Hello friends! The blog is on indefinite hiatus. Thanks for the love and support!
You have heard me rant and rave about the quirky "Psychedelic Space Pop" of UK based Heksagons before. I am back again sharing a brand new video from the ever spinning creative minds of Bobby Bloomfield and Laura Hindle. "Danse Macabre" features lush witchy synths, spooky/other-worldly rhythmic textures, and psychedelic duo vocals all fitting for the soundtrack to your next nightmare. Check out the video which is chock full of creepy clowns, blood, nighttime imagination, and magic!
More from Heksagons right here: http://heksagons.com/
The past two months of my life have been a whirlwind of emotions, highest highs and lowest lows, anger, utter sadness, acceptance, love, friends, and the need to find what is bright and good in this world. UK based poet/musician Benjamin Clementine's music is rare in it's honesty, devastating in its melancholic tone, and overflowing with gorgeous heart-wrenching vocals and painstakingly beautiful piano.
Clementine's video accompanies the song so incredibly well. It is filled with imagery of blind folds, breaking through paper-thin walls, self-reflection, and shadows. We are able to see that although it is exceptionally difficult to break the cycle of grief/doubt/confusion, as he sings, "Somewhere there is hope, there's hope, there's hope."
Check out more from Benjamin Clementine here: http://benjaminclementine.com/
It's been a heavy time for me lately. When I opened my e-mail to look at submissions I came across a video from LA based Indie Pop band Wistappear that instantly brought a smile to my face. Lead singer Ian Lipson harnesses a youthful energy in his song "Every side," championing a positive outlook on one's future despite doubt and uncertainty. I love the jangly and bright drumming and hopeful classic pop guitar licks that drive the tune upwards. Sometimes people forget to slow down and enjoy the present. Let's take a minute out of our busy lives to contemplate how we can do better and how we can recognize all the good things going on for ourselves, our friends, and loved ones. Keep making music that lifts people up when they are feeling down. Sometimes it is the only way to make sense of the world.
To hear more from Wistappear, head here: http://wistappear.bandcamp.com/
Happy Holidaze friends! In celebration of 4.20, I bring you a brand new video from Austin, TX based Electro-Pop duo Technicolor Hearts. As always, their music is full of hope, dreams, lush layered soundscapes, and positive vibes. "Would you come back to me" features calming tripped-out colorful visuals perfect for this heady day. Enjoy!
For more from Technicolor Hearts, go here: www.technicolorhearts.com
Sometimes you come across a songwriter whose music goes straight for the heart with absolutely no pretention and one such person is Adrianne Lenker, the lead singer of Brooklyn, NY based Indie Rock outfit Big Thief. I met Adrianne and Buck (Big Thief's lead guitar player and backing vocalist) a few years back at the Kerrville Folk Festival in Kerrville, TX and was immediately drawn to their gorgeous harmonies and truthful writing. All the members of the band are humble, sweet, and ready for what's coming next. They were recently signed by Omaha, NE based label Saddle Creek and are looking towards a busy and exciting year to come.
The video tells the story of a band getting in their van, hitting the road, and showing us what it means to pursue a life in music. It is a tough job that requires lots of practice, flexibility, a sense of humor, and a willingness to put yourself out there each and every night no matter the venue or crowd. Three cheers for Big Thief and every artist who is pushing themselves to lay their story out on the table for everyone to hear.
Dallas, TX based "Ritual Pop" artist Francine Thirteen has been garnering some excellent buzz over the past year praising her unique musical style/songwriting and captivating live performance. In "Lady Mary, The Lord and Spark," she explores the Madonna-Whore Complex: a man who hopes for sexual relations with a woman who has lived a demeaning life of prostitution, while not being able to seek love in someone who is saintly and highly regarded.
Francine Thirteen's song brings us mystical mysterious synthesizer, hypnotizing electronic and organic rhythmic layers, and dream-state vocals that are guaranteed to entrance you. Her strong sound introduces academic themes in front of a psychedelic pop backdrop.
Check out more from Francine: https://www.facebook.com/francinethirteen
Last week UK-based Bobby Bloomfield from Does it Offend You, Yeah? came to me with his new side project Heksagons. I was immediately sold after reading that they are "all about flutes, talk boxes, 70s synths and psychedelia." Let me tell you, you are in for a really amazing audio-visual ride and are going to want to tell all your friends about this band. Duo Bobby and Hinhin provide sparkling Jetsons-era galactic synth, super smooth vocals and delectable duo harmonies, tastefully incorporated Moog talkbox, blasting ray gun effects, and a video jam packed with excellent vintage space movie visuals.
To find out more about Heksagons head here: http://heksagons.com/
Also, if you would like to support their project on a long-term basis, sign up for their Patreon campaign right here: https://www.patreon.com/heksagons
There is a constant flow of superb music videos coming out of our hometown of Austin, TX these days and we always love sharing local talent! Today's video comes from self-proclaimed "Urbanized New Wave Texican" band Buenos Diaz. "Love Insanity" features heavy fuzzed-out Rock n' Roll bass, wailing 80's electric guitar, driving Rock drums, psychedelic spoken word promoting an all-out reign of love, and a chorus of layered harmonies courtesy of lead singer Nick Diaz's anthemic pop vocals. The video is a drugged-out ride featuring trippy acid-induced visuals and an epic thrashed-out jam session. Dig in friends!
Check out more from Buenos Diaz right here: http://www.buenosdiazmusic.com/
Today I bring you some funky fresh Rock n' Roll from Austin, Texas's own Reed Turner! Get ready for flawless duo harmonies from Reed Turner and Phoebe Hunt, a rhythm section that is guaranteed to make you shake from head to toe, super fun 1960's era girl group vibes, deep and dirty electric guitar, and a whole lot of soul. The top notch video for "I Got Love" was put together by the amazing Top Girl Productions and features excellent cameos from a gaggle of Austin musician pals. You will want to pass this one on friends!
Check out more from Reed Turner here: http://www.reedturner.com/
I discovered Toronto, Canada based Soul/Blues Rocker SATE through a submission awhile back and have been hooked on her earth shaking and powerful sound ever since. Her new song "What Did I Do" begins with her uniquely gritty vocals and filthy heavy bass. The song then kicks into a full fledged bad to the bone funky soul music experience. SATE's voice is angst filled and aching to be heard. Looking for some excellent sludgy soul filled Rock n' Roll? This will get your blood pumping for sure.
Check out more from SATE right here: http://stateofsate.com/
Imagine hanging out on the sunniest lazy day with your best pals and you've got "We Were There" by Austin's own Indie Folk/Electronic artist Roger Sellers. While focusing more on the electronic side of things these days, Sellers like to strip things down a bit and get back to sweet harmonies, mellow and nostalgic banjo licks, calming vocals, and lyrics wrapped in sweet summer memories and the promise of tomorrow. The beautiful harmonies, percussion, bass, and guitar are provided by none other than incredible Austin band The Deer.
Check out more from Roger's current project Bayonne right here: http://www.bayonnemusic.com/
Today I bring you the highly emotive Pop music of Brisbane, Australia's Emma Louise. "Underflow" features aching, longing, and searching smooth pop vocals, sparse but gorgeous piano, an excellently crafted arrangement, and smart use of layered vocal patterns. This song is extremely honest and tells us about love lost and the quest for meaning in life in a mundane modern world. The video for "Underflow" highlights the contrast between stark white painted cracked bodies and the bursting vibrant true colors below that are simply waiting to be revealed.
Check out more from Emma Louise here: http://www.emmalouise.net/
Here in Austin, TX. we are celebrating a fantastic week of free local shows all over our fair city. In celebration of this wondrous week of free tunes I am sharing a supremely cool video from Austin based self-branded "Dream Pop Noir" duo Technicolor Hearts. "Dream Jar" is filled with hazy/sparkling Psych Pop vocals, subtle whirling synth, and tripped-out haunting melodies. As for the video: imagine yourself dropping acid, spending time with your closest friend or loved one, and going on an epic desert adventure full of pure love and light.
If you are in the Austin area, check out Technicolor Hearts and Holiday Mountain at Lambert's tomorrow night for a sweet show free of charge!
