I like to surround myself with people who are passionate about something and most of them happen to be musicians. I’m also a musician, but I focus more on writing about and sharing music. When I believe in a friend’s project, I try to find a way to support, whether it’s verbally expressing my admiration, attending their shows, purchasing their music or posting about it.
Right now, it looks like everyone is hard at work creating and perfecting their current musical endeavors. As much as I want to donate funds or purchase items from everyone, I unfortunately have to have some self control to save for bills and other adult responsibilities I’ve recently acquired. So this is me showing support by generating awareness. I strongly suggest you take the time to listen to each of them.
Photo by Shervin Lainez
When I met Natalie a few years ago, she was a girl with an acoustic guitar. Now she’s embracing synth and evolving into an electro-pop artist. I’m not going to babble on about her recent exploration and success in the EDM scene (you can read about it here). Instead, listen to her latest single, “Chaser.”
Photo by Sarah Oh
It’s going to be brilliant when these two introduce their band at a show by saying “We’re FEiN” (pronounced “fine”). Brandon and Luke have created this alternative rock band, infused it with electronic elements and produced an independent newspaper to accompany it. Smart guys.
I enjoy experimental music with interesting sounds that blend with the fundamental roots of whichever genre it originates from. R&B is one of those genres. It’s dreamy, sexy and full of soul. RKCB, the music soul child of Riley Knapp and Casey Barth, fits into the realm of contemporary R&B. Check out one of their most recent releases, “Baptize.”
I was already a fan of Aman’s band House Fire. Then I discovered his solo track “Haunted.” I closed my eyes when I listened to it because the synth and his voice creates a dream-like atmosphere. It’s chilling.
When I was working Warped Tour, I met Jon from Air Dubai. Then he further sparked my curiosity after tweeting about his side project, kid astronavt. While expressing themes of love and relationships, his tracks flow with sentimentalism. Enjoy the slow jams over on his Soundcloud.
MUNA is the type of band you want to play when you’re about to head out for a middle-of-the-night adventure in an urban city. These girls write pop hooks with dark, grungy tones. It’s “dark pop.” Head over to MUNA’s website for the jams.
Will Sturgeon, also known as brightener, and his music made me realize I needed to Make Real Friends. Now I’m patiently waiting for his first full-length album to be released. Interested in his work? Want to support? You have less than a day to donate to his Kickstarter. You can already watch his hilarious R. Kelly-inspired video he released after reaching his second goal. Two words to describe my mind while watching it: “I can’t.”
Ben and Alex Moore, together known as Oliver Riot, are a folk duo. They sing beautiful harmonies, have killer guitar riffs and showcase the vibrancy of the harmonica. I’m really excited for when they release a cover of “Riptide” by Vance Joy on Sept. 11. For now, here’s their original song “Tired & I’m Awake.”
dale’s video for “Tame” is still one of my favorites out of all the videos my friends have released. Fun fact: I’m in the video. Barely. That’s not the reason I love it though. The video is quirky, nostalgic and the track always gets stuck in my head. Take a listen to the band’s EP, love, dale.
Here’s some more rock for you. Bad Heat’s self-titled EP exceeded 1,000 plays on its first day and I’m hoping to see a video release from them soon. Or an announcement for a mini West Coast tour so I can finally see these kids in action. It’s tough when a friend is in a band on the opposite side of the country.
One of the most genuine and kind fellas I know happens to be the frontman for the hardcore punk band Together Apart. I listened to them for the first time yesterday and my eyes lit up. I don’t listen to hardcore music on a daily basis anymore (shout out to high school Jenay), but I do enjoy it when the band is melodic and the singer is still understandable. This is heavy in all the right ways. Listen here.