Following the release of their highly lauded debut album ‘Love You, Mean It’ earlier this year, the blossoming Nashville duo delivers on their brand of soulful nostalgic indie pop yet again with “Hometown”.
Okey Dokey consists of lead vocalist Aaron Martin and singer/guitarist Johny Fisher, who both share songwriting duties. Since releasing their very first single “Wavy Gravy” last year, the band has seen early success, including placements on key Spotify playlists and a coveted booking at Austin City Limits Music Festival in October.
According to Johny Fisher, “Hometown is about the fear of having to return to our small hometowns. You obviously always have a special place in your heart for where you come from, but at times, your hometown can be a bit overwhelming. Between people getting married, having jobs, kids, deaths, slow pace or whatever it may be, visiting your hometown might not always be a relaxing get away.”
The track features Sam Williams (The Weeks) on guitar and bass, Charlie Frederick (Kansas Bible Company) on trumpet, Kole Sharp (Morning Teleportation) on drums and Jeremy Clark (Rayland Baxter Band) on keys. It was co-produced by Johnny Mac at Acheron Studios in Nashville.
* If you filled out a contributor form previously, please fill this new one out as it includes much more information about you and your skills. We need everyone’s info in the same place. You will be prioritized over other applicants.
** If you want to write for us as well as photograph, you need to fill out our writer application as well: https://goo.gl/forms/keO9CRgCEiJf3O0x1
*** YOU MUST HAVE PRIOR WORK TO SHOW, OTHERWISE YOU WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED *** (Sorry, but there are just too many talented photographers out there. We encourage you to find a smaller outlet or local venue where you can develop your skills first.)
We are creating a “contributor pool” of 40+ photographers in key cities around the world, who specialize in either portrait, concert, or artistic photography.
Why are we using a large group of photographers instead of a small number? Because of our large audience and reach, we have so many photographers in our network that it is possible to have a contributor in each city. So for example, if we are doing a feature on a band in Phoenix, we can contact the portrait photographer in our pool who lives there.
Our priority right now is doing artist portraits, which are more unique and valuable to bands than show photos. We aim to produce high-quality sets of photos that bands can use for their profiles and promotion, so your work will be seen much more widely than just in an article on our blog. In the next year, we will produce portraits for over 200 emerging bands.
With concert photos, we aim to send photographers to one of the first three dates of a tour, so that we can post them up quickly and use the images to promote the rest of the tour. Having a pool of contributors in every city makes this easy to execute.
We are specifically looking for photographers who are highly motivated, and can send in their edited photos quickly.
We are looking mostly for those who have prior experience and a solid portfolio, but are also going to accept a select group of promising talents who we can mentor and develop into great photographers.
Our process will be very collaborative, and we aim to help all of you improve your skills.
We are creating a brand new team of videographers and video editors who can execute everything from simple social media posts (snapchat, instagram, instagram story, twitter) to YouTube series (we have some amazing ideas), to more artistic and documentary-style productions.
Great video talent is one of our biggest needs right now, as this content is extremely important to our future growth.
We are looking primarily for female, queer, and POC talent, and will show favor to applicants who are under the age of 25. (These align with our community and there are enough cis white dudes in the industry.)
All of our contributors are unpaid volunteers. (Running the blog literally costs us money). By filling this out, you’re cool with not getting paid. This is not an internship.
In exchange for working for us, you will get experience with a rapidly growing media brand with deep industry relationships, as well as mentorship from editors and veterans within the music industry. Some of our past photographers have gone on to get paying jobs in media (tour photographers, marketing jobs, etc.), once you outgrow us or get “too good”, we will happily open up doors for you to move onto better opportunities.
You may get chances to attend shows and festivals with complimentary tickets, however do not expect free tickets. This is a privilege that will be earned over time.
We use Google Drive (Docs and Sheets) for assignments and pretty much everything, so you must have an email address which is associated with a Google account.
Please DM me on Twitter if you have any questions or issues!
When I first heard Lewis Del Mar’s single “Loud(y)” on Spotify, it stuck out among the influx of indie pop releases that had been filling up my playlists. The duo’s jarring combination of acoustic-driven indie with tribal influences and glitchy samples left me addicted, yet confused. I didn’t fully understand it, all I knew was that it was refreshingly innovative, and they were showing crazy growth on Spotify. (In fact, we hailed them as one of the top 10 emerging artists to watch at SXSW 2016.)
