New Music Friday – Ep.2 – Vote in the poll to decide who wins a full album review
Each of these artists has an incredible amount of talent, so let’s give them all a fair listen. After clicking on each one, please vote in the poll posted below. The winner (after one week), will receive a full album review here on EarToTheGround Music. Please share these outstanding artists with your friends, too. Everyone wins!
Foresteater – “Very Friendly People”
-There’s a glow to the guitars in Foresteater that are bound to bring a smile to your face. The harmonies don’t hurt, either. It’s a sound that many will find catchy. The lyrics aren’t always evident, but it’s the kind of “put it on and cruise” music that is perfect for the sunny days of summertime.
Air Traffic Controller – “On the Wire”
-Do you HEAR that incredible vocal over layered electronic sounds? It feels like the first time you put on a hoody in the fall after you’ve had your bare arms out all summer long. It feels comfortable and soft and cuddly. The lead vocal on Air Traffic Controller is enough to keep me coming back for more, but the rest of the epic sound makes it positively infectious. “I can almost hear the angels cry.”
Carter Vail – “Catching Elizabeth”
-Every once in awhile I hear a sound so crisp that I know it’s perfect for our site; Carter Vail has that snap to his songwriting. This melody on “Catching Elizabeth” is stellar. The entire composition makes you feel like you’re sitting on the beach with your favorite beverage. The actual “catching Elizabeth” hook sounds really familiar but I can’t quite put my finger on it. This is a wonderful feel-good song.
Steve Benjamins – “A Laughing Heart”
-If I were on Benjamins’ label, I’d suggest that he name his album “There will be steel drums.” It’s an absolutely outstanding performance of pop juiciness that you really need to hear. Seriously if you can make it through this track without bobbing in your seat or smiling, you have no pulse. It’s an island vibe that makes Jack Johnson sound like a downer. If you love Franti and all things sunshine, you have to give Benjamins’ a spin.
Josiah and the Bonnevilles – “Can You Hear It”
-Much like the first time I heard the distinctive sound of Good Old War, I feel like Josiah and the Bonnevilles have a similar characteristic style. It’s a vocal quality that just seems to pierce through the universe. The writing is crisp and clear. The harmonies are pretty much perfect. This is such an endearing song; you should probably just play it at your local coffeehouse and show those hipsters what’s up.
Extra Texture – “Take It All”
-Listening to this song morphs me to another era. The cool rock sound reminds me of one of the bands they compare themselves to, Dawes. That’s really high praise, but they can hack it. There’s also a genuine harkening back to some great 70s bands as well. The guitar work is outstanding. It’s the kind of song that makes me think this would be a killer show. Like these dudes will be playing the House of Blues circuit sooner rather than later.
Brothers Among Wera – “Mammoth”
-Just when you were beginning to think we’d become a 100% indie rock blog, you’ll click on this submission and fall in love with folk all over again. The lead vocal on this track blows me away! I don’t know how she’s so freaking good! But then you’ll hear these horns and, if you’re like me, you just do one of those “how can a band be this good?” scoffing motions… and you’ll smile for the rest of the song. The rhythm and energy is there; Brothers Among Wera are this year’s The Oh Hellos. You heard it here first.
Damon Grant feat. Stephen Kellogg – “Paid My Price”
-If you like your folk/Americana with a little bit of twang, give Grant and Kellogg a spin. The lead vocal quality is outstanding, but beyond that there’s a real sense of melody that pervades the recording. It’s comforting and pure country that shies away from the stereotypical themes of the genre. There are times that the production errs on the side of overdoing it for me, but the authenticity of the vocal wins the day and makes it worth repeated listens.
Grado – “Curtain Call”
-Imagine a band that captured the haunting harmonies of Fleet Foxes with a vintage feeling as well, you have Grado. It’s a layered, savory-textured sound that may not be for the top 40 but surely is for a folk blog. If you find yourself telling friends that you like CSNY or Simon and Garfunkel, only to receive their ironic scoffs… well, introduce them to Grado. It’s a perfect subtle folk that is absolutely to be taken seriously.
Pete Lehar – “You Wrote the Book on Me”
-Pete Lehar’s rock style is infectious. It’s a little bit classic rock with some fresh takes mixed in. You’ll hear some electronic elements that create a more recent vibe. But what I really enjoyed about this track is the way that it drives a hard rhythm but doesn’t smash you in the face with a brazen message. It’s the perfect mixture of energizing and chill. It’s sonically balanced in a way that made me say, “yeah, this is good.”