Sunday, December 28, 2014

Best of 2014! (December 28, 2014)

The "Best of 2014" - my list of some of the best new songs of the past year from the best (mostly) emerging bands. 

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BEST OF 2014!

  1. Are You Ready (On Your Own) Distant Cousins
  2. Back To YouTwin Forks
  3. Brothers Melodime
  4. Carolina Save Me Nathan Angelo
  5. Drive All Night (English Hearts)Deaf Havana
  6. Fight SongRachel Platten
  7. First Flight Home Jake Miller
  8. Geronimo Sheppard
  9. Glass HeartMagic Giant
  10. Halo -  Lewis Watson
  11. Heartbeat Mat Kearney
  12. Heaven Amber Run
  13. High HorseHailey Steele
  14. Hope For the Best You Me At Six
  15. I Won't FollowSecret Someones
  16. Keep SwingingBlitz Kids
  17. L.A. KidAct As If
  18. Lessons LearnedNatasha North
  19. Losing the LonelyElenowen
  20. Love My PeopleCrown and The M.O.B.
  21. Time To FlyI Fight Dragons
  22. Never EndToby Lightman
  23. Ooh La La Kate Voegele
  24. Peace O.A.R.
  25. Pop 101 (feat. Anami Vice) -  Marianas Trench
  26. The RaptureFort Hope
  27. Shut Up and DanceWalk The Moon
  28. Somebody To You (feat. Demi Lovato) -  The Vamps
  29. Take Me With You Roses & Revolutions
  30. Time Lower Than Atlantis
  31. Unbreakable Trinity
  32. Vintage Ruthie Collins
  33. When You Were Mine Taylor Henderson
  34. Why God Made Love Songs - Joel Crouse
  35. Why WorrySet It Off
  36. World on Fire (feat. Matisyahu) - Moshav
  37. You and MeYou+Me
  38. You To Believe InParadise Fears
  39. 11:11Arkells

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Lewis Watson (December 21, 2014)

Our last "regular" post of 2014 (next week is the annual "Best of" edition) could easily be one of the biggest breakout starts of 2015. Lewis Watson could/should be the Ed Sheeran of next year.  His album "The Morning" beautifully balances on the line between pop, folk and acoustic rock music. His lyrics are poignant and the music is easy on the ears.  "Into The Wild" and "Outgrow" are favorites and "Halo" is one of the most beautiful and powerful songs of the year (special shout out to 2 special individuals who originally shared this with me - you know who you are!).  Being British seems to be a plus these days for singer-songwriters and he's got that going for him too.  This album has a little bit of everything in it and it's a great gift to yourself during this busy holiday time.

Have a great week and enjoy the music - and don't forget to check back next week for the Best Songs of 2014!!


Sunday, December 14, 2014

Moshav (December 14, 2014)

No other band sounds like Moshav and that has a lot to do with the way they combine their radio ready rock sound with the influence of their home country of Israel.  Those New Sun Rising" which will be out Tuesday (12/16/14 - also the first night of Hanukkah).  The first track on the new record is an epic anthem "World on Fire" that features Matisyahu and has already garnered a lot of attention.  Moshav sings about lots of different things but they definitely try to send a message of hope, peace and good will.  You can hear three of the songs now and check out the whole album on Tuesday.  I know that I can't wait for "New Sun Rising."
Middle Eastern beats and sounds blend perfectly with their modern sound as they  prepare to release their most progressive album to date, "

Have a great week and enjoy the music!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Lara Johnston (December 7, 2014)

I've been waiting and waiting and just can't wait any longer to share the immense talent that is Lara Johnston.  I came across Lara almost a year and a half ago with her original song K.I.S.S. which I thought would surely get her some much deserved attention and potentially even make her a star. But that song was kept fairly quiet and she's been working diligently on her craft, working with some great artists and putting out some incredible covers.  I'm hoping that sooner rather than later we will get a full album of material but for now there's plenty to see/hear and enjoy. Lara can be a sultry, bluesy singer when she wants to and can also go full diva and fall in line with the best pop artists working today.  In addition to K.I.S.S. and her other originals be sure to check out her covers both as a solo artist and with The New Velvet (previously featured Emerge Music band). She's got all the talent in the world and I can't wait for her to be head by a wider audience.

Have a great week and enjoy the music,


Sunday, November 30, 2014

Taylor Mathews (November 30, 2014)

For those of us looking for a different "Taylor" to enjoy, check out  Taylor Mathews, an outstanding singer-songwriter who released his great album, "Do What You Want To" about a year ago (my apologies for being slow on this one - but better late than never).  This album contains what should be one hit song after another. These songs could easily be in a playlist along with One Republic, The Script and at times Jason Mraz and other similar artists.   It's also an impressive album because there is a lot of diversity of style throughout the 12 songs but all of it is good.  Find out for yourself:

Have a great week and enjoy the music,

Special note: I wrote this blog post totally independently, and then after finishing it happened to see this note on Taylor's website which I swear I hadn't seen before writing the above.


