Over the past few months, we have received, and reviewed, hundreds of submissions from mostly DIY artists and bands. In the coming weeks and months, we’ll be sharing the best artists of the hundreds of submissions we’ve reviewed (and will continue to review) with you via a number of playlists series that highlight talented unsigned bands that deserve to be heard. This is the first volume of 5 DIY Bands to Watch in 2013.
Hemmingbirds – Chicago, Illinois
Riding on the success of their debut record, Death Wave, released in 2010, Chicago indie rock band Hemmingbirds began working on its follow-up early in 2012. Departing from the original solo writing process (attributed to band leader Yoo Soo Kim) of Death Wave, Hemmingbirds worked on their sophomore effort, The Vines of Age, collectively. As a result, the album marks a transition from the group’s original folk- influenced sound into something heavier, noisier and more soulful.
– Hemmingbirds from The Vines of Age – Sept. 25th
– Hemmingbirds from The Vines of Age
Jumpiter – Brooklyn, New York
Jumpiter is the musical project of Brooklyn solo artist Sean Schuyler, who writes and records in his ‘cramped’ apartment with the goal of channeling his “inner Jimmy Page to make some fun headphone listening.” While any Jimmy Page comparison is way off from the reality, the two songs featured below are pretty good for a solo artist few have heard of. In November, Jumpiter self-released a self-titled fifth release, featuring a collection of hard-rock and power-pop songs touching on darkness and humor in songs like “Asbestos Of The Gods” and “Bugspray.”
“Bug Spray” – Jumpiter from Jumpiter
“Asbestos Of The Gods” – Jumpiter from Jumpiter
Cloud Lantern – Albuquerque, New Mexico
From the magical desert southwest area of Albuquerque, New Mexico, Cloud Lantern blipped on our radar with their self-produced DIY release of the EP, Songs for Eluard. The band integrates post-punk, surf pop, garage rock, shoegaze and math-rock, and have become well-known within Albuquerque DIY indie rock scene. The new EP is a tribute to the poet Paul Eluard, whose contributions to the surrealist art movement are well-noted.
Cloud Latern’s sound is risque, enthralling and accessible; the first single, “Backgammon,” is a bright, sunny summer day, lo-fi surf pop track, featuring a driving drum beat, crashing cymbals, and lo-fi, surf rock guitars jamming away. The second single, “Pushkin Around,” is yet another surf pop mixed with post-punk track that comes off very much like a noise pop or power pop track. The band most recent release was in July of 2012.
“Backgammon” – Cloud Lantern from Songs for Eluard EP
“Pushkin Around” – Cloud Lantern from Songs for Eluard EP
Website: Cloud Lantern’s Official Website
The Jesus Rehab – Seattle, Washington
The Jesus Rehab is a Seattle DIY indie rock band that has its roots in southwest Michigan, where lead singer Jared Cortese and his brother, Dominic Cortese, began to write and record the songs that would later become the band’s first EP, Scatterbrained in 2007. The EP was well-received, and the band extensively toured the Pacific Northwest, and also appeared at South by Southwest (SXSW) in 2010. The band’s sound is marked by powerful vocals and driving rhythms which have led to comparisons to bands like OK Go, The Flaming Lips and Weezer, the latter being most apparent to us. Last April, they dropped their new album, Drunken Hillbilly Fight Bar, and sent us in these two singles.
Website: The Jesus Rehab Official website
Appalachians – Sacramento, California
Appalachians is a Sacramento DIY duo formed in 2010 by musicians Marshall Van Leuven and Trevor Dahl. The duo first met in a jazz band in the 6th grade, and have been making music together ever since. In addition to songwriting and singing, Van Leuven and Dahl play guitars, banjos, mandolins, washboards, among other instruments. In July of 2012, the duo dropped their debut album, The Rolling C’s, featuring terrific songs like “Playing Pretend” and “Outro.” We’re looking forward to what the duo release this year; apparently, there is a new album in the works.
“Playing Pretend” – Appalachians from The Rolling C’s
“Outro” – Appalachians from The Rolling C’s
Listen to more tracks from Appalachians’ Bandcamp page