Archeons are an immensely impressive progressive metal band now based in Nashville. They have only just rounded out their five piece line-up but this group of young guns are on their way to perhaps becoming this generation's Dream Theater or Avenged Sevenfold. Time will tell. Until, then we cannot wait to hear more. (hybrid rock/metal) Nashville, TN, USA
Austin Colon - This artist studied contemporary writing and production at the Berklee College of Music in Boston and he has learned his lesson well. There's not many better sounding studio efforts than "Alone (Again?)" from his The Path Ahead and even a streaming version sounds like he's in the room with you blanketing you with sound and harmonics that evoke both joy and sadness. He's been compared to Manchester Orchestra, Bon Iver and Pink Floyd with good reason - we can't wait to hear more! (experimental/electronic/rock) Saylorsburg, PA, USA
Bibeau - Wow! This act proves two things. One is that rock and roll will never die and the other is that metal will live forever. Seeing their latest video for "Mark This" made me feel fifteen all over again when I was watching Iron Maiden for the first time. These young guns pay homage to the genre, too, while being fresh and new. You'll find where they've melted in some GnR and other old school icons to forge their place in steel and horns as they begin to mold a new golden age for American metal. (rock/progressive rock/metal) Whitehouse, TX, USA
Dan Sheehan - founder and frontman of the Dan Sheehan Conspiracy - has a theory that there's something wrong with the world and you can hear all about it on his forthcoming solo album that is stacking up to be his most commendable project to date. Tales From Earth, Inc. is a concept album and live show from the artist and large supporting cast that addresses the effects of greed on people around the globe. Take for instance "Cross the Border" - a timely track about weapons trafficking that starts off acoustically before morphing into a full-blown rocker complete with Dan' s post-classic-rock psychedelic style. It's good to know that in the age of Trump currently dominated by cycle after cycle of fake news that there's still truth to be found within the grooves of an articulate artist's protest songs. Now, if the rest of the industry would take the lead, we might just get somewhere! (rock/singer-songwriter) Montclair, NJ, USA
Dentist - Sure, no one likes going to the them. But, it's easy to drill down on why this strangely named act unlike any before them from Asbury Park is gleaming in the spotlight. Sure, their videos and lyrical content can be disturbing but that's nothing a shot of Novocain can't fix. Speaking of Cures, yeah there's a bit of that here but in this case it's female fronted by Emily Bornemann with professional assistance from Justin Bornemann and Matt Hockenjos. Emo, dark with confidence and attitude this Dentist is filling a much needed niche. So, shut up and smile. (indie pop/garage rock) Asbury Park, NJ, USA
Formosa - these German rockers cite some of their favorite things as "rock n roll, rock and bier" and that makes perfect sense as these devils from Deutschland are both deviant and delicious. Some of their output is definitely not for the faint of heart. But that's not the case with "Maņana" the third single whose bright and pounding crunchy chords will give you all the reason you need to get up tomorrow. Their new album Sorry For Being Sexy is loaded like a bizzarro world mashup of Guns n Roses meets the Sex Pistols. Still, who are we to judge? This one overall is well done even if it's just a little crisp around the edges. (rock/hard rock) Essen, Germany
Graci Phillips - wow! We listened to her latest single "Conductor Doctor" and that's a ride we could take again and again. Clocking in at just 2:33 this Nashville based sweetheart delivers a carload of charm and charisma that will transport you to another place and time in short order. (pop/rock/singer-songwriter) Nashville, TN, USA
Greco are four brothers from the musical hotbed of Athens, GA. When you add up the four quarters the sum of their parts is money backed by a motto of "Sing-Dance-Sweat-Sex". Greco expertly delivers a package that is bursting with rock & roll, modern hooks and so much more of what your mama warned you about. Come and make a connection. (rock/dance) Athens, GA, USA
Hemmit - this duo weave lo-fi garage rock, lush power pop and 80's synth rock into a wonderfully alluring sound that is all their own. On their latest, One Ultra, the record is ultimately billed as the solo EP from Hemmit drummer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Keith Fleming which is confusing because it is still branded under the band name??? It's too early for this! What's not confusing is the music is top notch - so much so that they (he) has been featured on MTV and numerous notable radio stations around the world. Fleming makes a captivating case as an artist with a compelling collection of tunes that is ultra fine and all of his making. (rock/pop/indie) Portland, OR, USA
Jefferson Thomas - this American rocker has made a bold declaration on his recent Play Hurt album that has all the signature elements he's been honing for a lifetime - determined vox and jangly guitars all bound together on a path of classic rock meets retro soul. With consistent quality and conviction throughout this one hurts so good.
Jon Durant - this artist's latest Parting Is is an innovative instrumental album. Its atmospheric sounds are beyond traditional guitar tones. As Jon explains "many pieces begin as loops that I would play a melodic lead over. I recorded several of these, then began to deconstruct the loops and record the various parts as separate components which could become less loop like and more dynamic and flowing. The track, "Open Window" is a perfect example of how that played out." Parting Is is a masterful, mellow, nine track collection that would be ideal for a meditation class.