Sunday, November 23, 2014

Luke Reynolds (November 23, 2014)

Luke Reynolds has had quite the journey leading up to the release of his new album "After The Flood."  About 10 years ago he was the lead singer of an incredible group called "Blue Merle" (check out their album "Burning In The Sun") and his distinct vocals were captivating to me.  But a year after this great album was released the band fell apart.  I lost track of Luke and his career until he magically reappeared in 2010 as the newest member of my favorite band of the last 15 years, Guster!  I was thrilled that Luke not only had resurfaced but with this amazing group of musicians.  Luke's addition to Guster has been fantastic but I was also excited to hear his new solo album which just came out this week on his website. The album has a variety of songs and styles but are also distinctly Luke.  The whole album can be streamed on SoundCloud and I highly recommend checking it out.

Have a great week (Happy Thanksgiving!) and enjoy the music,

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Hailey Steele (November 16, 2014)

Hailey Steele is a great representation of the incredible music coming out of modern day Nashville.  She is a country artist (who previously appeared on The Voice) and she owns that label even though her music is easily enjoyed by those who like singer songwriters and people who generally say "oh, I don't like country music."

Her new EP is coming out this Tuesday (Nov 18) and having spent hours and hours listening to it I can verify that it's outstanding!  Hailey has an incredible voice that brings in just enough of that raspy quality to give her sweet sound a little grit.  The songs are instantly singable and catchy and each stands strong on its own. Many new artists fall into a trap where each song starts off the same or sounds almost identical but not here. Each song, from the first note to the last, has something different about it.  The first song that really grabbed my attention was "High Horse" which has a chorus that just makes me melt. Not sure why but I can't get enough of it. "Getaway Car" is a great track and could easily be a hit single. "Diamonds" is a favorite because I love the imagery and using the idea of diamonds in a different way.  There are only 5 tracks on the album but they are 5 outstanding songs.  Not only do I love then, but my 3 year old daughter is obsessed and has quickly learned the words too (see below).  I hope you'll take a listen as well!

Have a great week and enjoy the music!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Call It Off (November 9, 2014)

Sometimes you just have to turn the music up loud and go a little crazy.  Call It Off is a great band to help you do just that! When I first heard them I was brought back to the sounds of "old" Green Day hits from the late 90s/early 2000s.  Their songs are short but pack a lot of punch.  Their latest EP "Liars" is a 5 song high energy sprint to the finish.  This Netherlands based band rocks hard but also finds ways to show off harmonies, have lyrics you can actually understand and write songs that stick in your head.  If you like what you hear then go grab their previous EP "Lovers" as well!

Have a great week and enjoy the music!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Kate Voegele (November 2, 2014)

It seems weird to feature Kate Voegele because I've been following her for over 8 years and thousands of people know her from her time spent on the TV show "One Tree Hill" starting in 2008 where she shined both as an actress and musician.  Kate's been laying low for a few years but is about to burst back onto the scene with her new EP "Wild Card" (out this Tuesday, 11/4) and a tour that begins the following day in Virginia and continues right up until Thanksgiving all over the East Coast and mid-west.  The first song from her EP, "Just Watch Me" is outstanding and clearly touches on why we haven't heard from her in a while. She is a huge talent and I can't wait to hear and see more from her.  She's a singer songwriter who plays around with the pop/country line very successfully.  If you're not familiar with her music now is the time to hope on the KV bandwagon!

Have a great week and enjoy the music,

Sunday, October 26, 2014

You + Me (October 26, 2014)

I'm excited to let you know about a great new acoustic/folk leaning duo that has everything I'm looking for these days - great vocals with incredible male/female harmonies, excellent songwriting and a debut album that takes you through a whole range of emotions while on a great ride.  These are all the things that make You+Me one of the best finds of 2014.  But this sweet, easy going duo isn't exactly what they seem. You may not have heard of them together but you surely have heard of Alecia Beth Moore, the female lead.  She usually goes by the name P!nk - yes, that P!nk ("Get The Party Started," "Raise Your Glass," etc). This is her side project with Dallas Green of the band "City and Colour."  So while they aren't emerging artists on their own, together as You+Me they are a whole new entity one that I'm surprised hasn't gotten more attention. Be sure to check out "Unbeliever," "You+Me" and their cover of "No Ordinary Love."  It's a whole new sound for these incredible musicians.

