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Tag Archives: new artists

50 States of Talent continues This stop Indiana and Fossil Generation

 

Fossil Gen

 

Hailing from Muncie, Indiana the birthplace of the Garfield comic strip, y’know the fat orange cat who loves lasagna, Fossil Generation is an eclectic pop alternative band.  Fusing many styles but most easily recognized is early 90’s alternative before grunge took over a la  early That Petrol Emotion and Gene Loves Jezebel among other bands of that era that surfed  just under the mainstream radar.

Originally formed in 2010 by Bradley Thomas as support for his project “Bradley Thomas and Friends”.  They toured the midwest,  released 2 ep’s and an album.  Eventually the group decided to change direction and transformed themselves both musically and how they identified themselves. It was here that they decided upon the name Fossil Generation.  All aspects of the songwriting process became everyone’s responsibility.

primitiveThe first release from them as Fossil Generation is titled “Primitive”  Released 2013 available on itunes:https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/primitive/id653283309  Unlike most bands who play around with a lyric and build from there these guys approached even the songwriting process differently, at least this time.  They wrote and solidified the music first and then added the lyrics.  “Primitive” is conceptual at its root.  Knowing this ahead of time helps if you want to follow the relationship between songs.  (some lyrics can be found here: http://www.sonicbids.com/band/fossilgeneration/lyrics/ )  If you aren’t paying much attention to the lyrics and just listening then you will be content with the sound of the guitars and the mini jams that  occur throughout.

However, the songs are relatable on a more human level.  They speak of alienation and remaining true to yourself and not conforming to the masses. This is a mindset that the members (Bradley Thomas, Shawn Ayala, Seth Scales and Ryan Minton) of Fossil Generation have embraced. In their corner of the country they provide a unique sound not conforming to the musical genres of their fellow local musicians/bands.  They chose this path because at the end of the day it is about staying true to oneself and being happy with the music you are creating.

Finding “local” musicians/bands to share is not always an easy task. These guys are definitely worth checking out if the early alternative sound is your thing. Even though that sound has been here before these guys approach it differently, with a modern twist.  If you are local to their corner of the world go see them live.  If you are not so local to the Indiana area then check out their webpage http://www.fossilgeneration.com/  Listing of upcoming shows are here as well as links to any media outlet such as twitter, YouTube, and  facebook  https://www.facebook.com/fossilgeneration and of course there is a link to Itunes where you can purchase “Primitive” https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/primitive/id653283309  and help support the local musician(!!)

Happy Listening

–NotHaydn

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Lee Gregory- Going Going, Going, Gone Solo

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A little while back I introduced you and followed up on a band out of Washington State, Strangely Alright.  Since that review the keyboard guru, Lee Gregory, has chosen to go solo and pursue other interests and projects.

His first release was a cover of Johann Johannsson’s “The Suns Gone Dim” which can be found on SoundCloud https://soundcloud.com/lee-gregory-keys  His version is a little different than the original.  He kept the electronic feel of the piece but made it a little more ethereal with a much fuller orchestration. 

Since releasing that cover he has released a few other originals on Soundcloud. The first one that I came across after listening to the cover is “Stuck in Tacoma”  It is night and day if you are comparing it to the cover.  This song has bounce and gets your foot tapping from the start.  It has hints of Bob Dylan, Karl Wallinger, Beatles, and Grateful Dead for starters.  There is even a bit where I feel like I’ve walked into a saloon and the can-can girls are doing a dance.  The song is a lot of fun and should not stay as the title implies “Stuck in Tacoma”

Moving on to the other songs that Lee has on Soundcloud we get a sense of the influence that The Beatles may have played in his musical upbringing.  Which comes as no surprise when you think of their catalogue and how many artists from many genres cite them as influences. Listen a little further and you also hear some Pink Floyd influence on the song “2”.

Lee does not have many songs up on Soundcloud yet but I sense that as he writes and records the list will grow.  I also sense that the list will contain many songs that are  similar to what he has shown us thus far, ballads, pop, etc.  He is a gifted songwriter and keeper of the keys so I’ve no doubt that many more musical gems are in store for us if we are patient and follow him on Soundcloud.

Here is the link again: https://soundcloud.com/lee-gregory-keys

Once on SoundCloud you will see the other links that Lee has available.

 

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50 States of Talent continues…. this stop Virginia with The Velvet Ants

50 States of Talent continues…. this stop Virginia with The Velvet Ants

After a bit of an unplanned absence and the Thanksgiving Holiday I am fully recovered from my tryptophan  overdose.  I hope you are all recovered as well.  Now let’s get back on track with the sharing of undiscovered local bands.

This installment of the 50 States of Talent Series which I began last year as a way to search out local talent from all 50 states in the union finds us in Virginia this week with The Velvet Ants.  No, it isn’t some sort of a bakers concoction or the infamous “cow killer” ant.

