A young man with shaggy hair, dressed in a collared paisley button-down and multiple beaded necklaces with a peaceful and “no destruction” attitude walks by you with a cool grin…no, this is not a scene from a Woodstock or Haight-Ashbury documentary, but rather a description of the lead-singer of the psychedelic indie-rock band, Foxygen. The band formed in California in 2005 when Sam France and guitarist/keyboardist Jonathan Rado were just 15 years old playing some local gigs and mainly making appearances at their high school. At that time, The Beatles, other 1960s artists, and The Brian Jonestown Massacre were their main influences.
Have you been looking for something new to listen to, but still want an old-school feel of that sweet ol’ funk? Then you will love the smooth sounds of the “Nu-Sion” band Kung Fu. The band hails from Connecticut and will be headlining at the Brooklyn Bowl this Thursday, May 16th as pre-party to The Big Up Music & Arts Fesitval held this August in Claverack, NY. Although this band has a strong emphasize on funk, this is not your typical funk band. Kung Fu, a quintet of highly-talented musicians, constructed the feel of the legendary genre with some new age sounds to create an electro-band fusion that will have music-lovers craving for more.
The electronic duo, Coyote Kisses, made up of lifelong friends from Florida, Bryce Bresnan and Joe Sussingham, has been taking the dance music scene by storm with their explosive new sound and prolific compositional technique. Releasing their second EP, Thundercolor, on Cinco de Mayo, into a scene “full of cookie cutter complextro producers and ‘womp womp’ brosteppers,” Coyote Kisses’ style is refreshing and awe inspiring. After the success of the re-release of their debut album and their track “Acid Wolfpack," the pair quickly moved up the charts on both Hype Machine and Beatport, even being tapped by Interscope to remix Carly Rea Jepsen’s hit, “Call Me Maybe.”
If there was a perfect time for Atlas Genius to make its grand introduction to the States, it's now. The Australian band, made up of brothers Keith Jeffrey (vocalist/guitar) and Michael Jeffrey (dummer), will kick off their first-ever North American headlining tour. The run includes sold-out nights in Houston, Santa Barbara, Denver, Minneapolis, Cambridge, and NYC, where the Australian band takes center stage at The Bowery Ballroom on June 18th and 19th. Atlas Genius is also in high demand among the festival circuit. They will be performing at numerous festivals, including the Sasquatch!, Lollapalooza, the Firefly Music Festival, Summerfest, Edgefest, San Francisco's BFD, and San Diego's X-Fest.
New recording artist Sebastian Mikael recently signed to the Epic label imprint Vested in Culture and he is definitely an artist to watch. Originally from Sweden, Sebastian further cultivated his musical talents at Berklee College of Music in Boston, which profoundly shaped the direction of his career. With a soulful, emotional sound, he's being compared to Fitz and the Tantrums, D’Angelo and other breakout artists. His original style is heartbreakingly clear and honest. I was lucky enough to chat with this up-and-coming artist about his journey, his process, and more.
So since those boys back in the day who graced your glossy pages of Tiger Beat and J-14 that you hung on your walls or taped to your lockers and your trapper keepers are now dads, there are some new tricks in town. Justin Bieber and One Direction are about to be joined by a trio of young men who are going to be seen a lot more in 2013. Before You Exit is an Orlando rock/pop trio made up of brothers Connor McDonough, Riley McDonough, and Toby McDonough, (as well as drummer Thomas Silvers and guitarist Braiden Wood). The guys released a new EP titled I Like That on February 4. Something that is unique and interesting to this boy group is that they have been compared to superstar bands Oasis and The Black Crowes, which you don’t hear every day for boy bands. The brothers work together well and complement each other as artists…and as family. In an interview, Connor said: “We actually get along really well. We all have our thing and work in categories by preference. I write vocal melodies, Riley writes lyrics, and Toby helps with both. There are never fights because each of us can do our own thing, but contribute to each other.” Whether BYE’s songs have either had their start with the brothers in their bedrooms or writing with co-writers in L.A., their music is catchy, bold, and bright. Some full-bodied, upbeat spring and summer tunes are on their way if these guys have anything to do with it!
