Welcome to another issue of Back of the Rack! We have a bunch of great new tracks to share with you this month. From the smooth, elegant sounds of CARMEN’s “Hey That’s No Way to Say Goodbye,” to the fun rock jams of Kid Transistor’s “Marching Band Girls,” we’ve got all the bases covered for the start of the spring season.
Click button below to download this month’s issue! (If you don’t have an account, you can quickly make one and then you’ll receive each month’s Back of the Rack mixtape in your inbox, you won’t have to do a thing!)
Whether it’s electronic or acoustic, solo artist or full fledged band, there’s something for everyone here – so let’s not delay any longer. Dig in!
Random Rab – “The Spice”
San Francisco, California
Genre: electronica, ambient
Having toured with the likes of Bassnectar and Beats Antique, Random Rab knows his way around the electronic soundscape. With influences in hip hop, classical, Arabic, and pretty much anything else he can get his hands on, Random Rab’s take on electronic music is certainly unique. Take “The Spice,” for example – a four minute long lazy-river of sound, melodically tranquil yet progressive, as garbled vocals float around a more traditional hip hop drum beat. With a live sound self described as “sexy and psychedelic,” Random Rab is a listening experience you don’t want to miss out on.
Jeramiah Ferrari – “Mindless Rot”
Hailing from across the sea in Manchester, England, the four young men in Jeramiah Ferrari fuse reggae, rock, ska, punk, and more to create a sound both heavily influenced by the likes of Bob Marley and Sublime, yet unique enough to call their own. Last year, the band toured heavily across the UK, supporting the likes of reggae and ska heavyweights the Aggrolites and the English Beat. Their release last year of “The Dubby Rock EP” found strong radio airplay support across the UK. Jeramiah Ferrari plans to release their first LP later this year.
Meth Dad – “You”
Genre: electronica, indie
Meth Dad sure is hard to pin down. While “You,” featured here, is more of a slow burner, other singles released by the zany musician range from pop dance grooves to psychedelic electronic breakdowns. One look at the artist’s Tumblr page should give you all the background info you need. From trippy music videos of dance parties with everyone in their underwear, to having a twitter handle like @slutsafari, it wouldn’t be far fetched to call Meth Dad the Tim & Eric of music. One-of-a-kind is an understatement.
Tom Moon – “Stay”
Genre: acoustic, indie
Tom Moon’s biggest influences as a child were Jimi Hendrix and John Frusciante, though you’d never guess by the sound of the musician/singer/songwriter’s music. Moon’s tone is a much more relaxed one, opting mainly for an acoustic guitar as opposed to his heroes electric axes, and is heavily influenced by the musician’s long traveling track record — having visited the likes of Australia, north India, Gambia, and more. Tom Moon’s first effort, the five-track EP “By the By,” was released in November this past year.
Gentlemen Hall – “Sail Into the Sun”
Genre: pop, rock
Forming in 2008 after becoming friends in their college days, the six members of Gentlemen Hall have had their music compared to the likes of MGMT and the Killers. Gentlemen Hall have made a name for themselves since, having won the award for MTV’s Best Breakout Band of 2009, as well as being the first independent band to perform live at the Billboard Music Awards of 2011. After releasing their debut EP the same year, the band spent the majority of 2012 touring nationally, and have since been in the studio recording their first full-length album, due out later this year.
Brave Baby – “Magic and Fire”
Charleston, South Carolina
Genre: rock, indie
While Brave Baby is now a five-piece group, the initial trio of Ryan Patrick Zimmerman, Keon Masters, and Christian Chidester formed in 2008, flourishing in the local Charleston music scene. In 2011, the three men would start recording in a storage unit turned recording studio, which would later become their debut album, “Forty Bells.” After, the band recruited bassist Jordan Hicks and keyboardist Stephen Walker to round out their line up, giving Brave Baby a full sound that has translated into a engaging and exciting live show.
CARMEN – “Hey That’s No Way to Say Goodbye”
Genre: indie, pop, soul
London based singer and songwriter CARMEN was first noticed when she debuted her talents on “For Folk Sake It’s Christmas 2012,” a yearly mixtape showcasing some of the best new artists in folk. While this track could hardly be defined as being in the same genre, CARMEN is at it again, as the singers angelic voice lulls listeners into a serene peace in her cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Hey That’s No Way to Say Goodbye.” CARMEN makes the track her own, and the results are beautiful.
Kid Transistor – “Marching Band Girls”
Genre: rock, indie
Nick Hall is the mastermind behind Kid Transistor, a Osaka based singer, songwriter, musician and producer. Hall also plays guitar in the pop rock band Rush in Attack, but it’s his solo work that showcases his more experimental, “try anything once” attitude. Kid Transistor releases all of his music for free via EP releases, including his latest effort, “Tidalwaves,” released this past December. “Tidalwaves” is generally an upbeat, exciting album, full of rock jams such as “Marching Band Girls,” featured here, in all of its catchy-guitar-licks glory.
Oh Geronimo – “I’m the Ground”
Genre: indie, folk
While Oh Geronimo may consider themselves a “harmony-heavy folk collective,” “I’m the Ground” is hardly traditional folk music – electric guitar being the most glaringly obvious difference included in the band’s take on the genre. The five-piece group just formed a little under a year ago in April of 2012, and they dropped their debut four-track EP, “Mind Your Mannerisms,” this past December. Oh Geronimo takes pride not just in their music but their lyrics as well, where they hope listeners will “forge their own insights and conclusions.”
Andrea Dawn – “Peter and the Sheep”
Genre: indie, rock, pop
“Peter and the Sheep” is the featured track off of Andrea Dawn’s debut album, “Theories of How We Can Be Friends,” which the singer/songwriter supported last year with a nationwide tour. While the majority of the record was recorded in her own loft studio, Andrea Dawn passed on the final mixing and mastering work to the accomplished Brian Zieske, who has worked with the likes of The Hush Sound and The Academy Is. “Peter and the Sheep,” along with the entire album, has since seen extensive college radio airplay, winning a number of awards along the way.
Thanks for checking out this month’s installment of Back of the Rack. Don’t forget to check back monthly for the best new tracks in music – or better yet, sign up above to get each month’s issue delivered right to your email’s inbox. Remember to support your favorite artists from this and every issue, whether it’s by following on Facebook and Twitter, picking up some official merchandise, or best yet, checking out a show near you. We’ll be back next month with another fresh batch of hot new tunes — 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