Have a great week and enjoy the music!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Paperwhite (October 19, 2014)

We used to live in a world where musical genres were broad and general (rock, pop, R&B, country) but now there seem to be an endless number of narrowly defined categories (pop punk, surf pop, acid rock, mathcore, etc.). So I don't generally pay a lot of attention to these categories - until I came across paperwhite which calls itself "dream pop." I had no idea that that meant until I started listening to their music and it all made sense.  This brother/sister duo has created light and airy pop music that seems to float among the clouds.  Dream pop does not, in this case, mean sleepy but rather imagine a great dream where you are floating on air;  just happy, seeing all of the people and places you want to go and enjoying a beautiful day. That's what papewhite brings to mind.  Check out their latest single "Pieces" or my other favorite "Take Me Back." Right now they only have a few singles out but an EP is in the works.  I for one can't wait to hear what else they come up with.

Have a great week and enjoy the music,

Listen to their music here:

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Lower Than Atlantis (October 12, 2014)

LOWER THAN ATLANTIS is one of the best UK based rock bands out there and their new self titled album is awesome.  These guys can turn it up loud with the best of them but never lose sight of the lyrics or the music. No matter how high the energy or how intense the music it never gets messy.  "English Kids in America" is a favorite of mine as is "Here We Go." "Words Don't Come So Easily"  is a more laid back song that also grabbed my attention from the first listen. And I can't help like a song called "Emily" since that's my daughter's name.  This is a great band and album and someone should be booking these guys on next summer's Warped Tour!

Have a great week and enjoy the music!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Trinity (October 5, 2014)

Trinity is the ultimate feel good band as they combine the high energy of Latin music and the classic folk sounds of Irish music to create something really special.  It doesn't seem to matter if the song is in English or Spanish (they do some of each) because the music is just so good and infectious.  The song that grabbed my attention is "Unbreakable" of their latest album called "Mundo."  It's without a doubt one of my favorite songs of the year.  You can get this song and several others for free on Noisetrade.  Give this great band a listen and you just might find some of your favorite music of the year!

Have a great week and enjoy the music,

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Matt Nakoa (September 28, 2014)

Matt Nakoa has the perfect blend for today's modern singer-songwriter. He has a great voice that wavers in between rock, pop, country and folk music.  His songs are perfect for a late afternoon bbq or a drive through the country side.  His songs are soothing but never boring.  His latest album "A Dozen Other Loves" features great songs like "Fool Of A Knight," "You Are My Moonshine" (a free download on his website), and the beautiful "Chokecherry Hill." I also love "Diamonds into Dust" from his previous album "Light In The Dark."

His new album is currently available on his website and on CD Baby (not yet on iTunes/Amazon) but it's worth the extra effort:

Have a great week and enjoy the music,

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Natasha North (September 21, 2014)

UK based Lab Records has done it again by signing Natasha North who released "Fire," her latest EP, today!  Natasha grabbed my attention with her last EP "Gather and Run" (released September 2013) which I finally heard in the early summer. The title track and accompanying video (see below) were enough for me to know that I had found something special.  Lessons Learned, the first song on "Fire" is simply stunning.  She is basically an unknown commodity if you base it off of her Twitter followers (just barely over 1,000) and FB "likes" (almost 2,000).  I sure hope that she won't be anonymous for much longer!

Natasha's music falls into a weird in between zone - it doesn't feel right to call it pop or alternative and her voice sometimes sounds like she's singing traditional folks songs. So forgive me if I can't categorize it other than to say that it's exceptional.

Video for Gather and Run:

Have a great week and enjoy the music!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Amber Run (September 14, 2014)

Amber Run would have been one of my new favorite bands anyway, with songs from their "Spark" EP released earlier this year. "Heaven" and "Spark" are both great songs that showed me what this UK Alternative band is capable of. But then they took it to a whole new level with the videos for two of the songs from their new "Pilot" EP which is scheduled to be released September 21 (hopefully in the US as well as in the UK).  I'm not normally someone who gets excited about music videos but these are different.  It's three songs/parts - I Found, Pilot and part three which I can't wait to be released.  It's great music and an intense story that I'll let you watch for yourself.

I Found (Part One)
Pilot (Part Two)
Enjoy the videos, and the music, and have a great week!


Sunday, September 7, 2014

Us The Duo (September 7, 2014)

For me, there is just something special about bands that feature male AND female lead vocals.  Us The Duo does this as well as anyone and their songs are sweet, sultry and sensational.  This married couple released their latest album, "No Matter Where You Are" this past May and it is full of incredible songs.  The title track is a favorite as is "Make You Mine." But there are no disappointing songs on this album - it's just a lot of great, gorgeous music sung by two amazing talents.

