This Week in the Entry: Oct 12, 2015


Playing upbeat but noisy indie rock with pop hooks and more than a slight grunge influence, Bully is a band from Nashville, Tennessee founded by vocalist, songwriter, and guitarist Alicia Bognanno. Originally from Rosemount, Minnesota, Bognanno didn’t show a great interest in music when she was young, and wasn’t an especially distinguished student, but while in high school, she discovered that her school offered elective courses through an alternative education center located at a nearby zoo, and one of the classes was in audio engineering. Bognanno signed on for the audio courses, and discovered she had a knack for working with recording gear, and was soon working up loops and beats for friends who liked hip-hop. The experience kick-started Bognanno’s desire to write and sing her own songs, and after finishing high school, while studying recording at Middle Tennessee State University, she began working on material and occasionally sat in with local musicians doing recording projects. After receiving her degree from MTSU, Bognanno landed an internship at Electrical Audio, the Chicago recording complex founded by outspoken recording engineer and musician Steve Albini. While Bognanno described the experience as “the most calming, welcoming comfortable environment for me to be in” and called Albini "maybe the smartest person I know,“ she was also short on money in an unfamiliar city where she had few friends. The circumstances prompted Bognanno to work on her songwriting, recording rough demos in her apartment in her rare spare time. When her internship was over, Bognanno settled in Nashville, and joined a power pop band called King Arthur while engineering at Battle Tapes Recording and handling live sound at music venue The Stone Fox. When Bognanno met up with drummer Stewart Copeland (not the former Police percussionist), she decided it was time to form a band of her own to make use of her backlog of personal songs, and with the addition of guitarist Clayton Parker and bassist Reece Lazarus, they formed Bully. Bully started playing out in mid-2013, and in April 2014, they released their first single, "Milkman” b/w “Faceblind.” By October 2014, the band had signed with Star Time International, an imprint of Columbia, which issued a five-song EP simply titled Bully. After steady touring in the United States and Europe (including festival appearances at Bonnaroo and Austin City Limits, and a string of dates opening for Best Coast), Bully’s debut album, Feels Like, was released on June 23, 2015. The album was recorded at Electrical Audio, with Bognanno helping to engineer the sessions. [All Music]

Sounds like: Strange Wilds, Wild Flag, Weezer


Minnesota rockers Chris Wald and Zach Gonet make up the two-fold rock group Homebrew. The band will be celebrating the release of their first EP at The Entry, with fellow local rockers Remo Drive, The Retakes, and Goodnight Gorillas as support.

Sounds like: Muse, The Dead Weather, Royal Blood


WEDNESDAY: The Underachievers Tour Afterparty - DEQUEXATRON Special Edition

As members of the Beast Coast movement, which includes Joey Bada$$, the Pro Era crew and Flatbush Zombies, The Underachievers are part of the new wave of rappers that have been coming out of New York. Rapper AK started rapping at 11 years old and his partner Issa Gold started 6 years ago. Raised together in Flatbush, Brooklyn, they established THE UNDERACHIEVERS in 2011 and have been creating music together ever since.

Join Bobby Raps and TIIIIIIIIIIP for the afterparty in The Entry after the Mainroom show, only $5 crossover from Mainroom.


Vacationer’s Relief, the Philadelphia group’s second LP, is clear in both title and intention. If Gone, the sunny electronic-pop act’s 2012 debut, was about escape – whether through travel, photography or toasted sonic bliss – Relief unspools the strings of our wound-up existence with a cinematic wallop of positivity-oozing pop.

A collaboration between Kenny Vasoli and Body Language’s Matthew Young and Grant Wheeler, Vacationer returns tighter and more powerful after spending the last two years touring with groups like Asteroids Galaxy Tour, Bombay Bicycle Club, The Naked And Famous, Tennis, and Niki And The Dove, as well as making numerous festival appearances. “Playing so many shows is probably our biggest influence on this album,” says Vasoli. “Being out there every night with our wonderful fans and on the road everyday with Matt making beats next to me led to a deeper, more immediate energy in our music.”