Check out more from Technicolor Hearts here: http://technicolorhearts.com/
Hello dear friends, I know I have been away awhile, but I am back with an exciting brand new video from one of my favorite bands in Austin, TX: Calliope Musicals!! Come take a shiny Psychedelic Folk Rock space adventure with one the most delightful, warm, fun, and joyful bands you will ever see. Front-woman Carrie Bickley has the powerful stage-presence of a modern day Janis Joplin and wonderful charisma that is uniquely her own. The band as a whole is highly energetic and play with a boat load of passion.
Check out their excellent new video and then head here for more: http://www.calliopemusicals.com/
Sometimes there's nothing like a good old fashioned living room live video. Today I bring you Fayetteville, AR based Folk Rock outfit Lost John. I have had the distinct pleasure of knowing Eric Witthans and Merey Kimbrough for the past four years and am excited to introduce their new group to you all.
"Howdy Doo" features country vibes with a 70's Rock and Roll heart. There are even some subtle psychedelic elements that shine through (namely their lyrics like "sipping tea with Father Time" and Witthan's homemade Lesley amplifier that creates a wobbly and trippy electric guitar sound). Lost John's music is a perfect combination of grit and sweetness and I can't wait to see what is coming next for this group. Keep on truckin' friends, we'll see you oh so soon.
Check out more from Lost John here: http://lostjohn.bandcamp.com/
We've been gone a little while, digested our Thanksgiving turkey, and are back with a brand new video from the extremely lovely and talented Austin, TX. based "Transcendental Folk" band The Deer. I have had the pleasure of seeing Grace Park and her band several times and each time I leave feeling warmly wrapped in musical brilliance.
"Do Return" is a dreamy tune filled with lush and gorgeous floating harmonies, smooth and bright electric guitar, laid back and super groovy drums, and subtly cool stand-up bass lines. By the way, I know all the band members, and woah, they are all such amazing musicians! This song is an entrancing psych folk tune that is guaranteed to relax your mind. The video for "Do Return" features Grace Park's amazing hand-cut paper art, superb stop motion work, and lovely fall colors. The whole production is so carefully crafted, excellent work Grace and co.!
Head here for more from The Deer: http://www.thedeer.org/
Nineteen year old (yes, he's only nineteen!) British Hip Hop producer Mura Masa crafts beautiful music that is lushly layered with heart-breaking strings, simple but sweet rhythmic snaps, swooning wooden flute runs, whirling xylophone, low-key synth, and pure and honest pop vocals. I have never heard a pop song quite like this one. It takes our idea of stereotypically bass heavy/loud over-produced hip-hop/pop and morphs it into gorgeous and heart wrenching music that is still fitting for a club atmosphere. The video itself is a brilliantly choreographed representation of the struggles and pain that love can sometimes bring.
Check out the video for "Love for That" and then head here for more: http://www.muramasa.me/
Nashville, TN based singer Conner Youngblood's music is rich in instrumental beauty, yet perfectly stark in its arrangement. Youngblood's vocals are aching, searching, and gorgeously broken. The minimal piano and deep dark brass are paired quite well with the desolation of The Badlands and echo between the sky, mountains, and barren ground. The video for "The Badlands" is simple, yet shows the complexity of human and animal survival in the middle of nowhere.
Check out more from Conner Youngblood here: http://www.conneryoungblood.com/
As many of you know, Austin City Limits festival just took place here in Austin, TX. Amongst the throng of fest goers, scorching Texas heat, and multiple stages at ACL, I came across one of my favorite new R&B acts of 2015. NYC based Lion Babe brings seriously funky smooth vocals, killer stage presence and style, 70's throwback vibes paired with modern production, and let's all just say it...pure classy sexiness. The video is colorful and bold, and an excellent representation of who Lion Babe is: an R&B goddess. Catch the fire friends, because it is burning hot!
Check out more from Lion Babe here: http://lionbabe.com/
Happy Friday friends! In honor of being chosen by Austin Mixtape as one of 23 Austin music blog to follow we are posting a local fave!
If you don't already know the awesomeness that is Electronic duo Holiday Mountain, now is the time to listen up. The Austin, TX. based band will be releasing their new album "Shia LaBeouf" soon and in anticipation of the album drop they made a lyric video for one of the new tracks. "Bump That Bass" is 90's nostalgia mixed with entrancing hazy pop vocals, serious weekend beats, and is guaranteed to jump start your weekend. The video features Laura Patiño and Zander Kagle chilling, dancing, and being total badasses in front of a montage of animal video clips.
Check out the video and then head here for more: http://holidaymountainmusic.com/
Brooklyn, NY based Chamber Pop band Miracles of Modern Science bring smartly crafted arrangements,driving strings, and dancey/melodic vocals and percussion all together to form a very fun/unconventional pop sound. I especially love the layering of the cello, violin, bass, and mandolin and the contrast when two to three instruments are highlighted. It is almost as if the individual parts are looped, but I am guessing that they are very carefully timed and this creates very effective and captivating motion throughout the song.
I won't ruin the video for you, you'll get to see how cool things can be with a little editing and filming trickery.
Check out more from Miracles of Modern Science here: http://www.miraclesofmodernscience.com/
Leiden, Netherlands based Electronic/Funk/House project Kraak & Smaak infuse classic soul/funk with complimentary electronic beats that don't overcomplicate the feel of the original song. They tastefully chop and rearrange the music to create a fresh current feel. "Squeeze Me" is very fun and features a seamless mixture of live action filming and flip book animation. This is hands down one of my favorite videos I have seen in awhile.
Check out more from Kraak & Smaak here: http://kraaksmaak.com/
I have been a big fan of LA based "Folktronic" band yOya since I was introduced to them in 2009. Their music is highly melodic and like a bright sunshine-filled day after an Oregon rain. "The Heartwood" features beautiful sparkling acoustic guitar, twinkly keyboard runs, and tenor harmonies that fit snugly together in the perfect way.
I love how the band shows you how they made the video at the beginning and then leads you into a mesmerizing scrolling finger paint adventure. Check out more from yOya here: http://yoyatheband.com
San Francisco based Singer-Songwriter John Elliott is one of my favorite musicians out there these days. He is honest, doesn't hide meaning through constant metaphor, writes songs that tell the universal stories of our lives, and sings melodies and words that will inevitably make me cry. His songs are best heard in a quiet moment alone or while you are surrounded by those you love the most.
Check out this gorgeous solo acoustic version of "When I Make My Home" and head here for more: http://thehereafterishere.com/
Dutch R&B/Dance music +cats= happy Friday friends!
Check out more from De Jeugd Van Tegenwoordig here: http://dejeugdvantegenwoordig.com/
Do you ever get the sense that it would all be better if we had the love and carefree feeling of the 90's again? I certainly do. Brookyn, NYC based Garage Pop band Darlings is making me feel like it's all ok today. These days a lot of mainstream music is overly processed, chopped up, rearranged, and put back together as if the original intent of the song was simply discarded. Darlings provided a straight-forward and wonderfully poppy song that is under 3 minutes. Feels good, doesn't it? Their music harkens back to what was great about 90's gritty pop songs: fuzzy melodic guitar, straightforward drums, bright synth, and unaffected optimistic vocals that make you want to bop your head along.
The video for "I Love You Too" is super colorful, psychedelic, creative, fun, and features that bright yellow smiley face we all came to love in 1997. Check out more from Darlings here: http://darlingsnyc.tumblr.com/
I got the chance to meet and hang out with Chicago based band Birds of Chicago at the Fayetteville Roots Festival. I instantly fell in love with their infectious, soulful, hopeful, and love-filled music. JT and Alli are two of the most down to earth and lovely people you will ever meet and their songs will bring a smile to your face, make you shake your booty, and help you forget about any worries or stress you have in your life. You will often find them both kicking off their shoes and having a ball when they perform live. If you have the chance, go see them do their thing! Enjoy their tune "All the City Girls" on this fine Wednesday afternoon!
Check out more from Birds of Chicago here: http://www.birdsofchicago.com/
Montreal based pop band Human Human evokes the yearning for connection between one another, the loneliness that life can bring, and the vast array of emotions that we experience simply as people on this earth who feel. Their music is lush with swelling 80's synth, new wave bass, and aching vocals. The video that accompanies the song is beautiful in its simplicity and does an excellent job of capturing the need for love in a mundane world.