Have a great week and enjoy the music!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Taylor Henderson (August 31, 2014)

Don't discredit Taylor Henderson just because he's been on two reality competition shows - he has a great voice and his latest album, "Burnt Letters" is excellent and full of fantastic songs.  At least the shows he was on were in Australia where he was a finalist on "Australia's Got Talent" (2010) and "X-Factor Australia" (2013).  When I came across this album I quickly got hooked on his music with songs such as "Already Gone," "Worth Waiting For," "Close to Nothing" and "When You Were Mine."  This is heart felt and quality pop music that gives me reason to believe we'll be seeing Taylor in the US before long.

Have a great week and enjoy the music!
P.S. Want to know what I've been listening to this month? Check out my new monthly Spotify playlist!!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Silver Trees (August 24, 2014)

Silver Trees has a brand new 5 song EP ("Fighting The Rust") coming out this Tuesday and I haven't heard any of the songs yet, but I can't wait to buy it!  Based on the music they have released so far I know it's going to be perfection.  Their debut EP, "Paper Hearts" is stunning.  "She" (see video below) starts off simply and builds to the most soothing chorus that simply wraps its arms around you and holds you tight. The title track is a gorgeous duet that lightly bounces around the room.  They seem unable to write a track that doesn't make me fall in love with them all over again. And it seems to only be a matter of time before their songs are all over television shows, movies and being used for incredible dance numbers on "So You Think You Can Dance."  I no doubt will be up late Monday night waiting for their EP to be released so I can hear for myself what they have come up with.  For now you can go get "Paper Hearts" as well as their more recent single "Close Your Eyes" (a beautiful and heart wrenching tune) for free at Noisetrade:

Have a great week and enjoy the music!

"She" by Silver Trees from Silver Trees on Vimeo.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Sheppard (August 17, 2014)

Get ready because here comes Sheppard!  This Australian group is on their way to the US and are bringing with them their ridiculously catchy single "Geronimo" along with their new EP of the same name.  This song may be the song that everyone is singing/humming this Fall - and if you don't believe me  just ask Scooter Braun (the guy who brought us Justin Bieber, Carly Rae Jepsen and Ariana Grande among others) because he has just started working with this group.  Big things are in store for them so get on the bandwagon before it gets too crowded.  Don't stop with Geronimo - be sure to check out "Flying Away" and "Something's Missing" which are also great songs.

Have a great week and enjoy the music!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Vintage Trouble (August 10, 2014)

I am so glad that Vintage Trouble finally released their new album, "The Swing House Acoustic Sessions" to iTunes to give me a great excuse to feature them.  This band has a sound unlike any other that I know of right now. They beautifully combine classic rock and soul sounds with a modern day edge.  Their lead singer, Ty Taylor, is one of my all time favorites (check out his work with Dakota Moon - one of my favorite bands that most people haven't heard of) and this music suits his stellar voice.  Their 2012 release, "The Bomb Shelter Sessions" is full speed ahead blues and soul tinted rock with so many great songs.  And now they've stripped it down with this acoustic release.  These guys just do it all right!

Have a great week and enjoy the music!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

You Me At Six (August 3, 2014)

You Me At Six is another great high energy rock band from the UK and their latest release, "Cavalier Youth" is full of great songs that serve as a great accompaniment for your next work out, long drive or outdoor party. These guys know how to craft songs that take you along for a great ride! They've been touring all over the world and are heading to the US this Fall! From the footage I've seen I have a feeling this is a band not to be missed live!

Have a great week and enjoy the music!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Twin Forks (July 27, 2014)

I'm shocked that Twin Forks isn't a bigger deal.  The band's full length self titled debut album has everything going for it to be a monster hit in 2014.  They have that awesome folk/americana sound that is found in bands like Mumford and Sons, The Lumineers, and others. The band, led by Chris Carrabba (formerly of Dashboard Confessional) is incredible and features great male and female vocals. The songs are upbeat, catchy and have broad appeal.  I can't list any favorite tracks because they are all so good.  All I can do is recommend that you give this incredible group a listen.

Have a great week and enjoy the music!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Morrison Brothers Band (July 20, 2014)

The Morrison Brothers Band is breaking the mold of what it means to be a band from our Nation's Capitol. DC is known more for their rock/punk scene with the occasional hip-hop group thrown in but country music is not something you get much of from a truly local band. The Morrison Brothers are changing all of that with their latest release, "State of the Union," which is an outstanding album that fits really well into the modern country scene. But this band hasn't skipped town and moved to Nashville though I'm sure they'd be very welcome there.  The album starts off strong with the duet, "Treat Me Right," continue with the rocking "Little Miss Whisky" and closes with a gorgeous ballad "Without Me." If you are one of those people who claim to "not like country music" don't miss out on this group and album - give it a chance!