Relief, which was primarily recorded at Body Language’s Landau Audio Design (LAD) studio in Brooklyn over the last year, is Vacationer gone widescreen. The kaleidoscopic, sampledelic world that intoxicated fans on original singles like “Trip” is still there, but the orchestration has become more muscular and expansive. Lead single “The Wild Life” mixes the influence of The Beach Boys, J. Dilla and LCD Soundsystem into a sonic mai tai. Animal Collective meets Hollywood’s golden age on “Heavenly,” while “Paradise Waiting” catapults the soulful chop of De La Soul into a club-ready summer anthem. “Whether through love, exploration or relaxing, we all strive for relief,” says Vasoli. “It’s just a quick flip-of-the-switch away, and think it’s good to be reminded of that.”

Sounds like: Generationals, Reptar, Geographer


Welcome to 2015: the year of the wolf. Since their formation in 2008, the Bristolian riff-ragers have melted minds with their signature brand of patchouli-drenched punk rock fury. Their live rituals are the stuff of legend: a trapdoor into the cosmic beyond via the uncharted depths of your mind, sound-tracked by the red hot fuzz of crackling speakers and overloaded channels. After wrapping up a hugely successful last year, which included headlining Live Nation’s ‘Download Freezes Over’ tour as well as crushing stages with chart-toppers Royal Blood, the quartet are set to unleash second album Two Hands and excitement in the camp is infectious. […] “We just like cultivating great songs,” says Andy. “You know when a song comes on and you get a kick out of it – the structure’s right and everything clicks into the right place. Whether it’s pop or strange old acoustic ’70s folk stuff. It’s more about writing great music. The way we think about it is like a project of seeing how far we can push stuff, always trying to do something different, going against the grain purposefully. If we do something that sounds too much like something else… we do something else! It’s almost like a scientific experiment to see what is left in rock music that doesn’t sound like it’s already been done!” […] It’s another slice of recognition for a band whose ongoing quest has been to push against everything in the search for their own space… “We’re only really conscious of what we’re doing,” reflects Chris, “and we’re fortunate in being able to play in a lot of scenes, because our music is a marriage of all sorts of stuff. We used to go on stage at 3am at these electronica club nights in Bristol; everyone would be off their heads on all kinds of stuff and go wild ‘cause it was different but had that same pumping sound. We became that weird band you’d put on when everyone was fucked up. That’s where we come from…” And there we have it. 2015. The Year of the Wolf. Or as they once were known, “that weird band you’d put on when everyone was fucked up”.

Sounds like: Black Moth, ASG, The Shrine


First Avenue will be crawling with zombies. Local acts Dumpster Juice, Impaler, Witchden, and Mastiff will be dishing out some terrifying metal rock tunes in The Entry.

Formed in 1990 in Uptown Minneapolis. Tom Duclos & Chris Rowland - knowing in advance the name “Dumpster Juice” would never leave the memory or taste buds of anyone who had ever stumbled across the stuff - called upon drummer John Bigelow. After consulting with Duclos & Rowland over large quantities of alcohol the decision was made to hold an abrupt practice at Bigelows brother Kevin’s Uptown apartment. Duclos, Rowland, John Bigelow & Kevin Bigelow became Dumpster Juice. In June 1992 drummer Todd Petterson answered an ad Dumpster Juice left at the drum shop he just happened to be working at and within a week Todd learned the entire collection.

Impaler celebrated their 31st year of Shock Rock in 2014, releasing their 12th album, 30 Years & Rising, the previous year. Impaler is a Minnesota horror rock band from the Twin Cities. The band formed in the spring of 1983 with founding members Bill Lindsey (vocals), Michael James Torok (guitar), “Commander” Court Hawley (bass), Robert “Meaty Bob” Johnson (drums), and Mike Senn (guitar). Bill Lindsey is the sole continuing member of Impaler, keeping the band alive for more than 30 years. Impaler has a theatrical show which features fake blood, cages, coffins, latex severed heads and a finale that includes a mock disemboweling of victims. Impaler recorded demo tapes which caught the ear of Important Record Distributors and lead to the band being signed to the in-house labels IRD Records and Combat Records. They released two records with these labels, the first being the Rise Of The Mutants EP (1985), which caused much controversy with Tipper Gore and her P.M.R.C. organization. The record cover was also used as a prop in the cult horror movie Trick or Treat.

