Hey everyone, thanks for checking out another issue in our monthly Back of the Rack series. Every month, we here at OurVinyl pick out ten to twelve of our favorite new tracks to share with you. From indie rock to folk, hip hop to blues, we cover it all.
Click below to download this month’s mixtape!
This month, we have singles from Neon Lion, Red Wanting Blue, I Am Machi, and more. Sit back, relax, and have fun discovering some of the best new music of this new year.
Dogcatcher — “Lay Back Down”
Mountain View, California
Genre: indie rock, soul
Earlier this month we featured Dogcatcher in our Song of the Day column, and we couldn’t resist including them here as well. Brewing up a unique blend of jazz, soul, indie rock and folk, Dogcatcher acknowledges the band’s varied backgrounds as their inspiration. Check out “Lay Back Down” here, featured off of It’s Easy, the band’s sophomore and most recent album.
Neon Lion — “Devil Woman”
Mexico City, Mexico
Founders and bandmates Rod Splendor, Xavier Hunter and Pierre Wolfgang set out to put together a band that would “create sincere, traditional rock and roll.” That goal’s been reached and exceeded, as the Mexico City based trio has found tremendous success off of their second release since getting together in 2010, titled Revolt. While Neon Lion isn’t leading the pack in innovation, that was never their intent. They are, however, putting together some of the best, true rock and roll music being produced today.
I Am Machi — “Dance Like a Russian Sailor”
Genre: rock, indie
Jileane and Nathan, better known as I Am Machi, first joined forces in 2008, back when, along with a few other family members, they formed their first band, A Little Project. Three years later, A Little Project would go their separate ways to pursue other life dreams – except for Jileane and Nathan, who would fall in love, get married, and form I Am Machi. While Jileane showcases her drumming chops and Nathan plays a number of different string instruments, both members are responsible for song writing duties on Mammal Pants, the duo’s first release.
Red Wanting Blue — “Audition”
Red Wanting Blue have established themselves through the hard work of a non-stop touring schedule, making new fans one by one as they’ve criss-crossed the country countless times. Led by singer/songwriter Scott Terry, Red Wanting Blue’s biggest boost came from a recent guest spot on the Late Show with David Letterman. With a true small town feel, the American rock band’s most recent album, From the Vanishing Point, peaked at #10 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart, all to the credit of the band’s loyal fan base. Check out “Audition” here, off of From the Vanishing Point.
Tor — “Glass & Stone”
Genre: world, hip hop, electronic
Tor started experimenting with music and its production as a teenager, learning through trial and error before moving from Canada to Australia to begin operating a small recording studio. He began remixing a number of prominent artists, and hit his stride with the production and release of Illinoize, his Sufjan Stevens hip hop mashup album. Now back in Vancouver, Tor has finally released the LP he’s always dreamed of making, Drum Therapy. Check out the cut “Glass & Stone,” off of said album.
Connor Youngblood — “A Summer Song”
Genre: pop, indie
Connor Youngblood calls Dallas, Texas home, but bounces from there to Nashville, Tennessee, to New Haven, Connecticut, and back again. Perhaps it’s this wide range of working environments that influences Youngblood’s eclectic style – the artist never seems content pigeonholing himself into a genre. Take “A Summer Song,” featured here, off of Connor’s most recent effort, Sketches, pt. 2.” At heart a light, fulfilling pop song, doses of hip hop influences are easily recognizable.
Elim Bolt — “Farm Kid”
Charleston, South Carolina
Genre: country, rock, indie
Elim Bolt all started with singer/songwriter Johnnie Matthews. Playing bass in Sequoyah Prep School, a pop band that toured over 200 stops a year and signed a record deal with Atlantic records in 2008, Johnnie eventually found himself dissatisfied with the genre as a whole, leaving the group to focus on something more true to himself. Soon, this solo effort would grow into Elim Bolt, a five-piece band that would write and record their debut album, Nude South, in 2012. Check out “Farm Kid” here, an indie jam with a strong southern influence.
Leagues — “Spotlight”
Genre: pop, rock, indie
Leagues didn’t form overnight. For bandmates Thad Cockrell, Tyler Burkum, and Jeremy Lutito, Leagues was a painstakingly slow endeavor. Each band member, before forming, had obligations in other music groups. When the three, through a series of odd circumstances, figured out they wanted to work together, they only had time to meet once every six weeks. And yet, something struck home for the trio, who knew they were on to something special. Ten live shows later, Leagues found themselves opening for the Fray, at the legendary Ryman Auditorium – and they’ve been going strong ever since.
Peter Katz — “Win Your Heart”
Genre: indie, acoustic, folk
Peter Katz released First of the Last to Know in 2010, hitting #1 on the iTunes Singer/Songwriter charts. The year after, Peter Katz and Friends, Live at the Music Gallery dropped, a CD/DVD combo showcasing Katz where he feels most at home: on stage. This past year might be the artist’s most successful – in 2012 Peter released Still Mind Still, was nominated for a JUNO award, and has been nominated for a Canadian Folk Music Award for Emerging Artist of the Year. Check out Katz unique take on contemporary folk music here, with “Win Your Heart.”
Battleships — “Your Words”
Genre: indie, acoustic
Battleships first took off when two of the three founding members of the band – Jordan Sturdee and Dan McMurray – took a risk and moved from Queensland’s Sunshine Coast to Sydney, in pursuit of a dream. Soon after, they convinced friend and bandmate Jonathan Bowden to relocate as well, and recruited talented guitarist Nato Hannaford to round out the ranks. “Your Words” is the band’s follow-up to their hit single “In Retrospect,” which exceeded even the band’s own expectations with immediate national and international airplay, including the likes of BBC6 and Q Radio in the United Kingdom.
Audrey Rose — “Smoke”
Genre: blues, indie
Growing up in Kentucky, Audrey Rose was inspired by her father’s entrepreneurial spirit as a photographer, and her grandfather’s guts as a traveling musician. Raised in a creative-by-nature family, it was only a matter of time before Rose found her own voice, which started to snowball after receiving a guitar at the age of 14. Now an established artist around the Nashville area (where she moved to while in high school,) Audrey Rose is prepared to take the next big step with her first EP, Smoke.
About The Artwork:
Ily Phelps is a graphic artist and illustrator living and working in Nashville. She likes to combine minimal aspects with energetic and fun colors. Music and warm summer days are her main inspiration for most of her work.
Looks like another issue of Back of the Rack is in the books. Make sure to check back monthly for the best in new and undiscovered music, and don’t forget to support your favorite artists from this month’s issue through Facebook, Twitter, live shows, and word of mouth. Here’s to another year of amazing new music!
Dean Goranites | Associate Editor