The Velvet Ants are a local band from the Fairfax, Virginia area.   Formed in 2006 by Ian Margolycz and Trevor Hart.  In 2007 the band released 2 albums on their label T!LT Records, Lunatic Fame and Pixie Junk.  It was limited to local record shops in the DC area.  In 2009 a re-release of Lunatic Fame was made available to a much larger audience on Zeptune Records while the band took a hiatus.  By 2011 work was begun on new material and a new album “Advantage” was released.  This album was mixed and co-produced by Ken Stringfellow who you may recognize from The Posies. The Velvet Ants kept busy playing many shows in the metro DC area while working on new material.  They released an album of “extras”with the help of Jordan Zadorozny.

Things were good, a loyal following, a steady string of albums and new material yet with all of this local success the band almost fizzled into oblivion. Ian, the only member who wasn’t ready to call it quits was encouraged to “carry on” by Jordan Zadorozny. The result of this encouragement is the third release titled Solt Olio in Fall of 2013. http://velvet-ants.com/album/solt-olio

This is where I stumbled onto the band.  I was immediately drawn in by the opening song “Find You”.  It has a crisp alternative sound that is old school without really being a throwback. The songs are well written and the flow on the album feels very comfortable.  The second song on the album “Cardigan’s Fable” is truer to what you will find on the rest of the album.  The vocals are dreamy and there is a definite ambient vibe going on but not enough to put you into a trance.   There is a nice balance without one sound overpowering the other  The sound is reminiscent of The Posies, Matthew Sweet and The Pixies among others.

The album Solt  Olio provides a a pleasurable listening experience from the first note to the very last. Listening to the songs you can hear how well they are thought out.  There is nothing amateur about this release. It is so well done that you may forget that this is local talent!  The bands current lineup consists of Ian Margolycz on guitar and vocals, Eric Sakmar on bass and Jordan Zadorozny on drums.

The Velvet Ants have a web presence.  They have a few videos of live performances on YouTube, a Facebook page  https://www.facebook.com/velvetants a twitter @VelvetAnts and a webpage http://velvet-ants.com/  You can also find them on Soundcloud and Reverbnation

Check them out at any of the above links but definitely check them out.  You will be easily hooked, I was.

Happy Listening

–NotHaydn

 

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50 States of Talent continues in The Empire State with Chris J. Connolly

This installment in the 50 States of Talent comes to us from The Empire State.  Though originally from Staffordshire, UK long distance love brought Chris to the US.  Love is what is bound to happen when you give this guy a thorough listen.CHirsC

In the UK, Chris got his start as a teen playing drums in a harder Joy Division- esqe alternative band that is still around.  However, Chris has a softer side and began writing songs while still in his teens.  This softer side is evident in his music.  The songs and vocals are artistically intricate and simple at the same time.  I get a Thom Yorke and Vance Joy feel vocally.

Most of Chris’ music is strictly acoustic but is easily transferable to a full band.  Don’t let the term acoustic fool you.  There is an edge and a crisp rawness in his guitar playing when he needs it to accent his lyrics, so perhaps unplugged may be a better description.

On his self released ep aptly titled EPII Chris offers up an array of tasty compositions.  One of my favorites would be the opening track “Black Swan”. This song opens the door to what awaits you on the rest of the release and has catchy phrasing. Musically it plays with both his edgier and softer acoustic sides. In the softer acoustic songs Chris explores his innermost thoughts.  He translates those feelings into beautiful songs like “American Accent”, “Ferry to Rosslare” and “Colder”.    While many of the songs are acoustically driven Chris gives you a taste of what the possibilities are when he gets a band behind him on “Beaten Up Road” and “Fight At the End”.  While not available for purchase on ITunes, Chris will gladly send out upon request his EP. I EP11highly recommend this.  However, there is a single available for purchase on ITunes it is called Factory just search Chris Connolly to find it  or click here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/factory-single/id570747201

Chris has a lovely website (https://chrisjconnolly.bandpage.com/ )  with links to Facebook and SoundCloud pages Included on the website are lots of fun doodles and thought-provoking photos and his songs , which I encourage you to share with your friends.  He has made sharing easy thru Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. Chris also has a few videos if you would like to watch him though they are relatively generic.  He also has some performance videos on YouTube.

Give this guy a listen. If you are in Long Island and see him playing at a local coffee shop stop in, say “hi” grab a cup and enjoy the music.

Happy listening!!

-NotHaydn

 

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50 States of Talent brings me back to Michigan for Dog & Panther

dog and pantherThis week I found myself back in Michigan, north of Detroit to be geographically specific. I had the pleasure of having a chat with John Katona of Dog & Panther. They are truly a gem. Dog & Panther do not self promote, play shows (except for one) and they carry no aspirations of rock stardom. They create music for the absolute pleasure that it gives them and they are generous enough to share this pleasure with us.

