Tuesday, February 26, 2013

[Listen & Download] Seize The Day With Towers & Trees

When an opportunity to grow presents itself, take advantage of the situation. When your friend offers to record and produce the music you've created but bashfully kept to yourself, you accept. When a bunch of your friends ask if they can play music with you and let you lead, you nod your head in agreement. It's not a complicated formula, and its meaning is pretty blatant: you're good at what you do. When Adrian Chalifour of Victoria, British Columbia started writing songs, his friend, Ben, knocked on his door offering to record and produce Adrian's work. Then, Ben told Andrea, Donovan, Dave, Kiana, and Olivier about his project with Adrian. The six friends showed up with instruments in hand, and soon after the indie-folk band Towers & Trees was born in September of 2012 in front of a sold out audience. 

Towers & Trees' first and only album, Broken Record, is a hybrid of foot-stomping snaps and claps and delicately constructed ballads. Led by the popular hit, "Montreal" (which can be downloaded for free for a limited time), the short record shoots to portray the Pacific Northwest through a Canadian-folk lens. With opportunities grasped and growing potential ahead of them, Towers & Trees continues to "find joy in playing music and sharing that joy with as many people as possible. The future is bright indeed."

Thursday, February 21, 2013

[Listen & Download] Corndawgin' with Jonny Fritz

Jonny Fritz has an incredibly odd story. Born in Montana, wandering Virginia, and cramming an entire lifetime into his pre-teen years has made Jonny a little whimsical. He adopted the surname Corndawg (only recently returning to Fritz, his birth name). He opted out of the whole higher education thing and spent his time "developing a blind man's ear for the slightest turn in a tale or human voice." He left home at a young age, totally un-phased, as if he was simply taking the next step in a normal life. Equipped with a motorcycle and a duffle bag filled with mountain twang, Jonny bounced from town to town sharing his talents with willing ears. 

"If I could sell 3 CDs a night, I would have enough for gas and to make it to the next town."

Since his ambitious wanderings, Jonny has signed with ATO Records, garnered attention from his peers, and settled down in Nashville, Tennessee: the music capital of the world. He's living the dream and loving every minute of it. Listen in below and become a part of Jonny's long, odd journey to the top.

Download a Jonny Fritz original HERE

[Listen] Allen Stone: A Hippie With Soul

Allen Stone is no mystery to the informed music fan. He's gained the attention of numerous media and news giants like MTV, New York Times, and Billboard. Why? Because he has a silky smooth voice anchored in an awkward frame. It's one of those "big things come in small packages" deals. People eat that stuff up. Stone even started in church, rocking the pews with call and answer frenzies. As a preacher's son, Stone says he didn't discover soul outside of the church until he was a teenager and busy collecting albums from the 60's and 70's. 

"Soul music from that time wasn't just about bumpin' and grindin' at the club - it was a huge part of a cultural movement. That's where my inspiration comes from," says Stone. 

When you listen to Stone's music, it's evident that the 25 year old kid has something to say. From the negative effects technology has on relationships to the economic crisis, Stone's mind is always racing. As a result, Stone's music is deeply rooted by personal values and propelled by an infectious vibe that makes listeners groove with ease. You've probably already heard about him, but in case you haven't been able to move from underneath your rock, listen to one of Stone's best (at least in my opinion) below...

Purchase Allen Stone's music HERE

Saturday, February 2, 2013

[Listen] Don't Mess With The Heavy

[Sounds like: The Black Keys, Jack White, AWOLNATION]

The Heavy is an indie-soul rock band from Bath, England. They're loud, they have cool nicknames (for example, Big Daddy Spence plays the bass), and they don't care about what other people think. These characteristics make up one badass persona - a personality that make pea coats and bowler hats look cool. Kelvin Swaby, the head of this British rock monster, has grinding vocals that when accompanied by the band's support, churn out a sound reminiscent of The Black Keys. 

The group unleashed their third studio album back in August and it harbors one of the band's best songs. "What Makes A Good Man" is a rolling stomp anthem fully equipped with backup vocals, "oohs and ahhs," and shredding guitars. You may not like everything The Heavy throw out, but if you're going to enjoy any of it, this is where to start. So forgive our month long absence (we'll explain soon), and enjoy our return with The Heavy...

What Makes A Good Man // The Heavy

Buy The Heavy's Music HERE

Monday, December 31, 2012

[Read] 2012: An Emotional Guide Presented By Al Green

It's been a crazy year. From the positive to the negative, 2012 has brought us many smiles and tears. With so many emotions floating around, however, the appropriate response can fall between the cracks. To make sure you reacted to some of this past year's major events correctly, we have enlisted the help of soul superstar, Al Green...

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

[Listen] Lord Huron, Ruler of Indie

[Sounds like: Maps & Atlases, Jesse Woods, Young Man]

Although there are only a few days left until 2013, we're still discovering bright spots in a seemingly dark time. Just turn on any news station and you'll witness negative event after negative event. The good is rarely focused on. I've always been told, however, that good things come in small packages. And whether you take that advice literally (you should always pick the small gift when participating in a white elephant gift exchange) or figuratively, it seems to always ring true. A song, for example, has a funny way of becoming an audible escape from reality. It can facilitate a mood, or better yet, improve it. 

Lord Huron is a band that we've recently discovered that has allowed us to retire from reality. Exemplified by their latest album, Lonesome Dreams, the band's sweeping, atmospheric sounds provide instant calmness to its listeners. Led by Michigan native, Ben Schneider, Lord Huron is a band we all should have known this past year. Luckily, there are 5 days left until the new year. So here's our small package to you: Lord Huron's best tune, "Time To Run." Escape, smile, and listen below...

Time to Run // Lord Huron

Purchase Lord Huron's album, 
Lonesome Dreams, HERE

Thursday, December 6, 2012

[Listen] Current Swell Rises Into Our Favorites

[Sounds like: Bag of Toys, The Beautiful Girls, ALO]

Surf rock sucks. It's been strung up and beaten relentlessly since Jack Johnson came into the picture several years ago. There are, however, a few shining heroes fighting to keep the genre respectable, as well as adaptable. Our friends, Bag of Toys, have gone the traditional route, changing little but doing things so well you can't help but love them. Our newest discovery, Current Swell, however, is changing the game and the genre by creating a hybrid. Think of grassy roots wrapped around a boogie board.  

Based out of British Columbia, this four man quartet has traveled the world, lived in cramped quarters, and have consequently created a close-knit movement they coin "singalong-ready roots rock." I'll give them some credit, they're not really surf rock anymore, yet they're not exactly not. It's confusing, I know. If I have completely lost you (which is always the likely case), the best way to deal with the bewilderment is to shut down and just listen. Current Swell's latest album, Long Time Ago, came out in October of 2011. Stream it below


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

[Download & Watch] Never Judge a Book By its Cover: Rayland Baxter

[Sounds like: David Mayfield, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, The Orbans]

Straight out of a mechanic's shop from the 60's, Rayland Baxter is a singer/songwriter from all over. He's dabbled in Tennessee, moved to Colorado, and explored Israel all while developing a sound that gets heads turning. It's acoustic, yet energetic - the type of mixture that makes you feel bubbly rural like feet on warm, hardwood floors. 

Rayland is currently touring the Northeast alongside Grace Potter & The Nocturnals, and consequently beginning to make a name for himself. Label it trickle-down-promotion if you like, but either way, Rayland's sound is attractive and worthy. Watch a video of one of Rayland's rooftop sessions below, then head over to his website to grab a free track for the price of an email address, as well as his new, full-length album...