Fall Out Boy proves once again with American Beauty/American Psycho there’s still room at the top of the charts for actual rock bands.
Sure, Fall Out Boy is now far from an actual rock band (and well removed from the rockers they once were). But they whip up a gloriously hook-laden stadium pop confection, borrowing melodies from Suzanne Vega and even reworking The Munsters’ theme!
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Former Company Of Thieves vocalist makes a name for herself as a solo artist.
Los Angeles based Genevieve swaps indie rock for alt-pop with the release of the incredibly infectious Colors (Single). Backed with distorted guitars, electronic keyboards, synths and a boom-bap beat; she sings about everyday struggles with a message of inspiration, repeatedly chanting, “Show your true colors, girl!”
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Rootsy chanteuse Brandi Carlile delivers a harmonic departure with The Eye (Single)
If Brandi Carlile’s new single is indicative of what her upcoming album The Firewatcher’s Daughter sounds like, we can expect a slight departure. This song is enveloped in timeless, three-part, vocal harmonies that give more depth to heady lyrics like, “You can dance in a hurricane/ But only if you’re standing in the eye.”
Two brothers drop hits on Mike WiLL Made-It’s Ear Drummer Records.
Slim Jimmy and Swae Lee came from Mississippi to Atlanta, got dibbs on the super producer’s beats, and Rae Sremmurd‘s SremmLife was born. In addition to Mike WiLL, Sonny Digital, Young Chop and Soundz create the perfect soundscape. The bass will make you want to hit the club with Nicki Minaj and Young Thug. Read More →
Sofi De La Torre
Although she hasn’t charted yet stateside, Berlin-based Spanish singer-songwriter Sofi De La Torre has already made an impression in the US, with publications like Time praising her latest single “Vermillion” as, “The gloriously gloomy song of the summer” and by Billboard as, “One of the best songs of the year.” Teaming up with German house producers Andre Crom and Chi Thanh, the remix version of “Vermillion” was recently spun by Tiesto on BBC Radio 1.
Launch a Sofi De La Torre here to hear what all the fuss is about!
Juan Wauters (his real name) is solo project of the singer for Queens-based DIY/garage band The Beets. His debut project N.A.P. North American Poetry has appeared on numerous Best Of 2014 lists and is considered by bloggers and critics as one of the year’s underrated and overlooked releases. Retaining much of The Beets punk/Beatle-esque pop influences, he incorporates personal songwriting elements in addition to Tropicalia and South American folk – which he encountered growing up in Uruguay. Read More →
DJ Premier and Royce da 5’9” combine like Voltron to bring you PRhyme, one of the hottest hip hop releases of 2014. Primo samples live licks from Adrian Younge’s jam sessions, manipulating them with his MPC and scratching skills. Hip Hop’s favorite producer paints a dark soundscape for Royce and a slew of MC’s to spit over. Common, Jay Electronica, ScHoolboy Q, Ab-Soul, Mac Miller and Dwele all represent over his beats. Cuts like “Courtesy”, “U Looz” and “You Should Know”, all bring back that classic era Hip Hop sound on PRhyme.
Our Friend And The Spiders
Montreal indie rock quartet Our Friend And The Spiders play that Pacific Northwest flavored melodic guitar-pop, but without succumbing to any of the nasal-toned affectations that bled from Built To Spill into The Shins into John Vanderslice and so forth. Singer MatMo croons in a more throaty tone with an assertive delivery that helps give these songs more muscle than the sum of their contemporaries. Special attention is paid to the rich, tonal voicing of what sounds like a vintage guitar and boutique amplifier combination, courtesy of guitarist SebRod. But it’s the vacuum tight rhythm section of bassist Pascal Sauvageau and drummer Phil Grant that gives OFATS the propulsion of a well-oiled engine. Read More →
Having just taken New York City’s CMJ festival by storm, singer-songwriter Garrett Borns (aka BØRNS) practically came out of nowhere with the release of his buzzworthy debut single, the glimmery infectious “10,000 Emerald Pools” and the release of his EP Candy, all of which was written in his treehouse home in Los Angeles. Leading off with “Electric Love”, the album mixes indie/synth pop with sugary sweet melodies blanketed in sunny West Coast ambience.
The Charlie Rogers Band
With a name like The Charlie Rogers Band, it sounds like these folks have been in the game for as long as The Charlie Daniels Band. But their style of country is more effervescent than a freshly popped bottle of Lone Star beer. By blending the rootsy accouterments of traditional country with a studied pop songwriting style, Rogers and company have created a balance that simultaneously sounds both classic and fresh. If you’ve ever watched the television series Nashville, it’s easy to wonder why this band has yet to appear on an episode. Read More →
Sugary dance-pop vocalist Hannah Diamond is one of the first breakthrough artists to come out of the new British label and collective, PC Music, who hope to usher in a new roster of “future-pop” stars. Her debut commercial single “Every Night” has received accolades from Stereogum and Pitchfork. Her previous single “Pink and Blue” placed number five in Fact Magazine’s “100 Best Tracks Of The Decade So Far.”
