7 of the best Charleston singles of 2018, so far 

On Track

She Returns from War's Hunter Park goes pop on "No Saving you"

Jonathan Boncek

She Returns from War's Hunter Park goes pop on "No Saving you"

If you've been listening, you've noticed that lots of local acts have been on their A-game this year. It's only July and there are already so many explosive new releases that we decided to shout about it. Here are seven of the best local singles of 2018 so far, ready and waiting to soundtrack your summer.

"No Saving You," She Returns From War ft. 2 Slices, April 27

Who doesn't love an unlikely duet? Maybe not even me all of the time, actually (Celine Dion with the Elvis Presley hologram, I'm lookin' at you, kid) — but sometimes, it's just ... right, right? (Hello, Michael Jackson and Queen, you're beautiful). So when I heard that cosmic-Americana queen She Returns From War (SRFW) was collabing with electro-pop duo 2 Slices, I was dying to hear what would come of this curious union. The result is joyful. With Rialto Row's Wolfgang Zimmerman at the helm, "No Saving You" (found on the 2018 SceneSC Sampler) is a track you want turned up loud and on repeat all summer long. SRFW's Hunter Park continues to floor us lyrically ("The reality is thicker than paint and burns like fuel, and the tension has a way of growing inside the heart of a fool"), while the song pulses with beats that confirm that these guys are, as the first verse says, "coming at you with a new sensation." —Kelly Rae Smith

click to enlarge Jah Jr.'s 'Back 2 da Dub' is due out in September - KEELY LAUGHLIN FILE PHOTO
  • Keely Laughlin file photo
  • Jah Jr.'s 'Back 2 da Dub' is due out in September

"245," Jah Jr., May 21

This is the most melodic trap song we think we've ever heard. Thanks to a smart keyboard sample and Jah's fun, chorus-heavy songwriting, this was an early contender for favorite track. Along with "Front Porch," Jah uses "245" to show his childhood and his hometown of Dublin, Ga. in a bass-heavy way. The rapper puts it best in the song's first verse when he says, "I'm on my God shit." Answer our prayers and make more music. —Heath Ellison

"Lingo," Matt Monday, May 22

Every day is Monday in 2018. Rapper Matt Monday is on a hot streak, and, right before he dropped Filthy 2, he put out this fantastic little tune to show this is his year. "Lingo" has Monday's usual proficient lyrical delivery, but shows he's a great producer as well. The swell of the drums and plucked strings flows with his words in a perfect parallel. "Ride down it in slow-mo/ SWIM team, scuba logo/ Take your shoes off in my dojo/ How the hell y'all let me pop/ And get a half-a-mil with no promo," he raps. Damn. And the year's not even halfway done for Monday. —HE

"Tantrum in Azure," Contour, April 27

Oftentimes, you can tell a truly masterful song within a matter of seconds — true to the formula, it took Contour's "Tantrum in Azure" (released via the 2018 SceneSC Sampler) approximately 15 to hook me. Contour's clear, magnetic voice steadies the music that beautifully combines melody with experimental jazz. Lyrically, "Tantrum" is a helpful reminder that, often, we can be our own worst enemies. To say I'm stoked to hear what else is up this artist's sleeve this year would be a gross understatement. —KRS

click to enlarge Mobros play The Royal American on Tues. July 24 - JORGE ARROYO
  • Jorge Arroyo
  • Mobros play The Royal American on Tues. July 24

"Carrie Anne," Mobros, May 24

Brothers Patrick and Kelly Morris took Mobros to a new headspace with "Carrie Anne." The band always had a knack for garage-blues riffs, which translates to the new stuff in droves, but they pushed their sound forward with heartier lyrical content. The song's about a conversation between the narrator and the separate character that lives as his internal persona. The music has some surprising turns, but it's not as schizophrenic as its killer premise. Mobros makes the best of the subject while keeping their reliable soul sound intact. —HE

"Sylvia," Human Resources, Jan. 15

You can sort of tell Human Resources' "Sylvia" was recorded in Los Angeles. Off the band's recent release Champagne, the track gets the synth treatment in the best of ways. It's dreamily soft yet pops in all the right spots, making "Sylvia" a great tune for a hot and hazy cruise down a palm (or Palmetto) tree-lined street. That's the feeling we get from the whole LP, their first in three years, so don't let these idyllic beach days pass you by without some Champagne to see you through. —KRS

"Apartment," Casey Malanuk, April 16

On Casey Malanuk's birthday, June 14, he released his third album this year, Hello & Goodbye. But the EP's first single, "Apartment," dropped back in April — just a couple of weeks after his LP Short Film Season hit iTunes and subsequently blew many a mind. The fact that "Apartment," created in a short amount of time, was just as delightful, and full of hooks, as its predecessor is a testament to Malanuk's skills as a songwriter, musician, producer, and arranger. And it definitely sets the stage for what we can expect to hear from this 18-year-old in the future. Considering Malanuk recently moved to Los Angeles to attend the Musicians Insitute and continues to create pretty prolifically, we predict big things. "Apartment" was co-written by Sophie Feldman; the music was co-written by Brendon Fitzpatrick. —KRS


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