Five Emerging Singer Songwriters
Maybe the term “emerging” grates on your nerves a little, but really it’s the bedrock of this site. We’re not here to cover artists already on the Billboard charts or bringing home Grammys. We’re here to write about the folks who will be in those conversations soon (well, maybe Grammy categories like folk and roots, but still). Here we have a collection of singer songwriters that you’re really going to enjoy. Settle in with a beverage of choice and click play on several of them.
The Franklin Electric – This Is How I Let You Down
-If you really like the timbre of the lead singer of Coldplay, you’re really going to enjoy The Franklin Electric. From fingerpicking guitars to intricate lead vocals, this is an incredible album. You’ll hear some intonations that remind you of James Morrison or even Sam Smith. Keep listening. Hear him out. It’s the kind of amazing singer songwriter album that makes me feel the same way I did when I first heard John Mayer’s Room for Squares. Whatever that “it” factor is, this man has it. The title track “This Is How I Let You Down” is the kind of track that will just melt your heart with each softly-delivered piano chord.
Oktoba – Smoke Signals
-Okay I’m not going to mince any words on this one; I love Oktoba’s music. There’s a real light vitality to the way the music hits my ears. The guitar is just perfect and the lead vocal is outstanding. I can’t really understand why an artist like Oktoba is not all over the pop country stations. His writing is real, his lyrics are solid, and his music is genuinely enjoyable. It’s really hard to pick a best song on the album because they all have so much richness and authenticity. If forced, I’d say “Wind Fire Water Stone” is a good indication of Oktoba’s overall style. But seriously take the time to enjoy the full album. It’s worth it.
Jay Woodward – Good Grief
-Woodward’s music is nontraditional. It’s the kind of art-first music that might not be what you tap your toes to, but rather close your eyes and soak it in. There’s all sorts of religious imagery, dark chord progressions, and vivid colors in sound. Just when you think the album might be a bit too far “out there” for us mere mortals to enjoy, the whispering sensitivity of “Blue Sky Blue” brings you right back like William Fitzsimmons. It’s certainly an experimental feeling throughout, but it’s high art and definitely worth a spin.
Holly Drummond – Battle Lines
-This album Battle Lines by Holly Drummond has gripping harmonies and mellow, enjoyable soundscapes. Her voice has a familiar quality to it. She sounds like your friend, sweet and interesting. Her lyrics are introspective and thought provoking, yet also at times pretty scathing toward the person she’s singing about. But the downtempo feel with added electronic elements feels just right for her sound. I have to say “Not Enough” is my favorite as the acoustic guitar really changes the mood. I’d love to hear a full album like that by Holly Drummond.
Aaron Taos – Guits EP
-Aaron Taos is a pop singer songwriter with all sorts of West Coast flavor. His vocals are about as addictive as any you’ll hear in music today. But his cynical, witty writing style makes those poppy compositions really pop. Even the opening track “ILL” gets things started with some real swagger. Taos’s hit is “Hands,” a complicated hip-hop influenced track with some interesting layered elements. It’s sure not what you’ll usually find here on EarToTheGround, but it’s Taos’s inventive, complex style that keeps him in that emerging, avant garde category.