Raw Evolution2:58Their synth-driven guitar rock is a genre-bending blend of The Clash punk balladry, Primal Scream’s production infused meltdown, and the unflinching attitude of Oasis at its peak. It has catapulted them to the top of a booming independent movement in LA, where paisley, punk, and electronic influences have melted together in the endemic sunshine to become one of the nation’s most fertile scenes for emerging projects across a variety of disciplines.
Way It Goes4:06A strange thing happens when freshwater and saltwater rub up against each other. In the ocean, when left undisturbed, the two kinds of water will separate into strata that are all but indiscernible from above or below—and when a deep-sea diver is swimming upwards, thinking they’re just about to come up for air, they’ll actually hit another layer of clearer, fresher water that separates them from the atmosphere. It’s a beguiling effect that scientists call the halocline.
The band is still in the midst of a transition period, but now they’re not only figuring out how to make the brave leap into adulthood—they’re dangling between being hometown heroes and becoming breakout stars. As they literally grow up in front of their audiences’ eyes, Bashful Creatures and South are the sound of the four young men from Hippo Campus finally coming up for air.
The Zephyr Bones
Black Lips3:14The Zephyr Bones’ hazy, melodic, psychedelic rock flickers with memories that span the distance that separates the native Chile of guitarists and vocalists Brian Silva and Jossip Tkalcic, and the band’s current base in Barcelona, Spain – which is also home to rhythm section, Marc López and Carlos Ramos. The songs on their debut album, Secret Place, share something very intimate and invite the listener to travel to their own secret places, filled with dreams and promises, hidden away from the hectic world and these troubling times. Secret Place synthesizes The Zephyr Bones’ guitar oriented dream pop – which they have christened “beach wave” – recorded in their own Big Beat Big Waves studio in Barcelona.
Shake Your Lonely3:36Don’t bother asking Twin Peaks about the deeper meaning of their band name. They simply thought it sounded cool, which explains why their second album Wild Onion (out August 5th on The Grand Jury) isn’t as spooky or surreal as David Lynch’s short lived TV show. It’s more like a modern day Nuggets, with Ty Segall, Black Lips and Thee Oh Sees curating instead of Lenny Kaye. Not literally, of course. But the spirit of those garage demigods is alive and well alongside subtle nods to everything from the Pixies and Tame Impala to the godfathers of guitar guided pop music, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and the Beach Boys.
If combining the influence of so many classic artists seems like a lofty goal for a group of 20 year olds, just remember that Twin Peaks’ core quartet—frontman Cadien Lake James, guitarist Clay Frankel, bassist Jack Dolan and drummer Connor Brodner—has roots that reach back to elementary school. And while their friendships were forged long ago, James also learned the ins and outs of the local Chicago scene with his last project: Teenage Dream, a minimal yet mean duo with his older brother Hal.
Top Shelf4:16Born and raised in Boston, Caye became a talented multi-instrumentalist at an early age. His fondness for a variety of genres (from Jazz to Hip-Hop and everything in between) melted with his skills on the piano (age 2), drums (age 10), guitar (age 12) and favorite instrument the steel pan. This set the stage for the essence of his music: smooth verses and seductive production.
The 20-year-old entered USC Thornton School of Music’s Pop Music Program during the Fall of 2016 and has already created a buzz for himself on the college circuit with over 10 Million streams combined on Spotify and SoundCloud. Over summer Vevo selected Caye to perform for their 2017 dscvr series. Caye also premiered his debut music video “LA Life” that was inspired by his big move from Boston to Hollywood. The feel-good summer jam was praised by HipHopDX for “its smooth and rich acoustics...refreshingly energetic verses...and bursting melodies.”
Caye released seven tracks on his mixtape Shades Pt. 1 in October 2016. It included his hit “Coma,” that has over 5 million plays. Caye has sold out 500 capacity venues in Boston like Brighton Music Hall. His debut album Pink Tree Paradise will release in Spring 2018.
Humpty Dumpty4:06Acid Tongue is an American-bred garage band heavily influenced by AM-radio soul, folk and psychedelic rock. The band is composed of Guy Keltner & Ian Cunningham – perverted in their youth by adolescent exposure to mind-altering substances and strange, spiritually-driven parenting techniques.
After years of extensive traveling throughout the United States, as well as some experimental therapy in a Mexican yurt, the boys have united to produce their take on the music of their parents’ generation. Incorporating imagery of the afterlife, dream-states and drifter-culture, Acid Tongue seeks to enlighten listeners to their swingin’, contemplative lifestyle.
Listen Up3:11Nicole Atkins fourth studio album, GOODNIGHT RHONDA LEE, came out in July 2017 on Single Lock Records. The album, a vintage soul album inspired legendary artists like Dusty Springfield, Candi Staton, Roy Orbison and Janis Joplin, was produced by Niles City Sound (Leon Bridges), with additional mixing by Ben Tanner (Alabama Shakes).
Named Rolling Stone’s "Top 10 Artists To Watch" in 2007 for her debut album Neptune City, Nicole Atkins has appeared on numerous late night TV shows, including“The Late Show with David Letterman”, “Conan”, and “Later… with Jools Holland”, and featured in media outlets ranging from the New York Times to Time magazine. She has toured throughout the US and Europe, both headlining and also touring with The Black Keys, Mavis Staples, Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, Primal Scream, Chris Isaak and the Avett Brothers.
Young Lady, You’re Scaring Me3:41I have probably spent too much time being pissed off and upset with humanity; how far we’ve let ourselves go. Just another millennial guy with large hair trying in earnest to take on the weight of the world; taking passionate and hypercritical walks down city blocks, somehow totally aware and above the illusion, overflowing with informed negativity to destroy the illusion and only feeding it.
Besides a couple of years of emotional and mental turmoil, loss, confusion, breakdown and internal growth what did all of that ever get me? Well, it gave me this record called “HEAVY META” and it is the first few findings from my guerilla treasure hunt for bullshit, both outside and within. Ethos meets pathos.
All Them Witches
Bruce Lee3:12Heavy, heady and hypnotic, All Them Witches concoct a powerful and potent psychedelic sound that fuses bluesy soul, Southern swagger and thunderous hard rock. With their transfixing releases, 2012’s Our Mother Electricity and 2014’s Lightning At The Door, and a jam-filled live show where no two shows are the same, the band has amassed a devoted following and have become something of a sensation in the underground rock scene. “The band seemingly channels the churn of the universe and connects with a big, bad, uncaring cosmos,” wrote the Boston Globe, adding, “There is a primal ebb and flow at the core… The band’s mystic atmosphere, dark but not brutal, is the result of a tireless work ethic, a grueling tour schedule, and a tape trader’s compulsion for documenting every show.”
Cocoon3:49American singer and multi-instrumentalist Laura Burhenn named her band The Mynabirds partly as a nod to James Joyce, and partly a tribute to Neil Young’s Motown period (The Mynah Birds, with band mate Rick James). Her first album, 2010’s What We Lose in the Fire We Gain in the Flood, produced by Richard Swift, was a masterful collection of indie-pop songwriting channeling the emotion of old soul, gospel and classic rock, with echoes of Dusty Springfield, Carole King, and yes, Neil Young, bleeding through. Her second album, GENERALS (2012), produced by Swift as well, upped the ante, drawing comparisons to PJ Harvey and Cat Power: a percussive, politically charged album filled with stomps, claps, and sweeping orchestrations, and moments that ranged from intensely personal to shout-out-loud protest. Both records were released to critical acclaim by Omaha-based label Saddle Creek.