Have a great week and enjoy the music!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Roses and Revolutions (July 13, 2014)

Roses and Revolutions makes me happy. Not sure how else to say it. The first song on their new self titled EP is called "Take Me With You" and the song makes me wanna do just that - take them and this song with me wherever I go.  It is upbeat and catchy with great vocals and just a real warmth to it.  "Boomerang" has a similar feel while "These Walls" and "Down" have a much more mellow feel showcasing Alyssa Coco's beautiful voice.  The EP is available on Noisetrade where you can stream all the songs, download it for free or choose to leave a tip. So give it a listen and download it by clicking here!

Have a great week and enjoy the music!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Air Dubai (July 6, 2014)

Air Dubai is NOT the best way to get to the United Arab Emirates but it may be the best way to get your summer party started.  This Denver based band combines hip-hop, rock, soul, pop for a high energy, fun filled sound that is showcased incredibly on their new album "Be Calm."  I had the opportunity to see these guys live last year and their live show is not to be missed (anyone out there heading to Warped Tour should be sure to make them a priority!).  My favorite tracks include "All Day," "Afterglow," "Hit The Dark," "Warning" and "Soul & Body."  Yeah, I know that's almost half the album but it's that good!

Have a great week and enjoy the music!

P.S.  This past week (July 1) was our 7th anniversary!!  Thanks for being part of the Emerge Music experience and supporting new music!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

So Far So Good 2014!

Back in 2009 I realized that waiting until the end of the year to share some of my favorite songs of the year was too challenging and left too many good songs from the early part of the year out of the running.  "So Far, So Good" was born - a mid year update on some of the best new (to me) music that I had heard in the first 6 months of the year.

5 years later, So Far, So Good has become a summer tradition and one I'm happy to continue this year! Here is this year's list (artists listed in alpha order). Enjoy the music and as always, have a great week!

So Far, So Good 2014 Edition
  1. Bones - Alex G
  2. Back Home - Andy Grammer
  3. Never Thought That This Would Happen - Arkells
  4. The Power of Love - Ben Rector (aka Newy Lewis and the Hues)
  5. Keep Swinging - Blitz Kids
  6. Stuck With You - Call It Off
  7. Levitation - Circa Zero
  8. Boston Square - Deaf Havana
  9. A Little More - Eric Hutchinson
  10. Our Love Is Everything - The Fairground
  11. Earthquake - Fort Hope
  12. Before The Sun Goes Down - Greg Sykes & Karlene Markham
  13. Breathe Me In - Jared & The Mill
  14. Diamonds - Johnnyswim
  15. Monsters - Katie Sky
  16. Bad Self Portraits - Lake Street Dive
  17. Crusaders - LostAlone
  18. We Are Done - The Madden Brothers
  19. Hurricane Heart - Marc Broussard
  20. World On Fire - Moshav (feat. Matisyahu)
  21. Gather and Run - Natasha North
  22. Can't Say No - Natives
  23. My Love Will Never Stray - Noah
  24. Be Okay - Oh Honey
  25. On Our Way - The Royal Concept
  26. Wild - Royal Teeth
  27. Never Stop Love - Secret Someones
  28. Hit The Road - Shilo Gold
  29. Love Alone Is Worth The Fight - Switchfoot
  30. Setting Sun - This, The Silent War
  31. All The Way - Timeflies
  32. Nintendo - Todd Carey
  33. Strike Your Light - Vintage Trouble (feat. Kamilah Marshall)
  34. Remember (To Forget You) - We Are The In Crowd
  35. Lesson Learned - The Wild After
  36. Too Young To Feel This Old - You Me At Six

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Barnaby Bright (June 22, 2014)

There are some bands that write one epic song that make you become a dedicated fan, and then there are bands where the song almost doesn't matter - they are so talented that every song is special because of the vocals, the music and the lyrics. That's the case with Barnaby Bright - I can't tell you which of their songs is the best (though "Gravity" was the first song of theirs I heard and it remains an all time favorite).  Every song by this married couple is incredible. And to me it is not a coincidence that their last name is "Bliss."

Right now they are trying to finish up their PledgeMusic campaign to be able to release their new album. I am a backer and hope some of you will be too.

Have a great week and enjoy the music!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Arkells (June 15, 2014)

Arkells quickly became one of my favorite bands after I got my hands on their album "Michigan Left."  I love "Book Club," "Coffee" and the title track and the whole album is great.  I was actually surprised I hadn't already featured them when I went to double check the list I keep.  Now they are poised to release their best album to date, "High Noon" in August and it's going to be totally incredible.  The first songs from that album, "Never Thought That This Would Happen" and "Come to Light" are two of my favorite songs of 2014 so far.  And now the album is available for pre-order and includes an immediate download of "11:11" which is another stellar track.

