Here we are at the end of another year. It has been amazing ride, especially for those of us who work on this BotR feature. We only just started this monthly release in July, and with the current release, have been able to offer our readers over 60 free copies of new music from amazing artists all over the world.
As the guy who gets to go through all the submissions each month, I can honestly say some of the best music of the year can be found right here. Forget the over-produced garbage you hear on the radio every day. The level of talent that is out there just begging to be heard is astounding.
For those of you who have downloaded all six releases, I would love to know which artists you have fallen in love with because of BotR. I want to hear from you. Email me, Victor.Alfieri@ourvinyl.com, and tell me which songs over these last six months were your favorites and which artists did you go out and find more about. Let’s see who your new favorites are:
Below are your Back of the Rack tracks for December. To download these great tracks click here and sign up on the most recent issue. Once a month we will send these tracks right to your inbox.
The Turnback – Cellophane Sky
Location: New York, NY
Genre: Power Pop/Indie Rock
Members: Todd Giglio, Kenny Sherman, Barry Nagel, Roger Lipson
The Turnback bring solid vocal harmonies and an Indian feel with “Cellophane Sky.” It isn’t every day we get to mention the use of a sitar in a pop tune. The boys from New York have done very well with this song as they have had over 100,000 views for their video of this track on YouTube (http://youtu.be/cDBHcpHVebo).
Kris Korey – Never Enough
Location: Ontario, Canada
Members: Kris Korey
Close your eyes for a second as you start this song. Listen for the first ten or fifteen seconds and then tell me what decade you are in. Korey has revived the best of what we who lived in the 80’s called “New Wave.” With “Never Enough” you have a catchy tune reminiscent of The Cars and a chorus that you will be humming at some point while waiting on line at the bank or to get your next overpriced coffee.
Love In The Circus – Takes the Edge Off
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Members: Leanna Rachel, Chris Brickler, Curtis Cunningham, Eric Hargett, Cha Chi, The High Priestess, Leah Zeger
The vocals are smooth like chocolate…smooth to the point that if she asked you to cut off your arm, you’d look for a knife. The music is a buffet of theatrics, smooth jazz, alternative leanings and a slice of power for dessert. The icing on the cake is the killer work done by Eric Hargett on saxophone.
Max Jared – Unify
Location: Dallas, TX
Members: Max Jared
If you are a fan of Jack Johnson or John Butler, Max Jared is someone that should immediately be put on your radar. Following in the same vibe of fighting for the world using a guitar with a funk-style, Jared’s music is about opening eyes and uniting people for the simple purpose of living life.
Polyrhythmics – The Imposter
Location: Seattle, WA
Genre: Afro-Funk/World Beat
Members: Ben Bloom, Grant Schroff, Lalo Bello, Jason Gray, Nathan Spicer, Scott Morning, Art Brown, Elijah Clark
If you are one of those people who (like me) dig those funky instrumental tracks the Beastie Boys add to their albums, the Polyrhythmics are a band you need to know. They were awarded the “Best New Band in Seattle, 2011” by Seattle Magazine, which is no small feat as that town is a hot bed for new music. The blend of percussion, sweet bass line, 70’s guitar riff and the killer horns prove that these guys are the real deal.
Hark the Herons – New Start to Start
Location: Cambridge, Ontario, Canada
Genre: Indie Folk
Members: Kalyn Allan, Glenn Lavender
Our second act out of Ontario, Hark the Herons have cornered the market on “upbeat and catchy” with this tune. Kalyn Allan’s vocals wrap you up and suck you in with her first breath. Quirky in the world of a Feist or previous BotR artist Sidney York, you can feel the optimism as she sings. It is a good thing that long time friends Allan and Lavender decided to give it a go in 2009. This world needs more duos like this one.
Grimes – Crystal Ball
Location: Montreal, CA
Members: Claire Boucher
Boucher AKA Grimes bends styles, genres and minds with her unique style. There is a point in this track where you would expect to hear “That’s Not My Name!” Ting-Ting style. The beats are catchy and the vocals are quite distinct. The beats are catchy and will get you moving.
Bluejuice – Act Yr Age (Gigamesh Remix)
Location: Sydney, Australia
Members: Jake Stone, Stavros Yiannoukas, Jamie Cibej, Jerry Craib, James Hauptmann
This is a band you MUST go check out. The music is catchy, but it is the videos they make for them that are absolute gems. Take a few minutes and go to their website or YouTube to see what I mean. This remix was done by Gigamesh who has also done work with Radiohead and Foster the People. Bluejuice has found the perfect recipe for creating a hook an use it to perfection.
Benner Fields – Swede
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Members: Benner Fields, Simon Fishburn, Bill Williams, Nick Southcott
This song screamed out to me the first time I heard it. Imagine Ray Lamontagne with less sandpaper on the voice going back before his God Willing… album. The horns, the organ, the vocals…they all take you back to a different era. Fields has caught lightning in a bottle with this song. Every single piece, every note, every riff, every word…just works.
The Delta Halos – Stay With Me
Location: Medford, OR
Genre: Acoustic, Blues
Members: Kyle Cregan
Kyle Cregan wears his heart on his sleeve with this track as he asks his love to throw away everything and ignore the world for one night. The concept has been tried before; what guy has not tried this at least once? For those of us without guitars, the results were most likely not as good. Cregan has created a heartfelt tune that avoids feeling cliché.
About the Graphic Artist – Lauren Catherine De Franza – Lauren knew as a child that art was her passion and she has pursued it ever since. With an Honors program in Florence, Italy and work done for The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, it is obvious that the hard work has paid off. You can see samples of her work at http://www.seelaurendesign.com.
If you know any amazing artists that you think we should feature don’t hesitate to share. Please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment below.