To check out more from Human Human head here: http://wearehumanhuman.com/
Ok everyone, this is a shameless plug. My Austin, TX. based band just released this video on Friday! Directed by Toronto, Canada based Sammy Rawal and featuring Toronto based dancer Ila Kavanagh, the video was filmed in black and white and the red shadows were all painstakingly hand-colored one frame at a time. "Smoke and Medicine" is about my need to be honest with myself and others, dealing with the trials and tribulations of youth, and making room for growth, change, and freedom. I hope you all enjoy the video and get up out of your chair to dance around a bit. Happy Monday!
Check out more from Carry Illinois here: http://www.carryillinoisband.com
Check out more of Sammy Rawal's videos here: http://www.sammyrawal.com/
And...we're back! Today's video comes from Bath/London based pop singer Gabrielle Aplin. If you are looking to work out some relationship frustration, feel like letting your hair down and dancing all around your house, or just need a sweet pop gem for your daily workout, this song is perfect for you. Gabrielle Aplin's vocals are sweetness, power, and beauty all rolled into one. The punchy and commanding snare sound is paired with a perfect pop arrangement guaranteed to make you want to shake around. Also, the video was taken in one continuous shot, how cool! Get it Gabrielle!
Check out the video for "Sweet Nothing" and then head here for more: http://www.gabrielleaplin.co.uk/
Australian music producer Mikey Perry (Paces) brings us into a magical happy world that he calls "Swagwave." It is a world filled with layered weird glitchy bubble gum pop synth, electronic strings, and high energy handclaps and snaps. It is almost as if it will all come bursting out at the seams, but Paces brings it down, let's us chill, and then starts the party again. Australian visual artist Ego provides imagery and video that feels like some sort of technicolor sugar high and I am digging it.
Check out more from Paces here: https://soundcloud.com/pacesmusic
Check out more form Ego here: http://www.watchyourego.com/
London based Toyboy & Robin bring you smartly crafted and extremely accessible house/electronic music. I am usually not a huge fan of house music and you will rarely find me at the club; however, if this dance track were on I would be shaking it. The vocals are smooth and cool and the beats are not too heavy or jarring (as they can be many times with house music). I absolutely love the video that is paired along with the song. I am a sucker for weird that is well done and they have hit it out of the park. The animation is clean, mesmerizing, and wonderfully strange.
Check out"Save Me Now" and head here for more: https://soundcloud.com/toyboyrobin
When I first started writing music I listened to Vermont based singer-songwriter Anais Mitchell non-stop. She is one of the most intimate and honest songwriters I have come across. She crafts the most beautiful melodies, extremely gorgeous guitar parts, and writes lyrics that will make you stop, think, and even tear up. It takes a lot to make someone cry with your music and if you are able to do so, you have crafted something so powerful and are simply doing it right.
Take a moment, close your eyes, and listen to Anais Mitchell's beautiful song "Now You Know." Head here for more: http://anaismitchell.com/
Sometimes it is best when no words are sung and the instrumentation simply speaks for itself. Atlanta, GA based Instrumental Post Rock band Lorraine take us on a sonic journey that is meant to well up strong and difficult emotions. Through big crashing cymbals, droning guitar, and heavy pulsating drums we are taken through a story of struggle, pain, disconnection, isolation, anger, confusion, anxiety, and destruction. We feel the vulnerability of the human experience through the intensity of this anthemic piece of music.
To find out more about Loraine, head here: https://www.facebook.com/lorainemusic
Austin, TX. based lo-fi soul band Three Bones has been creating a lot of buzz locally. I had heard their names several times but had yet to hear their music. It is really cool, full of punchy rock guitar riffs, super jangly, psychedelic, soulful, and harkens back to one of my favorite era's in American soul/rock n' roll: the late 1960s. When I hear lead singer Victoria de Benedicty belt it out, I am reminded of "Surrealistic Pillow" era Grace Slick.
Check out this trippy video for "Hold On To Ya" (they use oil plate projection, so cool!!) and then head here for more: http://iiibones.org/releases
Ever heard a Japanese indie psych/funk/pop band before? Let me introduce you to Tokyo's own D.A.N. Unwind and zen out to funky bass lines, tripped out vocals, and world music inspired grooves perfect for your Friday afternoon. Have a great weekend everyone!
Check out more from D.A.N. here:http://danbandtokyo.weebly.com/
I have had the pleasure of knowing Austin, TX. based Folk Rocker Anthony Da Costa for the past few years. He is one of the finest songsmiths and guitar players I have come across recently. He does an amazing job of expressing the emotions of his lyrics through his dynamic and aching vocals. He brings it down and pulls you close when appropriate and digs way in when approaching the grittier parts of a song. As for his guitar playing, when he plays you can hear the shifting of the mood, the sadness or joy of the song, the prowess within each note played, and you gain the knowledge that Anthony absolutely puts the highest intentions into every string plucked and every chord strummed.
Check out this live video from Anthony and then head here for more:
NYC based Indie Electronic artist Michna's music features low pulsating beats, mechanic shifting noises, swirling futuristic female pop vocals from MNDR, new wavey synth, and all around excellent chill lounge vibes. Most impressive is the video that is paired with the song. Rocks and gems fall, shift, and break down along with the rhythmic changes of the song, pretty dang cool.
Check out more from Michna: http://michnaofficial.com/
I just heard Canadian singer-songwriter Andy Shauf for the first time a few days ago and have not been able to stop listening. He is a brilliant wordsmith and does an exceptional job of marrying his words with music. He does not overcomplicate;he does not understate; he makes sure his story is told in the exact fashion that it deserves. I have never been to Saskatchewan, but through his songs, one comes away with excellent images of the desolate and isolating place that it seems to be. It is always best to hone in on a character or a certain specific point in time to give your listener a good idea of the picture you are trying to paint and Andy does the job right.
Watch this live video of Andy Schauf performing "Hometown Hero" and then head here for more: www.andyshauf.com
Hey See Saw friends, please meet my brother's high school best friend's younger brother (got it?) Ezra Furman. The super fun and quirky Oakland, CA/Chicago, IL based artist brings us boundless energy, a mix of of punk, 60's pop, indie rock, garage rock,and good old Rock n' Roll. I absolutely love the metallic sounding percussion, the feel good background vocals that support Furman's gritty but sweet sound, the dance inducing keys, and let's face it, pretty much everything about this band. They are just great!
Check out the video for "Restless Year." It does an excellent job of proving you don't need all the fancy tricks of the trade to make a really well done video. Head here to find out more: http://www.ezrafurman.com/
Paris, France "Planetary Jazz" band Metismatic is about to take you on an aural adventure all around the world and to space and back. I don't really want to say much about this one, just come along on this wonderfully curated (and mostly instrumental) sonic journey filled with trumpets, bass, tabla, cello, balafon (West African gourd xylophone), finger cymbals, hand claps, and much much more. Enjoy! Have a great weekend!
Check out more from Metismatic right here: http://www.metismatic.com/
There is a certain warmth and ease in NYC based Indie Soul/R&B singer Emily King's vocals that will hook you right away. Upon listening to her song "The Animals," I somehow felt calmer and more centered. Her music is the breath of fresh air that I have been looking for. Her song begins in a rather sparse and cool manner with a plucked guitar string and a pulsing electronic beat. As the song progresses it builds to become anthemic, lush, and gorgeous.
Emily, we will learn from our mistakes and not make them again so that we can grow stronger and wiser. Thanks for your sage advice.
Check out Emily King's beautiful animated video and then head here to find more: http://www.emilykingmusic.com/
You have heard me gush about Mexico City based indie rockers Rey Pila before. I absolutely love their Rock n' Roll sensibilities, lead singer Diego Solórzano's glitter-fueled disco-era vocals, and the immense energy that the entire band harnesses when they are all in it together. It is fun to see a well-produced scripted music video, but sometimes it is best to see a band playing their hearts out in the studio. It is clear that they have no trouble expressing the magic that they have found among each other.
Note: If you speak/understand Spanish, check out a little interview with the band at the end of the song.
