Welcome to another addition of Back of the Rack, just in time for the month of May. Our Vinyl is excited to bring you this batch of up-and-coming new artists, a group of ten tracks that we feel deserve more attention, now.
Sit back, throw on your headphones, and enjoy. Don’t forget – take the time to let others know about any new artists you fell in love with from this month’s issue. It’s the least we can do for the dedicated musicians who are generous enough to let us listen to their material for free.
Kendall Elijah – The Wild
Genres: Hip hop, Rap
Check out the flow on this track. Kendall Elijah, based in Hyattsville, Maryland, headed up to New York City to film the music video for “The Wild” — it’s a perfect back drop for the dejected yet hopeful feel the song gives off. Backed up by a well produced beat featuring a looping strings hook and a crushed drum kit, Elijah waxes on his inner demons, staying positive, and surviving, both in the big city and the big world.
Cause in Effect – Live Another Day
Genres: Blues, Rock and Roll
Cause in Effect is one of those new artists who’s studio recordings sound great, but live performances are even better – all due to improvisation. The Austin, Texas trio sets out for an “off the cuff style of creativity” with their live acts, basically implying they do their best to plan as little as needed. Rather than giving cookie-cutter performances on a night-to-night basis, Cause in Effect takes pride in the uniqueness of every show – and invites you to check one out for yourself.
Mishka – One Tree
Genres: Reggae, Acoustic
Mishka’s upbringing was a crazy one, sailing from island to island on his family’s boat. A product of an unconventional education, Mishka learned his math from setting courses for the ship, his literature from reading in between destinations, and his history from speaking to the natives of different islands. Along the way, the musician picked up all sorts of influences for his style, which he’s compounded into a sound based in reggae, but with offshoots in soul, funk, and rock.
These Kings – Home
Birmingham, Great Britain
Genres: Indie, Rock
“Home” may start off with a slightly silly percussion line, but the song soon evolves into much more. Judging by the cover art for the single, featuring an up-close-and-personal shot of what one can only assume to be the group’s cat, it’s tough to assume “Home” would be so densely layered with instrumentation. When things break down into a simple bass line and slowly start to build back up near the end of the track is when the real magic happens. Listen for yourself.
Notebook Noise – Strange Tongue
Genres: Hip hop, Rap
Notebook Noise is comprised of front man Thaddeus James and producer John Gray, who have been a working duo for over ten years. Thaddeus’s voice is far from generic, trading the slurring, free associating, and cursing commonplace in rap in for a much more unique, intelligent, and enunciated style. He’s not unaware of the difference, either – that’s what “Strange Tongue” is all about.
Oliver Tank – Up All Night
Genres: Indie, Ambient
Growing up in Sydney Austalia, Oliver Tank is a 22-year-old computer based musician. While many claim the artist shares similarities with indie phenomenon Bon Iver, Oliver Tank’s approach to music is closer to that of Nosaj Thing, a hip-hop based producer who Tank cites as a source of inspiration. Winner of the 2011 Northern Lights Competition, Tank would go on to release his first EP, Dreams, in late November.
Mitchmatic – Why Don’t You Know
Genre: Hip hop, Rap
Mitchmatic (born Mitchell Davis Holtby) was playing around with instruments for as long as he can remember – his mother would bring home all types from her job as a music teacher. Working his way up as a rapper for the past five years after initially starting out as a pianist, Mitchmatic has been featured on as large of platforms as NPR’s “All Songs Considered,” and has opened for the likes of Outkast’s Big Boi and Chali 2na of Jurassic 5. A nationwide tour is in the works.
Leitbur – Bitter Tears (Rufus Wainwright remix)
Los Angeles, CA
Genres: Pop, Electronica
Leitbur, pronounced “light-brr,” hadn’t meant to become a musican. He graduated from the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts magna cum laude, and initally began a career working for HBO and ABC. After building a studio in his apartment in 2007, Leitbur began honing his production skills, and released his first full length album in 2010. Watch out for his new EP, “Think of Tomorrow,” to be released this summer.
Ourlives – Where is the Way?
Genres: Indie, Rock
“This is how the world sounds to us. This makes sense to us,” says Iceland’s Ourlives, a young four piece group who blend power pop and rock into their own sound. While this track starts off quietly with a single acoustic guitar, the track builds before spilling over into a emotionally powerful composition laced with hard a rocking electric guitar – one that finishes the track strong with a moving solo. While it may not be easy for American listeners to catch the group live yet, their debut album is currently available nationwide.
Ghost Loft – Blow
Los Angeles, CA
Genres: R&B, Electronica
Little information is available on Ghost Loft, outside of their (or his, or her’s) location, in the heart of Los Angeles. It seems Ghost Loft took a page from the book of The Weeknd, with a smooth R&B rhythm accompanied by enticing, almost erotic lyrics and sounds. That’s right, sounds – almost half of this track is made up of “mmm-hmmms,” which set the mood. Make sure to light some candles to get the atmosphere right.
About the Artwork:
Joe Baucco is a Cleveland, OH born designer and a proud graduate of the University of Dayton. He has worked with clients such as: Glidden, Duck Brand – duct tape, and Knauf Insulation. You can check out all of Joe’s work at joebaucco.com or follow him on twitter @IAT_Design.
That’s all we got for this edition of Back of the Rack. Remember to support your favorite artists however you can – with the brilliance of the internet and social media, we have the power to push our favorite musician’s into the mainstream’s view. Until next time!
Dean Goranites | Associate Editor