March is here, and we’ve got a fresh batch of new music to push you through the final stretch of winter.
Just like the flower buds and tree leaves getting ready to bloom this month, the artists we’re featuring in this issue seem to be on the verge of something special. We’re glad to share their music with you, and hope you can do your part in helping spread their music with all your friends. These are the musicians that really appreciate our support – the artists who deserve recognition but have so far slipped under the radar.
The Back of the Rack tracks have expired for this month, but you can still click the download arrow in the embedded tracks below. To download more great tracks click here and sign up on the most recent issue. Once a month we will send these tracks right to your inbox.
If you like a particular band or artist, take the minute to like them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, or support their live events. It’s the least we can do, as a thank you, for all their hard work.
Brasstronaut – Opportunity
Genres: pop, jazz, hip hop
Brasstronaut is a pop rock group that pushes things a bit farther. Mixing in some of increasingly popular electronica while varying things with hints of jazz, the six piece includes both a trumpeter and clarinetist. After extensively touring the U.S. In 2010, the group recently went back to the studio to record their new album, set to release this year.
Meet the Blue – Flux
Genres: math rock, indie
Those of you who fell in love with Battles’ Gloss Drop last year are in for a treat with Meet the Blue’s “Flux.” Darragh O’Sullivan and Paul Cosgrave have been playing together since they were twelve, back when they lived in Ireland. All about break neck speeds and danceable groves on this track, “Flux” showcases superb drumming and top notch timing.
Mike Mangione – You Don’t Wanna Leave
Genres: folk, rock
Mike Mangione, born in Des Plains Illinois, has spent his life all over the U.S. From Chicago to Los Angeles and back, Mangione knew the country well before he decided to pack all he owned into a van and started touring coffee houses. Since, he has put together a backing band, The Union, and has released two full length albums. Check out their most recent album, Offering, streaming for free on their website.
Backbeat Soundsystem – Navigate the Motivator
St. Austell, UK
Genres: reggae, funk
Backbeat Soundsystem is an eight-piece band looking to bring a groove to the dance floor with their funk-infused reggae style. With just two EP’s under their belt, the group has already caused a stir in their country, touring countless festivals and events. If you’re into groups like the John Butler Trio or Slightly Stoopid, Backbeat Soundsystem is right up your alley.
Andy Zipf – Reach is Wide
Genres: folk, americana
Singer/Songwriter Andy Zipf takes a lot of pride in promoting music at little to no charge. Often allowing free downloads of his albums — or pay-what-you-can pricing — Zipf has garnered the attention of multiple media outlets for his unique look on producing and distributing music. He’s touring the east coast all this month, so keep an eye out for a live show near you.
Wildcat! Wildcat! – End of the World Everyday
Los Angeles, California
Genres: pop, rock
California three-piece band Wildcat! Wildcat! are on the verge of something big. Sexy beats set the backdrop to whispering, angelic vocals on this track, one of just two released by the group, who are promising fans an album in the near future. Hop on the bandwagon now, before these guys blow up. It’s only a matter of time.
The Broken Lyre – I’m Waiting
Niagara Falls, Canada
Genres: pop, dance
Looking for the next beat to keep you moving? Check out indie-pop band The Broken Lyre, a four-man band that’s been making music together since an 8th grade talent show. Light it UP, their debut LP released less than a year ago, shows off the group’s talent for writing strong hooks and catchy riffs. Catch “I’m Waiting” here, a great introduction to the band’s style.
Drew Smith – Smoke and Mirrors
Genres: rock, blues
Drew Smith doesn’t leave a whole lot about himself on the internet. Search his webpage, his Facebook, or his Reverb Nation account — you won’t find much on the artist. What you will find is a lot of news on this track, which was even featured in the New York Times — mainly for the creative music video that followed, which was shot in India using Bollywood style dance routines and eclectic costumes.
Villa Kang – Hallucinating Arkansas
Genres: electronica, ambient
Consider yourselves among the first ever to hear Villa Kang, but don’t expect to be the last. This track was just released a couple weeks ago, and the Facebook page is only up to 51 likes — but with production this solid, that’s set to change soon. Head over to Villa Kang’s website fast, while you can still download a few more tracks by the group for free.
Flossed In Paradise – New Hope
Genres: electronica, chillwave
Alex French’s solo project Flossed in Paradise has just released a new EP, titled Hate, which can be streamed for free from the artist’s bandcamp page. The debut single, “New Hope,” follows in the steps of groups like Neon Indian, blending highly textured ambient pads with a muffled voice perfect for closing your eyes and relaxing.
Said the Whale – Heavy Ceiling
Genres: rock, pop-punk
Said the Whale is not taking it easy this year. Starting in just a few days, the band is going on a massive tour – first down the west coast, then across to the east coast, wrapping things up with a long leg up north in Canada. Heavy on slick hooks with synth accents, Said the Whale has been a grassroots effort five years in the making that’s about to take things up a notch..
About the Art Work
Art this month comes from Rob Williams, of http://www.robwilliamsdesign.com. With over ten years of experience in graphic design and art direction, Williams looks to tell stories through visual mediums. Rob Williams has worked with Men’s Journal and Nashville Scene, and we’re proud to display his work in this month’s Back of the Rack.
Remember, these artists are giving us their hard work for free, in the hopes that we’ll enjoy what we hear and support them in the future. If you’ve had fun listening, take the minute to show your support in whatever way you see fit. Every tweet and status update helps! We’ll see you all again come April.
Dean Goranites | Associate Editor