Posts Tagged ‘Alternative’

DRUNKSOULS

By: Caitlin Hoffman
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Reggae is mesmerizing. It emanates such druggy soul, such palpable wisdom. One has to dance or do nothing at all. One has to bob, weave, or sit cross-legged, overcome by the rolling, primal rhythms.

Meld that power with digestible pop rock and fist-pumping funk, and you’ve got Drunksouls (not to mention a wicked party playlist).

Drunksouls have been toiling in France’s music scene since 2002, and all their sowing has begun to seed. The music video for Human Race (below!) has hit over two million views. Turns out setting French accents to reggae is like sneaking spinach into your fruit smoothie: undeniably nutritious, unexpectedly delicious. And they do the same with socially-conscious lyrics and rockin’ hooks, not to mention revolutionary punk spirit. This music is a glimpse of enlightened summertime, a leisure that inspires, surges, and motivates. Whether you need to mellow out some harsher vibes or rev up for a workout (or rally), reach out to Drunksouls for your fix. The best place to start would be Just Before Chaos, a compilation cd of their most energetic, entrancing works.

Bolstered by burgeoning interest across the Atlantic, they’re looking to book an American tour.

Wanna come?

RICHARD TYLER EPPERSON

By: Caitlin Hoffman
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Richard Tyler Epperson. Remember that name. Even if it slips from your brain, his music will stay. Hourglass (the 2014 release I got to take a chunk out of) is an execution of acoustic and electric compromise. His emotions sprawl anywhere from summer solace to mid-winter meditations.

The press is comparing him to John Mayer, Jason Mraz, Bruno Mars, and other cuddly cuties splattered across the indie-pop skyline. Pssh- he has more soul than all three combined! Not only is his sound sweet- it’s deep.

Despite his earthy, humble musk, I can smell radio-ready suds. It’s only a matter of time before legitimacy sneaks past the eye of popularity…right?

Let him tuck ghosts in your temporal lobe.

FIRE AND THE ROMANCE

By: Caitlin Hoffman
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Fire and the Romance are so potent, you only need to put one earphone in.

Blending indie rumble with alternative pop, this freshly-birthed group is set to become. I was excited when I heard their music, which rarely happens. They shyly flirt with the space between experimentation and real risk.

The more I listen to indie rock the more I’m reminded sound is always evolving- often under your radar. Seems it’s only a matter of tuning in to the right place at the right time.

If that’s true, Fire and the Romance boast the utmost timeliness.

IDA MARIA SAUCINESS

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Point blank — Ida Maria should be on your radar.

The Norwegian punkster, who just revealed her brand new EP, Accidental Happiness [LAVA/Republic Records], is one catchy-ass songwriter. (Yes, I said it! Catchy-ass.)

The EP showcases her awesome songwriting, from the swaggering swing of Boogie With The Devil’s Soul, to the prickly, punk-y pop declaration I’m Bad News. Simultaneously, the title track exudes entrancing emotion wrapped up in another unshakable refrain. In late 2012, the artist overcame an overwhelming alcohol addiction, and the music reflects her journey with its striking clarity and realization of true creative fulfillment. Ida Maria has officially returned.

She has released two successful full-length efforts (Fortress Round My Heart and Katla), which spawned global hits like I Like You So Much Better When You’re Naked and Bad Karma. Her music had been placed everywhere from Royal Pains to Gossip Girl.

Listen to the saucy, just-released bonus track (Sick Of You) below.

PHANTOGRAM CREEPS INTO YOUR PSYCHE

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

They describe their sound as “street beat, psych pop”, and upon first listen, it’s easy to understand why. Phantogram is electronic rock that haunts and creeps into your psyche. Comprised of singer Sarah Barthel + producer Josh Carter, this is one duo worthy of space in your ears.

Their new album Voices is super fresh and comes SPIN-approved, who placed the disc on their 50 Albums You Gotta Hear in 2014 list.

Personally, I’m obsessed. Specifically with single Nothing But Trouble. It’s such a dramatic song – I love it!

