Interview: Lewis Del Mar Want To Share Their Vision With The World

Lewis Del Mar at Hangout Festival for ThisNewBand

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.

Painting (Masterpiece)

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:

INTERVIEW

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

 

Find Lewis Del Mar on the internet:

Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
Spotify

White Reaper Channel The Guitar Gods In Third Record, ‘The World’s Best American Band’

White Reaper

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.

'The World's Best American Band' Album Artwork

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.

Judy French

White Reaper

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.

The Stack

White Reaper

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.

Artist of the Day: Harrison Brome

Harrison Brome, a native of Vancouver, Canada, is making waves globally following the release of his debut EP, ‘Fill Your Brains’, in July.

Brome’s sultry song, “Midnight Island”, is about to hit 3.5 million plays on Spotify, and was just added to a popular Dutch playlist with over 50,000 followers. The title track to his EP, Fill Your Brains, currently has 1.6 million plays, and has garnered attention after being featured in an episode of Shameless in November and gaining placement on Spotify’s “Chill Tracks” playlist with over 500,000 followers.

At only 20 years old, Brome stands out by finding a way to effortlessly combine various genres, including pop, alternative, R&B, and electronic. This unique intertwining of styles is also evident in his vocals – the silky, sultry nature of his voice lends itself more to soul and R&B, while the sharpness and grittiness of his vocals fit the pop or alternative bill.

Midnight Island

Harrison Brome

The song that has garnered the most attention off Brome’s debut EP is “Midnight Island”. Brome details his journey of falling away into a utopia, and invites the listener to join him as he croons, “let your body escape, take a breath from your mind, if you would rather rest in a place of paradise.”

Fill Your Brains

Harrison Brome

On “Fill Your Brains”, the title track to his EP, Brome’s hollow vocals soar above floating harmonies. The simplicity of the track, with just a drum beat, vocals, synth, and low piano, perfectly fits the somber, bare tone of the song. It is difficult to forget the distinct gloom that Brome creates as he comes in with the hook, “fill your brains to kill your pain.”

Brome is definitely an artist to watch in 2017. With an impressive 484,000 monthly listeners and placement on playlists with tens of thousands of followers on Spotify, Brome has already garnered a strong fanbase who are highly anticipating his next release. With a long-awaited North American tour on the horizon, and new music set to release in the new year, it is clear that Brome’s success will only continue to grow.

To keep in the loop about Brome’s new releases and upcoming tour, follow him on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Soundcloud, Spotify, and on his website.

Silly dance to Al Bairre’s newest song “Don’t Say / Go Away”

Al Bairre

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:

Bungalow

Al Bairre

al bairre

twins

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

Al Bairre

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

Al Bairre

Also released was “Over And Over”, a tongue-in-cheek jingle about being best friends… with benefits.

Over And Over

Al Bairre

Keep up with Al Bairre through their Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Listen to their music on Spotify, SoundCloud, and iTunes/Apple Music.

Happy dancing <3

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Artist Of The Day: Jerry Williams

Jerry Williams

Jerry Williams, with the release of her latest EP, definitively proves that she can hold her own and is so much more than just a support artist.

Her newest EP, ‘Let’s Just Forget It,’ won the award for Best Produced Release and was the runner-up for Release Of The Year at the Unsigned Music Awards in 2016. Williams’ most popular song, “Mother”, has surpassed 4.1 million Spotify plays. She boasts an impressive 180,000 monthly listeners and is featured on the prominent “Wild + Free” playlist with more than 30,000 followers on Spotify. Most recently, she was featured on VEVO DSCVR and has racked up more than 100,000 plays her live rendition of her track, “Let’s Just Forget It”.

Williams, who hails from Portsmouth in the United Kingdom, has amassed quite a following since her 2014 debut. The 21-year-old singer-songwriter has scored support slots with LANY, MAGIC, Nathan Sykes, and Barns Courtney, and played her first headline tour with various sold-out shows in 2016. Williams cites Vampire Weekend, Coldplay, and Slow Club among her biggest musical influences, and credits her experience being raised in Portsmouth and past relationships as her biggest inspirations for lyrics.

Mother

Jerry Williams

The sweet, upbeat tone of Williams’ most played song, “Mother”, contrasts with the somewhat more serious message of the song. On the track, Williams details her desire to run back to her hometown in order to become herself again. With the catchy hook, “Mother, I don’t feel myself,” and the call-to-action, “I need to get back to where I started,” Williams lays out her love of Portsmouth and how it shaped her into the woman she is today.

Let's Just Forget It

Jerry Williams

In title track to her third EP, ‘Let’s Just Forget It’, Williams truly demonstrates her diversity of sounds. Beginning the song like a lullaby, she croons, “cradle me like a baby, this cruel world, let’s just forget it.” The drums and guitar slowly kick in and then build to a beautiful, heart-wrenching climax, before falling once again to the softer, more stripped-down chorus. Williams’ storytelling ability, through the ebb and flow of her music and lyrics, truly shines on this track.