Witchden formed in July of 2010 after singer Jason Micah, and drummer Jeff Moen got in contact about a possible project. Micah brought guitarist Adam Alexander Rivkin into the group and Moen asked bassist Andrew Green join. The foursome wrote their first song during their initial jam session. In May 2012, Witchden added guitarist Dinis deCarvalho.


It has been a year of self-discovery for Tyler Ward. A year of change, of introspection and an incredible journey both personally and professionally. In the fall of 2015, Ward will embark on the Yellow Boxes Tour. Why title a tour Yellow Boxes? Because this year, Ward will unpack all the changes he has made and the new perspective he is bringing to his music. It has been a year that has birthed not one, but two new EPs and a worldwide tour. Although this will be his fifth worldwide headlining tour, it will be his first as a solo acoustic artist. The tour will bring an intimate look into the world he has been creating his entire career. Known since 2010 as a social media pioneer, Ward continues to use the familiar formula that has made him such a fan favorite but is now expanding his horizons and exploring different ways of reaching out and connecting with his community. Most of Ward’s early songs were performed and produced in his parents’ basement, which he later turned into a proper recording space. Nowadays, he produces most of his music on the road as well as in his Los Angeles, Nashville and Colorado recording studios. Ward has spent time as number five on Billboard’s Top 100 Uncharted List and was also ranked on Billboard’s Social 50 Chart for several weeks. Additionally, Ward coined the phrase “Social Media Artist’ - which accounts for all full-time musicians making a living through online platforms. This business has been considered the "future of the music industry.” Ward is one of the pioneers of selling and streaming cover songs, legally, on iTunes and Spotify that has established the ability for other artists to collect advertising revenue through streaming monetization. If you have seen Ward in the past you know what a showman he is on stage. The Yellow Boxes tour promises more of the same. It will be more have more insights into an artist who is passionate about and continues to blaze the trail for those around him.

Sounds like: Boyce Avenue, Ron Pope, Alex G

Blog by Gina Reis

Tickets on sale this week: October 9, 2015

This Week at the Turf Club - Oct 6, 2015


Chad Valley’s last album, Young Hunger, was a bucolic exercise in beachside ’80s jams that featured kindred spirits like Twin Shadow, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, and Glasser, a Bermuda Triangle of artists that the singer and synth-master (real name Hugo Manuel) settles comfortably within. He’s following that up with his sophomore LP, Entirely New Blue, which arrives October 2 via Cascine. It’s a bit more of an introspective effort this time around, written between Manuel’s time in London with his girlfriend and his move to Oxford after they broke up. “True,” the first single off the record, shades his voice with a little Auto-Tune. A thumping four-on-the-floor beat pulses brighter than his earlier work, as if freedom from relationship blinders has opened his already neon-hued genre palette. [SPIN]

Sounds like: Tanlines, Craft Spells, Kisses


A thoughtful lyricist taking his poetic inspiration, songcraft ideas, and even a few fashion cues from Bob Dylan, Ezra Furman sings in a nasally style similar to the Violent Femmes' Gordon Gano while making unpretentious indie folk/indie pop that's raw, deep, and achingly sentimental. As students of Tufts University, guitarist Jahn Soon, bassist Job Mukkada, and drummer Jordan Kozer formed the Harpoons as Furman's backing band in 2006 and self-recorded Beat, Beat, Beat in their dorm rooms with the help of engineer Dave Kant of Outtake Records. After self-releasing a limited run of the album and taking their first tour of the States, producer Brian Deck (Modest Mouse, Iron & Wine) took notice and pulled the band into the studio to record. The result was Banging Down the Doors, a sincere, awkward, and moving debut released by Minty Fresh in August of 2007. Only a year later, despite extensive touring, Furman found time to write another album's worth of material and the second Ezra Furman & the Harpoons record, Inside the Human Body, was released in October of 2008. Mysterious Power followed in 2011 before Furman released his first solo album, Year of No Returning, in 2013. By 2014, his reputation in the indie world had grown considerably, especially in Britain, leading to his signing with the London-based Bella Union label later that year. His second solo release, Perpetual Motion People, was released the following summer in June 2015. [All Music]