Dark/raw/synth-pop at its finest.

Listen to the sexy track below!

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH BRAVESOUL

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

ROB BRAYL: Let’s dive right in. So you’re getting your music out there partially from the buzz created by winning the Whole Foods Team Member Music Project. Did you ever think this type of contest would be what would catapult you to a larger audience?

BRAVESOUL (Max): I had no idea. I moved to Northern Virginia a year ago knowing I was only going to be there for a year. It was really hard for me because it was the furthest thing away from the band and playing music. In reality, it was the thing that jump started us and actually helped us. I think that’s pretty surreal.

RB: I admire artists who have worked hard to get to higher grounds. What’s the struggle behind Bravesoul?

BS: Well, as for recent struggles, we stayed together as a band the past year with Max being 3,000 miles away. Having a baby at 23 was a pretty challenging thing, but the band hung in there for him and kept it together until he could make it back. That said, we did tell ourselves no more long distance relationships after that. But as for our lives, Marty and Max came from low-income homes, growing up together in the valley. Max ended up playing music and touring with various artists and bands. Marty ended up going to Yale and getting the whole thing paid for by the school and government. That’s where he met Eric and they bonded over their similar upbringings (Eric grew up in LA proper) and obsession with music, which were both a bit rare in the ivy league environment. Everyone ended up back in LA, happily ever after…

RB: I’m really lovin’ your sound – it’s fits in the vein of Kings of Leon, but with a flavor all its own. What artists or bands would you say have rubbed off/influenced the sound of the band?

BS: The Walkmen, Radiohead, Muse, REM, Joy Division, to name a few.

RB: What’s the story behind the band’s name?

BS (Marty): It’s from a song I wrote in 2009 called Bravesouls which was about the Iranian student uprisings that happened right around that time. It’s specifically about a girl named Neda that was murdered on the streets of Tehran and became a martyr for the movement. My parents grew up there and so the whole thing was pretty emotional for me to watch, and the song was my way to pay honor to the courage of these kids putting their lives on the line against a tyrannical government. Sometimes it’s hard to realize how good you’ve got it until you see people fighting for something so basic as freedom. Those students are heroes to me, so the name represents that ideal and what we should all strive to become.

RB: The video treatment for If The Morning Ever Comes is fantastic. Image and style direction is crucial in this business and I think you guys are doing it right. Who directed the video? Location? What’s the breakdown for how the video came to be?

BS: Evan Weinerman. He’s great. He directed Time to Run for Lord Huron, another L.A based band we like a lot. We shot it way out in Ridgecrest, California at a demolition derby track. It was about 18 degrees outside while we were shooting it. We had complete creative control over the video, so we were shooting ideas back and forth with Evan and he had some great ideas.

RB: You’re prepping the release of your debut album in February, correct? Nervous? Excited?

BS: We are ready. I think that’s the best way of putting it. We’ve been crafting this album for over a year now and it’s been way too long to not release anything. We’re ready to put it out there.

RB: Tell us something random about the band. Give us something good.

BS: Max has three nipples.

RB: For those just now discovering your music, what’s something we should know?

BS: We worked really hard to make it possible for you to hear these songs, and every single song is something special for us. We’re not interested in just making singles, so we hope everyone will take the time to hear the entire EP. Every penny we earned went into it and the whole thing was funded by ourselves and the generous donations of our Indiegogo supporters, so it’s a project of blood, sweat, and tears.

RB: What was the last album you purchased on iTunes?

BS: That new one by Pretty Lights.

RB: Finally, are you touring with this release? Shoot us some dates. Also, much continued success going forward!

BS: No formal tour announcement yet, but we’re playing February 18th @ Hemingway’s Lounge in Hollywood, February 22nd @ Empire Control Room in Austin, and March 12th @ VH1 Showcase during SXSW. We’re confirming some more LA dates, so keep on the lookout for more show announcements.