At the time, Danny Miller and Max Harwood were best friends, trying to translate the influences of their childhood into a musical project that they could hang their hat on. This is reflected perfectly in the name they chose for the project, Lewis Del Mar, which is “a play off the fact that their father’s share the name Lewis, and family roots in Spanish-speaking countries (‘del mar’ means ‘from the sea’),” according to the blog Respect Your Youngers. Columbia Records realized their vision, signing them to a record deal, and the rest has been history.
Lewis Del Mar
After releasing their debut album ‘Lewis Del Mar’ in 2016, they have been touring aggressively and gaining fans across the world. We caught up with them at the Hangout Music Festival in Gulf Shores, Alabama to talk about their growth:
You have seen such huge growth in only two years. You were featured at SXSW in March 2016 and were starting to emerge, and since then y’all have really blew up. Looking back on when you were writing those songs, did you ever think that you would hit this much success this fast?
Danny: I don’t think so, no. I don’t think you ever prepare or envision something like that happening. We always had a lot of confidence in what we were doing. We certainly believe in each other and our abilities to create the music that we want to create, and that feels right to us. But that was sorta like where we drew the line, we didn’t really think about it much outside of the little world that we created for ourselves.
And I think that that’s sort of what this year has been about for us, learning how to transfer the intimate nature of our relationship and our creative process to a larger scale, where people understand who we are and what we do and care about. Because it’s a very personal thing, and before this experience it was something that we were living off in our own corner of the universe, and it’s really just that the corner’s grown, you know?
Max: Trying to figure out how to share our corner with the world.
Danny: In a way that feels genuine and right to us.
You put a lot of thought and creativity into your staging. On this tour, you have a huge screen behind you with videos projected onto it during your set. I met your lighting director last night and he was talking about how involved you were in the creative process. How important is it for your vision to translate in a live setting?
Max: At this point we are about building a world, so the live thing is just an extension of our music and of ourselves. We put a lot of effort into making sure it visually represents what we’re trying to say with our music.
We very meticulously chose a lot of videos for the projector that’s behind us that we think blend the various influences, whether that’s the Latin American influence, or the industrial city influence, it’s just all representing that visually.
Danny: Yeah, we found some really amazing clips from foreign films, like this film Black Orpheus, and we have an old Comme des Garçons commercial in there.
Via @victoriatags on Twitter: Is there any particular album or song that you haven’t been able to stop listening to recently?
Max: You know what I had [stuck in my head]? That Y La Bamba track.
Danny: “Ojos Del Sol”
Max: They’re from Portland, Oregon, and they’ve got this beautiful song. It’s just the most gorgeous song, I just got goosebumps thinking about it. And it’s recorded so beautifully, it’s a beautiful feeling.
Danny: I’ve been listing to a good amount of Bryson Tiller lately. Also this new record by Rex Orange County, he’s from the UK, I love that record, it’s called Apricot Princess I believe [Listen on Spotify].
Anyone else that y’all are working with or writing with?
Danny: We’re sort of expanding into that recently.
Max: We’re touring with Anna Wise, and she is just a beautiful person and a beautiful artist. Having her on the road has been so inspiring and a pleasure. I would just encourage everybody to check out her music and what she’s doing.
Danny: She’s a collaborator of Kendrick Lamar, and a really close friend of ours, and everything that Max said.
What have been the highlights of this tour?
Danny: I think on the most basic level, the shows have just gotten a lot bigger. We just played our biggest headline show in Chicago, there were like 900 people there. That felt to us like entering into a different level and layer of what we are doing, where the message and the things that are important to us and the things we are creating are beginning to translate into other people’s worlds.
That’s certainly a very humbling feeling, but it’s also just a very interesting dynamic, you know? We really feel like what we do is such a reflection of who we are as individuals… We have some fans, I would say the people who are making up 75% of the audience, that are really really really dedicated to what we do, and that’s been an amazing thing to witness. To witness people that have really connected in a personal way to your music.
I mean it’s funny, because in a sense that’s the goal, right? I shouldn’t be so surprised by it. But we are and it’s empowering. When you get off the road and you’re at home or in the studio, you can spend so much time imagining and projecting these ideas of what you want your career to be and how you want to be perceived, but at the end of the day, when you’re on stage in front of people, all that stuff is just residual nonsense. It’s like that is the basis of the essence of the connection that you can have with another person. So we try to each night just take a minute and completely clear our consciences and respect that space as being very sacred. That interaction with other people.