Sounds like: Courtney Barnett, Father John Misty, The Decemberists


Nuns, the enigmatic solo project of multi-instrumentalist Hank Hanewinkel III, sprang to life in a flash of songwriting inspiration on a cold December 2012 night in Nashville, TN. As it turns out, the 24-year old had no plans whatsoever to begin writing a solo record that night. But when the muse speaks, it’s usually best to listen carefully. That’s exactly what he did. It’s not that Hanewinkel was unprepared for such an occasion…most of his life has been immersed in music. It started early for the Broken Arrow, OK, native. Growing up in a tight-knit family of performers, Hanewinkel received years of solid rock’n’roll training from his father, a music producer. He was introduced to drums at the ripe old age of two. By 10, he took an interest in guitar. Soon after, he started writing his own songs. Several years later, Hanewinkel formed a power trio, The Red Alert, with his sister and uncle. They eventually went on to win the national John Lennon Educational Tour Bus Battle of the Bands, which landed them a slot on the Warped Tour. After enduring The Red Alert’s untimely demise in 2011 and experiencing some life-altering relationship woes, Hanewinkel stopped writing songs for an entire year. He opted instead to keep his head down and play drums for several Tulsa area bands…letting music and life come to him at its own unpredictable pace instead of chasing it down. His songwriting sabbatical ended, however, during a much-needed vacation to visit some friends in Nashville. As Hanewinkel describes it, a guitar found its way into his hands and his creative floodgates simply re-opened…with a vengeance. It was a true “out of the blue” experience for him. The music flowed like a torrent. By the time Hanewinkel entered his father’s recording studio in Feb. 2013 to begin tracking what would eventually become Nuns’ gorgeous, psychedelic 10-song debut release, Opportunities, most of the record was already written. During mixing sessions for the release, Hanewinkel passed some early demos to Tulsa label Passive Recordings, who eagerly signed Nuns to their roster. Passive released Opportunities on vinyl and digital formats in May 2014. [Jarrod Gollihare]

Sounds like: Swmrs, No Noise, Daddy Issues


The Joy Formidable are an indie rock band formed in 2007 in North Wales, United Kingdom, currently located in London, England. The group members are Ritzy Bryan (vocals, guitar), Rhydian Dafydd (bass, backing vocals), and Matt Thomas (drums). Their music has been described as "primal epic grunge rock à la The Breeders, Arcade Fire and Yeah Yeah Yeahs". Vocalist/guitarist Ritzy Bryan and bassist Rhydian Dafydd originally played together as part of indie rock band Tricky Nixon, which later reformed into a new wave/post-punk band Sidecar Kisses. In 2007 they regrouped on returning to Mold, Wales and formed The Joy Formidable, with Justin Stahley now on drums. The Joy Formidable released their debut single, "Austere", on 7" through Another Kitchen Records on 18 August 2008. "Austere" was followed with a second single, a limited edition double 7" physical release of "Cradle" on Try Harder Records on 2 February 2009. In 17 February 2009, the band issued an 8-track mini album A Balloon Called Moaning on Pure Groove Records. In support of the record the band appeared at several notable festivals, including Latitude Festival, Reading Festival and Leeds Festival during which time Justin Stahley was replaced on the drums by Matthew Thomas. In May 2009, they issued the single, "Whirring", on 7" through Friends Vs Records, which was BBC Radio 2's Radcliffe and Maconie Show's Pick of the Week for the week of 11 May 2010. At the end of 2009, The Joy Formidable released a free digital-only single "Greyhounds in the Slips", produced by and featuring ex-Mansun frontman Paul Draper and a limited edition live album entitled First You Have To Get Mad on 30 November 2009, which had been recorded at their headline London Garage gig two months previously. The band also notably toured the UK with Editors and Passion Pit. On 26 June 2010, they supported Paul McCartney at Cardiff's Millenium Stadium. The very next day, the band performed an opening set on the Other Stage at the Glastonbury Festival 2010. They also toured as part of the 2010 NME Radar Tour, supported by Chapel Club, Flats and Wilder. Another single entitled "Popinjay" was released through iTunes Store on 21 February 2010, ahead of a physical release on 5 April 2010. In 11 October 2010, The Joy Formidable issued the single "I Don’t Want To See You Like This". In 24 January 2011, The Joy Formidable released their debut studio album The Big Roar on Atlantic Records. The album was very favorable received by critics. The Big Roar was preceded by the re-issue of the single "Austere". []