CRACKING OPEN: LIAM O’DONNELL & HIS TRACK ‘NOTHING THAT I’M SCARED OF’

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Nothing like stumbling upon a hidden gem – that incredible song or artist that the world has yet to crack open. Of course, these private little rendezvous’ usually expire due to sh*t going viral. Which is exactly what seems to be inevitable for Liam O’Donnell and his stellar track Nothing That I’m Scared Of.

This song, without being pushed in any way, has already garnered over 15k spins on SoundCloud, and with one listen, it’s easy to understand why. The track is subtle, fresh and sublime. It’s emotionally jagged yet goes down smooth. It’s catchy, beautiful and honest.

I don’t much about Liam, but I do know that I want more. And like all the other underground artists we plug on this site, he deserves to be heard.

This track is undeniably good.

Listen to Liam O’Donnell’s Nothing That I’m Scared Of below.

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH ADAM BIRD OF THOSE MOCKINGBIRDS

By: Maria Ciezak
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

MARIA CIEZAK: How did you all meet?

ADAM BIRD: Tory and I met on a street corner in NYC, near the World Trade Center. She was holding her violin, getting ready to go into a show that she was attending with a friend of mine that I hadn’t seen in a while. We talked for a few minutes and it turned out Tory would be moving from Rhode Island to NJ soon thereafter, so they exchanged info and stayed in touch. Everyone else somewhat knew each other in some shape or form, and once Tory and I had started the band up, a call was placed to Rob, who brought Kevin in with him, and then Jon came in last as the final piece.

MC: What’s the story behind the band name?

AB: The band name is a twist on a song title by an Australian band called Silverchair. Most people in the US who remember them at all, think of them as 16-year-old grunge kids, but they went on to become an extremely creative group. On their final album, they had a song called Those Thieving Birds, and I had been kicking around the idea of using the word “Mockingbird” in the new band’s name. Slam the two together, and you get Those Mockingbirds.

MC: Which do you prefer? Studio or touring?

AB: While studio is absolutely a great experience, it’s also a lot more stressful, because it’s almost like waiting for a child to be born. You’re doing everything you can to make sure it’s perfect and there are no hiccups, and that it comes out exactly as you had hoped, that most of the pleasure comes in at the end, once you’ve heard back what you’ve done. Touring, however, has that incredible thing where you connect with people every day and travel to cities that you don’t live in and feel a sense of wanting to conquer. It’s really exhilarating the entire time. I would have to say I prefer touring.

MC: If you weren’t in a band, what would you be doing?

AB: I’d be a pop star.

MC: New music, tell us about it…

AB: Our new record is called Penny The Dreadful. We moved to Portsmouth NH to record it and we are extremely proud of it. Lyrically, the overall theme is thwarting and/or managing evils in one’s life. Penny, is a character in a few of the songs, and so is the Devil. I use both characters to illustrate different evils of life, and perceptions on what is evil, because sometimes, the thing that looks evil from one person’s point of view, may not actually be, from someone else’s. It’s pretty much an exercise in Buddhist philosophy now that I think about it. Or maybe just me exorcising demons of mine. [Laughs]

MC: And of course, the video for How To Rob A Bank — where’d the concept come from?

AB: The new music video for How To Rob A Bank came to be after we had a few meetings with the director, John Komar, about having a good story in the video. We had two different leading ideas, one involving the bank heist, and the other involving kids playing the lead roles. We pretty much combined the two to make it what it became. Tory gets credit for most of the initial concept, but we all fleshed it out once we were confident with the idea. And funny story… We actually had to shoot the video twice. When we wrapped, John, the director, was transferring the files to a secure hard drive, and I kid you not, lightning struck his house and the files all got mushed together. We tried for a week to go into the code and pick them apart, but it was futile and we had to do it again from scratch. That was a very upsetting week. [Laughs]

MC: Where can people find you?

AB: The new video is airing on mtvU right now, but can also be found HERE. The rest of our web presence can be found on our website.

THE EPIDEMICS

By: Caitlin Hoffman
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

I had a migraine when I turned on The Epidemics. By the time the album finished, my skull was screaming, and I was happy about it.

