One Man Bands: Jumpiter, Blake McKibben, Old Lights, Levek, and Galapaghost
“Eyes Of The Trucks” – Jumpiter from Trucks
“The Message” – Jumpiter from Trucks
Blake McKibben is a popular unsigned musician from Portland, Oregon who has been recording his own music since he was 18 years old. In 2001, he started his own recording studio, Clarity Recording, and eventually established himself as a producer in Portland. Now he has compiled his own favorite songs on his debut release Haze. Remarkably, his MySpace page registers over one half of a million profile views, and his songs have been played nearly one million times. It’s rare to see those kind of numbers for an unsigned musician, but his music speaks for itself.
“Haze” – Blake McKibben from Haze
“Breakup Song” – Blake McKibben from Haze
“You Are The One” – Blake McKibben from Haze
Old Lights is the monkier of singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist David Beeman. He is a transplant from southern California to St. Louis, Missouri. Beeman is best known for his work as a drummer for David Vandervelde and as the sound engineer for bands such as Cold War Kids, Delta Spirit and Elvis Perkins. Impressive. Beeman began recording songs that he wrote on the road with Gabriel Doiron, who contributed lead guitar, bass, and co-wrote and arranged some of the songs.
Together they built and tore down several improvised home studio’s in their respective residences. Old Lights’ music is heavily inspired by post-Beatles‘ solo records and Beach Boys‘ harmonies, a resulting layered and textured pop sound that calls out to fans of Rufus Wainwright, Badfinger and Okkervil River.
“How Can I Get By” – Old Lights from Every Night Begins the Same
“Losing My Mind” – Old Lights from Every Night Begins the Same
“Furthest from the Tree” – Old Lights from Every Night Begins the Same
The next one man band we found out about via our friends at I Guess I’m Floating. His name is David Levesque from Orlando, Florida and describes his music as “Mickey Mouse tropical sounds”. Using the moniker, Levek, he writes and records spirited, upbeat music with plenty of reverb and sound effects. By day, he is an elementary school bus driver.
Levek’s music is compared to Sufjan Stevens, Disney movies and the folk rock band Grizzly Bear. For example, the track “Geographic John” hits “the same melodic alchemy as GB’s Daniel Rossen on the vocal harmonies”, and “Loon And The Lion” is, according to IGIF, a “brand new folky delicacy”.
“Loon And The Lion” – Levek
“NW 4th St.” – Levek
“Geographic John” – Levek
Galapaghost is the musical moniker of singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Casey Chandler who released his EP, Lost Generation, last December. Growing up in the upstate New York small town of Woodstock (the actual historic 1969 Woodstock Music Festival was held in nearby Bethel, NY), Chandler was exposed to music at a very young age, mastering the saxophone and teaching himself how to play bass at age 14. Soon after, he began playing guitar and writing and singing his own songs as well as taking an internship at a local music studio.
Now a resident of New York City, Chandler is assembling a full line-up of musicians for his Galapaghost band project. His songwriting is influenced by a range of bands from Midlake to Black Rebel Motorcycle Club to Beck. He is also a 2009 graduate of SUNY at Purchase with a bachelor’s degree in music production. We asked Chandler about the somewhat feminish sound of this voice on the song, “Neptune” and he replied: “Oh yeah, ‘Neptune’ definitely does sound like a female vocalist. I listen to and sing along with a lot of Sigur Ros, so my voice is actually most comfortable in that range, but I could just never find a song fitting to sing that high until I wrote Neptune.”
“Neptune” – Galapaghost from Neptunes
“Aloner”– Galapaghost from Neptunes
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