Wednesday, July 25, 2012

6 Artists You Oughta Know

Digging for music has always been one of my favorite past times. Even as a kid, while my dad would spend hours browsing books in Christian bookstores, I would be scouring the music section for cds (okay, mostly cassette tapes). Always searching for new music that would spark my attention. Well some things never change. Except now, instead of a bookstore, I scour the internet in search of good music. There’s something magical about finding amazing new tunes to add to the soundtrack of your life. Sometimes you really have to dig through the Katy Perry’s of the world to find the good stuff; but other times, without even trying, you stumble upon a gem or two.

These are 6 artists whose music I’ve recently stumbled onto by accident and have fallen in love with. Yes, you could say that this is my version of VH1’s popular “You Oughta Know” series. A list of just a few artists that in my humble opinion, you oughta know.

Marc Scibilia

Folks, this guy is the one to watch! Folk/rock crooner, Marc Scibilia will capture your attention with his soulful songs and Johnny Cash-esque vocals. Not to mention ladies, he’s kinda adorable…oh that smile (Can I say that without sounding too shallow? Oh well I’m going to say it anyway). “Better Man” is the first song I ever heard from Marc and was instantly hooked. He just released an EP entitled “Bright Day Coming”. Give Marc’s music a listen!

“I don’t have a real job, I write songs for a living. My grandmother still thinks I am going to be a doctor. My mother calls and wishes I’d move back home to NY. My dad leaves 5 minute long voicemails about how proud he is of me and usually asks (for the 1,000th time) how to get on YouTube to see my latest work. Yes, it’s complicated and there’s a lot to share. But I write songs, so I will usually keep our interactions to around 3 minutes and thirty seconds or less.” – from Marc’s bio

The Lumineers

Denver, CO based folk/rock trio, The Lumineers are described as “an amalgam of heart-swelling stomp-and-clap acoustic rock, classic pop, and front-porch folk”, which could not be a more accurate description, in my opinion. Their music feels joyful, light, and free. So much so that you would never know that this is a band born out of tragedy. In 2002 lead singer, Wesley Schultz’s childhood friend Josh, who was also the brother of drummer, Jeremiah, died of a drug overdose. Wesley and Jeremiah found solace and healing through music and started writing songs together. They later on found classically trained cellist, Neyla Pekarek, and thus The Lumineers began.

The joy in their music is contagious. It’s exactly what music should be, a joyous celebration. Their self titled debut album released in April, be sure to pick it up!

Butterfly Boucher

I’ve known of Australian singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Butterfly Boucher (Yes, Butterfly is her real name.) for a long time but had never heard any of her songs. I knew that she wrote for and with a lot of my favorite artists but have just recently become a fan of her music. Her indie/pop sound has a definite rock/dance edge to it. Butterfly’s first album released in 2004 on A&M Records and garnered attention from an elite list of artists such as David Bowie, Madonna, Ben Folds and Sarah McLachlan. Now independent, she just released her third album in April.  Hope you guys give this acoustic version of her song “The Weather” a listen. This is the one that made me a fan!

The Features

Loving this four piece Nashville based band’s infectious grooves. If you haven’t heard of The Features yet that will probably change soon as they have already been touring with such acts as Manchester Orchestra and Kings of Leon; and have also been featured on the Twilight soundtrack. I first stumbled onto their music in December when I was helping my cousin search for music to play during her wedding reception. I heard their song “The Idea of Growing Old” and thought it was a perfect fit! But the song above, “I Will Wander”, is what has really made me a fan.

The band has just released their new album “Wilderness” on Kings of Leon’s record label, Serpents and Snakes. These guys have an indie/rock vibe with a psychedelia edge, which makes for a very interesting sound. To quote their singer/guitarist Matt Pelham, “I feel like we walk this fine line, we're not weird enough for a certain crowd and we're a little bit too out there for the other crowd. We fall in the middle somewhere between mainstream and hipster, which puts us in this weird place, but we're all pretty happy to be here."

The Vespers

Oh man, these guys are something special. This Nashville based family band make southern folk/pop music that you can feel in your bones. The Vespers are made up of 4 pals; 2 sisters and 2 brothers. It was a chance meeting at a campfire jam session that brought together sisters, Callie and Phoebe Cryar, and brothers, Bruno and Taylor Jones.  Callie and Phoebe were born into a musical family; their dad is actually Morgan Cryar who was a Christian artist back in the 80’s and 90’s. For those of you who, like me, were born and raised on Christian music you may remember him.

Their faith plays a huge role in their music and brings a richness and depth to their lyrics. Fans on YouTube have described this bands performances as a “hippie revival” and I couldn’t agree more. They are passionate, soulful, and talented musicians that will have you practically head banging to the sound of the mandolin. Their new record “The Fourth Wall” is out now; I suggest you run out and pick it up a.s.a.p.!

Harrison Hudson

“Give up the money. Don’t chase the honeys. Flies will always circle the pot. Bloom where you’re planted. Don’t take for granted. And cherish the one you got.”  This is the chorus to the cute and quirky “Cherish The One You Got” by Harrison Hudson. I stumbled onto this song just the other night and it instantly put a smile on my face. These lyrics are a good motto to live by, no?

Harrison Hudson is named after its lead singer and formed in Atlanta, GA in 2005. Their music is described as Rock/thrash pop and is heavily influenced by 50’s and 60’s rock n’ roll.  Now based in Nashville, they have released three records with the most recent being “American Thunder”. Be sure to give them a listen and take heed to this songs advice. ;)

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