Sounds like: Big Pink, Tokyo Police Club, We Were Promised Jetpacks

SATURDAY: THE SURF DAWGS “Album #6 CD Release Party”

The Surf Dawgs are a Rock Instrumental band (despite the word Surf in the band’s name) from Minneapolis, Minnesota. They have been performing in the upper Midwest area since 2001 featuring Zippy Caplan of the Cult garage band The Litter on Lead Guitar and, when available, Bob Spalding of The Ventures also on Lead Guitar. Following the 2001 release of Zip’s solo CD Zip Caplan and Cast of Thousands “Monsters and Heroes”, the co-producer of the CD, Bernie "Bombers” Bomberg, joined with Zip to form a vintage style instrumental group that paid tribute to the Rock instrumental classics of the 1950’s and 1960’s in addition to their own interpretation of other classic Rock songs from that era and beyond. []

Sounds like: Martin Cilia, The Challengers, Urban Surf Kings

SUNDAY: BAUMHAUS V - A Night of Improvised Minimal Techno with tiny deaths + friends

tiny deaths is poised to be the next breakout act from Minneapolis, a city rich in talent (having birthed the likes of Polica and Gayngs in the past few years). Sounding simultaneously almost familiar and yet like nothing else, Grant Cutler (Lookbook, Wolflords) and Claire de Lune (The Chalice) have joined forces to create a fresh take on the dark, brooding electropop movement currently dominating indie rock. After almost crossing paths time and time again, it was a chance meeting two years ago at a show Cutler’s band was playing in an underground art loft in Minneapolis’ warehouse district that began the symbiotic musical relationship that would become tiny deaths. “I stumbled upon the first song of their set and I was completely blown away,” de Lune recalls. “Grant’s style was just the kind of music I’ve been dying to make forever—I just didn’t know there was anyone in this city making it.” [...] Cutler, having relocated to Brooklyn after making the record and ever the prototypical reclusive producer, prefers to stay behind the scenes, so the pair amassed an all-star band to bring the songs to life. Accompanying de Lune on the vocals at the live shows are Jared Isabella and Aaron Baum of Night Moves (Domino Records) on drums and guitar, respectively, and renowned Twin Cities stalwart Ben Clark of Votel on bass. The result is a sexy, shimmering collage of color and texture, a refreshing blend of the electronic and the analog, the peripheral and the tangible. In this way, tiny deaths’ live show is a dichotomy. It’s something you can move to, with bass that pulses through your whole body. But lyrically it’s delicate and introspective, and the vocals are so arresting, you could just as easily wind up so awestruck you’re motionless. Challenging yet accessible, veering into experimental with both feet planted firmly in pop sensibility, tiny deaths, though influenced by its Minneapolis roots, has all the makings of something bigger than this little “city of lakes” can contain.

