The Venns are a versatile three-piece band out of Studio City, California who can easily veer from indie rock to alternative country to straight up pop. As such, they’ve been making their mark on several of our charts over the past year, and will be on our August episode of OurStage on Amazing Radio with their charting song, “Play It Again.” But they’ve also got a brand new track (part of their ‘Song of the Month’ project) that we wanted to highlight here. It’s called “All Night,” it’s a brilliant ’80s-influenced pop song, and it’s currently competing in our Pop channel.
One of the best amp’d up yet chilled out retro garage surf rock bands in America is giving away free downloads of their latest EP. The Wallies, who released the Vanilla Sex EP back in April, have teamed with Noisetrade to offer the downloads in exchange for nothing more than a valid email address. Take advantage right here.
California hard rockers Haster have signed to Musicarchy Media for the worldwide release of their second album, The Current Sea.
After launching a campaign on Kickstarter – where they had great success funding their first album – the band was approached by the London-based entertainment company Musicarchy, who were impressed by the band’s sound, their rapidly growing fanbase, and their recent recognition at the OC Music Awards and Artist In Music Awards.
The Kickstarter is still going, and every dollar helps the band get their music to a larger audience. Check out their video for “Within These Walls” from earlier this year.
Another dazzling new video from Kat Robichaud and the Darling Misfits, “The Apple Pie and The Knife” is from her recent self-titled LP (which we reviewed here). The song and video are both intended to stand against the slut shaming of women, especially by other women, and they hit the mark brilliantly. “You call me a whore because I’m not a man…You want the apple pie, but I’m the knife too sharp to swallow.” It’s so good.
Filmed by the same creative team (and apparently in the same session) that produced Kat’s last video, “Why Do You love Me Now,” this one shares some aesthetics with the earlier video but has a completely different energy. Watch it here:
We all start from the bottom. Climbing to the top depends on drive, talent, time, and, yes, some luck. But when Taylor Swift‘s 1989 World Tour rolled through our hometown of Boston last week, we were struck by two other artists who shared the stage with the superstar singer. Both HAIM, the band of sisters who are opening a string of dates on the tour, and Swift’s surprise guests Walk The Moon were once struggling artists who got started here on OurStage. HAIM first joined us in 2009, in time to seek a slot in our Lilith Fair competition that year. Walk The Moon is currently riding the success of their hit “Shut Up And Dance” (which they performed with Swift in Boston). We first heard them in 2009, when they were on that year’s July editorial playlist, and then spotlighted them here in 2011, before they blew up. We’re very glad to have had the opportunity to help promote them and serve as a platform for these artists to share their music and find new fans.
Every month, the OurStage community (that’s you) listens and ranks the songs competing on OurStage.com. Once those songs get to the Finals stage, five grand prize winners are selected. Those winners get featured on the ‘OurStage on Amazing Radio’ show, broadcast from the UK to hundreds of thousands of music fans, both on terrestrial radio in the UK and online around the world. Last month’s show is streaming now. Below are the top five that you’ll hear on this month’s show, but you can preview them now by clicking here for a playlist.
“Free Love” by Anca Pop
“Over My Head” by Xolie Morra & the Strange Kind
“Pull Pin” by The Spiveys
“Choozin” by Mannie
“Vessel” by Neuschul
Darlingside is bringing their ethereal indie folk westward for a tour in advance of their new album, which is due September 18th. The album will be titled Birds Say and it’s the band’s second studio effort, following 2012’s Pilot Machines and last year’s split EP (with Heather Maloney) concert LP Live At The Loft, recorded in Portsmouth, NH. After the release, the band will be back on the East Coast for another run that will last through October and will see the band opening for the great Patty Griffin. See the full itinerary here.
The band released a trailer for the new album, featuring enough lovely footage from their recording sessions to mesmerize a studio geek such as myself.
Here’s the full version of the song featured in the trailer, released just yesterday:
Jordan Corey has just dropped her new single “Focus” via her Bandcamp page. It’s a complex and subtle pop song, with a heavy electronica influence. It marks a departure from some of the more vintage elements of her previous singles, with a thoroughly modern vibe. The propulsive beats and bass lines bubble underneath soothingly lush synth swells and Corey’s incredibly restrained but compellingly melodic vocal. Layered harmonies cut in and out to complement the synthesizer. Overall, it’s a beautiful relief from some of the aggressively uptempo and overwrought pop currently bombarding the airwaves.
A onetime OurStage ‘Artist of the Week,’ Corey recently played the infamous Electric Daisy Carnival EDM festival. She’s been teasing a video to accompany “Focus,” so we hope to have more from her soon.
It’s not easy to be a really hooky pop band while also being markedly original. But on their newest LP Golden Time, Late Cambrian have shed their more direct influences in favor of a unique take on the time-tested guitar/bass/drums/harmonies formula. Take for instance the song “Objects May Appear,” which just got the video treatment. Irresistible chord changes come in waves, sweeping over a syncopated beat and lead guitar line, and on top of it all are, yes, incredibly sweet melodies and harmonies. The video is a kind of perfect, zen experience that simply enhances your complete absorption into the song. I’m not saying they’re changing the face of music forever – it’s still guitar pop – but if you can listen to / watch this just once, well, you’re a stronger person than I.
Since their mid-’90s flirtation with alt-rock radio ascendency, The Figgs have been a perpetually-evolving artistic entity. From their roots as purveyors of guitar pop, the band moved into riff rock while simultaneously mastering songcraft, and ended up as true studio artists, creating collections of short, unassuming songs that still somehow feel deep and epic. Their last few records have been shockingly consistent as they perfected a completely unique sonic signature. Now in their fourth decade as a band, The Figgs have released Other Planes of Here, an eight song LP that provides the perfect balance of melody, groove, natural lyricism, and pure charm. Living up to its title, the album slips in and out of time, touching familiar, classic sounds and forms, still rocking hard, but just as often bouncing into the stratosphere to suddenly achieve pop nirvana. Never has musical complexity been so enjoyable and easy to absorb. Turn off your mind, relax, and float into other planes with The Figgs.