The best bands enhance your headaches. They don’t make the pain go away, but they make it better.

The Epidemics are Swedish and female-fronted, a Frankenstein built by the disembodied limbs of goth, metal, and punk rock. Though all the songs (I’ve heard) are written in English, their Facebook page is a collage of English and Swedish, reminding me passion knows no borders.

The sizzling, speedy guitars and grade-B lyrics are pure horror-punk, but not so abrasive that radio-rockers would faint. The sound is serrated, but sedated, a numbed edge on which to slide.

Waking Up the Dead was a strong first album, drawing genius (whether subconsciously or intentionally) from Die Mannequin, The Distillers, The Misfits and The Gits. The only song I could have done without is Never Grow Up, which means 90% of the album hit me the way it should’ve. That’s a brilliant ratio!

Now, they have half of their second album free to stream on The Pirate Bay- that’s how I discovered them in the first place. It will always blow me away when artists offer their art for free. They have to eat same as any of us, and yet here they are, turning their hearts into a no-pay buffet.

I’m amazed. I only hope I’ll have that strength one day.

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: ARIANA AND THE ROSE

By: Maria Ciezak
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

MARIA CIEZAK: For those unfamiliar, can you give us a brief background? How did you meet the band?

ARIANA AND THE ROSE: Sure. I actually started as an actress, doing musical theater, commercials and film from the time I was a kid all the way through college. I wrote and played music on the side as a release. Throughout high school and the beginning of college, I wrote with people in New York, LA and Nashville, but it wasn’t until a year before I graduated from NYU that I decided I wanted to pursue music full-time. I put a band together as soon as I graduated, meeting guys through my managers and friends’ suggestions. I decided to call the band Ariana & the Rose since we perform all the music with live instruments and we’ve been together ever since.

MC: I love the new acoustic video for Heartbeat — the song is beautiful. The video is very raw and personal. What made you choose the dark color theme?

A: Thank you! Well, the song has this theme of a beautiful thing falling apart. I created that video with my friend and fashion designer, Daniel Silverstein. We wanted to make something that spoke to both of our styles. (I’m wearing a dress from his Fall 2013 collection in the video.) There’s something so classic about black and white and we felt that having the color of the video to be completely de-saturated would be a modern way of capturing that classic feel.

MC: What would you say you enjoy more: Recording? Writing? Or performing?

A: I really go back and forth with this. I always say that I enjoy whatever I happen to be doing at the moment the most. I’m currently in the studio writing, so right now I enjoy that more. But I’ll be on tour in a couple weeks and that will be my favorite part. I look at it as a good thing to be indecisive about.

MC: Do you write all of your own material?

A: Yep. I play piano and usually start most of my songs on an acoustic instrument. I do a lot of co-writing, typically me and another writer/producer. I find that writing alone can get a bit lonely sometimes. I’m a really social person and I like having another person to bounce ideas off of.

MC: If you had to place your music into a certain style or genre, could you?

A: I would choose synth pop, as a broad genre. More specifically: singer-songwriter with heavy electro and synth influences.

MC: I see you have been compared to many artists but I think your sound is very original. Do you find it flattering when placed with artists?

A: Thank you. I really try to create music I feel sounds just like me. Of course, it’s always flattering to be compared to other artists, especially ones that have been so successful. I’d like to think that when people compare you to other artists they love it’s because they love you too.

MC: What’s next for Ariana & The Rose?

A: My single Heartbeat came out on Nov 19th and my EP Head vs Heart will be released in early 2014. I’m also headed on a US tour with Heffron Drove (Nov 23-Dec 22). So lots of new material and live shows. It’s the perfect way to end the year.

AMELIA SCALIES

By: Caitlin Hoffman
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Amelia Scalies caught my attention soon as I sat down to listen.

I was braced with sudden drums, emphatic, easy-going guitar, and a voice twirling on the tightrope between indie and radio pop.

I Should Have Known is her breakaway album, boasting ten original tracks and one cover (a string-fuelled strip-down of MCR’s The Black Parade).