Check out this live live from Rey Pila and then head here to find out more about the band: http://reypila.com/
Aside from curating this little music video blog, I also spend my time making music with my band Carry Illinois. We are a Folk Rock outfit from Austin, TX. and just released our debut music video " "Alabaster" Live at The Ball Farm." Hope you enjoy this little glimpse into my musical world.
Check out more from Carry Illinois here: www.carryillinoisband.com
I immediately felt a personal connection to Philadelphia, PA folk duo Native Harrow when listening to their song "Tears Like a River." I appreciate and often call upon the 1960's Folk Revival for writing and musical inspiration ( from such female folk artists such as Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez, and Judy Collins etc.) and it seems as if these two artists draw from the same well. I absolutely love that. Native Harrow will bring you back to the early 60's NYC Greenwich Village folk scene, the dimly lit listening rooms filled with wooden cafe tables and cigarette smoke, and people quietly listening to someone singing an original song and playing an acoustic guitar. I look forward to seeing the progression of Devin and Stephen's music and hope to hear more beautiful songs from them.
Check out more from Native Harrow here: http://www.nativeharrow.com/
Dear Austin, TX.,
You have my heart and soul and it constantly amazes me how much talent fills up this lovely city! Here's another wonderful local band for you to check out my dear friends: Austin, based Americana band Christy Hays and Caliche. I have had the pleasure of knowing Christy and playing music with her over the past few years. She is an excellent and heartfelt singer and storyteller, bringing to light the experiences she has gone through as well as the trials and tribulations of those we tend to pass by or overlook on a daily basis.
Check out Christy Hays and Caliche's live performance of "Chicon" and then head here for more:
Andy Martin is a London based "animator, illustrator, and music maker." His super fun music is guaranteed to make you smile, laugh, and wish you were a kid again jumping around in the sandbox. Sometimes we need to let go, be silly, and dig into our innocent youthful past. Check out this adorable series of 5 extremely short songs dedicated to: 1) Gas, 2) Size, 3) Future, 4) Style, and 5) Food.
For more on Andy Martin, head here: http://www.andymartin.info/
By now, dear friends, it is clear that I am quite enamored with the music of nerdy British Indie Folkie Tom Rosenthal. You have seen me write about how much I love his simple yet universal songs, his unique voice, and his commitment to keeping Folk music fresh, modern, and alive. If you love Folk and haven't caught the Tom fever yet, check out his new video for "Don't Wait." Let's bring chest clocks back, I don't want to be late, do you?
Check out Tom Rosenthal's new video and then head here to check out more: http://www.tomrosenthal.co.uk/
Atlanta, GA based 100 Watt Horse is hands down my new favorite indie folk band. I got the chance to play a show with them recently and was instantly hooked. Lead singer George Pettis writes folk songs that are beautifully crafted, brutally honest, quiet but bold, tap into exactly what you have felt or are feeling, and all harness absolutely no pretentiousness or over-complication. George writes what he knows and it is clear that he works to write songs to tell his truths.
Note: There will be no videos posted from May 24th-June 2nd as I will be out of town and getting married! Look for a new video on June 3rd. Thanks friends!
NYC based Indie Soul/R&B band The Rooks provide an excellently fresh take on these two classic genres by combining modern Indie Pop Rock guitar riffs, 90's inspired sweet and polished R&B vocals (including those smooth runs we all love), keys that sound like a melodic busy signal, a fun and tight rhythm section, and an overall feel good sound that makes you smile. Thanks for the groove-filled happy vibes guys!
Check out The Rooks' video for "Intermission (Wires)" and then head here to find out more: www.therooksband.com
Glasgow/Paris based "Post Wave" duo Maestro are bringing the 80's back in the best possible way. I am not a big fan of most 80's music, so I was surprised when I found myself loving their sound. Maestro is New Wavey, their music features minimal but striking vocals, boppy synth, driving and quick paced drums, and excellent arrangements that shift from a moody feel to a poppy dance floor groove. If there was a 2015 version of Breakfast Club, "Darlin' Celsa" would be the new anthem.
Check out their awesome but rather dark video for "Darlin' Celsa." Highschool can be a tough ride but this video teaches us that there is always a good revenge fantasy to be had (this one being a bit on the extreme end of things). Head here to find out more about Maestro: https://www.facebook.com/THEREALMAESTRO
Portland, OR based Indie Folk Rock band has something quite magical going on in their music. Their song "A Wish We Spoke" features dreamy vocals and gorgeous harmonies. As for the instrumentation, it is quite a lush soundscape that will immediately draw you in: swirling brass, tasteful guitar and synth, fantasy inducing xylophone, lonely saw, and light percussion. I love that Musee Mecanique's music has many rich and complex layers and is very cinematic in nature. I could almost see their music accompanying a modern day folk opera.
Check out the beautifully crafted video for "A Wish We Spoke" (featuring stop animation, paper, and ink) and then head here to find out more about Musee Mecanique: http://museemecanique.net/
It's been a crazy day of rainstorms here in Austin and I am ready for something bright and shiny. How about some psychedelic bubble gum pop from Paris, France based Traca? Traca's music is pure sunshine, full of bright melodic guitars, poppy drums, twinkly xylophone, and lyrics that while sounding happy go-lucky comment on the sorry state of society. Go watch this deliriously fun and trippy video for "People On The Sand"!
Check out more from Traca here: https://www.facebook.com/wonkatraca
Norwegian pop singer-songwriter Emilie Nicolas has caught my ears and eyes today with her video for "Pstereo". Emilie's intimate pop vocals are hushed and emotive and then become epically grand and powerful. She does an excellent job in terms of arrangement. I love how the song builds, comes to the precipice, breaks down, and then repeats. Her fusion of hip hop and pop beats are a nice compliment to her pop vocals.
Check out the beautiful video for "Pstereo" and then head here to find out more about Emilie Nicolas: http://www.emilienicolas.com/
Today I am bringing you more musical love from Austin, TX! Austin based Rock band Taft is all about wacky fun, a classic poppy feel, fuzzy rock n' roll guitars, a bit of a glammy sensibility, and catchy vocals that recall the 1980's wonderful weirdness of Devo and David Byrne. Taft's music stands out as an excellent tie between the familiar classic rock/pop of the 70's and 80's and modern indie rock.
The video for "I Button Up My Shirt" features lead singer Taft Mashburn covered in sparkly gold paint, a mirror faced person shredding the xylophone, fantastic and bright psychedelic lights, and many more visual delights.
Check out the video and then head here to find out more about Taft: https://www.facebook.com/bandcalledtaft
Slooom: To be half asleep// to move or wander slowly or silently...
I have gotten to know musician Lauren Bruno over the past few years and she is a force to be reckoned with! Slooom is the musical collaboration of Austin based electronic musician Capyac and captivating Austin-based vocalist Les Rav (Lauren Bruno). I am constantly amazed at the volume of high quality music that comes out of our city and this new project continues in that trend.
A major departure from Les Rav's dark folk sound, Sloom's "Honey" features minimal glitchy electronic sounds, compelling layered harmonies, moody melodic vocals, and cut up vocals that create breathy vulnerability and an exciting modern/experimental sensibility within the music. I am really looking forward to seeing what's next for this new project.
Check out the badass new video for "Honey" and then head here for more from Slooom: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Slooom/699085956871767?fref=ts
Ok. Toronto, Canada based Blues/Rock artist Sate is a certified badass! From her bleach blonde fro-hawk to her supremely powerful, growly, fiercely commanding, and amazing bluesy rock vocals, I wouldn't be surprised if she blows up in the music scene any minute. I absolutely love her blisteringly confident voice and the energy that she harnesses in her performance. I can tell that she would be an extremely captivating musician to see live.
Enough from me, check out your new favorite Blues/Rock singer Sate's video for "Warrior" and then head here to find out more about her:
ALB is the brainchild of Paris, France based Pop musician Clément Daquin. I have been really into electro-pop lately and his music seems to satisfy my need for a less mainstream/more complex side to the genre. "The Road" is very well arranged, features pulsating electronic beats, and utilizes driving synth contrasted with beautiful minimal piano. I also love how strong ALB's vocals are (they are emotive and stark at some points in the song, and alternately powerful when doubled).
