Hello, and I hope you had a great Thanksgiving! #WGDC took a bit of a break for the holiday.
I’m Tarynn Law, and this is a weekly column I’ll be writing that spotlights some up and coming indie pop/alternative/hipster/hype/buzz bands/you-get-the-idea groups that you should be checking out before they become massive. I mean, we all want to be that person that says “I knew them way back when,” don’t we? I thought so.
Here we go!
To put it simply, Manchester’s very own Findlay is a badass. It’s evident from her most recent single “Greasy Love,” which is dripping with pure rock and roll and her powerful voice breaks through the wall of guitars and drums that are almost similar to Sleigh Bells at points. She just released her second EP Greasy Love earlier this week on Polydor Records and she’s starting a quick fire on blogs worldwide with her fierce, attitude filled tracks. She’s spent most of 2013 opening some massive tours for Jake Bugg and Miles Kane, and was personally recommended by the Mick Jagger (yes, that Mick Jagger) to play L’Wren Scott’s Serpentine Ball at the end of the summer. While she doesn’t have any tour dates in the US planned at the moment, those of you across the pond should check out her live dates as she’s got 5 of them in the UK coming up, and you can have a look at those on her Facebook.
With the age of social media comes a whole different level of connection between musicians and their fans. Some bands choose not to reach out to their fans at all and post updates to their accounts; others, like Brooklyn’s American Authors, are so interactive with their fans that it’s truly impressive. They They hold Twitter chats almost weekly and always retweet kind things their fans say (but not to the point it gets annoying), and hey, sometimes a simple retweet from a great band can make someone’s day a little bit brighter. There’s a pretty strong chance you’ve heard their most recent single “Best Day of My Life” around as well – it’s been used in promos for television shows like Robin Williams’ The Crazy Ones, a Lowe’s ad, and the trailer for Vince Vaughn’s movie Delivery Man! The four members, Zach, James, Dave, and Matt, all graduated from the Berklee College of Music in Boston (the same school that gave us Imagine Dragons and Passion Pit) so there’s no doubt in the slightest that they’re all talented guys who are more than ready to take the world by storm. The chorus of “Best Day” will get stuck in your head for days, not that it’s a bad thing as it’s such an upbeat song that will leave a smile on your face whenever you hear it – same for “Believer,” the band’s first single. If fun. were a little less Queen and a little more folk, you’d have American Authors. They’re currently out on the “Three of Clubs” tour with Swedish band The Royal Concept and Misterwives, and you can find all of those dates here - I had the privilege of seeing the tour this weekend, and it was a fantastic show. Follow the band on Twitter if you’d like to say hey, and like them on Facebook as well!
Another band from Brooklyn, X Ambassadors, are stirring up some fans in two totally different camps – the world of indie, and the world of hip-hop. While they’ve only got one EP out, Love Songs Drug Songs, they have a cameo on the deluxe edition of Eminem’s latest record The Marshall Mathers LP 2 on “Wicked Ways” and if Eminem likes the band, who are we to argue? They just finished up a string of dates opening for The Mowgli’s on their Random Acts of Kindness tour that I was lucky enough to witness, and they blew me away. Their energy is unmatched and vocalist Sam Harris plays a mean saxophone in addition to having vocals that are smooth as silk. The Ambassadors’ unique blend of indie and R&B (with just a bit of soul) garnered the interest of producer Alex Da Kid who went on to produce their Love Songs Drug Songs EP. Not surprisingly, Alex Da Kid also worked with fellow former-indie band Imagine Dragons who the X Ambassadors happen to be opening for on their “Into the Night” arena tour. Before that, though, they’ve got a long run of dates supporting Panic! at the Disco’s 2014 US tour along with The Colourist. They’ll clearly be keeping busy throughout 2014, and you can find all of their tour dates at their Facebook page. The video below for “Unconsolable” is one of the most emotional music videos I’ve seen in a long time, so make sure to watch it.
Enjoy a good bit of synthesizer in your music? Well, then you’re in luck with Los Angeles’ Parade of Lights! The quartet likens their influences to M83, Depeche Mode, Daft Punk, The Big Pink, and even Van Halen, and I’d say that those influences pretty much fit them to a ‘t.’ They self-released their first EP Born to Live, Born to Love in September of last year and followed it up with their infectious single “We’re the Kids” in June of 2013. The track quickly gained momentum on SiriusXM’s Alt Nation and KROQ in their hometown. While the band doesn’t have a full national tour set right now, once their EP drops in 2014 there’s no doubt in my mind that you’ll be seeing them everywhere. If you’d like to catch them before that, however, they’ll be playing some West Coast dates with the likes of fellow alt-rockers Kitten and Smallpools, and they’re opening a massive gig on December 30 for Imagine Dragons and The Mowgli’s in Las Vegas. The band’s new EP is set for release in January on Astralwerks, who they just signed with back in August. Watch the video for their hit single “We’re the Kids” below, and follow the band on Twitter or Facebook if you like what you hear!
That’s all for this week! I’ll be back next Thursday, and until then you can follow me on Twitter and let me know who you’ve been listening to lately!