Through this AP, you can get a peak of the world through the eyes of a poetic girl budding into a wise, talented woman. While some may use access to a microphone as a chance to bask in narcissism, Amelia wants to make a difference. Take Don’t Let Them Win, a song encouraging bullying victims to persevere.

I only wish the guitar was ten times harder. However, lots of young artists start with a low volume. I’m sure her mellow playing will empower the next generation.

This is what would have happened to Kelly Clarkson if she’d started a real band. (Though saying that I sell Amelia short.)

It’s encouraging to hear another girl perform songs that are clearly her own. She plucks the guitar, she strokes the violin, she pens the lyrics. Her music is accessible, and not so intimidating that singer-songwriter hopefuls may shy away.

In that sense, Amelia is right at the heart of indie philosophy.

I leave you with Don’t Let Them Win. Not the rockiest tune, but one of the most relatable.

Amelia Scalies – Don’t Let Them Win (Audio)

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: TERMINAL GODS

By: Maria Ciezak
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

MARIA CIEZAK: For those who are unfamiliar with Terminal Gods, can you give us a brief backstory?

ROBERT MAISEY of TERMINAL GODS: Rob Cowlin and I have a firm policy of not talking about how we met in the queue outside the London Astoria, both going to watch a Leeds drum machine rock band that shall remain unnamed.

Josh and I knew each other from school and have lived together for a few years, so we formed the guitar section. Jonno plays in a disgustingly brilliant electro punk two-piece called HotGothic, who we gigged with many times, especially in the early days. When our original bass player left, we poached him. He’s dead good.

MC: Also, the name, some may think of as somewhat controversial. Is there a specific meaning?

TG: It’s pure ego and (justified) arrogance. It’s also a fitting description. It’s part of the name of a really cool Aubrey Beardsley painting (Venus Between Terminal Gods). It doesn’t have anything to do with any pseudo-religious Lovecraftian mumbo jumbo (although I do like a bit of Lovecraft, for personal use only mind you).

MC: Let’s chat about the release of your debut EP, Machine Beat Messiah (released November 25th). I’ve had the chance to listen and I’m totally digging the sound. How did the whole process go? Did the writing come first or the music?

TG: In a nutshell, the songs tend to start life with just me, a drum machine and a 12-string telecaster, usually at about 4 am. We then flesh them out all together in the rehearsal rooms and, if they pass the quality control, Cowlin will write some words and melody.

I wrote the basic music for The Resurrection Man because I had a new 12-string acoustic with butterflies on it and wanted a song that sounded like it’d been written on a guitar with butterflies on it. I failed.

The rest of the songs are just jazzed up Stooges tracks. Seriously. All of them.

MC: Maybe I’m jumping ahead of myself, or it’s wishful thinking, or both (laughs) — but any chance of a full-length in the near future?

TG: We have enough material for a full-length record, which we’ll make when someone gives us enough money and promotion to make it worth releasing.

In the meantime, we’re quite content putting out singles and EPs. This is something more bands should do. If you’re going to spend all of your money on releasing a chunk of vinyl with only a few songs on it, you’d better make damn sure those songs are worth releasing. This is called quality control. We kind of envisage our first album being a kind of best of with all our best singles redone in a really expensive studio, maybe with Steve Albini on guest drum machines. I’m totally sick of bands discovering a sound they kinda like and jumping straight into an album before they have actually written enough good songs to justify it.

I do like the idea of doing a live album though – this is something we’re talking about at the moment. It means we can put out a decent amount of songs on one record without actually committing to a “debut LP”. If it’s really really good, we can just claim it’s our Kick Out The Jams and was meant to be an album all along.

At the moment, we sell small runs of limited edition records to a passionate, but relatively small audience. This is great, but we’re not going to fire all of our guns at once (by releasing an album) before we’ve even got ourselves off the ground.

MC: I also love the video for King Hell. On a personal note, it makes me want to attend a show, for I feel like I’m at a concert when watching. Was that the whole vibe you were going for?

