It’s hard to ignore the classics, but it’s worse to overlook the rising stars. Each month, we pick five artists worth lending your ears to. May’s picks spotlight emerging acts changing garage rock, pop and alternative.
NOTES: Frontman Asa Taccone may look like an eerie mirage of his brother/Lonely Island crew member Jorma, but the music he pens with his other half, Matthew Compton, is no laughing matter. The West Coast duo unearth and solicit radio funk and classic soul that peels off emotions with flooring vocal work. Their debut, Mondo, receives a helping touch from Danger Mouse acting a producer, but the blast of indie rock and vintage-stressed pop pushes their style to its brink and lets it unfold in your lap, begging for the opportunity to dance with you.
NOTES: For the past twelve months, garage rock has regained it’s popularity and helping the genre rip it’s Jesus Lizard t-shirt off are Dope Body, four Baltimore punks hailed as basement kings. Their no-nonsense, hit the walls and shred-approach may not be accepted by those who curate more refined rock, but the quartet match scuzziness with cauterizing performances that hit harder than diving into a wall. “Being able to be in front of people and scream your lungs out is something everyone wants to do constantly,” ringleader Andrew Laumann noted in a recent interview. “This is my time to let loose and not give a fuck about anybody. I don’t have to put up any walls”.
NOTES: Uncovering Purity Ring for the first time is such an indescribable experience, it’s like being exposed to the taste of love during your teenage years. So many emotions strangle your senses that it’s unfair to classify the Halifax/Montreal duo as a “buzz band”; they hold way more weight than the name expels because the clatter of ripe hip hop, chilled out-house and darkened pop bares the naked side of authenticity. Did we mention Megan James is a vocal force to be reckoned with? Groping Corin Roddick’s beats library, the songwriting is fascinatingly dominant.
NOTES: On paper, there’s not a lot to know about DIIV; they stemmed from guitarist Zachary Cole Smith’s touring stint with Beach Fossils, have three singles making waves (“Human”, “Sometime”, “Geist”) and without warning, scrapped their original name (Dive) for something more original that relates to it’s origin of water signs and Kurt Cobain. No matter the title they fall under, Smith and his bandmates are clear masters of hazy, daydream indie rock, that without repercussions, cuts its way into your heart with heavy reverb and heart-scratching pop hooks. Our collective definition for the group’s undervalued talents – flawless shoegaze melodies that cut like a blade.
FILE NEXT TO: Mac DeMarco, Blouse, Wild Nothing
NOW PLAYING: Oshin (Jun. 26th – Captured Tracks) // Official Site
HANDS LIKE HOUSES
NOTES: What Australia’s Hands Like Houses do well is instead of following, they create. Led by vocalist Trenton Todd Woodley, the six-piece look to establish mid-2000s’ experimental rock but give it the post-hardcore spine it needs, looping Relativity with All’s Well That End’s Well. The visual imagery, the unshakable choruses, the hammering rip of cohesiveness – all of which stain their debut Ground Dweller – cruise at a solid speed and add a substantial amount of life to a sound that was believed to be dead.