Dog & Panther started for fun when John and Ian Sigmon were making some music for the short films they had been creating. They showed their project to their friends and the music took center stage. However, one of their friends wasn’t too impressed with John and Ian’s singing abilities so he asked if he could give it a go. Enter Ben Vrazo on vocals. The three continued to hang out making music and before they knew it they had enough material to put together an album. They released “What Happened” three years ago and it got such a good response from friends that they just kept making music. They followed “What Happened” with a single called “Giant Hands”. Watch the making of Giant Hands here:http://youtu.be/2gYe4twqz2Q

Dog & Panther take their time calling themselves a band. All of the sounds they create come from their surroundings as well as traditional instruments. This is one of the reasons they don’t play shows at the local club. There is such complexity in the structure of the songs that recreating this in a live situation requires much preparation and many extra hands. If you check them out on YouTube you will find their video clips and see them collecting and creating sounds in various aisles in the supermarket. http://youtu.be/u6w74q9nc3s

Their sound is easily compared to Bon Iver, The Flaming Lips, Death Cab for Cutie, lyrically I can even see a similarity with Minus the Bear. Even with all these comparisons their sound is still their own. Watching the few videos of them creating their sounds and the artwork that graces their albums you can easily sense that they possess a maturity and a depth that a lot of local musicians do not.

Their latest release titled “Our Bodies” was released earlier this year. It follows the same formula D&P cd cover. The sounds are at times haunting and ethereal, drawing you as the listener in. The pauses give you time to catch your breath before you dive in for more. The sounds move you, the lyrics touch you and the phrasing adds additional subtleties to the already complex instrumentation.

While they are not big on self promotion they are easily found on YouTube for a few videos. They do have a Facebook page that I suggest checking out and they are available to listen to on SoundCloud or Bandcamp All of these links are easily followed from the webpage they created to link it all together http://dogandpanther.com/ Don’t expect to find too much personal info on these guys. They tend to remain a bit of a mystery and that kinda adds to the quality of the sound because it isn’t about them it is about the music.

They can also be found on ITunes if you want to add them to your library.

Happy listening!

-NotHaydn

 

 

 

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Tony Tedesco & Full Fathom 5

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Tony Tedesco & Full Fathom 5 waste no time getting to the point of things musically. They mix acoustic folk and bluegrass along with lyrics best suited to country music storytelling.

The music is generally soft and gentle compared to Tony’s gruff vocals. His voice is well-travelled like many good story tellers. His ability to deliver his lyrics in a delicate manner is a pleasure to listen to.

The music makes a great backdrop for sailors of old or a dusty saloon in Deadwood. It works on many different levels for the blue-collar guy. This is working mans music. In today’s world of digital beats and fresh faced singer songwriters it is refreshing to see and hear someone who actually has been around the block once or twice.

Tony (guitar and vocals) backs himself with a motley bunch called Full Fathom 5 (Gorgo Beach- mandolin, Sean David Cunningham- violin, Audrey Kate Geiger- vocals, Matthew Lott- accordion, tenor sax, toy piano, Mike Noordzy- upright, contra alto clarinet, Michael Scotto – drums). A talented group of musicians who provide the backdrop for Tony’s lyrics. Audrey’s vocal add an old fashioned charm to the whole sound.

Just listening to music I am reminded of Dan Zanes and the music that he puts out and the “off the beaten path” vibe that he conveys. It is all here on the debut album by Tony Tedesco & Full Fathom 5 available for download here: http://tonytedesco.bandcamp.com/ Download the whole album or just your favorite song or two. Lyrics are provided so you can easily read along and perhaps find your own meaning to the song.

After listening to the debut album a few times through I find it hard to believe that this is unsigned talent. The music is enjoyable and earthy. It is sure to leave you with a full belly feeling.

Give him a listen, give your ears something refreshing to relax to.

-NotHaydn

 

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Follow up on the 51st State and Stuart Newman

As I promised, a follow up is in order. What better way to get through the summer than with some new music?avatars-000035976694-ivu6s9-t200x200 Especially some music from an artist that provides some nice mellow rock perfect for sitting around the campfire or hanging on the porch with friends enjoying some summer cocktails.

Stuart provides just such a back drop with his new single “The Whiskey”. Reminiscent of some XTC and Love and Rockets this single just starts, wham- vocals. I actually thought I may have missed something the way vocals are looped on the intro. Those first few seconds threw me but once I got into the song and the lyrics all was good. There is a lot going on in the lyrics and that is what I like about Stuart and his style.

The song contains some memorable lyrics, and is catchy enough to find yourself humming along to or in my case singing along to. “Every man’s castle needs a moat” is one such phrase that sticks with you. Overall, this song is built with a solid foundation and is lyrically smart. If you are one who likes to delve into a song and the lyrics than this song will satisfy your cranial needs. Stuart is definitely an artist to keep your eyes and ears on if mellower rock is your thing. I look forward to more from Stuart in the coming months and will keep you updated on his progress.

In the meantime, enjoy your summer and why not add some Stuart Newman to your summer music rotation?

Here is a link to make it easy for you https://soundcloud.com/stuarttnewman

And if you haven’t already done so check out some of his other tracks, you will find some Radiohead influence, intelligent songwriting and pleasantly mellow guitars.

There are also some videos and such out there if you want to see Stuart in action. I believe I found a few previously with a quick google search.

Enjoy!!!!

– NotHaydn

 

 

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