Check out the super cool animated video for "The Road" and then head here for more about ALB: http://www.albofficiel.com/
Happy Friday friends! Do you need to pump up the energy before heading out tonight? Look no further than this gloriously epic, fabulously wacky, and supremely fun jam from LA based electronic dance-pop duo Hi Fashion. I don't want to say much more about the song or the video other than you need to experience it for yourself. Go ahead and get down hunty!
Check out more from Hi Fashion here: http://theworldofhifashion.com/
NYC based Indie pop singer-songwriter Hannah Cohen has a cool and laid back air about her and it is reflected very well in her music. Hannah's vibe is a mixture of chill wave, electronic beats, and stripped down pop vocals. Sometimes I love to hear all of the layers and complexity within songs, but other times I am just seeking simplicity and relaxation. Also, who doesn't love the fact that the hook of her song is" I fake it every time"? Come on now people, it's kind of fantastic.
Check out more from Hannah Cohen here: http://hannahcohenmusic.com/
Los Angeles based Indie Psych Rock band Swimm combine the perfect amount of acid tinged melodic rock vocals, fuzzed out and sweetly distorted guitars, and poppy vibes to keep us humming along. Lead singer Chris Hess's voice reminds me of a more tripped out version of David Gray and I am really digging it!
Check out this live video of Swimm's song "Beverly Hells" (with a perfect late 1960s treatment) from The Wild Honey Pie Blog and then head here to find out more about the band:
The birds are chirping, the sun is shining, and it is a beautiful Spring day here in Austin, TX. The seemingly elusive animator and composer/musician Eighty Five (Clement Lebouc) has the perfect song to sway your head to as you cruise along the street with the windows down. "Spring" is full of bouncy bass lines, breezy Hammond B3, poppy drums, and cheery synth lines. Take a long cool sip of iced tea and take a gander at this adorable animated video.
Check out more of Eighty Five's music/videos here: http://www.imeightyfive.com/
UK based acoustic duo Seafret hold strong to the British Folk tradition while attending to universal and modern songwriting themes and styles that everyone can relate too. I feel especially connected to their song "Oceans" because it deals with feeling like the odd man out but knowing you harbor special powers that make you unique, strong, and special. I love this powerful video and I think you will too.
Check out "Oceans" and then head here to find out more about Seafret: http://www.seafret.com/
Washington, D.C. based R&B singer Kelela will instantly draw you close with her intimate and aching vocals, dramatic phrasing, and pure vulnerability. The video for "A Message" is beautifully lit, shot, and features an interesting duality of Kelela's live action self and animated self. Take a few minutes to see the gorgeousness of her raw experience.
Find out more about Kelela here: https://www.facebook.com/kelelamusic
Sydney, Australia based composer, producer, singer-songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Ilias will awaken your senses with his gorgeous, dramatic, and moving instrumental song "Light of My Life." The video that accompanies the music is breathtakingly beautiful and provides you with a bird's eye view of smoke billowing out of a volcano, a lush landscape, and an amazing shot of a brilliant geyser. I definitely recommend taking this aural and visual journey.
Check out the video for "Light of My Life" and find out more about Ilias here: http://ilias.bandcamp.com/
Czech Republic based Psychedelic Pop band DVA serves an excellent combination of weird, wacky, and trippy vibes. The washed out and echoey psych vocals, fuzzy guitars, and strange/dream-like background noises will definitely have you wondering if you stepped into the fourth dimension.
Check out DVA's fantastic video for "Nipomo" and then head here to find out more:
Lafayette, LA based Reid Willis calls his brand of music "symphonic electronic" and he hits the nail on the head with that description. Willis's music is full of "weird" sounds (type writer noises and musical saw) accompanied by beautiful grand piano and ambient electronic elements. I am very keen on artists who go outside of the box and challenge what it means to be categorized in a certain genre of music. Check out Reid's strange and excellent short video for "Placed,"and you will find yourself immersed in wonderful weirdness.
Head here to find out more about Reid Willis: http://reidmwillis.wix.com/reid-willis-website
LA based Indie Pop band Fool's Gold is a pure delight. Their music is light, festive, tropical, and would go great with a piña colada on a beautiful beach in the Florida Keys. It is almost impossible not to smile and feel the sunshine when listening to their summer ready music.
Watch their super cute video for "I'm in Love" and then head here to find out more about Fool's Gold: http://foolsgoldla.com/
Sometimes I am a complete sucker for pop music, and Austrian pop singer and multi-instrumentalist Lylit has definitely struck a chord with me. Her song "Unknown" is bright, soaring, super catchy, fun, hopeful, and over all a great driving pop anthem.
Check out her colorful video for "Unknown" and head here for more about Lylit: http://lylit.com/
Brooklyn, NY based singer-songwriter Milán (Maria Neckham) will draw you in and break your heart into a million little pieces with her personal (yet universal) lyrics and beautifully intimate vocals. The message of "25" hits close to home and tells us that it is ok (and even sometimes necessary) to leave the past behind in order to embrace the future and find our true and most comfortable selves.
Watch the wonderful animated video for "25" and then head here to find out more about Milán: http://milanishere.com/
I have been a big fan of NYC based WOOF since I posted his video for "2AM." This time he brings us his own brand of Indie Electro-Psych Pop alongside an excellent animated video that touches on the power of influence, ignorance, and control. Watch the video and then, as we love to say, pass it on. WOOF, thank you for voicing the need for a positive change!
To find out more about WOOF, head here: http://woofmusic.wix.com/woof
Los Angeles, CA based band Fever The Ghost brings you a mash up of indie rock, electro-pop, psych rock, and lots of freaky synth loving! All you really need to know is that the video for their song "Source" features a psychedelic space creature party featuring a lovable dragon. Thanks for the fun times Fever The Ghost!
For all you folks going to Levitation (formerly Psych Fest) in Austin in April, these guys will be there to melt your faces off!
To find out more about Fever The Ghost, head here: http://fevertheghost.bandcamp.com/
Rock n' Roll band Low Cut Connie has been shaking it all around the globe for a few years now. They list their hometown as "Philadelphia, PA...New York, NY... Birmingham, UK." Just by reading this, I figured out that these guys are real Rock n' Rollers who are ready to party and get everyone to shake their booty uncontrollably, sweat like they've never sweat before, and joyfully raise their PBR cans in the air. You get the idea, right? Check out this absolutely wacky and wonderful video featuring an inspired Instagram dance sensation and get ready to raise a red cup.
They are playing at SXSW! Go see them live if you are in Austin right now!
To find out more about Low Cut Connie, head here: http://lowcutconnie.com/
Electro-pop project SRTW will get your body moving with their dance track "We Were Young." The animation, pastel colors, and 80's feel in the video seem very fitting for their music's laid back lounge vibes; can someone mix me a cocktail? SRTW wants to remain pretty anonymous, as I was unable to find information about their hometown, members, etc. Stay cool SRTW, I'm digging what you are bringing to the table.
To find out more about SRTW, head here: http://srtwmusic.com/
Hailing from Birmingham, England, Indie Rock band Superfood brings you excellent pop and rock sensibilities, infectious jangly drums, and 90's rock vocals and all around vibes (yes, the 90's rock sound is alive and well and I love it). That being said, Superfood's sound is still quite current and absolutely delightful and full of pep! Need to cheer up? Go watch their video for "You Can Believe"!
To find out more about Superfood, head here: http://www.superfoodjunk.com/
Although Minilogue no longer exists, their legacy lives on through such tribute videos as this brilliantly adorable one for "Animals." Minilogue was a Swedish electronic project from the late nineties to the early 2000s and the duo currently produce electronic music in their hometown of Malmo, Sweden.
To find out more about Minilogue head here: http://www.minilogue.com/
Jerusalem, Israel based singer Victoria Hanna puts a really neat modern spin on traditional Hebrew songs by combining contemporary rhythmic feels and some cool studio trickery on the vocals (giving the song a bit of an indie sensibility at times). Really you just need to take a little gander at the video to get a sense for the unique artistry that Victoria Hanna brings. If Hebrew school had been this cool when I was a kid I would have been so much more excited about it!