Sounds like: Rose Quartz, Break Fast, New Shack


Rugged, raspy, and roaring with charisma, Ben Caplan’s voice is to song as smoke is to bourbon: perfectly coupled. He is a songwriter and performer who is bold in both range and ferocity. The music is fueled by a quality of melodrama and powerful lyricism that sets Caplan apart from his peers. Either solo or backed by his band, The Casual Smokers, Ben Caplan has captured the attention of music fans and media across Canada, Australia, and throughout Europe. Ben Caplan is supported by upright bass, drums, Eastern European inspired strings, and occasionally horns. Ben himself moves between guitar and piano, marking his place in the world’s music landscape with an outrageous musicality and a growling spirit. Besides writing and recording, Ben Caplan is almost perpetually on tour, having played more than 1000 shows since the release of his debut album in late 2011. His songs, his voice, his humor, and his charm collude to create a rhapsodically energetic live show – an elegant cacophony drawing fans in ever widening circles. On the strength of his debut album, In The Time of the Great Remembering, Ben Caplan won numerous Canadian awards, including Nova Scotia’s 2012 Entertainer of the Year and the East Coast Music Award for Rising Star Recording of the Year for 2013. He’s shared stages with acts ranging from Grizzly Bear and Dirty Projectors to The Staves and Blondie. In addition to his 1000+ club shows, He’s played major festivals around the world including the UK’s Glastonbury in 2013. In 2015, Ben Caplan will continue to break new ground with dates planned across North America and around the world. His highly anticipated second album, Birds with Broken Wings, is prospected to be released internationally in late spring/early summer of 2015.

Sounds like: Steve Smyth, Willie Stratton, I Am Oak

Blog by Gina Reis

This Week in the Entry: Oct 5, 2015


Born in Huntsville, Alabama in 1991 and raised in the south side of Chicago, MC/poet Mick Jenkins (whose real first name is Jayson) made an impact in the early 2010's Chicago hip-hop scene with his socially conscious, intelligent lyrics and tough yet unforced delivery over acid jazz-influenced backing tracks. Affiliated with hip-hop crew Free Nation, Jenkins began releasing online mixtapes in 2012, starting with The Mickstape in January and followed by The Pursuit of HappyNess: The Story of Mickalascage in August. Trees & Truths, an ambitious 17-track mixtape filled with Biblical imagery and demonstrating Jenkins' remarkable growth as a lyricist, appeared in April of 2013 and significantly raised his profile within the Chicago rap community, and later in the year, Jenkins collaborated with Chance The Rapper and Von a single called "Cross Roads." Jenkins received national attention for The Wave(s), his 2014 mixtape which featured guest appearances by Statik Selektah and Joey Bada$$. This led to a support slot on a fall 2014 tour with Method Man, Redman, and Cypress Hill's B Real, followed by tours with Kirk Knight, Joey Bada$$, and STWO in 2015. Jenkins signed to Cinematic Music Group in 2015, releasing an EP titled Wave(s) in August while working on his official full-length debut, The Healing Component. [All Music]

Sounds like: Action Bronson, ProbCause, Isaiah Rashad

STWO (pronounced 'Stew') is a 21-year-old producer from Paris, France who has joined taste making Los Angeles label Soulection. He first wowed us his original track, 'You', then followed it up with a three track debut EP, Moans that has garnered hundred's of thousands of plays, and attention from taste making blogs across the internet. With only a short time of producing under his belt, he has now impressed his quickly growing fan base with the newest masterpiece, his EP Beyond via Live For The Funk. The EP has collectively received almost half a million plays, and has proven to listeners that STWO has some real talent. Not only can STWO please our ears from his SoundCloud account, but also has a live set that will leave you with your hands in the air and your jaw on the floor. STWO plans to take his smooth sounds to fans all over the world. []