Championed by Little Steven Van Zandt, The Connection is a Portsmouth, New Hampshire quintet specializing in jangly power-pop and melodic garage rock. Armed with bowl-cuts, Beatle-boots, skinny neckties, Chuck Taylors, Rickenbackers and Telecasters; these guys haven’t just done their homework – they’re living it. The band’s 2013 debut album Let It Rock was named after the Chuck Berry song (covered here). Let It Rock boasts 13 recordings that sound like a more functional version of The Real Kids filtered through an early Byrds inspired discipline. Read More →
This Brooklyn-based comprising duo Patrick Laird (Break Of Reality) and Marnie Laird has gained a significant following on YouTube for their piano/cello covers of popular music. Their Brooklyn Sessions debut album features reinterpretations of pop hits like “Am I Wrong” originally performed by Nico & Vinz, “Chandelier” by Sia, “Centuries” by Fall Out Boy and “Stay With Me” by Sam Smith.
Despite his silly name Mr Fijiwiji produces some serious music. His latest release on Monstercat Records is much more mature than his 19-years would have you believe. Each track is an expert exercise in Chillstep, dripping with ethereal synth goodness. If Tycho and Porter Robinson made an album together, it just might sound like Keeping It Surreal. Read More →
Pomo is the next generation of futuristic synth soul, joining the HW&W Recordings team of beatmakers: Kaytranada, Ta-Ku and Stwo. As a Canadian multi-instrumentalist and producer living in Montreal, Pomo is the one to watch for cutting edge, freaky, feel good beats. His influence as a live musician on electronic production blends the two worlds perfectly. Songs like “Cloud Cruise” sound like an outer space disco ride and “How I Feel” will put you in funk-mode on the dance floor.
Moonsville Collective is an Americana string band from Orange County. They describe their music as “California Goodtime.” Influenced by folk legends like Levon Helm (The Band), Bob Dylan and Old Crow Medicine Show, the sextet is made of multi-instrumentalists including dobro, mandolin, fiddle and kazoo, (just to name a few). Since releasing their first album Cradle To The Grave in 2013, they have picked up numerous regional music awards and have played alongside artists like Wanda Jackson, Willie Watson (Old Crow Medicine Show), Donavon Frankenreiter and The White Buffalo. Read More →
Dark pop from Stockholm, Sweden and described by MTV Buzzworthy as a “…superstar in the making, surrounded by dark, gloomy synthesizers … recalling a cross between Lorde, Robyn and The Weeknd.” XOV, the moniker of Damian Ardestani, makes his US debut with the track “Animal,” featured on The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 soundtrack. Lorde, who got in touch with him via a Twitter direct message, curated it. He plans to release his debut EP in early 2015 under the Sony Music label.
You don’t have to be from Chicago to remember post-rock. Back in the late ‘90s and early ‘00s, a small population of Windy City indie bands simultaneously shared a love for the electric guitar distortion and delay pedal-tweaking of shoegazing – as well as the heady arrangements of prog (but they insisted on calling it math-rock instead of prog). The post-rock subgenre earned its name because these bands implemented the use of rock instrumentation (guitars, bass, drums) to create non-rocking textures and soundscapes. Many of these musicians felt that it was more important to have a durable winter jacket than a lead singer, hence the then popularity of parka-clad instrumental bands like Tortoise. X Suns aren’t from Chicago. They’re from Seattle. They specialize in putting the rock back in post-rock. In most cases, this might bring it back to just rock, save X Suns’ labyrinthine changes, gorgeously layered guitar textures and songs sans singers. They are also prone to jamming on jazzy outbursts and Hawkwind inspired space-rock freak-outs. Read More →
Smashing Satellites are a Canadian electro-rock project featuring the former lead guitarist and vocalist Salvatore Costa of rock band My Darkest Days. They’ve recently introduced their debut single “Hounds,” the opening track of their first EP release, A-Side (SonicAluzion). Founded by Costa, who has been described as having one of the most powerful and unique vocal timbres in music, “Hounds” combines ‘80s style funky drums, synths and pure fun.
Bicoastal comedian Barry Rothbart is capping off a busy couple of years with his debut album, Streets of Fire. After being named one of Variety’s “10 Comics to Watch in 2013,” he also appeared alongside Leonardo DiCaprio in Martin Scorsese’s Wolf of Wall Street later that year. Rothbart made his late night television debut on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, followed by appearances on Conan, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson and Adam Devine’s House Party. On his release from ASpecialThing Records, Rothbart smoothly delivers the funny as he ponders the weird confidence of little kids, points out that all advice sounds exactly the same, wishes Liam Neeson was his dad and recounts his adventures in making a fool of himself at the Burger King drive-thru. His loose, improvisational crowd work is a rarity on any comedy album and establishes him as a unique new voice in the genre. Be sure to keep your ears open for the delightfully bizarre bonus track. Read More →