Welcome back to another issue of Back of the Rack, where we here at OurVinyl throw the spotlight on ten up-and-coming artists we think deserve your attention. This month we have the slow jam “S.W.P.W.” by Fresh Preserves, the punk rock anthem “Luzaville” by LazyTalk, and all sorts of good stuff in between.
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With that said, let’s get to the main event – here’s your May edition of Back of the Rack!
Great White Buffalo – “Thanks for Nothing”
Los Angeles, California
Genre: Rock, indie
Cited by Indie music blog Pigeons and Planes as one of Los Angeles “Top 10 Artists to Know,” Great White Buffalo is a four-piece indie rock group looking to make a big splash in 2013. GWB released their debut self-titled EP last year, produced and engineered by the Grammy-winning Phil Allen, who has worked with the likes of Adele and Aerosmith in the past. Drawing comparisons to The Strokes, The Kings of Leon and The Foo Fighters, Great White Buffalo hopes to expand their fan base this year with a string of tours across the United States.
LazyTalk – “Luzaville”
North London, England
Genre: Rock, punk, indie
England’s LazyTalk “formed through a love of proper tunes and frustration at plastic pop stars with no brains and no balls,” at least according to the group’s Reverb Nation page. Consisting of Peter Robinson on voals, Jack Wilson on guitar, Sam Woodward on drums, Joshua Culter on keyboard and sax and Tag Ara on bass, LazyTalk site a massive amount of artists as major influences, ranging from the Wu-Tang Clan to the Rolling Stones to Ray Charles. While their style wildly changes from song to song, “Luzaville” is mainly a punk/rock track — and an anthemic one at that.
KYLE – “Keep it Real”
Genre: Rap, hip hop, pop
19-year-old hip hop sensation KYLE recently released his newest single “Keep it Real,” and it immediately received a huge response from fans. Now only 70k views away from hitting the one million mark on YouTube, it’s safe to say that “Keep it Real” is a hit. KYLE’s flow – along with the beats he raps over — are primed for radio airplay, as the musician incorporates plenty of pop sensibility into his work. Easily accessible and instantly memorable, “Keep it Real” should get plenty of spins throughout the summer of 2013.
Tumbleweed Wanderers – “Worn Down Welcome”
San Francisco, California
Genre: Folk, rock, indie
Continuing our run of Californian artists this month, Tumbleweed Wanderers are brewers of wild folk concoctions, incorporating soul, funk, rock and more into their style. Since forming in July of 2011, Tumbleweed Wanderers have grown from putting on shows at local bars and coffee houses to selling out major Californian venues, including the Great American Music Hall. They continue to tour across the U.S. constantly, and released their debut LP, So Long, in July of 2012. It should be noted that the band is well known for their impromptu street performances as well – playing in front of unsuspecting pedestrians at a moment’s notice.
BETA – “Cassiopea II”
Cholula, Puebla, Mexico
BETA has been making music since 2003. Working relentlessly in the underground music scene, BETA would have enough support by 2005 to begin recording their debut LP, Revolver, though it wouldn’t be released until 2007. In 2009 the band would go back to the studio to record their second, self-titled album, released in 2011, their fan base growing exponentially all the while due to regular airplay on a number of prominent Mexican radio stations. The four-piece band has since been promoting their music via international tours, even including a pitstop at 2012’s Canadian Music Fest.
Swear and Shake – “These White Walls”
New York, New York
Genre: Folk, indie
Guitarist/banjoist/vocalist Adam McHeffey first met bandmate and guitarist/vocalist Kari Spieler while attending Purchase College in New York, attending one of Kari’s impromptu performances on campus in 2009. By their senior year the two were recording music together, and when Adam passed on their first recorded track “Johnnie” to lifelong friend Shaun Savage (bass,) the band was well on its way. Swear and Shake recorded their debut EP Extended Play, and when it came time for a follow-up, the group released Maple Ridge in 2012. Ben Goldstein, who produced the album, would hop on board as the band’s permanent drummer, and the group has since opened for the likes of G. Love and Speical Sauce and the Lumineers.
Pleather– “So Beautiful (Parker Ighile remix)”
Genre: electronica, house
Producer/writer/artist Parker Ighile made his name producing tracks for the likes of Rhianna and Nicki Minaj, as Ighile was the brain behind the singles “What Now” and “Hell Yeah,” respectively. Fellow producer Pleather has since placed his own stamp on Ighile’s track “So Beautiful,” turning the number into a dance-ready track fans have fallen in love with. With loads of arpeggio-laden synths and a bumping four-to-the-floor drum line backing the remix, Pleather’s rendition of “So Beautiful” is hard to resist.
Antonio//Paul – “Made in China”
Bunburty, Western Australia
Genre: Rock, indie
Marc Antonio and Michael Paul met in high school, and as far as first impressions are concerned, neither cared much for the other. Time would turn them into the best of friends, however, and they’ve been writing music together ever since. With fun and good times foremost on the duo’s agenda, Marc and Michael use their friendship to produce catchy, upbeat music that has since attracted large crowds. “Made in China” isn’t any different, offering an invigorating tempo and fun lyrics, showcasing what Antonio//Paul is all about.
Fresh Preserves – “S.W.P.W.”
Genre: Soul, hip hop
Fresh Preserves is more an artistic collective than a strict band, including artist/songwriters Hugh “Harlem” Brown and Michael Mack, Producer Brian Ovalles, and vocalists Kharla Williams and Christina Pallis. Mike Mack and High Brown would go through plenty through both their career and personal lives from 2008-2011, including having children, and losing loved ones. The two stayed on track and continued to focus on their music, however, and now seem to be in a better place than ever. Check out “S.W.P.W.,” or “Smoking With Pretty Women,” a smooth track with Frank Ocean-like overtones.
Old Man Canyon – “Phantoms and Friends”
Genre: indie, rock
Old Man Canyon released their debut EP just last month, available for free download on the group’s Bandcamp page. With mighty, overarching vocals, violins, keys, guitars, and more, “Phantoms and Friends” has all the traits of an epic, including a slow build-up that breaks down into a poetic finale fit for the final track of our issue. While the band formed just this year, their music portrays the maturity of a group that has been through plenty together – we can only hope that such a sound is the foreshadowing of a career set to take off.
Thanks for sticking with us to the end of another great issue of Back of the Rack. As always, please support your favorite artists from this and every issue by liking their Facebook pages, following them on Twitter, purchasing an album from their online stores, or best yet, visiting them live in concert.
Don’t forget to check back in next month, when we’ll have a fresh new batch of tracks waiting for your eager ears. We’ll see you then!
About the Artist: Ily Phelps is a graphic artist and illustrator living and working in Nashville, and has worked with OurVinyl’s Back of the Rack in a number of past issues.
Dean Goranites | Associate Editor