Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Erik Hassle

For fans of Sam Sparro, I can easily recommend the Swedish musician Erik Hassle. Rumor has it that he was just signed for an impressive sum of money at Island UK and I'm not surprised. I predict Hassle will be on American radio in a matter of weeks.

His singing is incredibly skilled for someone approaching 21 years old, and Hassle's lyrics revolve mostly around stories of heartbreak and relationship matters. This music is obviously not life-changing or innovative (we can let Radiohead take care of that genre) but it's the kind of talent that is very easy to appreciate. The song "Hurtful" is a pop gem, listen to it here.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The 3 Hour Tour

This weekend I went to an awesome event called the Three Hour Tour on a yacht in Newport Beach. I had the privilege of watching nine different singer/songwriters perform and it was a total blast! The highlight of the afternoon was, hands down, Kevin Hammond. He's a local artist with serious vocal skills and a really good sense of pop music. This isn't the kind of music I would normally post about, but it's also the kind that appeals to everyone. It's sweet, well written and well executed pop. Hammond wrote the song "Maybe" when he was just sixteen years old. Listen to the track here.

Other highlights of the tour included Andy Davis, a multi-instrumentalist who unfortunately had to perform most of his set with iPod accompaniment. Regardless, he was a total entertainer and kept everyone in the audience laughing. Joey Ryan, a solo artist who performed mostly low key acoustic pieces, seemed to be an audience favorite. But Kevin Hammond wins my vote for the day. And he's unsigned! Someone's gonna snatch it up soon.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Spotlight: Suckers

In a time where bands like Fleet Foxes and Animal Collective are pleasing fans and critics alike, it's not surprising a band like Suckers would catch my attention. The track "Easy Chairs" echoes the possibly AC-influenced melodic chanting but evolves into a uniquely charming and totally radio-worthy track. This is totally Summer music in February, so you have to love it. Listen to "Easy Chairs" here.

RIYL: Fleet Foxes, Animal Collective, Spoon

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Feel-Good Music

It's February in Los Angeles and it's raining, cold, and just generally unpleasant. That means that it's time for some feel-good tunes to lift our spirits and keep us dancing. What else was Indie Pop created for?

The LA-Based group Sean Na Na definitely fits the feel-good bill. They've released one album on Dim Mak records, with a couple others released in the early 2000s - but this is the first I had heard of the group before learning that Sean Tillman is also known as the artist Har Mar Superstar. Tillman has mentioned that the Sean Na Na moniker allows him to make more serious and reflective music than his previous Har Mar ventures - but I wouldn't call his tracks very serious. The song "Photo Booth" has some catchy Americana elements tossed in to make an all-together exciting track that you'll be singing along to in no time. Check it out here.

Anhorse [pictured] are performing in San Francisco's Noise Pop festival in late February. The band is a rock duo stationed far far away in Australia. They've opened for Deathcab for Cutie as well as one of their most noticable influences, Tegan and Sara. The band echoes Tegan and Sara's simultaneously simplistic and irresistable style. Listen to "Horizons" here.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


Yours truly has now started interning in the A&R department of a major record label. Woo-hoo! That means you can be expecting a lot more posts to be popping up over the next few months - considering I'm listening to somewhere between 50 and 150 bands daily. See you soon!

Friday, January 9, 2009

White Blank Page

It amazes me that a band like Mumford & Sons has not completely blown up yet. The band makes folky songs that aren't necessarily limited to the characteristics of the genre. Think Fleet Foxes' stellar harmonies with a bluesy garnish. The vocals remind me of an older Paolo Nutini (wraspy voice, foreign accent) and the lyrics to the song "White Blank Page" have me hypnotized. Click to listen.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Keytar, Anyone?

The LA-based Juliette Commagere has been playing in a band called Hello Stranger for some time now. Her new CD "Queens Die Proudly" is her first solo effort - and it has been in my CD player for weeks now. I tried to describe her sound to someone and what I came up with was something along the lines of, "It's like the epic-ness of Sigur Ros but with female vocals and more synth." So, if that sounds good to you, do it up here.