TG: We’re a live band, it’s where the best (and worst) of rock and roll really happens. We also wanted to save the money for studio rental for the video for The Wheels Of Love.

Originally we planned to film the video for King Hell from the back seat of a huge Dodge Challenger while cruising into the oil-smeared sunset of The Badlands, but we scrapped the idea when we realised everyone had already seen Mad Max.

All our videos are made by Andy Oxley of Screen 3 productions. He knows us, we know him. It’s nice to have loyalty to the people you work with, and it gives you a chance to grow as artists together. In my opinion, the main reason our videos tend to look pretty cool, despite shoestring budgets, is because Andy has spent a lot of time getting to know us and our music.

MC: You guys are doing so well in London right now — any chance of coming over to the states in the near future?

TG: Hopefully. We’ll just phone our huge record company and ask them to charter a jet.

But seriously, there are some awesome Americans that have really put their names behind us. A guy called Jason Ledyard who runs a club called Absolution in New York has been our constant champion. Another guy called Ken McIntyre who has an amazing radio show called Advanced Demonology wrote a lovely bit about us in Classic Rock magazine. If more Americans like the record and are willing to go out and tell lots of other Americans what nice guys we are, then I see no reason why we won’t eventually end up in the States. It worked with the Germans.

MC: What are some bands you guys are into right now?

TG: For me, it’s mostly bands rocking the London alt circuit. There’s so much new music out there, I tend to go for stuff I can go and watch live regularly. The new Vuvuvultures LP is pretty swinging and the new Purson album is like a psychedelic sex dream cut to record. I also liked the new White Lies album a lot, but White Lies albums always sound wonderful.

Josh has a huge hard-on for a Sheffield blues rock/stoner doom two-piece called Wet Nuns. Josh is into a lot of Doom right now. We do a live night called Club Roadkill which is dedicated to putting on garage bands of this nature. The next band we’re putting on are called LOOM. They’re an awesome dark punk anger management case making big waves in London right now.

Cowlin runs a night called A New Dusk, which is dedicated to playing vaguely foreign sounding coldwave/darkwave/coolwave two-piece guitar/drum machine bands with loads of reverb on everything. They all sound like Suicide meets Siouxsie and the Banshees and they all claim allude to being from New York, although I’m pretty sure most of them are actually from the suburbs of London.

Cowlin and I are always listening to James Rays Gangwar. I know you’ve never heard of them, no one has. But the fact that they’re one of the most overlooked treasures of rock and roll is one of the only things we can agree on.

As I write this, I’m sitting with our tour manager listening to a Red Lorry Yellow Lorry LP called Blow. It’s really really good.

MC: Sum up in five words why people should listen to Terminal Gods.

TG: Like goth, but not shit.

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NEW FRAMES FROM BECK & WARBY PARKER

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com


Grool!

The one + only Beck has teamed up with cool eyeglass makers Warby Parker to create a line of hip frames.

To give a little background on the partnership, most recently Beck released Song Reader, a collection of 20 compositions available only as sheet music (and never before recorded). To celebrate this affinity, Warby Parker have released a pair of limited-edition frames, named Carmichael. Inspired by Beck’s genre-bending music and unimpeachable personal style, Carmichael is a tad eclectic, and completely charming.

The collection is sleek-chic and could easily be worn with a variety of styles. To see the entire collection, click HERE.

Glasses + Beck in action below.

STONEY

By: Caitlin Hoffman
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Hypnosis is a sign of good music. When a musician echoes so loud and long in your skull they become one with your brain, you know they’ve got good stuff going. After all, isn’t music one of the purest forms of connection, liberation, meditation? Some of the best songs only wake you up after they’ve put you to sleep.

Stoney is the UK’s latest snake charmer. He made some bloody fine burrows in Sheffield’s underground before crawling his way up to the surface.

Musically speaking, Stoney’s a connoisseur. His obviously keen ear allows for dabbles in pop, rock, indie and trance, lashing out with tiger’s claws only to slip into a kitten’s coat. His haunting, porcelain voice reminds me of Rob Smith (that accent always helps…), the sweet slush backing it a milkshake of Pulp and The Kinks.