Sounds like: Atu, Branchez, Omn


The duo behind the budding group, Jeremy Lloyd and Gongol, creates something undeniably sexy, combining hard-hitting, minimal beats with the saxophone that recalls the playful seduction of the 1920s. Perhaps if Ella Fitzgerald, James Blake, Banks, Wild Belle and Jay Gatsby somehow had a collective baby, that child would be Marian Hill. [...] Llyod's background in music theatre from Yale University and Gongol's in music business from New York University provide them with the technical skills they need to differentiate themselves from the quickly saturating pool of electronic R&B artists. They understand the mechanics of weaving together sounds from different generations. The result is as delicious as it is refreshing. "At the core of it, for Sam and I, we're always making sure that there's this really solid song at the center of it," Llyod said. "Basic chords, melody, lyrics but there's a song there that stands on its own and could be covered and exists as a song which is basically ... the crux of what I was studying in school." [Huffington Post]

Sounds like: Alina Baraz, Anna of the North, Oh Wonder


Shamir Bailey (born c. 1994), better known by his stage name Shamir, is an American singer and songwriter from Las Vegas, Nevada. His début EP, Northtown (June 2014) was followed in 2015 by a full-length album, Ratchet. Shamir is known for his androgynous countertenor voice. wrote that his singing voice, "like Joplin's, stops you in your tracks." Shamir has said that he doesn't mind having his voice described as androgynous, but notes that 'countertenor' is the correct term: "It's not feminine, it's not masculine. It's a happy medium … I feel like if the world was more like that, our problems would be gone." Critic Jamieson Cox, writing for Pitchfork Media, wrote: "With a piercing countertenor somewhere between Prince masquerading as Camille and the cracking adolescent soul of the teenage Michael Jackson, the 19-year-old North Las Vegas native dismantles the expectations maintained for vocalists based on their gender, demanding instead that the focus be placed on his agile, fluttering performance." Shamir's style has been described as a distinctive mix of disco and funk with hints of pop "laced with old skool house". Life & Soul has described him as "a dynamic young artist who successfully adopts the craft of his musical heroes Michael Jackson and Prince." []

Sounds like: Hannah Diamond, Braids, East India Youth


Montreal quartet Ought began in 2011, taking heavy cues from their city's thriving scene of underground politics, loft parties, and D.I.Y. culture. Composed of singer/guitarist Tim Beeler, bassist Ben Stidworthy, keyboardist Matt May, and drummer/violinist Tim Keen, the band melded unlikely influences from both high-energy mid-'90s emo bands and airy, early college rock acts like The Feelies and Talking Heads. The bandmembers all lived together in a shared apartment/practice space, self-recording their first EP, New Calm, in 2012. They played frequently in Montreal, eventually catching the ear of indie label Constellation, which released their debut full-length album, More Than Any Other Day, in the spring of 2014. They returned with a four-track EP, Once More With Feeling, released in October of the same year. The group's second album, Sun Coming Down, appeared in September of 2015.

Sounds like: Viet Cong, Ex Hex, Speedy Ortiz


"We were never happy just making music on acoustic guitars," says Tom Howie of the organic-electronic sound of Bob Moses, the Brooklyn-by-way-of-Canada duo he formed with partner Jimmy Vallance. "Our live show combines what a DJ does with a rock band," Vallance adds. "Everything flows together in a continuous mix for the dancefloor, but it's all our own original music, with live vocals and guitar. Then again, we came out of a scene that was trying to change what dance music is – that pushed beyond the expected sonic spectrum." That scene grew around the Marcy Hotel – the revered venue that, in its half decade of existence, proved as important for New York's contemporary underground dance/electronic music world as CBGBs was for the ‘70s punk era. The acclaimed likes of Soul Clap, Wolf + Lamb, and Nicolas Jaar all gravitated around Marcy's infamous parties, reimagining dance music in their own groundbreaking image. [...] Bob Moses received its oddball moniker from Francis Harris in homage to Robert Moses, the urban planner behind iconic New York landmarks like Shea Stadium and the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. But while NYC is definitely in Bob Moses' DNA, its members actually met as high school students in Vancouver, Canada. The pair reunited randomly years later when, bumping into each other in a Lowe's parking lot, they discovered they had studios across the street from each other in Brooklyn's Red Hook neighborhood. Howie had arrived there after a stint at Boston's Berklee College of Music, on a partial scholarship as a singer-songwriter. Vallance, meanwhile, had found some success as a producer/engineer/DJ creating commercial dance music – his remix of Sia's "Buttons" brought him some early attention – but "I'd fallen out of love with making cheesy big-room tracks," he laughs. "We booked a couple days to write at my studio for fun, and by the end of the week, I told Tom, ‘Come live at my place and let's do this every day.'" Bob Moses is currently crafting its debut album for the group's new label, Domino. That's preceded by a new EP, First to Cry: taking its title from Bob Moses' blues-meets-deep-house take on "I Ain't Gonna Be the First to Cry" by R&B legend Bobby ‘Blue' Bland, it marks Bob Moses as a characteristic addition to Domino's maverick stable. "We're massive fans of Domino artists like Four Tet, Caribou, Hot Chip, and Animal Collective, so it just seemed like a natural home for us," Vallance says. "We feel lucky to be starting this relationship – it's a big new world." 