Catch Lewis Del Mar on Tour:
May 24 – Trees – Dallas, TX
May 28 – BottleRock Festival – Napa, CA
May 30 – Chop Suey – Seattle, WA
May 31 – Star Theater – Portland, OR
Jun 02 – El Rey Theatre – Los Angeles, CA
Jun 03 – Belly Up – Solana Beach, CA
Jun 06 – Valley Bar – Phoenix, AZ
Jun 08 – In The Venue – Salt Lake City, UT
Jun 09 – Bluebird Theatre – Denver, CO
Jun 11 – Del Mar Hall – Saint Louis, MO
Jun 15 – Firefly Festival – Dover, DE
This is based on the original thread that Jac Walsh (@DUMPxHIM on Twitter) made on Twitter in response to PWR BTTM, and the thread which followed. The playlist was then compiled by our correspondent Manda (@lmaomanda).
thread of bands to listen to with queer-identifying members that arent pwr bttm? lets go heres what i got: pic.twitter.com/EL3XQ4Ofan
Hangout Music Festival is around the corner and has an incredible lineup this year, featuring top acts like Mumford & Sons, Twenty One Pilots, Young The Giant, The Head And The Heart, and Charli XCX. But here at ThisNewBand, we’re most interested in the emerging artists on the other end of the bill. We have put together our top 5 new bands you need to see at Hangout Fest.
Hangout Music Festival takes place on the beach of Gulf Shores, Alabama from May 19-21. Limited numbers of GA weekend passes are still available for $309 at hangoutmusicfest.com/tickets/
Sometimes it’s hard to reinvent yourself, but the members of 888 have done just that. Frontman Danny Stills, drummer Danny Cooper and keyboardist/programmer Aaron Rothe were formerly members of the metalcore group Drop Dead, Gorgeous, but now their music alt-pop of the variety that would live very comfortably on your local radio station.
Essential Track: “Critical Mistakes”
2. Mondo Cozmo
Mondo Cozmo, the alias of the Philadelphia-bred singer-songwriter Joshua Ostrander, has only released four singles so far, but is already making some waves with his unique mix of 70s folk with modern alt-rock.
In Kentucky, there is an abundance of two things: cheap beer and time.
Bring in four young men who have a nostalgic obsession with American arena-rockers of the seventies and eighties, who possess an electric energy and drive to become the next in line, and you collectively create White Reaper.
If the band is new to you, you have the unique joy of experiencing their previous two records, ‘White Reaper’ and ‘White Reaper Does It Again’ (very witty), with fresh ears. Both were highly acclaimed by critics and stalwarts of the guitar-led garage rock genre, yet did not find much mainstream success outside of the niche. That’s a shame, too, because the band is one of the most exciting bands I have ever seen live. They absolutely destroy the small rooms they have played in to date, treating them as if it were the main stage at Lollapalooza, or more appropriately, Woodstock. To put it in perspective, in 2015 they were booted from their opening slot on tour with indie darlings Alvvays because they rocked so fucking hard that they couldn’t be followed.
Now the group is back yet again to rock our worlds with their third full-length ‘The World’s Best American Band’, released on Friday, April 7th (listen on Spotify). From the very first song, opening with crowd cheers and an infectious drum beat, Kentucky natives White Reaper establish in tongue-in-cheek fashion that their name is one of the greats the rock ‘n roll world.
From the heavy guitar and supersonic drums to their more polished lyrics, the album is a cohesive monster, with strong hints of garage punk heavily influencing their work. Working with producer Kevin Ratterman, who boasts a resume of working with artists like My Morning Jacket and Young Widows, the band’s third effort is one that simply must be heard.
Lead single “Judy French” is incredibly catchy, making the listener want to drop everything and start dancing, no matter where they are (this may or may not be from personal experience of listening as I sit in crowded spaces). As lead singer Tony Esposito sings, “Now stop / Read my message and tell me what you think / Let me lean close listen to your heartbeat,” it is easy to tell that the band is not only incredibly polished musically, but lyrically as well.
From “The Stack,” all the way to the final track, “Another Day,” the album keeps the listener’s full and undivided attention, each song having some unique aspect that necessitates a second listen. From inventive synth lines to irresistible melodies that stay stuck in your head for the rest of the day, the diversity across the album leaves everyone feeling satisfied. When listening, I urge that fans listen cover to cover for the full experience, as listening in order provides quite an amazing experience in hearing the band’s multitude of sounds.