This would have been enough for me to feature them this week.  Then just a few minutes ago they posted an older video for "Coffee" in honor of Father's Day and it is hysterical and a sweet tribute to their dads.  So check out the video (below), check out the band, pre-order the album and tell your friends!

Have a great week and enjoy the music!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

LostAlone (June 8, 2014)

LostAlone hasn't just put out a great album with their latest release, "Shapes of Screams" but perhaps they've laid the foundation for an epic rock opera.  There just seems to be something bigger going on here than simply another album of really good music.  "Crusaders" is an incredible opening song - both for this album and for the show that is being created in my head. "Hostages" and "G.U.I.L.T.Y." also showcase this band's love of harmonies and big anthems.  This British band hasn't released the album in the US officially but you can download it from their website and stream it as well. I highly encourage you to give it a listen.

Have a great week and enjoy the music!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

JOHNNYSWIM (June 1, 2014)

Artists take note - sometimes when you offer one song for free it can lead to so much more! That was definitely the case when Amazon's MP3 store offered JOHNNYSWIM's song "Diamonds" as a free song from their "Artists to Watch."  It immediately caught my attention and before I knew it I had downloaded the entire album (of the same name) and I can't stop listening to it. This male/female duo has found that perfect musical spot where they have a distinct sound and yet don't seem to fall into any particular genre.  They just have beautiful voices and create incredible songs.

Have a great week and enjoy the music!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Great Divide (May 25, 2014)

Great Divide is the right band for you if you're looking to inject a little good old fashioned soulful rock and roll to your Memorial Day Weekend.  Their latest full length album (self titled) is full of gems that remind me of the "good old" days when bands were made up of great musicians who played actual instruments (and lots of them) and songs were sung from the heart and gut as much as from the mouth.  This band hooked me quickly with the first song on this album "Ain't No Roads" (and literally from the first piano riff) which is available for free on their Facebook page.  The album goes from one great song to another so definitely check all of it out!

Have a great week (and long weekend) and enjoy the music!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Distant Cousins (May 18, 2014)

The time is right for Distant Cousins to become a household name. This acoustic/folk/rock/pop trio sounds like the perfect opening band for Mumford and Sons, The Lumineers or other similar bands and hopefully won't be opening for others for long.  Their debut EP is near perfect (and could only be better if it was longer) and contains gems like "On My Way" and "On Your Own" (yes, similar titles, different songs) as well as their single "Raise It Up." "On My Way" is now being heard up and down the East Coast in partnership with Shake Shack's "No Kid Hungry" campaign (see below).  Each song is full of incredible harmonies, foot tapping rhythms and thoughtful lyrics. Time to join the family!

Have a great week and enjoy the music,

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Fort Hope (May 11, 2014)

At a time where there seem to be few music labels that you can really count on, UK based LAB Records continues to sign one incredible band after another. They have done it again with Fort Hope who released their new album "Courage" today!  This is great rock music with powerful lyrics, soaring vocals, catchy hooks and much more.  The whole album is fantastic but some of the songs that really stand out include "The Rapture," "Earthquake" and "New Life." But in all honesty I could have listed any of the songs from "Courage" here because they are all standouts.

There is so much to like here - please go check it out!
Have a great week and enjoy the music!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Breaking Southwest (May 4, 2014)

I spent this weekend in Atlanta so forgive me if I'm in a country music mood!  Go give a listen to Breaking Southwest, a great Dallas band that brings it with a fun country/southern rock mix. Their latest release, "Take A Moment" includes some of my favorite songs, "Breathe," "Party Till Sunday" (which is as much of a fun party song as you might think from the title) as well as "Raise A Glass." Summer is almost here and this band/album is a great accompaniment to your summer fun!

Have a great week and enjoy the music!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Greg Sykes and Karlene Markham (April 27, 2014)

Perhaps I should warn you that I'm coming off an emotional weekend which  may have something to do with why I chose to feature Greg Sykes and Karlene Markham this week.  Indepedently, they do great work (Greg is a worship leader and Karlene lists herself as a singer/songwriter).  Together they are creating some of the most beautiful duets I've heard in a long time.  They have several singles out and I urge you to check them all out at  I particularly enjoy "Forever After Yours" and "Before the Sun Goes Down."

Have a great week and enjoy the music!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Wild After (April 20, 2014)

The Wild After's debut EP "Lesson Learned" was released earlier this month and it's timing is perfect to serve as a complement to springtime. Their music is like a warm awakening after a long, cold winter. A great combination of pop, acoustic and folk music that just goes down easy.  This Denver based band (which includes members of The Heyday) is off to a great start!