Boys Don't Cry

Jerry Williams

Fresh off the release of her music video for “Boys Don’t Cry,” her take on The Cure’s classic hit, fans are extremely excited for Williams’ new music. Williams has already announced a few upcoming shows and has clued her followers in on the fact that she has been writing new music, but for now, all we can do is eagerly await whatever she will put out next.

Follow Jerry Williams on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, and Spotify to learn about her latest releases and upcoming shows.

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Jerry Williams photo credit: Gareth Gatrell

Artist Of The Day: 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 a voice reminiscent of folk singers from the ‘70s that he combines with modern alt-rock beats, Mondo Cozmo has a sound that is all his own. His music has the innate ability of drawing you in and holding you there. Like a great story, you want to see where the song will go, making his listeners feel as if they’re moving with the singer on an epic journey.

Shine

Mondo Cozmo

The song “Shine” features deep vocals backed by folky, yet elegant, instrumentals. Each line holds meaning that is accentuated by the use of quick drum beats, attention-grabbing guitar riffs, and spectacularly layered harmonies. Due to its infectious lyrics and killer rhythm, “Shine” has been getting a fair amount of attention recently thanks to both radio stations and streaming sites, allowing Mondo Cozmo to reach new fans through various channels. The song has exploded on Spotify, with nearly 3 million streams to date since its release late last year, and looks to only grow more popular over time.

The musical style of Mondo Cozmo is reminiscent of greats like Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, and even James Taylor, but is executed in a way that remains authentic and new. He’s managed to create what musicians spend their whole careers trying to achieve: a unique and innovative sound that people can connect with.

Higher

Mondo Cozmo

A typical song by Mondo Cozmo beautifully incorporates instrumentation and harmonious aspects that result in a listening experience so deep, it’s hard to ever imagine that it started off as single pieces and ideas. He finds a way to make each song a masterpiece with his own personal flair.

Mondo Cozmo provides a much needed breath of fresh air in an industry where songs can begin to sound the same. Currently on tour opening for Bastille, it seems like the sky’s the limit and he’ll only be getting Higher.

Listen to Mondo Cosmo on Spotify or SoundCloud.

Artist of the Day: Sundara Karma

Sundara Karma (Photo Credit: Anna Maria Lopez)

Hot off the release of their debut album, Sundara Karma is stepping into the spotlight of the British music scene once again.

The young band, hailing from Reading, England, has been slowly gaining a following over the past few years by touring with other indie favorites, but they will surely be leaving a distinct mark with this album. ‘Youth Is Only Ever Fun In Retrospect’ is an anthemic album that shows the progression and honing of the band’s sound in relation to their past releases.

Flame

Sundara Karma

Garnering comparisons to the likes of U2 and Bruce Springsteen, Sundara Karma has perfected their own brand of arena rock-inspired indie tunes that boom through your speakers. They played the main stage at Reading Festival this past year, and have been getting airtime on BBC thanks to their introducing segment, which has just added onto the expectations of their new releases. After the release of 3 EPs and accompanying singles over the past few years, their debut album was released on January 6th, and to the delight of fans and critics alike, it delivered.

‘Youth Is Only Ever Fun In Retrospect’ is referred to as a constant study of escapism, based mainly on their hometown and it’s relation to the larger city of London nearby. Through the lyrics you can almost tangibly feel the desire to change your life through location or actions, and that makes each track interesting and relatable. The idea of getting away from it all is constantly romanticized, but in this form, it is surprisingly subtle in it’s approach despite its focus within the music.

Loveblood

Sundara Karma

Sundara Karma has already embarked on a run of shows spanning through the UK, Europe, and North America that will last through the Summer. Get your tickets now as you don’t want to miss your opportunity to see these boys play before they upgrade to arenas.

She Said

Sundara Karma

 

Follow Sundara Karma on the internet:

Soundcloud / Spotify / Twitter / Instagram / Facebook / YouTube

http://sundara-karma.co.uk/

Artist of the Day: Nightly

nightly

Nightly is the latest musical act out of Nashville to be making waves in the industry.

The duo just dropped their debut EP, ‘Honest’, featuring hit single “XO”. Their music has so many underlying elements and nuances that make it extremely interesting to listen to, and highly addictive. Nightly has made a name for themselves in the alt-pop scene in Nashville for being very DIY when it comes to their music and their live shows. Homemade light shows and production add sincerity and atmosphere to their presence.

XO

Nightly

‘Honest’ opens up with the band’s first ever single “XO”, which is a 3 minute peek into the issues of a toxic relationship. Pounding percussion drives the instrumental of this song, and the melodies created by Jonathan Capeci’s vocals deepen and layer the overall sound of the track. “Honest” brings some elements to the EP that no other tracks do, such as distorted background vocals and building percussion.

Honest

Nightly

Joey Beretta’s guitar riffs are expertly weaved into every single song and add an almost haunting note to them. Every element in the instrumental from synths and percussion tracks to guitar riffs and other sound effects are tastefully layered to create Nightly’s signature sound. With the depth of every track’s sound, you would have no idea that this was their first release. Nightly is extremely polished and already seem to have a full grasp on their sound, which can be hard to come by and develop.

