of the melody for the entire track and it adds so much depth to the song. There are soaring high notes as well as some truly deep low ones that resonate in your chest. I believe it’s a song that should be listened to in the dead of winter. I recently moved to Colorado, and this just feels at home here in the mountains. Fever Fever actively put the vocals in the forefront, choosing to go almost a quarter of the song without drums and just using an ethereal guitar that seems to drift through the background. When the drums do enter, they aren’t overpowering or abrasive, they simply slide into their place in the song and add to the dreamy soundscape.

Video link here.

All of these songs are great, and the spread of genres is a sample size of the range we have here in Columbus and in Ohio as a whole. So go buy someone’s music on Bandcamp! Go snag a t-shirt or some merch if they offer it. Go to a show if you feel comfortable doing that! It’s been a rough (almost) two years for everyone, but it has been especially so in a very different way for artists who make their living off of live shows.

So please, if you do anything this week, go support a local artist. It doesn’t even have to be any of the artists on this list. Just find someone you vibe with and give them your support. They appreciate it way more than you could ever know.


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