Have a great week and enjoy the music!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Strange Familiar (April 13, 2014)

The Strange Familiar's new album, "The Day The Light Went Out," was streaming online this past week and I am obsessed with it.  Kira Leyden, the lead singer, has the most incredible voice and each song on the album is outstanding.  This is a wonderful pop rock album that hopefully will make this band a household name.  I want to tell you which are my favorite songs but each time I go back and listen I like each song so much and each time a different one stands out. So go check out the whole thing!

Have a great week and enjoy the music!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Circa Zero (April 6, 2014)

Circa Zero is the new collaboration between Rob Giles (of The Rescues) and Andy Summers of the legendary band The Police.  It's a great rock album with Rob's amazing vocals and Andy's guitar featured throughout.  Be sure to check out "Levitation" and "Say Goodnight" which are two of my favorite tracks.  For fans of The Police it's the closest thing to that epic band that I've heard in a long time.  A great album through and through!

Have a great week and enjoy the music!

P.S. The video for "Levitation" has just been released - check it out:

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Oh Honey (March 30, 2014)

Oh Honey not only has released their debut EP "With Love" in the last week but it includes the early front runner for the song of the summer (assuming it ever actually warms up) with their super catchy "Be Okay."  It's hard to not smile and sing along with this song and it's a perfect anthem to accompany those car rides with the windows down.  This EP may only be 4 songs but it's 4 great songs.  "I Love You Will Still Sound The Same" is a great twist on the typical love song and "Lonely Neighbor" and "Get It Right" have a lot to offer as well.  If you like fun songs, great harmonies and complementary male/female lead vocals this is your new jam!

Have a great week and enjoy the music,

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Jared & The Mill (March 23, 2014)

I wish I had never heard of Jared & The Mill - simply because the reason I learned about them was because of a horrific incident at the SXSW festival in Austin, TX. As you may have heard, a drunk driver plowed into a group of concert goers killing 2 and injuring another 2 dozen.  A few days later, Jared and his band went to visit some fans in the hospital. I saw a news story about it, and while the band was never mentioned by name, I was intrigued to find out more.  What I found was one of the best sounding bands I've come across in quite some time.

Jared & The Mill fall in line with bands such as Mumford & Sons and The Avett Brothers but if I'm being honest I like this band more.  Their album "Western Expansion" is outstanding and avoids the pitfall that Mumford seems to fall into where songs tend to sound the same after a while. "Breathe Me In" starts the album with gorgeous harmonies and Mumford fans will love it.  The album is full of incredible banjo picking, guitar playing, lyrics and vocals.

It is hard to use finding a new favorite band as a silver lining for such a terrible tragedy, but I was impressed with them for reaching out to fans who had been injured and equally impressed with their music.

Have a great week and enjoy the music!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Royal Teeth (March 16, 2014)

In my never ending quest to stay ahead of the curve, I'm excited to give you a head start on Royal Teeth, an outstanding pop group out of Louisiana who's debut album "Glow" is incredibly enjoyable.  With a nice mix of male and female lead vocals, this group had crafted an excellent album with catchy songs such as "Hold Me," "Vagabonds" and "Pick up the Phone."  There songs have caught someone's attention because this week they will appear on American Idol's results show on Thursday. This season the show has been showcasing lesser known bands that the judges suggest. I'm guessing that this is Harry Connick Jr.'s pick with the Louisiana connection.  So before they gain another 10,000 followers later this week, hop on the bandwagon know and impress your friends as you let them know you heard them first!

Have a great week and enjoy the music!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Carleton Stone (March 9, 2014)

Few things get me to check out a new artist faster than a recommendation from another artist I like/respect.  And that's how I came across Carleton Stone and his brand new release "Draws Blood."  This Canadian singer, recommended by Andrew Austin (who co-wrote one of the songs), is everything I'm looking for in music.  He has a great voice, the songs don't all sound the same (but each one sounds great) and the songs are interesting, enjoyable and make me happy. Carleton references several singers that he compares himself to and I would add Jackson Browne to that list - a soulful yet easy sound to his vocals.  I keep listening to this album over and over again and I just like it more and more.  Check it out, available now on iTunes!

Have a great week and enjoy the music!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

The Fairground (March 2, 2014)

The Fairground is a wonderful country group from Australia. They are making a name for themselves "Down Under" and hopefully we will see more of them in the US in the near future.  I adore their ballad "Our Love Is Everything" as well as the gritty "Burn The Room."  Their self titled EP includes these two songs along with 3 other great tracks.  If you are into groups like Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town or the recently reunited Trick Pony you'll want to take a listen to The Fairground.