Following the release of the album, White Reaper are hitting the road. They aim for every person attending to leave their show satisfied, no matter where they are in the crowd. Given their music, it is no surprise that Esposito suggests that attendees “be nice to everybody, cause you’re gonna get close.” The tour kicks off on April 23rd in Houston, and they will be hitting plenty of cities over the next months, including festival stops at Hangout, Bunbury, and Bonnaroo.
Grab ‘The World’s Best American Band’on Bandcamp for $8-17, with options ranging from digital download to limited edition 180-gram red vinyl.
Check out White Reaper’s website for all tour dates, as well as their music and social media links.
This adorable band just wants you to dance like a goofball. And that’s exactly what I end up doing every time I listen to their music.
Al Bairre(pronounced al bear) have figured out the formula for putting together perfect happy-go-lucky indie pop jams. Every song they have ever made is a bop, but doesn’t sound overproduced or disgustingly commercial. Just put their Spotify artist page on shuffle and fall in love with their jangly rhythms and charming male/female vocal harmonies.
Did I mention that they are adorable? And that there are twins in the band with matching bangs (Tessa and Julia Johnson). See the video and photos below for proof:
They hail from South Africa, which seems to be cranking out some incredible indie talent of late, including KONGOS, Opposite The Other, and Native Young.
After seeing modest success after the release of their 2015 album ‘Experience The Al Bairre Show With Al Bairre Experience’, anchored by the jams “Let’s Fall In Love Some More” and “Bungalow”, and are now finally back with new tracks in 2017.
Let's Fall In Love Some More
The second of these new tunes, “Don’t Say / Go Away”, is the best so far. A wonderfully carefree dance tune that should anchor every one of your summer playlists.
Don't Say / Go Away
Also released was “Over And Over”, a tongue-in-cheek jingle about being best friends… with benefits.
Hotel Apache – Lost Hearts
Allman Brown – Last Dance
The Night Café – Strange Clothes
Satellite Stories – Confetti
Public – 4Her
Sundial – way home
WILD – Hold Us Together
courtship. – Love For Everyone
GEMS – X Valentine
Oh Honey – Sugar, You
Ali Barter – Cigarette
Tess & Dave – Wild About You
Wolfside – Dream Girl
Clean Cut Kid – We Used To Be In Love
Clean Cut Kid – Make Believe
Northeast Party House – Heartbreaker
Outer Spaces – Words
The New Respects – Money
The Moth & The Flame – Simple
The Jungle Giants – Feel the Way I Do
White Reaper – Judy French
Naked Giants – Surchin 4 U
The Goon Sax – Boyfriend
Project Bongo – Keep A Secret
Fleurie – Sparks
Passport to Stockholm – Better Days
Al Bairre – Let’s Fall in Love Some More
Yalta Club – LOVE
Model Aeroplanes – Whatever Dress Suits You Better
Pillar Point – Dove
Circa Waves – Fire That Burns
FEiN – It’s Alright
Nathan Ball – Cold Hands
Said The Whale – Heaven
The Relationship – Break Me Open
The Magic Gang – Blue For You
Paris Youth Foundation – Losing Your Love
VANT – DO YOU KNOW ME?
pronoun – a million other things
Little Monarch – Forever
Active Bird Community – Dead Legs
St. Tropez – I Don’t Wanna Fall In Love
pronoun – it’s the way – live
My first discovery of 2017 comes in a wonderful indie folk anthem by unsigned Denver five-piece The Northern Empty. “Rest My Bones” takes listeners on an epic journey with a progressive build of acoustic guitar, piano, violin, and adorable male/female vocal harmony. The single was self-released on December 9.
Recommended if you like Passenger, Of Monsters And Men, or Mumford and Sons.
I’m headed down to the first-ever Sound On Sound Festival in Austin (well, technically, just outside of it) this weekend. The festival is held on the grounds of a freaking Renaissance fair (so sick, right?) and features a stacked lineup with some of our favorite artists, including The Frights, Diet Cig, Baio, Bully, SWMRS, Empress Of, Hinds, and Fidlar.
Don’t sweat it if you can’t make it, as I’ll be giving you a live look into the action all weekend with constant coverage through our Snapchat, Twitter, and Instagram(we’re @ThisNewBand on all of them).
Below you will find my full coverage schedule, including some radical backstage hangs with Diet Cig and The Frights tomorrow.
I’ve packed 2 phones and 2 external battery chargers, so hopefully I should be able to keep up, as long as I don’t die from the plague or get my head chopped off by Sir Lancelot.