Welcome to another issue of Back of the Rack, where Our Vinyl picks some of our favorite new artists we feel deserve more attention. Whether you’re looking for the freshest new talent, or just need new jams for all the yard work coming up this Fall, we’ve got just what you’re looking for.
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Smile Smile – Fatal Flaw
Genre: Electronic, Indie
Jencey Hirunrusme and Ryan Hamilton make up the backbone of Smile Smile, who were signed to Kirtland Records in 2008 before rereleasing their debut LP, Blue Roses, on the label the same year. Blue Roses went on to be licensed by MTV and used on the station’s TV show NEXT, and was also licensed for use in the film Jack and Jill vs. The World. Their third studio album, Marry a Stranger, dropped this past August, also on Kirtland Records.
Roadkill Gospel Choir – Beggars Guild
Genre: Rock, Folk
Roadkill Gospel Choir are the definition of “fresh” – the band, with Andrew Shepard on guitar and vocals, Zach Shepard on bass, Max Shepard on drums, Joey Davoli on keys and trumpet, Stephen Garza on guitar, and Kiffy Myers on the pedal steel and banjo, have yet to release an album. The group, who specialize in Americana and folk, have made a name for themselves through the release of just a few tracks and a strong live performance, leaving many, like us, craving a full-length effort. The band promises it’s on its way.
Hannah Miller – Just Like Him
Genre: Pop, Soul
Hannah Miller released her first album in 2008, setting the tone for what would become her one-of-a-kind soulful style. The artist hasn’t seemed to have taken a break since, delivering three EP’s over the last three years, along with extensive touring schedules. Doubters and Dreamers, released this past June, may be Miller’s best work yet – the six track effort puts the musician’s skill at the forefront, allowing Hannah’s crooning voice to swoon listeners into her dreamy, beautiful world.
The Last Bison – Switzerland
Seven-piece band The Last Bison may play folk music, but they’re not looking to just hop on board the latest trend. Entrenched in classical influences honed in living rooms and around bonfires, The Last Bison’s style draws comparisons to Fleet Foxes, Mumford and Sons, and The Decemberists. Complex arrangements, including strings, bells, and organs give The Last Bison’s music a lofty feel, yet the group still retains accessibility and passion that has fueled their live performances and rocketed their single “Switzerland” to frequent airplay on Virginian radio stations.
Alexei Martov – The Road
Don’t let Alexei Martov’s name fool you – this is no classical composer or opera singer. A three-piece pure rock outfit, Martin Bradstreet and brothers Matthew and Jonah Dorfman are here to fill your speakers with crunchy riffs and rowdy sing-a-longs. While influenced by psychedelic rock bands of old, it’s Martov’s exciting stage act that really gets fans pumped, especially for the band’s recently released debut EP, Scent of a Wolf.
Black Paint – I Killed a Man
The members of Black Paint found success in bands Art Brut, Battant, and Von Rus before joining forces to create their latest group. Youthful is one way to describe the band, as the average age of its members is only twenty-two, and the band itself has only existed a few months. Before becoming a trio with the addition of Jake Cox, founding members Aleblanch and Philip (no last names given) recorded a three-track 7” in their home studio, now available for streaming on the band’s website.
The Invincible Summer – Runaway
Genre: Pop, Electronic
The Invincible Summer pulled their name from an Albert Camus quote — “In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an Invincible Summer.” Since forming, the band has released two singles, “Runaway” and “To the Sky,” both having garnered considerable attention. A musical collective brought together by multi-instrumentalist Matt James, The Invincible Summer recorded what will be their self-titled debut over an eighteen month period at Sydney’s famous Studios 301. It’s planned to be released in early 2013.
Paul Cook and the Chronicles – Candle Light
Genre: Rock, Indie
Paul Cook and the Chronicles is the product of singer/songwriter Paul Cook, whose stripped down, guitar-rooted work has produced Volume One, the artist’s debut LP, released just this August. A collection of nine personal, touching, intimate tracks, Volume One showcases the artist’s soulful self, calling for comparisons to acts like The Shins and Arcade Fire.
Apollo Gets the Girl – New Dawn
Genre: Electronic, Pop
Apollo Gets the Girl formed just this year, hailing from Glasgow Scotland. AGTG’s flair for electronic music certainly stems from the country’s strong leanings towards the genre, while roots in pop keep the band easily accessible to new ears. Jack Violet, Joe Bickle, and John Gilmore’s heavy use of reverb, swirling synths, and emotive vocals form trance-like beats ready to sooth the most stressful of days, as felt here on their single “New Dawn.”
The Marquee – Beating Drums
Genre: Indie, Rock
The Marquee’s debut album, White Room, was recorded over a two month span in a small garage-turned-studio. While the band hails from Edmonton, they recorded the LP just outside of Los Angeles, escaping the doldrums of home for new, exciting experiences. The Marquee hoped to put those emotions into White Room, while drawing on the influences of bands like The Cure, Joy Division, and the Beatles. What came out was catchy, fun, original indie rock.
About the Artwork:
Artist Andrew Clavin graduated from the University of Dayton in Visual Communication Design. Currently a freelancer on various graphic and web design projects, Clavin’s work attempts to mesh the organic and geometric qualities of linear structures to better understand visual perception. Andrew resides in Painseville, Ohio, and can be contacted at Andrewclavin8@gmail.com.
That’s it for September’s Back of the Rack. Remember, if you fell in love with any of the artists you heard in this month’s issue, make sure to give them the support they deserve. Whether a follow on Twitter, a like on Facebook, a purchase from their merch store or a ticket to a show, let’s do our part to help out our favorite artists. See you next month!
Dean Goranites | Associate Editor