To find out more about Victoria Hanna, head here: https://www.facebook.com/Hoshaana
Auckland, New Zealand based rapper Randa talks about Tiger Balm, Michael Jackson, Dim Sum, and cyber mom's, what else could you possibly want? The video for "Rangers" is cute, inventive, fun, bright, and is a great throwback to everything we love about the 90's. Thanks for bringing me back to my childhood Randa!
To find out more about Randa, head here: http://larzranda13.com/
Nothing like another fresh track from French/Finnish Electro-Pop duo The Dø! Dig into this little gem filled sweet but punchy pop vocals, driving and gritty synth lines, and explosive and energetic electronic drum beats. Enjoy this live video from The Dø!
To learn more about The Dø head here: http://thedomusic.com/
London based Indie Electro Pysch-Pop band Shirley Said makes you sway your head from side to side, close your eyes, and instantly get lost in the sunny haze of a faraway and desolate forest. Shirley Said brings 60's psych vibes, twinkling electronic sounds and synths, and swirling soothing vocals. The video for "Salvation" takes you on a beautiful psychedelic nature adventure.
To find out more about Shirley Said, head here: http://www.shirleysaid.com/
It's time to get down!! NYC based rock band Black Taxi will get you on your feet, bopping along, and sweating it out in no time! Their music is super fun, poppy, catchy, upbeat, dancey as all get out, and perfect for your next house party. The video for "Take Off the Edge" is imaginative, adorable, has a cool throwback feel, and smartly combines animation and live action elements.
Find out more about Black Taxi here: http://www.blacktaxi.com/
Austin, TX based band Leopold and His Fiction bring you classic rock n' roll to soothe your aching soul. Grab a hot toddy, put on your snuggie, strap on your headphones, and shake off this cold!
To find out more about Leopold and his Fiction head here: http://www.leopoldandhisfiction.com/
Lisbon Kid is a London-based "alternative acoustic electronica" duo that serves blissed out and sweeping melodies and vocals paired with light electronic elements (and even some nature sounds for you folks needing a good night's rest). If you need to relax and take a moment to breathe, close your eyes and drift off into light with Lisbon Kid's tune "At The End of The Day."
To hear more from Lisbon Kid, head here: http://www.lisbonkid.com/
Denver, CO based Electronic musician Muta collects and arranges a vast array of fantastic synth sounds and unconventional noises to create his sonically moving and unique music. It sounds almost otherworldly, robotic, and a bit futuristic. The video for "Praise" seems to show excellent influence from animated musical classics such as Harry Nilsson's "The Point" and Yellow Submarine. Get lost in Muta's foreign land...
To check out more from Muta head here: https://soundcloud.com/muta-music
Local Austin, TX singer-songwriter Adam Torres takes you on a dramatic, cinematic, and captivating ride through his unique brand of Indie Folk. "Breakneck Jane's Fifteen Minute Escape" combines traditional acoustic folk, gripping vocals, strings, and massive percussion to create a beautiful and thrilling musical statement. I am a big fan of artists who take a more traditional genre of music and put their own spin on it, elevating the music to an even more powerful level.
Check out more from Adam Torres here: http://www.adamtorres.tv/
Seattle, WA based Perfume Genius fuses original and heartfelt songwriting with glittery Glam Rock to bring you indie rock that harkens back to the mid-late 1970s but still feels very current and fresh. Think Hedwig meets Bowie meets Rufus Wainwright. If you are looking for something a little different, a little strange, a little beautiful, and a little destroyed and vulnerable, check out Perfume Genius.
To find out more about Perfume Genius, head here: http://perfumegenius.net/
Los Angeles based "folktronic" band yOya pairs perfect soaring pop harmonies with breezy acoustic guitar and electronic keyboard to create very relatable and soothing indie electronic folk perfect for a road trip or a hangout on the beach. Yoya has the melodic sensibility of Local Natives with less heavy handed instrumental arrangements. It is hard to find good male harmonies these days, and this duo nails it and leaves you swaying and bopping along.
To find out more about yOya head here: http://yoyatheband.com/
Paris, France based Hip-Hop artist Senbeï combines hip-hop, blues, pop, instrumental music, and even classic Neil Young to create a unique and moving sonic experience. The samples and beats ebb and flow seamlessly and make you want to bob your head and press repeat. Their whimsical and wonderful video follows the adventures of a few other-worldly creatures and their ride through Paris. These little guys will instantly capture your heart.
To check out more from Senbeï head here: https://www.facebook.com/mistersenbei
I'm not usually one to post covers, but this one is truly exceptional NYC based trio Third Story is comprised of Richard Saunders, Ben Lusher, and Elliott Skinner who individually and collectively have some of the most beautiful and soulful voices I have heard in a long time. Their harmonies are lush, velvety, gorgeous, and practically perfect. Even though they are singing a Sam Smith song heard many times over on mainstream radio, their arrangement is wonderful, breathtaking, and truly highlights the talents that these three hold. I can't wait to hear some of their originals down the road.
To hear more from Third Story head here: http://www.wearethirdstory.com/
Liverpool, England based Indie Electronic artist Lapsley has one of the most captivating and heart-breaking voices I have heard from a young singer in a long time. You can hear the ache in her voice and the constant longing for forward movement and change in her both her lyrics and beautiful phrasing. The video is filmed in black and white and is very minimal; both of these choices seem to be very fitting for her vocal and songwriting style.
To hear more from Lapsley head here: https://soundcloud.com/hollylapsleyfletcher
Austin, TX based "psychedelic party folk" band Calliope Musicals is one of the most exciting and fun bands you will ever see live! Lead singer Carrie Bickley provides immense bursting energy, passion, fun, spirit, and soaring Folk Rock vocals that instantly make you want to sing along. The rest of band brings the melodic love and the party! I won't spoil the show for you, but get ready for lots of crowd participation and heart-warming surprises. Carrie's voice is quite reminiscent of the late great Janis Joplin. Even Carrie's stage presence reminds me of Janis.
In the video for "What My Eyes Found," we get to go on a grand adventure with the band, seeing where they go, what they do, the love that comes through in their live shows, and the journey that they are currently on (all from a compilation of GoPro videos).
Want more Calliope Musicals? Go see a live show and also head here:
Norwegian Electro-Pop band Whales & This Lake bring you etherial falsetto vocals paired with lush Imogen Heap-esque electronically manipulated harmonies. The echoey vocals and stark Norwegian landscape go well together, leaving one with a sense of desolation, struggle, loss, and the cold beauty that lies beneath it all. The video for "Sahara Blind" (directed by Lars Erik Thoralfsson) is cinematic and beautiful, starting in bleakness and ending in an explosion of gorgeous colors.
To find out more about Whales & This Lake head here:
Houston, TX based "Gulf Coast Soul" band The Suffers is about to pull you right in and be one of your new favorite bands (they are certainly one of mine now). The Suffers bring you clean and tight brass and percussion, paired with lead singer Kam Franklin's commanding, sassy, and all around completely amazing and gorgeous vocals. People, this woman can sing!!
Check out more from The Suffers here: http://www.thesuffers.com/
British indie folk band The Staves are taking their music in a really fun direction in their new single "Black & White." There is a little more attitude, a little more punch, and some rock and roll drums, electric guitar, and brass that brighten the mood in an excellent way. I love that they are still true to their folk roots while adding some driving melodic and instrumental elements into the mix. It's good to be light and sweet but it also good to be a little sassy sometimes.
To find out more about The Staves head here: http://www.thestaves.com
New York based Palaxy Tracks began as a mainstay in the Austin,TX. music scene during the mid-90's sharing the stage with such fantastic and talented acts as Shearwater and Okkervil River. Listening to their music evokes a familiar feeling of longing, the challenges of fast city life, and the mundane feeling one can get going through each busy day. "An Episode" brings you warm and nostalgic melodic 60's pop vibes. The poppy keys and bouncy drums make me supremely happy and ready to take on the world.
To hear more from Palaxy Tracks head here: https://www.palaxytracks.com/
Super poppy and soulful Dutch Melodic House music+senior citizen hipsters feeling their oats. That's pretty much all you need to know. Enjoy and shake that booty!