Joe Barksdale - The New York Yankees and baseball gave us Bernie Williams as an athlete turned accomplished guitar player. Now football and the Los Angeles Chargers return the favor as this offensive lineman delivers his debut Butterflies, Rainbows & Moonbeams. Showing the same dedication and determination that helped him achieve world class athlete status the artist only picked up the axe less than five years ago. The competitive force on the girdiron has been telling everyone who will listen he'll be one of the greatest guitar players of his generation before it's all said and done. There's nothing offensive about that statement as he backs it up by tackling the giants. Hendrix's "The Wind Cries Mary" is beautifully done and helps kick off his second career with anticipation for what will come next. On the field and in the studio Joe Barksdale is one man who is most definitely taking charge.
Kat Cunning is shrewdly appealing, especially on the title cut from her debut record, Baby. The Broadway actress delivers a jazzy and vulnerable vocal over an electronic and staccato base track that is drawning praise for it's unique mix of sweet, spicy and salty ingredients. A star is born!
LadyChild is the Brooklyn-based indie rock/pop outfit that will leave you breathless with their dramatic soundscape that is "Man Overboard". Clocking in at four minutes and 31 seconds complete with jazzy undertones and frontwoman Genevieve Faivre's torrent of emotions this one will leave you floating even as you're swept away.
Lunden Reign continue their campaign to become modern rock royalty with an outpouring of ten new tracks now released on striking and colorful 180-gram vinyl. Confessions covers a of lot ground. Politics, emotions, social empowerment and heartfelt love songs are all topics featured here. Nikki Lunden and Laura Espinoza-Lunden keep their hands on the reins even as they remind us of the Bangles and Go-Gos but with a harder edge and deeper focus. If I told you that was a sure-fire formula for success, would you keep it a secret?
MIZ - Growing up in the 70's and 80's my favorite artists were mostly strong male singer songwriter types like Jackson Browne, Tom Petty and Neil Young. This rocker conjures up thoughts of all three of them on the opening track to his new full-length release. "Being Good at Being Blue" is a colorful and strong start for the musician who also sounds like he could be right at home jamming with Bruce and Joe G on the Jersey shore. As for the rest of A Year Ago Today we're not sure if he hits this peak again. But, he does come close on the slower "I Will Take You Home" and the plaintive closer "Stay Today Forever". It will interesting to see where Mike Mizwinski finds himself a year from now.
Nightshifts - this act from Toronto is the brainchild Andrew Oliver is. On "Next To Me" the latest single from his debut EP he is part Neil Young plus Wayne Coyne weaved together with an impressive use of vintage synths and groovy guitars that will find you wanting to gravitate even closer to the artist who is creating a wonderful niche with his soulful and cosmic pop tunes.
Rockwell Shift are a Texas based act who are doing a lot of things right in an effort to shift attention to themselves and their music. Consider the song and video for "I Know I Let You Down Again" that reveals an appealing alt emo approach to making music that is anything but a let down.
Sleepwar is an act that could get me up in the morning and make peace with my surroundings. This quintet rises like a Phoenix from their Arizona home base on familiar and fantastic sounds and lush synthesizers that could all serve to promote a new wave revival. Hope I'm not dreaming.
State Cows - They hail from Sweden but they keep things moving along nicely with their purposeful "I Got The Message" which finds the duo putting their own spin on West Coast AOR in the style of Steely Dan, Toto, Chicago and Doobie Brothers. There's a lot of meat on the bones here and we're fans of their tasty offerings.
Sydney Brown is the daughter of former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown and she's now taking social matters into her own hands by releasing a charity single for California fire relief. It's safe to say that the peppy 16-year old veteran singer is turning up the heat on a poppy dance track produced by industry legend Narada Michael Walden. The devastating conflagrations that decimated much of the Golden State last year really hit close to home for the artist so she penned "Love Is Stronger Than Smoke And Fire". It's always tough to find silver linings in the face of such tragedies but in this case a true talent has risen from the ashes surrounding the Bay Area. She's got friends and family in high places so let's hope Sydney stays on the good path. One thing's for certain - she's got a long road ahead of her - and there'll be many more opportunities for her to turn lemons into lemonade and real world aid as she's done with this statement track.
Taylor Pfeiffer is the real deal and she proves that there is room for more than one banjo playing girl with her name in this world. She's already reached great heights on The Voice and the beautiful 18-year old singer/songwriter, banjoist and yodeller from Australia could be the breakout star from this year's conference on the strength of songs like "Take Her" and "Toughen Up Princess".
Tennessee Jed hits all the right notes in describing the music that most turns him on. Now, we're turned on, too! "Soul Country Pimpgrass" and its accompanying hilarious video showcase Jed's big persona with fine frenetic fiddling and persuasive picking. Jed takes a few jabs at some of his rival genres but when all is said and done - we agree. Let's have more Jed.
Tommy Marz Band - Detroit rocks. If you have any doubt all you need to do is check under the hood of the vehicle known as the TMB. This hard rockin' trio are powered by three flashy cylinders that drive a determined mix of energetic hard rock. The guys are set to put a few more miles on the road as they prep Seventy-One Trips Around The Sun that features Tommy's most personal songwriting offering to date and a worthy take on the Stone Temple Pilots classic "Tumble In The Rough". They're just getting revved up and they look ready to go far!
Whiskey Creek hails from the suburbs of Chicago and like a shot of the amber elixir the female fronted country rock outfit hits you with a raw jolt of energy that is both refreshing and intoxicating.
Veil of Maya has lifted the veil on the fact that they are on the rise. On their latest False Idol they follow a not so nice leader on his ascent to power. The band flies on a hypnotic mix of melodic screamo that masterfully merges progressive, death, thrash and hardcore with a message. You will bow down!