Every afternoon, I step onto bus 146, collapse down into my seat (the one with the smiley-face scribbled onto the blue leather), and tug out my earbuds. These puppies are the only thing that gets me through each monotonous bus ride, except for of course the music that I play through them.

(Yes, I’m that seventeen-year-old that still rides the bus. Get over it.)

After school all day, the only thing I usually want to listen to is something calming: a mellow expression of sentiment, a quiet guitar piece, something that isn’t like the obnoxious teenagers I’ve been forced to put up with all day. But where do I turn? Usually, knowing myself, I’d stray away from the Pop genre, but maybe I shouldn’t judge that book by its cover (though I’m pretty sure it’s a little late for that now).

One evening, my friend came over and asked me if I’d heard the song “Big Sis” by SALES. I shook my head and she found it on YouTube, and BOOM…I was hooked. It was soft and comforting, haunting and scratchy, solid and sentimental. I laid back and we listened to their LP, EP, and some singles, and admittedly, it was fantastic.

For those of you that have not been blessed with Lauren Morgan’s voice, allow me to enlighten you. First of all, it sounds like something straight out of a really good indie film. Most of their songs do. “Their” refers to SALES’ two members, Lauren Morgan (guitar and vocals) and Jordan Shih (guitar and programming). The two formed their band in 2013, independently releasing their first 7” single renee/tonka time on December 1, 2013 using the music platform Bandcamp. The duo released their first EP in September 2014, followed by their first legitimate album in April 2016. Morgan and Shih formed SALES in Orlando, Florida after several years of recording music together. SALES is their most recent project, and their intention was to provide vocal and instrumental improvisation, plus some sampling, which is essentially taking a snippet from another recording and using it as an instrument in your own. This experimental technique displays this band’s drive to be different and change what Pop really means to some people, like myself.

“Big Sis” still remains my favorite song from the duo, though “Getting It On” features some of Morgan’s best vocals (in my opinion) and “Ivy” has some great guitar riffs and a super cool blend of rhythms throughout the track.

So give SALES a listen, whether it be on YouTube, Bandcamp, Spotify, or Pandora. They’re young, creative, and I can’t help but be inspired.

Now, excuse me while I put in my earbuds.