One of my favorite pastimes is to look up an artist that I am digging on YouTube and listening to the recommended or similar artists. In this case I was watching some videos for The Head and the Heart’s “Winter Song” and happened to come by this little band.
Brown Bird is a Rhode Island duo made up of David Lamb and Morgan Eve Swain. I guess they could be considered a trio if you count Lamb’s incredible beard. The band’s sound reminds me of Murder By Death if only it had a lot more twang and Appalachian blue-grass influence. I listened to one song and I knew that I’d been hooked. Brown Bird is currently on tour opening for Trampled By Turtles. I will most definitely be at the show May 19th, at The Depot here in good ol’ SLC. Be sure to check out the band’s latest record Salt for Salt.
Maps And Atlases
Yet another band whose lead beard also wears a singer… Yeah. If you’ve been following indie music and haven’t heard of Maps and Atlases by now, you have to be living under a rock somewhere. I have been listening to this band since singer Dave Davison had just a little wee beard. Hailing from Chicago, Maps and Atlases started off playing in a more straight forward math vibe, but have moved into a pop version of their old selves. I will admit I am a math-rock junkie when done right. These dudes were it, the bee’s knees. While the sound has progressed away from the super technical and complicated compositions, the band have balanced their songs with catchy, clever rhythms. Maps and Atlases have just released their third LP, Beware and Be Grateful. This album is awesome. It simply sounds big; it sucks you in, spits you out and leaves you wondering how a band you know used to sound so different can leave you feeling so comforted by it’s progress. Make sure you get out from that dark place you have been hiding and check out this band’s entire catalog.
Maps and Atlases are on tour right this moment – Find a date near you here.
This UK born surfer/singer-songwriter is making some serious waves (I’m sure I wasn’t the first person to use that pun). Howard creates a sound in his debut album Every Kingdom that transcends the alt-folk genre and takes the listener on an adventure where you are easily lost in the unique, creative guitar stylings and sincere, slightly dark lyrics. The extremely catchy, yet eerie single “The Wolves” can be heard on community and college radio stations across U.S. The 24 year old Howard is wrapping up a slew of tour dates across the states including an appearance at SXSW and is slated to play this year’s Sasquatch! and Bonaroo Festivals.
Do yourself a favor and get a copy of Every Kingdom. Buy your parents a copy while your at it! They will love it guaranteed.
Here is a live vid of my favorite Ben Howard song “Under the Same Sun”.
Crash Of Rhinos
While it may be common knowledge to some, I was surprised to learn that a crash of rhinos refers to a group of that specific animal. Such as a pride of lions or a murder of crows. Nifty, Aye? Crash of Rhinos is a young and extremely energetic band who resides in the UK. It just so happens that I stumbled across this little jewel of a band while I was skimming through a math-rock compilation that featured one of my current favorite bands, This Town Needs Gus. I knew from first listen that this was a band for me. Crash Of Rhino’s debut LP Distal is an enjoyable ride through the excitement of a band’s initial desire to concur the world. It echoes the stylings of (the incendiary) Bear Vs. Shark, American Football (an overly used reference, I know), and Boys Night Out (if they were actually a good band, semi-kidding). It is fun, dynamic and in the end it leaves you wanting more. Distal does often bear the flaws of a first run at songwriting and composition, but in this case I would argue that is part of what makes it great. I am excited and hopeful for this band. I cannot wait to hear what they come out with next. If by chance they read this, a U.S. tour with This Town Needs Guns and a stop in Salt Lake City, UT wouldn’t hurt either.
You can download Distal for what you think it is worth here.
There once was a little, up and coming band whom I had fallen in love with. Envy On The Coast. Their first LP, Lucy Gray hit me at just the right time. It was dynamic, composed and evoked emotion from a the listener. Most importantly the boys were just straight up talented musicians. Envy overcame the dreaded curse of the sophomore album and released the very great and underrated album, Southern Comfort. However, citing pressures of the industry and creative differences they disbanded shortly after. I was pleased to learn that singer Ryan Hunter and singer/guitarist Brian Byrne had teamed with members of The Rivalry and The Dillinger Escape Plan to form NORTH KOREA. The band has released two EP’s with the titles The Basement Tapes Vol. I, and II. While both are good, there is a definite sense that the band is trying to dial in it’s sound bouncing between a more aggressive and progressive rock/metal sound to a nineties inspired alternative. My personal favorite track is “Deliver Me” which reminds me most of Envy On The Coast. What can I say? I’m sentimental. The band is currently entering the studio to work on their debut LP. I would venture to say that you could count on it being great and different from a lot of music out at the moment, so be sure to keep an eye out.
Disclaimer: We are not liable for your well-being or safety; although we love each and every one of you who read our fancy little site, we cannot be held accountable if you endure seizures, convulse or hallucinate due to over stimulation from any of the music recommended here. Please enjoy responsibly.