Posts Tagged ‘Indie’


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.


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.


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.


By: Caitlin Hoffman
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

This is too cool for metaphors.

The New Mongrels are an Americana folk band with an acoustic, indie lull. Sounds pretty standard, right? Wrong. These guys date back to 1861! (No, they’re not time travellers.)

Haynes Brookes has set it upon himself to carry the musical tradition first tailored by his great-grandfather Henry. This Civil War veteran founded the “Smythe County Mongrels Society”, a band unified by a love of music, Psalms, and hard cider. When Haynes discovered his rockin’ roots, he fostered his own reincarnation of the group. So the New Mongrels were born.

Raised Incorruptible, released in the earliest days of 2014, is the band’s first album since 1998. With such a gap between installments, one is never sure what may be gained or lost. As far as I can see, The New Mongrels have retained their charms. They’re relaxed, salty-sweet, a glass of lemonade (or cider?) left on a porch.

A project like this proves creation can inspire, no matter the time of its conception. Music is burned into our genetics, our instincts, our evolution. Even if the archives burn and the tracks are deleted, the spirit perseveres.

Creativity is far from a modern concoction. It’s part of the human condition.


By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Move over Lorde!

19-year-old singer/songwriter Kate Miller is a hidden gem waiting to burst. Like cotton candy, the broodingly infectious Collar Up was instantly satisfying when I discovered it a few hours ago.

I’ve literally played this song on a loop ever since.

Listen to the kick ass Collar Up by Kate Miller below.


By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Nearly a year ago, we placed an #ArtistToWatch spotlight on LA based creation Moxi and the wondrously hypnotic Terrible Disguise. Now, Moxi has released a new music video for track In My Dreams which is just an endearing and genuine.

Comprised of singer-songwriter Anna Nelson, multi-instrumentalist Andy Toy, Bobby Hartry and Blaine Stark on guitars, and Paul Doyle on drums, Moxi’s bare approach to capturing a sound is delicate and ethereal.

Moxi’s EP In My Dreams was released February 12th, 2013 via CatBeach Music and is available now.

Watch the video for In My Dreams below.


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.


By: Caitlin Hoffman
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Uncle Tim is a crisp R&B artist from Cameroon, delicately blending Gospel, Rap, and spiritual energy. Not Alone, his first available track, is soothing and lush with a soft-pop groove. Though he treads lightly in beat and verse, the message is strong.

I love seeing musicians weave positivity into their work. In an industry that often focuses on the negative (or even worse, the self-involved), hearing someone sing encouragement through my speakers makes me surge with gratitude.

Maybe it’ll do the same for you?


By: Caitlin Hoffman
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

The best beauty is wrenching. It falls so far beneath the skin, into the crevasses and gaping scars of the soul.

Lakefield is one big gorgeous vibration. It was conceived by five friends from Vancouver: Kate on keys and belting the stunning songs, Steven on guitar while backing up Kate’s vocals, Kyle holding steady on bass, Bryan adding another rich layer of guitar, and Paul beating the heart of the drums.

The result? Sonic poetry.

They sound like Death Cab For Cutie, but deeper, and far more eloquent. Whether they drag you through a psychological storm or allow you to splash in puddles the following morn, you’re going to leave with wet eyes.

They ached and bled against their instruments for five years and one full-length album before impaling themselves on six final sonnets.

I’m sad the title of their 2014 EP, Swan Songs, is literal (for the band’s lifeline). I’m sad true talent fails to promise a paycheque, and creative industries choose Chart-Busters over real art. Even if your act whispers of commercial appeal, there’s no guarantee you’ll find yourself on top. It’s a gamble, and as a result, too many amazing bands leave the casino with empty pockets.

I hope they know people appreciate all that they’re leaving behind.

It’s sad, but beautiful.


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.


By: Caitlin Hoffman
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

[Photo Credit: Tyler Ewigleben]

Music helps us meditate. Whether we purge our stresses with a hum or a roar, artists will always be there to fill the cracks in our pining psyches.

Bobbie Morrone is brewing a solid serum as quick to cripple as massage. The Best I Can Be, his 2014 EP, is indie verse with a blues-y sip.

Short, tight, mellow, sharp, Bobbie’s sound cascades like a summer too far away. These three songs are a luxurious sample, a humble sign of future potential.

Though he may not make you scream as certain songs claim, let him kiss your earbuds. You’ll walk away enlightened, or at the very least relaxed.


By: Caitlin Hoffman
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

It’s nice seeing someone rap with a social consciousness. In a genre where many artists choose self-promotion over ethical or artistic intent, Chuckie Campbell would rather speak for the human race.

His rhymes are succinct, sedated, and digestible, forging a confused bridge between rap and spoken word. More Die of Heartbreak, an experimental album taking its name from a Saul Bellow novel, is a soft-hitting release with a slough of guest appearances and meaning behind the beats.

Chuckie says of the project:

“The album draws on the seven years after a violent physical assault that left my jaw broken in two places… [It] is dedicated to Ralph B. Prater, my close friend, music mentor, and unlawful attacker, who committed suicide in March of 2011. It is a reminder that for every one person who makes it out alive, more will die of heartbreak.”


By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

If you’re looking for a jubilant jolt of girl power spirit, a double dosage of Yuna will do the trick. The Malaysian singer/songwriter recently premiered the music video for Rescue, and it’s nothing short of enchanting. The empowering track is taken from Nocturnal, her newly released Verve Records debut.

The Elliott Sellers-directed video was shot primarily at Big Sur, with select shots in downtown Los Angeles.

Official video + live performance of the track (via Conan) below.

Loving her authenticness!


By: Caitlin Hoffman
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

[Photo Credit: Sebastian Andrews]

Sound Strider (aka Sam Waks) is this generation’s answer to Negativland. As with any glitch-hop, his mechanical mash-up’s bound to leave you disoriented. But, if you’re lucky, you’ll find a slice o’ zen within the techno fog.

Sam was exposed to the magic of music at an early age: his dad was the principal cellist of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, and in high school Sam made his own break into the musical world by playing the drums in garage and jazz bands. With the 90’s came a new musical frontier in the form of remixes and computerized samples, and it was in the sonic underground Sam found his identity. Not only has he sought to create his own music, but to birth a platform for other artists- he left Australia to convert a 19th century agricultural ruin in France into a recording studio.

He’s already helped new artists break into the scene, all the while honing his own experimentation.

Enter the Intrepid Travels EP, a sophisticated mindfuck. My head’s still unsure what to make of it.

Maybe it’ll make sense when my skull stops spinning.


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.