Hello and welcome to the August issue of Back of the Rack. As always, we have combed through countless hours of new music in search of the catchiest, freshest tracks to bring directly to you. From folk to hip hop, electronica to indie rock, we’ve got all the bases covered – especially this month, one of our most varied yet.
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That should be just about enough introduction. Let’s dive right in.
Whitehorse – “Devil’s Got a Gun”
Genre: folk, indie
Husband and wife duo Luke Doucet and Melissa McClelland are the minds behind Whitehorse, a band rooted in traditional folk, but unafraid to take risks. McClelland’s vocals are engrossing, her voice caressing listeners into sharing her emotions of regret, nostalgia, hope, and more. Luke Doucet provides the instrumentation to propel his wife’s tale, which sewn together creates a beautiful atmosphere steeped in the feelings that come with the journeyman lifestyle.
Mikhael Paskalev – “I Spy”
Genre: pop, indie, folk, gospel
Mikhael Paskalev thrives off of the raw energy created by their music. A six-piece band creating circus-like thrills with their six strings, trumpets, and more, the group’s flair and passion is contagious, inducing impromptu body-grooving – you’ve be warned, those of you sneakily listening at work. For everyone else, feel free to turn this song up nice loud and hop out of your chair to dance. Better yet, check out Mikhael Paskalev live – that’s where the real action and thrills are.
Exsonvaldes – “L’aérotrain”
Genre: rock, pop
Exsonvaldes gives listeners all the catchiness of 80′s pop, with none of the cheesiness. While that’s a tough feat to pull off, the Paris-based band makes it seem easy. Propelled by a head-bobbing kick-drum-punching beat, the rest of the four piece group are free to go wild with hook-laden guitar riffs and rock solid bass lines. Don’t be turned off by the foreign language, English speakers – Exsonvaldes ability to speak through the music is more than a fulfilling listen, even if you aren’t quite sure of the specific words.
Lauderdale – “Dressed Like the Devil”
Muscle Shoals, Alabama
Genre: Americana, country, indie
Five-piece band Lauderdale call Muscle Shoals, Alabama home, though Florida may have been your first guess. Their sound reflects the former, the southern influences found in Americana and country soaked into the band’s music, including the track featured here, “Dress Like the Devil.” Formed in 2005, Lauderdale’s lead vocalist Niles Lee can send shivers down your spine with his work, and the rest of the groups chops certainly aren’t lacking either. “Dressed Like the Devil” is enchanting – the name of the song suggests that’s not a coincidence.
Aloha Screwdriver – “Doom Buggy Hellride”
Genre: surf, rock
Aloha Screwdriver went after a sound, and they’ve nailed it – producing some of the best in surf rock on the scene now. An often forgotten about but rich genre, surf rock instantly gives listeners the thrill of being under a huge wave, without any of the risks. Aloha Screwdriver’s “Doom Buggy Hellride” provides just that thrill, the song’s title a perfect match for the excitement, danger, and adventure found in the song’s three minute adrenaline rush. The perfect compliment to a day of thrill seeking and energy drinks, “Doom Buggy Hellride” is a pure blast of fun.
The Bottlecap Boys – “East to West”
Genre: folk, Americana, country
The Bottlecap Boys are an invigorating jolt in folk music. While many others experimenting in the genre are opting to try and create more serious music with the recent successes of artists like Bon Iver and Mumford and Sons, The Bottlecap boys aren’t afraid to stay on the playful side, even if their lyrics touch on more serious topics. Their take feels more light hearted, and in effect, inviting, like on the track featured here, “East to West.” The song almost begs listeners to sing along, or at least clap hands to the beat. Don’t be afraid to follow that impulse!
Melon and the Mayhem – “Fireworks”
East Nashville, Tenessee
Genre: blues, rock
A trio based just around the corner from the OurVinyl offices, Melon and the Mayhem’s “Fireworks” feels almost like a lullaby, as vocalist, pianist, and guitarist Mary Ellen Klein’s voice croons gently over the track, inducing feels of calm and tranquility. Somewhat sadly, the topics touched in “Fireworks” aren’t as angelic, as the pain of a loved-one leaving are explored and expressed. The despair in the lyrics are balanced beautifully by the hope in Klein’s voice, and bandmate’s Clay Golden and Nelson Icenhower’s instrumentation.
Magic Man – “Texas”
Providence, Rhode Island
Genre: synth, rock, pop, indie
Alex, Daniel, Justine, Nolan, and Sam put Magic Man together back in late 2009, dubbing themselves “a triumphant synth-rock band from Providence, Rhode Island.” The released their three-track effort “The Fox Den Demos” this past May, featuring “Texas” as their lead single. It’s a good choice, as the track’s lead synth catches listeners immediately as drums build up to the first verse. The vocals bathe in a healthy dose of reverb along with the guitar work, giving vibes of memories of a beautiful sun drenched summer day.
The Dwells – Queensbury Shuffle
Genre: folk, americana
The Dwells consist of duo Page Califano and Matthew Bean, who, as the story goes, met on a roof top one hot fourth of July, in the crowded streets of Boston. Before they knew it, they were back inside with notebooks and a guitar, working on a mutual passion. Night turned to daylight, and the duo continued crafting their sound, until the developed what they like to call neo-Americana, cosmic folk – or cosmic Americana, for short. The duo released their debut album May 27th this year, and continue to grow in the Boston music scene.
Corey Kilgannon – “Let Go”
Genre: indie, country
Corey Kilgannon’s “Let Go” is the title track of his album of the same name. The album can be purchased here where you can name your own price. All proceeds are being donated to build water wells in Haiti – so if you like what you hear, go donate! “Let Go” as a single is a great introduction to the album, as Kilgannon’s smooth voice covers the feelings of moving on and starting new chapters. Listeners can hear Kilgannon’s honesty and sincerity bleed true throughout the track, as guitar work backs Corey’s vocals harmoniously – it’s a real treat.
It looks like we’ve reached the end of another awesome batch of new songs. Hopefully, they’ll provide just the soundtrack needed to wrap up your summer. Don’t forget to check out your favorite artists featured on social media, or better yet, purchase their albums and go see them live! It’s our support that keeps this train rolling, so support your favorites.
We’ll be back next month to reload your playlist with more music. See you then!
Dean Goranites | Associate Editor