Sounds like: Frank & Tony, Desert Sound Colony, Francis Harris

Caleb and Will Chapman, sons of contemporary Christian pop superstar Steven Curtis Chapman, began making music with friend Scott Mills in 2009, forging a bright indie rock sound influenced by alt-rock legends like U2 as well as more contemporary influences such as Cold War Kids. The trio initially went by the name Caleb, but changed their handle to Colony House in 2013, borrowing the name from an apartment complex in their home of Franklin, Tennessee, where all three musicians had lived at one time or another. Colony House worked feverishly to self-release three EPs before the 2014 issue of their debut full-length, When I Was Younger. [All Music]

Sounds like: Paper White, Young Rising Sons, Knox Hamilton

COIN proudly call themselves a “product of the ’90s”. A borrowed nostalgia for the decade that isn’t uncommon among Nashvillians. COIN hasn’t adopted the detached smugness and angst often associated with ’90s alt acts and contemporary ’90s alt revival acts. They are entirely devoid of ironic, tongue‐in-cheek rock n’ roll posturing or odes to the joys of slackerdom. Instead, lead singer, keyboardist, and lyricist Chase Lawrence opts for earnest songs about actual human emotions: falling in (and out of) love, worrying about the future, and missing the past. It’s the same brand of wide-‐eyed sincerity found on Pet Sounds—just replace the theremin with a microKORG and the harpsichord with guitarist Joe Memmel’s crisp Telecaster lines. Their songs are hopeful, but behind the spring reverb and airy synths, there’s subtle regret and even morbidity. They’ve recently released their debut album, recorded in Nashville with producer Jay Joyce (Cage the Elephant, Sleeper Agent, Eric Church, Emmylou Harris, Little Big Town). The album is guitar driven and sonically mature, but still true to their synthpop sensibilities.

Sounds like: Cheerleader, CRUISR, Wild Party


With his violent shock of vertical curls, three-piece suit and excitable roguish charm, Fraser A Gorman cuts a striking figure. Similarly, the music the 23-year-old Melbourne-based singer-songwriter makes stands out amidst any scene or sound. Fraser was born in Torquay, a suburban outpost of Geelong, the large coastal city an hour’s drive from his relocated Melbourne digs. The high-school year below his pal Stu Moore from King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard, Geelong is the sometime home to much of Australia’s motor industry, and like its American cousin Detroit has become something of a hot-bed for talented young ne’er-do-wells without much else to keep them out of trouble. Like most aspiring Geelong creatives, Fraser eventually migrated to Victoria’s cooler capital city. In Melbourne, Fraser signed to Courtney Barnett's label Milk! Records and later joined her at London-based label Marathon Artists. A limited edition vinyl of single 'Book Of Love' will be released between both labels in 2015. []

Sounds like: Best Girl Athlete, FOSSA, Little Mountain

Blog by Gina Reis


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