To find out more head here:
Dublin, Ireland based Electronic project Sunken Foal brings you sweeping, sparse, and distant vocals paired with cinematic and mechanic sounding electronic beats and sounds. The video for "Never Knew" takes you on a mesmerizing and visually exciting journey though a city night. Check out the video above and then head here for more from Sunken Foal:
French Dub group Stand High Patrol takes reggae to a whole different level by combining the early sounds of classic dub with lovely sparse modern instrumentation (grand piano and drums) and ethereal vocals. Take a second listen to the song and you will find elements of indie pop with an orchestral sensibility. Watch the beautifully crafted video for "Sleep On It" and then check out more from Stand High Patrol here:
Want to go on a poppy psychedelic sea adventure? Look no further than self-proclaimed Swedish Gothic Pop band Jape and their video for "The Hearts Desire." Jape brings us an excellently satisfying mix of electronic, pop, and psychedelic music paired with a clubby dance feel to get those feet moving. Jape, I am sold; let's have a snowy Scandinavian dance party!
To find out more about Jape head to: http://www.thischemicalsea.com
Canadian Jazz/Soul singer Kellylee Evans exudes a unique, cool, sexy, and smart sensibility through her smooth laid back voice. Her singing is almost conversational in style, putting the listener at ease, and drawing you in closer. She is a vocal powerhouse who doesn't need to have a giant voice to show her musical prowess.
Check out the video for "My Name Is" and find out more about Kellylee Evans here:
Hey guys! Happy New Year! In 2015 I resolve to embrace my unique self, not care about what others think of me, and just get out there and work it and do what I love to do! Thanks Lizzo (from Houston, TX) and Caroline Smith (from Minneapolis, MN), you ladies have inspired me to love myself while rockin' to a sweet sassy beat. I love the video for "Let 'Em Say." It is simple but full of fun, energy, and positive vibes. Here we go 2015...
For more by Lizzo and Caroline Smith, head here:
Melbourne, Australia Indie Folk band Husky has something I have been craving for a long time: beautiful male harmonies paired with intriguing changes within a song. I have always been a fan of lush male harmony a lá CSNY and Fleet Foxes but haven't heard it much in the past few years. Husky is doing a great job filling the void with their tight vocals, driving and complex pop arrangements, and lyrically focused songs. The video for "Husky" is quite universal in theme. It seems to be about the circle of life, the interconnectedness within the universe, longing, and lost love. Really, there is a lot going on in this video and it is worth a couple viewings to catch what is going on both visually and lyrically. I have been playing this song over and over lately and I want everyone to know about these guys!
Check out more from Husky here: http://www.huskysongs.com/
Buffalo, NY based Indie Pop/Rock band The Tins bring you irresistible classic rock guitar vibes, catchy synth lines, paired with familiar sounding vocals that harken back to the warm fuzzy feeling of 70's Pop Rock. I love that the video features a silly/cute/rather emotive cat and a protagonist who hopes to emulate the musical stylings of Freddie Mercury and then decides to strike out on his own.
To hear more from The Tins, head here: http://www.thetinsmusic.com/
Yup, you heard me before, I love British Folk singer Tom Rosenthal. This time Tom brings us an upbeat Folk Pop song about watermelons. He is dressed as one, there are stop motion watermelons, and melons in the sky. It is indeed "A fruit based love." What else could you want?
To hear more from Tom Rosenthal, head here: http://www.tomrosenthal.co.uk/
Portuguese Pop Singer-Songwriter Emmy Curl will instantly captivate you in her video for "Come Closer". The song is lush, beautiful, almost dream-like, and the production on the song is on the sparser side, so her voice shines through quite nicely. A lot of pop these days is overrun with vocal effects, so it is nice to be able to hear her vocals on a more pure level. I absolutely love the way the video was shot, especially the use of painted projections on her body. I will definitely be watching for more music from Emmy.
To check out more from Emmy Curl, head here: http://emmycurlmusic.bandcamp.com/
Local band alert!! Austin's own Psychedelic/Dub/Pop band Holiday Mountain is sure to make you want to get up out of your chair, throw on your best wacky outfit, and feverishly dance along to their party-ready music. The first time I got to see this trio of super talented folks was at Utopiafest (a weekend festival in the Hill Country outside of Austin). Laura Patiño (the highly-energetic front woman) has so much spunk and sparkle in her performance that you can't help but be completely wowed. The other two members of the band (Zander Kagle and Bradley Will) provide perfectly poppy drums and wonderfully zippy synth lines to make your heart pound away. The video for "Motion Sickness" has a neat psychedelic backdrop and you'll want to be sure to keep your peepers glued to the screen the whole time, there is a trippy surprise at the end.
To find out more about "Holiday Mountain" head here: http://holidaymountainmusic.com/
Dear Kentish Fire, can we hang out and be friends? The London based Indie Dance band's song "In Our Band" might just be the best way to get amped up for your Friday night festivities. I am usually weary of songs that are chock full of pop culture and band references, but this group knocks it out of the park and does it just right. The video is fun, fast paced, adventurous, makes you feel like you are on some sort of wild Dance pop tour of London, and filmed in 360° (which is unique, visually engaging, and super awesome!!). The song itself is well written, excellently catchy, driving, and vocally energetic. You've got yourselves a new fan KF!
To find out more about Kentish Fire, head here: http://www.kentishfire.co.uk/
Oh my my, this is great day to jump back into some music video love! Finnish Electro-Disco duo TJH87 (Timo Juuti & Hector 87) will put a spring in your step with their wonderfully bouncy, glittery, and hook filled track "Good Life". All you need is a goofy yeti excitedly flipping through vinyl at the record store to turn your frown upside down. You'll definitely want to listen to this song over and over. Lather, rinse, and repeat my friends!
To hear more from TJH87, head here: https://www.facebook.com/TJH87Official
Do you need to let go of someone or something in your life? Sheffield, UK Alternative Pop band/music collective Diagrams' song "Phantom Power" will inspire you to put down your fears, sadness, and broken heart. The video for "Phantom Power" is inspired, creative, colorful, cute, both melancholy and bright, well made, and brilliantly animated. The song itself is a soaring acoustic/electric indie pop anthem that will get stuck in your head for days. Are you humming along yet?
To find out more about Diagram, head here: http://www.diagramsmusic.co.uk/
The song "It's Ok" by London-based Folk musician Tom Rosenthal is absolutely beautiful, heartbreaking, and wonderfully cinematic. I am a sucker for an emotive and gorgeous voice paired with sparse yet captivating piano. The video compliments the song by setting Tom's lush vocals against a child-like series of pastel drawings with the very mature theme of yearning for love, losing love, and hoping for a bright future with someone else. I can't wait to hear more from this extremely talented musician.
To find out more about Tom Rosenthal, go here: http://www.tomrosenthal.co.uk
Manchester, UK based Elle Mary & The Bad Men play a swirling, haunting, dark, and slow-burning brand of British Indie Folk that makes you want to curl up with a hot cup of tea, cover yourself in a blanket, and watch the impending storm roll in. I don't know about you, but sometimes that is just what I need.
To find out more about Elle Mary & The Bad Men, go here: http://ellemarymusic.com/
I have a special spot in my heart for Austin, TX. based band Whiskey Shivers. I love these boys, they are so much damn fun. You've heard Bluegrass before, right? Whiskey Shivers plays a brand of bluegrass they call Trashgrass. Think late nights, bare feet, whiskey, PBR, lightning speed guitar/upright bass/banjo, and a washboard player who plays so fast you can barely see his hands move. In their brand-spanking new video for "Free" we see the boys transformed by scientists into the "perfect" Bluegrass band.
Check out more from Whiskey Shivers here: http://whiskeyshivers.com/
Netherlands cinematic indie pop band Happy Camper just made my day! Their music is fun and cute but also teaches us how hard life can really be. Check out their adorable yet dark video for "The Daily Drumbeat" and then check out more from this 20 piece (yes, I said 20 piece) band here: http://showcase.fm/happycamper
Never underestimate the power of two skilled musicians coming together to create a full, unique, and driving sound. New Orleans based indie rock duo Caddywhompus bring together really cool time changes, complex rhythmic patterns, and great classic pop sensibilities paired with indie rock sounds. A bonus! The video for "Company" was filmed right here in the great city of Austin, TX.