Nightly is currently gearing up for their first ever headline tour next month. You can find them on Twitter, Facebook, Soundcloud, Instagram, Tumblr, and on their site.

Discovery: The Northern Empty – “Rest My Bones”

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.

Listen below. Follow The Northern Empty on Facebook, SoundCloud, and Spotify.

Rest My Bones

The Northern Empty

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LA indie pop group ARMORS talk about their latest single “Overdose”

ARMORS

Orange County natives ARMORS are a force to be reckoned with in the next year. They have become local favorites on KROQ in the Los Angeles area due to their innovative, alternative sound and high-quality production. Fresh off the release of two new singles (“Overdose” and “Genesis”), they’re about to hit the tour circuit with Safetysuit in January 2017. We had the chance to speak with them about their new music, what’s next for them, and what they really want fans to know. Check it out below!

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Overdose

ARMORS

Describe your latest single “Overdose”.

“Overdose” came together in a very spontaneous manner; the song was completely written and recorded in demo quality all within a few hours. Overall the catalyst for the track was a reflection of  the countless extra hours we were putting in, trying to succeed in life anyway possible. The greater meaning of what poured out of our subconscious that day would only come to light in the final stages of production, when we had a chance to actually review the song. Honestly we all face challenges in life, we are all subjected to trials and hardships as we pace forward. Whether it be your dead end job, or the bad relationship that you can’t forget, or even the overarching feeling of existing yet, still not truly feeling alive. A vast majority of us find coping mechanisms to push through and strive for something real, something greater, sometimes to the point of excess. In short, we have found that the very crutch in which we escape from the real world can very often consume our entire lives as we try to avoid it.

Genesis

ARMORS

Do you feel as though“Overdose” and “Genesis” are signifying a shift in your music? If so, why?

Absolutely. Since the beginning of 2016 we have written somewhere around 50 songs or so. Our writing has been refined and our identity has been carved out via the outpouring of our personal lives into finished compositions. We find ourselves growing older and older, and our life experiences are becoming more saturated day in and day out. You can most assuredly hear how we have matured since previous releases, into what we feel is more along the lines of our personal vision for the group.

You mentioned how the writing of “Overdose” was the first time you’d ever had to write a clean/explicit version of one of your songs. What was that like?

To be honest, we try and avoid using explicit lyrics for the most part, it usually just tends to bring a track down overall. Relying on expletives to fill out lyrics is typically the easy way out. In the case of “Overdose” though we couldn’t see a way around saying it how we felt it. That line rings more true nowadays than ever and I believe being brutally honest in the context of that line is something a lot of people can agree with.

What drove you to create multiple acoustic versions of “Genesis”?

When we released the acoustic video, the response was far more positive than we ever anticipated. The arrangement was changed up in the stripped down version and we fell in love with it just as much as our listeners. Because we couldn’t see just stripping audio from the video shoot and posting online, we decided to take it into the studio and fully record the arrangement.

Genesis (Acoustic)

ARMORS

How do the visuals (album covers, preview videos, etc.) for your new singles tie into the music? Did you come up with them yourselves or did you collaborate with someone?

Most of them are done in house by our bassist Kody Buxton. Oftentimes, they are just visuals that we feel represent the tracks in various ways. We like to leave it up to the listener to interpret them however they see fit.

Are there any more treatments for these songs coming out?

We are currently trying to throw around music video concepts and hope to begin filming in the next few months. As with anything else, it can often be a challenge to portray the imagery we want to accompany with the music. You can expect to see something come through very soon.

ARMORS (Photo Credit: Lhoycel Teope)
ARMORS / Photo Credit: Lhoycel Teope

You have received some spins on radio, most notably on LA’s KROQ, which is known for breaking new bands. How does hearing your songs on the radio feel, and do you think it’s affected you as band?

It has most assuredly affected us as a band. We never get tired of hearing our music on the radio, it never feels like it’s really happening. Growing up in Southern California our whole lives, listening to Kat Corbett on KROQ playing awesome bands has been such a great influence. To finally hear her talk about us and how much she likes the music is absolutely surreal. We’re honored to consider her a friend!

What kind of plans do you have for 2017?

We are announcing our first national tour [with Safetysuit]! It has been such a grind trying to get touring opportunities across the US. It feels incredible to have something big lined up at the top of 2017. There is literally no better way to start the year for us!

Will you be premiering any more new music on your upcoming tour with Safetysuit in 2017?

Yep! We always try to give listeners sneak peeks here and there of the new tracks!

Is there anything else you want your fans to know?

We’d like to emphasize to all of our fans around the world that we truly appreciate all of the love and support you have given us over the years. Without your encouragement at times, we may have not made it through some of the low points that we’ve gone through. Without a doubt we can assure you all that we are trying tirelessly to make it out to every city that wants us, as well as every city that will have us. There will be more music on the way, and more shows!

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You can catch ARMORS on tour in support of Safetysuit in 2017. Make sure to follow their social media to keep up to date on what they’re doing.

http://armorsmusic.com/
http://soundcloud.com/armorsmusic
https://facebook.com/armorsmusic/
https://twitter.com/armorsmusic]

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This article was edited by Haley Yates.

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