Saturday, March 13, 2010
7 Artists You Should Be Listening To
This is a list of my current relatively unknown bands. Some have gotten more exposure than others, but I will not assume anything to make sure you don't miss them. All worth checking out. If you're not convinced to buy the album, go on their myspace page or search them on YouTube to give them a preview. You will not be disappointed.
1. Wild Sweet Orange- Maybe they did hit the big time. I mean, they were on Letterman and "The Land of No Return" was featured on a Grey's Anatomy episode (which sadly is today's equivalent of the 'Big Time'). Yet every time I ask someone if they've heard of this band named after a discontinued tea at Starbucks I usually get the same confused look. I saw them on accident as the opening band. They stole the show. I immediately went online and bought all of their released music and have seen them another 4 times in concert. Their only album, "We Have Cause To Be Uneasy" was my favorite album of 2008. Definitely my most listened to. I have given copies of this album to all of my close friends and anyone who will listen really. They recently broke up temporarily only to come back a year later with some new members (and some old loved ones gone). They released a couple of songs on an album called "The Birmingham Tapes" as a new band. I am eager to see what they will provide for us in the future. Their amazing indie-folk sound and haunting poetic lyrics never gets old.
Download: "The Land of No Return" and "Wrestle With God"
2. The Great Book Of John- This band is a product of the previous one, as it was a side project for two of the members of WSO. But when Wild Sweet Orange broke up, their guitarist and their drummer, Taylor Shaw and Chip Kilpatrick, went full-time with this band with Shaw on lead vocals. They took their name from the Hank Williams song "They Angel Of Death". They ran with Wild Sweet Orange's folk sound and took it to the next level stripping aside most electronics and seeking the pure folk that single-handedly caused a revolution in the 60's. I cannot stop listening to them, and after any of their songs are over I immediately want to hear them again. The symphony of heavy harmonica, violin, dead-on background vocals, acoustic driven folk that makes it's way to your ears is nothing short of bliss. Great build-ups that bring the song to the climax. With a heavy and honest style of songwriting, this is a band that I definitely hope to hear more from.
Download: "Political Song" and "James"
3.Ray LaMontagne: Okay, okay, so he was featured on SNL and is played non-stop at Starbucks' across the nation. This still doesnt mean that you have perked up and taken notice. With a raspy, rough, yet beautiful voice, he wins you over after just a few notes. His energy and sensitivity towards music is unmatched. Watch his performance on SNL.
4. Mumford and Sons-This quartet is relatively new on the music scene. I don't have much to say about them except that they will rock your face off. Their whole "Sigh No More" album is relentless from cover to cover.
Download: "Winter Winds" and "Sigh No More"
5. Delta Spirit-This is music that will make your foot stomp. Their music overtakes your body with an overwhelming feeling to dance. Everything you want from an indie band.
Download: "People C'mon"
6. The Tallest Man On Earth: Although he is actually normal sized, TMOE is a stripped down, straight up, reincarnation of Bobby Dylan. Maybe he will never reach the influence or cause the movement that Bob did, but he definitely has the spark. Another similarity is that his voice is not the easiest on the ears at first, yet it's rawness grows on you. This man is singing you the truth.
Download: "The Blizzard's Never Seen The Dessert Sands"
7. The Avett Brothers- This three man band is banjo-driven. They vocals are clear and precise with a harmony that makes your first listen feel like you have been listening to them for years. Unique in their style, they are like the product of what would happen if country and inde-folk got married.
Download: "Die Die Die" and "The Weight of Lies"
There it is. Give me your feedback on what you thought of the bands suggested on the comments section here.
Noting Feet: I like to give credit where credit is due. Thank you to my brother Emiliano for introducing me to 3 of these bands, Christopher Noerr for challenging me to search for music instead of letting it come to you, and Mat Kearny who had a great major label debut album ('Nothing Left To Lose') through whom by a spider-web of trails I have come across several great artists. (Mat, you're follow-up was mediocre at best).