Check out more from Caddywhompus here: http://www.caddywhompusband.com/
Ok, how has most of the world never heard of Pierre Kwenders yet? Born in Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of Congo) and now living in Montreal, Canada, Pierre Kwenders brings us pop, hip-hop, and flavors of world and Congolese music all rolled into one. In "Mardi Gras," he sings in his native tongue while former bandmate Jacobus raps in French. Pierre Kwenders exudes cool, has amazing style, and makes some dang fine music.
Check out more from Pierre Kwenders: http://pierrekwenders.com/
Sarh is the Paris, France based electro-pop musical collaboration of DJ Pone and singer José Reis Fontao. Their music is both beautiful and hypnotic, sparse in lyrics, yet immediately pulls you in and keeps you in their grasp. Sometimes too many words can take you out of a song. Sometimes you just need to keep it simple to maintain a gorgeous feeling in which the listener can get lost.
To find out more about Sarh go here: https://www.facebook.com/SARHMUSIC
It's chilly and gray here in Austin, TX. and I thought it would be nice to brighten things up a bit with a colorful, strange, and wacky new video. Take a trip to the other side with French "imaginary pop"/psychedelic pop band Leon. I am now going to leave you to enjoy your own personal audiovisual adventure. Have fun...
Check out more from Leon here: http://www.iletaitunefoisleon.fr/
Do need some pep in your step? Do you need to release some workweek stress? Go ahead, kick off your shoes, crank up the speakers, and get it all out while you shake around to Canadian indie rock band Young Liars. The song and video for "Night Window" is lighthearted, whimsical, catchy as all get out, and chock full of bright pops of color. Am I aloud to say it's also cute? Yes, it is so cute. I am ready for the weekend, are you?
Check out more from Young Liars here: http://youngliars.ca/
I seem to be on a pop kick and French/Finnish indie pop band The Dø serves major energy, a cool sensibility, a great sassy pop melody, fun lyrics, and excellent and tasteful use of synth. The video takes place on an airport tarmac and it doesn't hurt that lead singer Olivia Merilahti is super cute in her red jumpsuit while being a total badass.
To find out more about The Dø go here: http://thedomusic.com/
I have always had an unabashed love for pop music and have been really into international pop (specifically Scandinavian pop) lately (i.e. Robyn, Lykke Li). Danish pop singer Oh Land fits perfectly into that genre and never fails to make me want to bop my head, sing along, and write the perfect pop hook. Check out her girl power pop anthem "Renaissance Girls" and then check out more from her here: http://ohlandmusic.com/
Mexican band Rey Pila brings you glam indie rock that will make you want to go back in time to 1978, head to the club, and dance your face off while getting glitter all over the dance floor. The video for "Alexander" features an eccentric thieving psychic who just wants to have fun at the client's expense. To check out more from Rey Pila, head over to their website: http://reypila.com/
Today's video comes from my good pal/Austin, TX singer-songwriter Ali Holder. Check out the spooky, creepy, witchy, and all-around perfect Halloween music video for Ali's song "Moon". Ali is one of my favorite musicians in Austin and writes killer songs! To check out more from Ali Holder, go here: http://aliholder.com
Bombino is a Desert Rock band from Agadez, Niger; the song "Azamane Tiliade" comes from their 2013 LP "Nomad" and was produced by Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys. Dan Auerbach+amazing desert rock from Niger, how could you possibly go wrong!? Check out the psychedelic studio video for "Azamane Tiliade" and then go here for more from Bombino: http://www.bombinomusic.com/
Austin, TX. based producer/videographer/musician Michael Hogan brings you genuine spoken word and hip-hop through the lens of a visual artist with a keen eye. The video for "Future Now" is purely playful and bright.
To find out more about Mkikel go here: http://mkikel.com/
I stumbled across Toronto-based Folk Rock band The Wilderness of Manitoba a few years ago when seeking out some new folk music with a pop/rock edge. I have been continually impressed with the darker, wandering, mysterious, and driving brand of folk that has been coming out of Canada as of late. The Wilderness of Manitoba's music is hook-filled, lush with harmonies, and does an excellent job of pairing more traditional folk elements with a modern pop/rock feel.
To find out more about The Wilderness of Manitoba go here: http://www.thewildernessofmanitoba.com/
Anyone who asks me for suggestions of new bands to listen to will always receive this as one of the answers: Sylvan Esso. They are hands down one of my favorite new bands I have heard and played one of the best live shows I have seen in a long time. Durham, North Carolina duo Sylvan Esso combine great songwriting/vocals with the intensity, complexity, and drive of indie electronic music. It is always really cool to see stripped down/acoustic versions of songs, thus I chose to post this video for "Hey Mami".
Check out more from Sylvan Esso here: http://www.sylvanesso.com/
Happy Friday everyone! LA/San Francisco based-electronic musician Zhu brings you into the weekend with a catchy, upbeat, and unabashedly poppy song. "Paradise Awaits" is pure eye-candy with painterly animation that grabbed my attention right away. Go ahead, sin away dear friends, I won't tell anyone.
Check out more from Zhu here: http://zhumusic.com/
NYC-based singer-songwriter Margaret Glaspy has one of the coolest voices I have heard in a long time, writes a mean song, has that classic 70's singer-songwriter vibe (think Carole King) while still maintaining a current sound, and sings a superbly catchy melody that will be stuck in your head for days. I have listened to this song several times today already, it is so gosh darn excellent.
Check out more from Margaret Glaspy here: http://mglaspy.com/
Fractures is Melbourne based multi-instrumentalist Mark Zito. This video was shot in a ghostly building in Pripyat, Chernobyl and left me with a strong sense of memory, destruction, death, life, heartbreak, and hope. There is a lot of melancholy and dark imagery in the video, but also a glimmer of a beautiful life that used to be and a need to continue on towards the future.
To find out more about Fractures go here: http://www.fracturesmusic.com.au/
Monophonics are a Psychedelic Soul band based out of San Francisco, CA. Take off your clothes and dance!! Check out more from Monophonics here: http://monophonics.com/
The Staves! Incredible three part harmonies, beautifully crafted songs, and to-die-for imagery bridge the gap between old-school British folk and current British folk-rock. Take a journey from struggle to triumph in this gorgeous video for “Blood I Bled.” Find out more about The Staves here: http://www.thestaves.com/
I first saw Athens, GA based musician Kishi Bashi at this year's Utopiafest and was completely blown away by his highly energetic, beautifully complex, uplifting, and smile-inducing music. Kishi Bashi is amazing and you should go see him play live. Check out his gorgeous video and then find out more about him here: http://www.kishibashi.com/
WOOF is a NYC based musician who describes his music as "PSYCHEDELIC DANCE PUNK POP FUNK GARBAGE NONSENSE." Right on WOOF, the music is just as you describe it and it is wonderfully dancey, poppy, and flat-out fun. In addition to the music being absolutely great, the video is also excellent and compliments the song in a really neat way. The visuals are put together in a creative, cool, and artful way, using a really wonderful combination of 1940's-1980's video clips set to a colorful psychedelic backdrop. Check out more from WOOF here: http://woofmusic.wix.com/woof
When I walked into the packed inside stage at Cheer Up Charlie's during SXSW 2013, I was immediately captivated by Latasha Lee's voice. She is a powerhouse. She puts on an excellent and highly energetic show and her songs are supremely sticky. For more from Corpus Christi, TX based band Latasha Lee & the BlackTies head to: https://www.facebook.com/latashaleeblackties
I met Austin, TX based musician Shakey Graves (Alejandro Rose-Garcia) almost four years ago while playing a songwriter series with him at the now closed Flipnotics coffee shop. He becomes a whole different person/being when he steps on stage, commanding the audience, fully committing to his craft in sound and in physical presence, you cannot take your eyes off of him when he is playing his songs. Shakey has since become a household name in Austin and is becoming well-known far beyond our fair city. Check out more from Shakey Graves and Esmé Patterson: http://www.shakeygraves.com/
Ages and Ages are a super fun pop rock band from Portland, OR who will instantly make you want to get up and put on your dancing shoes. I used to be a resident of Portland and maintain a major soft spot in my heart for several Portland and Pacific Northwest-based musicians and bands. I can't resist a good poppy melody and the chance to participate in a good old-fashioned sing-along. Check out more from Ages and Ages here: http://www.agesandages.com/