When I first came across a video called, “Live From the Basement” by a band named Pickwick, it was instantly love at first sound. Who the heck is this band and more importantly, when can I see them? What I discovered is that Pickwick originates from the land of the grunge and the home of the space needle. They are a six-man band who shake tambourines like they are going out of style and put soul back in real time. The lead singer, Galen Disston, rocks an afro and retro specs while holding down an incredibly unique voice that could easily halt the attention of a room. There is no denying this band’s creative passion and raw talent with tracks like ‘Hacienda Motel’ and ‘When Rosa Speaks’ from self-released EP, Myths, Vol. 1. Their musical intensity and exclusive modern blues sound is likely to be the reason as to why the band’s West Coast shows sell out left and right. Seattle radio station, KEXP and City Arts Magazine are a few plugs who have not let Pickwick go unnoticed. The band even recently landed a set at Sasquatch Music Festival on the bill alongside Jack White, Bon Iver and The Shins. Pickwick is on the rise and hopefully they will bring their soulful presence to the East Coast this year.
Fed a healthy diet of classic rock and pop-R&B, the young, fair, sisters HAIM (Este, Alana, and Danielle) have burst on to the scene with some of the most exciting and fun-loving tracks we have heard in a while. Their live set on the Treehouse Stage at this year’s Sweetlife Festival left our hearts aflutter, and it was certainly no surprise to see some of the main stage acts among their adoring crowd. Hell, one of their biggest supporters is Ryan Adams (who was a surprise guest at a recent show in LA). It’s safe to say these ladies are on the verge of some serious success.
Our favorite track ‘Forever’ blends bright harmonies, infectious guitar and bass lines (and gloriously peppy handclaps) with an aching, croon-y vocal energy that reminds us of some of our favorite female frontwomen (think Chrissy Hynde, Patti Smith, Blondie).
Add this track to your Summer soundtrack and give in to the sun-kissed woozy charm of HAIM.
Why should you come early for Trampled By Turtles tonight? Becuase These United States will not only be an awesome prelude to an overall great night, but also because the D.C./Kentucky based group is a band that you should keep an eye on.
With four full-length albums already released and hundreds of tour dates throughout the last few years, these guys are doing everything they can to make a name for themselves; and well, it’s absolutely working.
Led by songwriter Jessie Elliott, These United States always bring a different twist to each album. Garage rock, synth-pop, alternative country, and folk are just a few avenues that they’ve chosen to explore. “First Sight,” a track from their debut album A Picture Of The Three Of Us At The Gate To The Garden Of Eden, set a clear tone for the band’s future potential. The combination of gentle but upbeat keyboard and Elliott’s stellar vocals leaves you humming by the end. In each of These United States’ albums, we can identify with, as NPR put it, “Elliott’s heartbroken, introspective storytelling.”
Whether you are lucky enough to have tickets to the show tonight or not, These United States are worth a listen.
A six piece Icelandic group, Of Monsters and Men is perfect for this unseasonably warm March, and their buoyant debut single, “Little Talks,” has begun to explode throughout the U.S.
Imagine the captivating energy of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes paired with folk rock sensibilities. Of Monsters and Men are not the easiest to categorize in terms of genre, but fortunately it’s because their variety’s far-reach both vocally and instrumentally. That freshness of sound is what makes them such an exciting addition to the current music scene. Just from “Little Talks” alone, we get a sampling of horns and chants strung together with crafty lyrics. Listening to this song is an experience in itself, but wait, there’s also a really bizarre music video!
Until the release of their full-length album My Head is an Animal on April 3rd check out their EP Into the Woods for a great taste of what’s to come.
Shake off those winter blues, get your dancing shoes ready, and check out the Generationals. Ted Joyner and Grant Widmer, New Orleans natives and decades-long close friends, are bringing us a unique spin on indie rock. This duo is sure to get you in a better mood with their clever mixture of 60’s retro pop beats, catchy but certainly not cliché lyrics, and quite a few electronic elements. When you add in the occasional horn coupled with an acoustic guitar or brushed snare drums, there is no doubt that the Generationals are musicians to watch. Both Joyner and Widmer were past members of The Eames Era (any Grey’s Anatomy fans might recognize them from their song, “Could Be Anything,” featured twice on the show). After The Eames Era broke up, Joyner and Widmer decided to stick together and released their debut album Con Law in 2009.
Produced by D.C.’s own Daniel Black, Con Law was an impressive starting point for the newly formed Generationals. Even from the first track, “Nobody Could Change Your Mind,” the melodies are upbeat, while still maintaining the band’s trademark laid back vibe. Don’t be misled by the cheerful tunes; the lyrics of Con Law, as well as in their most recent album Actor-Caster, are far from optimistic. Arguably one of the best songs on Actor- Caster, “Goose & Gander,” is almost entirely morose in sentiment. With verses that begin, “I don’t want to see you, you take me to that hole in the ground, ruin all those songs for me,” you can’t help but relate. That contrast of lively and melancholy is what makes the Generationals worth listening to.
The Generationals have yet to completely steal the indie spotlight, but opening for bands like Broken Social Scene and Two Door Cinema Club has given them valuable exposure, and should certainly keep them on everyone’s radar until their eventual breakthrough. Unfortunately, they aren’t currently touring, but their killer albums will be more than capable of tiding us over. Drawing on inspiration from past legends, such as New Order and Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, in addition to contributing an organically modern twist to every song, the Generationals have the potential to make you feel anywhere from nostalgic to refreshed. Hopefully, it will be a combination of the two.