In case you haven’t read Part I of this series, let me catch you up.
I love music; it’s this spiritual, emotional, intangible experience for me, it’s so much more than simply a song. Because of my love for music, I’ve always been really interested in discovering new artists and bands that are just on the cusp of fame. I find those bands often to be most talented, and have the best shows. So I’m currently compiling a list, from A to Z, of some of my favorite indie and up and coming acts.
Below is the second installment, listing bands from F to J. So let’s get to jamming guys.
F is for FRANCESCO YATES
This guy is on everybody’s watch list. Both Spotify and Forbes have endorsed him as an artist to be huge in 2015. He’s partnered up with Pharrell to help make his first album a success, Justin Timberlake gave him a shout out on Twitter, and he’s truly passionate about the music. He credits the Jack Black comedy School of Rock with inspiring him to pursue a career in playing and writing songs.
G is for THE GRISWOLDS
Just as you might have guessed, the band is actually named after Chevy Chase’ family in the National Lampoon’s Vacation movies.
CHECK OUT: 16 Years
The band’s original sound was a bit more party hardy than the sound of their debut album, and that’s been attributed to the bands overall growth and maturity. Frontman Chris Whitehall said that the album ended up capturing that feeling of being between childhood and adulthood, the yearning to live and dance and be carefree, but simultaneously knowing that you need to be responsible. 16 Years really captures that essence with such a fun, upbeat party track coupled with these dark, serious lyrics. It’s anthemic and moving and captures who the band is.
H is for HAIM
This band is definitely one of my favorites right now, and you can read more of me gushing over how incredibly cool they are here. I could obsess over them for days, but the simplest explanation is that they are Stevie Nicks mixed with Beyonce times three. They’ve got a sound like no one else on the scene today, and their live performances are only made better by the incredible level of head banging, hair flipping, and ridiculous instrumental capability of each member of the band.
CHECK OUT: Days Are Gone (the album)
Call it a cop out if you will, but the Haim sisters have stressed over and over how much work and effort and soul went into this album. I mean they’d been touring for years, but never put out their own album because they just kept working on it, perfecting it, shaping and molding it to best represent them. And they did just that. They created something that needs to be heard in its entirety. Their work deserves that much for sure. If I have to give you one song, I give you The Wire because I know once you listen to it, you won’t be able to stop from listening to the rest.
I is for INGRID MICHAELSON
You know how artists are always talking about the long, drawn out process of deciding what songs make it onto an album, and in what order? Well that’s why I’m telling you two songs to listen to. They’re tracks seven and eight on Michaelson’s newest album, Lights Out, and listening to them together suddenly makes that whole process seem integral to an artist’s success. Don’t get me wrong, both songs are incredible on their own, but when you listen to them together it gives you this whole new energy. It doesn’t even make sense; Time Machine is a bit angsty, more scorned, while One Night Town is a somewhat nostalgic, yet the energy transfers perfectly from one to the other, the transition seemingly intentional, and they build upon one another into the perfect illustration of the wonder of Michaelson’s artistry.
J is for JUKEBOX THE GHOST
CHECK OUT: Postcard
Jukebox The Ghost is the actual definition of indie pop; it’s as simple as that. And Postcard is the type of song every inherently indie pop band needs. In a way that does not emasculate the men of the band, I’d like to say that this song is the word cute in song form. It’s so infectious, the beat is downright giddy. The lyrics literally say, “I just want you to feel happy, I just want you to be glad.” I mean honestly, I’m pretty sure the overall story behind the song isn’t even a positive one, but the sound behind it makes you see everything with rose colored glasses as long as you’re listening to it. It makes you want to dance around in your underwear and never cry again. It could probably create world peace if everyone would just play this song on a loop. Problem solved. Now listen and be happy.
What do you think of the bands I’ve listed? Love them? Hate them? Do you think someone else should have been featured? Do you think different songs should have been featured? Who are your guesses for Part III of the series, letters K to O? Let me hear what you have to say in the comments below.