Iggy & The German Kids are young and talented. A great combination in the music industry, Iggy, otherwise known as Ignacio Uriarte is a 25 year old singer and songwriter who has been musically inclined since he was a young boy. He became a member of the Metropolitan's children's chorus at the age of ten and is a self-taught guitarist, bassist, and pianist. In college, he forged friendships with some German kids, Hubertus D and Frederic T and together they worked on music. Thus, began Iggy & The German Kids. They are set to debut their new EP this summer and recently had their latest single played on ABC's "Don't Trust the B in Apt 23." Their music is a clash of Brit-pop, electronica and classic rock and we had the opportunity to ask Ignacio all about the upcoming album and more. How many tracks will be on your EP? Over the past 18 months we have recorded about 25 plus tracks we are happy with so we have spent some time narrowing it down to find a collection that we feel really shows what we're capable of. As of now, the EP will probably have around 6 songs on it but that changes every day!
Describe your sound. Where can you picture your songs playing? I'd say its somewhere between the beatles and modern electro pop....we try to strike a balance between modern sounds and some of our more traditional influences. As far as where I can picture our songs playing it's really anywhere. It's good for your car, your iphone, your laptop and some songs definitely make sense for when you're out as well. It's important to have a universally appealing sound while still staying true to yourself artistically and we worked hard to strike that balance.
How was it to have your latest single in hit TV show 'Don't Trust the B'? Well, they just got cancelled. I dont think it had anything to do with our song though [laughs]. But of course we were very surprised and excited when we found out that our song had been chosen. It is always great to see a validation of your music.
Do you play any instruments on the tracks? Beside the occasional guitar the Germans took care of the instrumentation of the tracks but I do play several instruments in general.
If you could collaborate with any artist, who would it be? I'd probably say Noel Gallagher who has always been a huge influence on me or in a dream world Lennon/Mccartney.
Who are your biggest musical influences? In general anyone who is making or has made good music influences me but if I had to pick one I'd say Fat Elvis.
Aside from your upcoming EP, do you have anything else exciting on the horizon you can tell us about? We're working on how the live show will shape out and are going to be doing some shows in the next six months. I love performing so I'm excited to get back out there! Check out the latest single, "So Hard"
Although the traditional music festival season may be over, we can thank Florida’s beautiful weather for providing us with the perfect landscape for a February festival. Grab your valentine and head to Live Oak, Florida for a relaxing weekend of groovy tunes, peace and love at Aura Music and Arts Festival.
The Suwannee Music Park will host hippies and deadheads alike for the third annual edition of Aura Music Festival. Aura is known nationally as the best festival for checking out both the underground jam community and livetronica music scenes. Kicking off Friday, February 15, Aura will return to the majestical forest for three days with headliners such as Papadosio, Conspirator, Perpetual Groove and The Heavy Pets. And when the sun goes down the music only rages on with a silent disco area allowing attendees to party in peace with headphones on.
One of the most exciting aspects of a new year is new talent that's sure to make itself known throughout the next 365 days. With all the new, fresh acts that will undoubtedly be shoved in your face, here's a little list of bands worth taking note of to help you narrow it down. Happy listening!
Dresses – Portland, OR sweet-folk duo Timothy Heller and Jared Maldonado recently released their first music video for “Blew My Mind” and have been receiving praise from anyone with a Tumblr and an ear drum. Though the band is known more for their covers (check out their latest of Foster the People’s “Houdini”), one listen of “Blew My Mind” will tell anyone that this band is on the right track to becoming huge this year, so hop on the bandwagon now
One simple word to describe The Goodnight Darlings is: fun. Their electronic-post-punk sound could very well put them on the radar as fresh, up and coming talent. In anticipation of their upcoming album, Doll Drums, the twosome Kat Auster (vocals) and Wilson. Jaramillo (guitar, beats/synth) have released the first single, “Red Hot.” It's buoyant. It's dancey. It's indie punk electronic pop.
The duo have come together and fused years of artistic influences and musical experiences to create a new kind of project. Kat gives the pop/dance vibes from her years as a singer/songwriter for Sony/EMI in the band Majorette which complements Wilson’s political/post-punk energy from his years of performing with his band, Bonbomb and touring internationally with The Fugees. Listen to "Red" below and catch The Goodnight Darlings on Friday, January 25 at Tammany Hall in NYC!