The Stone Cold Fox is a collaboration of vocalist and guitarist, Kevin Olken, and producer/synth artist, Ariel Loh. The two self-taught musicians joined in 2011 — and offered their first EP “The Young” earlier this year. American is the second (and, in our opinion, the best) of the five tracks. However; this should not dissuade a deeper dive — as the entire effort is worth a listen.Artist Website: http://www.stonecoldfoxmusic.com//
The Lytics are a five-member hip-hop family from Winnipeg, Manitoba. The crew released their first album in 2009 — a self-titled effort which earned a Best Album nomination from the 2010 West Coast Hip Hop Awards. The group is now readying for the release of their sophomore LP, “They Told Me”. Stay Calm, an extremely catchy single, will be included.
Artist Website: http://www.thelytics.com/
Great Empire is the fourth track from Wesley Jensen’s 2011 LP, “Tales of a Wandering Man”. The album was entirely produced, engineered, and mixed by Jensen in his Redding, CA home studio — which he calls “Whiskey Hound”. A new album, which Jensen indicates is 60′s rock inspired (Beach Boys, Kinks, and Niel Young), is promised for early 2013.
Artist Website: http://www.wesleyjensenmusic.com/
Eastbound Jesus is an Americana bluegrass band from Greenwich Village, New York. Their music is reminiscent of another Village product, Bob Dylan. But, their band name is also inspired — born from a playful group discussion related to a Green Day lyric and being “middle of nowhere”. Without you is from the sextet’s debut album which they released earlier this year.Artist Website: http://www.eastboundjesus.com/
Conner Youngblood is a 21 year-old Texan who attends Yale University. The singer-songwriter released his first album, Sketches PT. 1, early this year. Following two more singles and an appearance at SXSW, Conner now offers The Warpath — a dreamy harmonization of vocal and guitar, which might be perfectly placed in a mix between Mumford & Sons and Bon Iver, .Artist Website: http://www.conneryoungblood.com/
Tin Can Phone labels their style as Rock-Reggae; and for certain, the Austin quartet’s sound is unique. However; it is also universal — likely to appeal as much to those in Dade or Orange County as it does to those in Central Texas. Since their formation in 2009, the group has released five EPs and tens of singles. “Politico” is from their first full length LP, which the band introduced late last year.Band Website: http://tincanphone.com/
Coasta is Chris Lorenz, Steve Kupillas, John Kupillas, and lead singer, Jamey Lacey. (Incidentally, Lacey is the younger sibling of Brand New front man, Jesse Lacey) The foursome from Long Island formed earlier this year and released a five-track, self-titled EP in May. We especially like “Young Blood”, a terrific opening track filled with gritty vocals and hypnotic riffs.Artist Website: http://coasta.bandcamp.com/
Trails and Ways produced two six-track EPs (Temporal and Territorial) last year. So, by comparison, their lone 2012 effort (a three track EP titled Trilinqual) might appear abridged. But, the Oakland based foursome promise more is still to come — and that these tunes (Mtn Tune, Nunca, and Tereza) will ultimately become cornerstone singles in the band’s first LP, which is due early next year.Artist Website: http://trailsandways.com/
Kisses is the peppy LA duo of Jesse Kivel and Zinzi Edmundson. The couple (yes, they are an item) formed romantically in 2006 – and with the release of their debut LP, The Heart of Nightlife, became a music combo in 2010. The pair return this summer with a syrupy, but catchy single, Funny Heartbeat.Band Website: http://www.blowkisses.info/
The first full album from The Eastern Sea is a lesson in perseverance. Their appropriately titled, twelve-track LP Plague literally survived a condemned studio, technical mishaps, and a wildfire before being released earlier this summer. And, it was so worth the effort. We especially like the slow and sweet build-up of the album’s closing track, The Line.Band Website: http://www.theeasternsea.com/