When taking inventory of Tulsa's music landscape, we've tried to keep our focus broad with the Absolute Best of Tulsa Music Awards. Yes, we focus on original music and artists in every category. We are also taking the time to recognize the best of our city's cover bands, DJs and radio personalities.
Whether playing your own songs or cover tunes, however, fulfilling what your audience really wants to hear boils down to one thing: The song. A single sentiment or picture boiled down to a three-minute snapshot.
A good song becomes a part of the soundtrack of a person's life and when everything aligns, it not only means something special to the listeners but also often recalls a specific moment in time that only applies for the listener.
Here in Tulsa, we know that we've got a ridiculous amount of talent. The musicianship here is top-notch. The live performances are what keep us returning to the clubs. The thing that really keeps us listening, however, is the song and before we can close the polls, we have to take a look at a handful of selections that you've picked as nominees for Absolute Best of Tulsa's "Song of the Year."
Interestingly enough, our reader's nominations naturally crossed genre boundaries with no particular style holding any preference or advantage.
That means the category is wide open this year, and your votes mean as much or more for "Song of the Year" than any other category.
As we recap the nominees, you can go online and listen to each song to form your own opinion before casting your ballot and deciding the winner of one of the most prestigious awards of the year.
Restless Ribbon's members might be young, but their songwriting prowess belies their years.
If you heard their single, "Here When You Need," and didn't know this was a local band, you'd never guess this was written and played by a group of Tulsa teens.
From the catchy pop riff to the soaring chorus, this is a slice of pop perfection that should land on stations from Mix96 to The Edge right next to acts such as Boys Like Girls and Metro Station. Consider this proof that Tulsa's pop magic didn't end at Hanson.
Chuk Cooley and the Demon Hammers is a whole different animal and so is its song "Moving Mountains."
Although The Demon Hammers are more of a hard rock band, the single opens with an acoustic, flamenco flavored guitar lick and moves forward with Cooley and his band taking the rough edges off the band's normal fare without sacrificing any intensity. Considered a power ballad with a message as Cooley continues to sing about his battles to overcome his personal demons. This is just the kind of personalized material that connects with listeners and creates a special bond with a band and its songs.
Joesf Glaude has long been a favorite on the local music scene with his acoustic guitar and "guitar-harp" playing filling a certain niche for instrumental and guitar fans alike. On "Pastorale," Glaude pairs up with James Ruggles to translate a David Belanger composition into a four-and-a-half minute sonic painting that warms the heart and soothes the soul.
When Apagee appeared on the local landscape a few months ago, no one expected the group to make such an immediate impact.
By blending Sarah Sellers' smooth R&B vocals with AJ Sellers' rap skills and socially conscious message that calls a lack of moral conscious into question, however, "It's Not OK" is grabbing attention at every turn.
Fiawna Forte has been creating a stir within the local music community since she started out as a high school student playing coffee shops. Since then, she's transformed into one of our indie rock darlings, albeit without the indie snobbery.
Perhaps it's because she can effortlessly balance indie rock aesthetic with classic rock attitude and contrast the light and dark against one another. And perhaps there's no better example of that gift than "I'd Rather Die," the single that showcases her amazing voice, a bouncy tempo and her slightly dark vision.
So there you have it: from pop and indie rock to R&B, a bluesy grind and even a flair for classical composition.
There can only be one Song of the Year, and we need your vote to help hand out that award. Vote now and vote quickly as the polls close Friday, July 16.
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