I’ll often argue that an artist is better off releasing an EP, so as to ensure that all songs reap serious quality and leave out the fucking filler. However, Stoney has given us an entire album worthy of replay. More Than Animals is a mountain landscape, rolling from crushing peaks to gentle valleys. More valleys than I’d prefer, but I know most people need kisses between their punches. I like it best when he lets the reigns snap and shows some alternative attitude, like in Devil On My Back or The Score. You know me: I need music sharper than my boyfriend’s shaving kit. If such slicing, sweaty tunes can make me dance, even better.

Despite making ripples in the scene, Stoney’s striking far away from conformity. He’s settled down in Texas, to work on more music while basking in sunshine. This has lead to him picking up other projects (including Bobby Jealousy, a dirty pop-punk band that sounds ready for its own review), keeping a balanced focus between his solo and group works. I guess the best artists need more than one outlet!

The only song from More Than Animals with a vid so far is We Belonged, one of the gentler tracks that I feel falls beneath his full potential. Regardless, the visuals are beautiful, and the emotions real.

UPCOMING ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: JESSICA HERNANDEZ & THE DELTAS (INTERVIEW)

By: Maria Ciezak
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

MARIA CIEZAK: I must admit that I am just starting out on getting my fix of Jessica Hernandez & The Deltas — you all are fantastic! How did you guys meet?

JESSICA HERNANDEZ: I’ve met the guys at different points over the last couple years. When I was playing around as a solo act I would play shows with them in their other bands or run into them at shows. When things started picking up and I needed a full time bigger band, it was an easy transition into working with these super talented guys I already knew from the Detroit music scene.

MC: What was the music scene like growing up in Detroit? I mean, after all, it’s known for so many iconic things!

JH: You probably wouldn’t guess from the style of music I play now but I was actually really into the hardcore/grindcore/ riot girl scene when I was in high school. I always had a love for soul and Motown and a million other things, but I didn’t get heavy into going to shows every weekend and making music a lifestyle until the high school hardcore days. I spent a lot of time at the Shelter and St. Andrews getting kicked in the head and yelled at by straight-edge kids.

MC: You have a very distinct tone in your voice that I feel is very different from anything out there today. How often do you practice?

JH: I guess I don’t really “practice” singing, but I write every day which involves using my voice and constantly trying out new things vocally. I’ve been singing pretty much my whole life, but I didn’t really find my voice and my own vocal style until I started writing.

MC: I love the new video you released for Dead Brains (acoustic), and I feel like it sums you guys up in a nutshell, almost like a documentary. Would you agree?

JH: Thanks! Yeah, I guess you could say that. There are definitely no frills and it’s really honest. It was all shot in one take on iPhones and I edited it myself knowing very little about video editing.

MC: You have a kick ass tour lined up for the Fall. For a first-time, live-set goer like myself, do you guys switch your performances up at each stop?

JH: Yeah, we try to switch it up. Sometimes we will have a set that we all just really love to play and we will stick with it for a few shows though. We always adjust the set to fit the vibe of the night. If it’s a really chill show, we might play more slow songs than usual or do all of our fun songs if we’re playing a rowdy bar. Whatever fits the vibe of the crowd.

MC: What would you say you enjoy more: recording or live shows?

JH: I don’t think I could say. They are so different for me. Live is all about the energy of the crowd and how they feel and how they respond. That’s what gives you the energy to perform at your best and go nuts. Recording is so personal and all about your own mood and your own energy in that moment.

MC: I bought your EP Live At the Magic Bag, and I must say it hasn’t left my iPod in a few days. Any plans for a full-length in the near future?

JH: Yes! The album has been recorded for a while now but has been taking a while to finish mixing and mastering and getting the final touches right. It’s finally there and is set to be released in March. I can’t wait.

MC: If you describe Jessica Hernandez & The Deltas in five words, what would they be? Go!

JH: Soulful, feel-good, carnie rock. Is feel-good one or two words? [Laughs]