Have a great week and enjoy the music!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Noah Gundersen (February 23, 2014)

Noah Gundersen is that special artist who proves that sometimes less is more.  His new album "Ledges" is a beautiful display of writing and singing that we don't see often enough.  Noah's voice comes from deep within and each note is passionate and heartfelt.  Some might call this music folk, others might classify it as Americana but I don't care how you label it - I just love it.  I think you might as well.  You can check it out on iTunes here:

Have a great week and enjoy the music!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Lake Street Dive (February 16, 2014)

Lake Street Dive instantly caught my attention with their incredible covers of songs such as "Faith" and "Rich Girl" and now they are ready for a meteoric rise with the release of "Bad Self Portraits" this Tuesday. The title track has already won me over and their recent appearance on The Colbert Report didn't hurt either. With soulful lead vocals and a band that brings us back to the big band days there is so much to like! Check out the entire album which is streaming now here:

Have a great week and enjoy the music!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Saint Motel (February 9, 2014)

SAINT MOTEL has released a number of albums over the last few years but it is their most recent releases that have me infatuated with them.  "Ace in the Hole" is a really good track and "My Type" is one of the best, funkiest songs I've heard in a long time.  I tend to listen to it over and over again and never tire of it.  From the opening horns playing a riff that just sucks you in to a chorus that forces a head bobbing reaction I love everything about this track. And if the song wasn't fun enough all by itself the video makes it a not to be missed event.

Have a great week and enjoy the music!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Skyfox (February 2, 2014)

It's Super Bowl Sunday and since my hometown Broncos aren't exactly doing a great job representing Denver I'm hoping some music will pick up the slack. So check out SKYFOX, a great pop punk band from the Denver area who's latest album "Counter Counter Culture" is full of great songs including "Breakout", "We Had It All" and the title track.  These guys will keep rocking long after this football season is over!

Have a great week and enjoy the music!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Swim Through Frequencies (January 26, 2014)

Swim Thru Frequencies is a Colorado based band that squeezes into the space between folk, acoustic, pop and rock and do it very successfully.  Their first full length album, "Rhythm Of Complacency" is a wonderful collection of great sounds with soothing vocals and great harmonies.  The album is available on Bandcamp ( for streaming or download with the suggestion to "name your own price."  You'll have to decide for yourself what their music is worth to you but I would have to say it's "priceless."

Have a great week and enjoy the music!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Blitz Kids (January 19, 2014)

Based on how this year is starting  it appears that 2014 is going to be an incredible year in music! There are FOUR new albums coming out this week that I'm excited about, including this week's featured artist Blitz Kids, who are releasing "The Good Youth" (out Monday in the UK and I've been told it's coming out in the US about the same time - I hope that's true).  This is high energy, smart music that lyrically deals with all sorts of issues. Each song sounds like an anthem/theme song and the music is current but also conjures up memories of great bands of the past twenty or so years.

The album is streaming on Rocksound and I can't wait to have every song on my iPod to take with me!  I can't get enough of these guys!!

And if you were wondering, the other bands releasing albums this week are Deaf Havana, Natives and A Great Big World - all of them should be outstanding albums!

Have a great week and enjoy the music!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Royal Concept (January 12, 2014)

The Royal Concepts could (and should) easily become 2014's version of Imagine Dragons - THE hot new band releasing one incredible, catchy song after another and before you know it they are headlining major venues.  For now, this band from Stockholm is getting ready to head to the US in March to open on tour for Switchfoot.  Their EP "Royal" is out now and contains some of the best songs I've heard in a long while. "On Our Way" is a fist pumping anthem and "World on Fire" has a cool throwback 80s sound that reminds me of Human League (in a good way).  "Radio" is intriguing, interesting and just awesome.  I hope to have the opportunity to see them live but for now I am just loving each and every song!

Have a great week and enjoy the music!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Secret Someones (January 5, 2013)

I like to try and keep these posts relatively short but that may be hard with a group I adore as much as Secret Someones!  They have only released a 3 song EP but I can't get enough of it.  "Quit Pulling Me Down" made my Best of 2013 list and I can't help smiling and singing along when it comes on.  By the second verse I am air drumming along and once they hit the chorus I am simply going nuts with the harmonies. I LOVE this song! "Surrender" and "I Won't Follow" are also fantastic tracks that show off the groups various sounds and styles.

Secret Someones features three of my favorite singers, Lelia Broussard, Bess Rogers and Hannah Winkler and putting them together (along with Zach Jones) is heaven on earth for me.  I hope you'll find $3 and download their EP at

Happy New Year! Have a great week and enjoy the music!