Rational Dream - Rational Dream

Rodrigo Alarcon is a musician and songwriter who fell into a jazz coma. When he’s not practicing jazz standards for school, he’s transcribing and writing songs in varied genres— neo-soul, dream-pop, baroque-pop, indie-rock, post-punk, math rock. Rodrigo crafts and blends this eclectic array based on what’s inspired him in the moment, often switching from one style to the next on a song-to-song basis. As a songwriter, he aims for aesthetic unity within each release. Though if he is not writing for a band, separate releases tend to differ stylistically, while still carrying his distinctive sensibilities.

Rational Dream is a collection of dreamy indie-rock inspired songs Rodrigo wrote in 2017. Rodrigo wrote most of the songs his bedroom late at night both to process emotional baggage and to practice singing and songwriting. His friends Hazel, Spencer, and Austin tracked basslines, synths, and drums. Pop Spirit co-founder Hazel M. helped to record and produce the songs.

Listen on: Bandcamp, or YouTube

Larksburg - Throwing Light

Larksburg is a band that reinvents itself with every release. Listening to any two albums in a row will leave most listeners wondering if they feature the same group. The band has quietly been making music since 2012 with their primary songwriter, Brett Hanley, sidestepping back and forth repeatedly to find his "sound." Now a two-piece featuring Hanley and longtime band member, Hazel, Larksburg aim to make music that represents emotional honesty and acts as a supportive voice for their listeners.

Throwing Light, their most recent effort and another musical departure, shows their ever-growing, varied sound through use of synthesizers, warm guitars, and reverb-drenched production.

Listen on: Spotify, Apple Music, or YouTube

Follow Brett on: Twitter, and Tumblr

Twinkle Park - Never The Same Again, Thank Goodness

Twinkle Park is the solo project of recording engineer and Pop Spirit co-founder Hazel. She often works alongside others, producing and collaborating on their work; when she works alone, she blends elements of dream pop, emo, and happy hardcore to create heartfelt maximalist pop music. Between chaotic drum breaks and busy guitars lie delicate synthesized vocals. Songs bursting at the seams one minute may melt away into delicate piano backed by ambient synth-scapes, or laid back, jazzy grooves. No genre or style is off limits within any of Twinkle Park’s songs.

Created in 2015 as an outlet to experiment with and better learn production techniques, over time the project has gradually shed its quieter, more downtempo skin, and developed into a loud, often triumphant vehicle for Hazel to write about what’s important to her in the most earnest way she can. Based in her experience as a transgender woman, her songs embrace self-love in defiance of transphobia, and serve as encouragement to other trans people that they too are worthy of loving themselves.

Her newest EP, Never The Same Again, Thank Goodness, is a reflection on and celebration of her coming out as transgender.

Listen on: Spotify, Apple Music, or YouTube

Follow Hazel on: Twitter, YouTube, and SoundCloud