So-Cal rockers Elk Grove have truly been one of my favorite finds of late. Their melodic post-hardcore sound draws inspiration from Underoath (although with less screaming), as well as other bands such as Emarosa and Hands Like Houses. The guitar work is absolutely superb, creating an atmosphere that captivates the listener immediately and creates the perfect backdrop for co-vocalists Cody Ford and Matt Riebe to flex their beautiful and uplifting vocals. Lyrically, Christian themes are prominent, carrying inspiring and powerful messages throughout. This is one of the most talented new groups I’ve discovered in a long time, and I sincerely can’t wait to watch them grow.
There is nothing I love more than an artist who has a vision, someone whose mind is full of wonder and creativity, so great that their music becomes larger than life. One of those artists showing promise is twenty-two year old R E L. Singer/songwriter, Arielle Sitrick, created the project that encompasses a genre that she calls “evoca-pop”. It’s a little bit indie-pop, a little bit chill electro, and a little bit R&B, and it’s all amazing. R E L came in hot in 2015 with her self-titled dreamy debut EP. It was young, fresh, and showed her knack for artistic pop writing. R E L’s more developed sound is notably more mature and fleshed out, but still retains a youthful glow that is utterly addicting. Her brand-new single “Consciousness” dropped October 27th, and is the precursor to a larger project currently in the works. The track has an almost chill trap feel and is very modern and very R E L. Do yourselves a favor and check her out, I predict very big things for her in the future!
Pop singer/songwriter Haleigh Bowers’s sound has had us obsessed lately. The local Los Angeles-based artist’s dark, emotional pop music is purely beautiful and something that pop music today has been missing. Her music is as catchy while concurrently brooding and intense. Her latest single “DKW” is reminiscent of Imogen Heap’s classic “Hide and Seek” in the beginning, with a chorused, effect-laden vocal, and then evolves into a powerful rock-driven ballad, with Haleigh’s vocals soaring as she pours her soul into heart-rending lyrics. Her other tracks such as “So Cold” and “Mona Lisa” showcase her unique style and again display her dark sound and moving lyricism. Haleigh Bowers is one of the most exciting new artists out there today simply because her songs are so refreshingly real. Believe me when I say I am on the edge of my seat for new music from this incredible artist!
Promising singer/songwriter Jessi Mason has been mesmerizing our ears over here at VOVE recently. Born and bred in Westchester County, New York, Jessi currently resides in Los Angeles and attends USC to study Popular Music. Her first EP, 2014’s Hollow, is graced with Jessi’s angelic voice as she floats through beautiful melodies and poetic lyrics. The sparseness of her instrumentation only serves to better showcase her talent. Her songwriting has a certain maturity to it that puts her heads above many up-and-coming artists out there now. Jessi’s resume is also uniquely varied, having worked with DJ/Producer Grant on several tracks, including the most recent hit “Are We Still Young.” Her lyrics and melodies elevate the EDM anthems to new heights, and proves her to be a multi-faceted artist in the best way. We can’t wait to hear her next EP and see what else she can do!
There is something to be said about a band that manages to craft songs that make you want to drop what you’re doing and just listen; songs that leave you holding your breath and hooked on every syllable sung and every plucked guitar note. Local Los Angeles duo Twin Oaks do just that. Comprised of vocalist Lauren Brown and instrumentalist Aaron Domingo, this indie project has the haunting and introspective feel of artists like The XX or Warpaint, yet at the same time have managed to create a unique beauty all their own. Their sound is minimalist and at the same time rich and deep with emotion. Brown’s voice is light and unassuming, yet commands your utmost attention as she sings lyrics that are deceptively simplistic, melancholic and filled with beautiful imagery. The pure artistry on their latest EP Collapse is undeniable, and their newest single “Dust” is no different. If you appreciate music that you can listen to in your quiet and thoughtful moments, Twin Oaks is the band for you.
In recent years, it seems that a trend of modern indie folk bands has taken over the airwaves. Bands like The Lumineers, Of Monsters and Men, and Mumford and Sons are some of the biggest names in music, and it’s no surprise that this form of raw, back-to-the-roots style of songwriting is so sought after in the modern music industry. One band that is sure to join the ranks of these big names is Abby and the Myth. Led by composer and multi-instrumentalist Abby Posner, this group is taking the local scene by storm. After two well-received solo albums, Posner released a third project with her fellow live bandmates as Abby and the Myth. Their unique indie sound utilizes catchy melodies and introspective, thoughtful lyrics that keep the listener hooked on every note. Songs like “Delicate Parade” and “Grey Halls” from their most recent full length When You Dig a Well are bound to be arena-hits, and we can’t wait to sing along to every word!
Truly good emo music is hard to come by these days. Normally I’d have to go far back into my ‘90s and early 2000s favorites to find bands like that. That being said, there are still a select few of amazing bands today that are giving the genre new life, and So-Cal band Old Notes are one of those greats. This three-piece band from Rancho Cucamonga have a classic style that recall those early emo acts such as American Football and Mineral, as well as newer acts such as Citizen. At the same time, the group manages to add their own unique touches to the sound, and their heartfelt lyrics give their last album, Former Self, an earnest and personal feeling throughout. Old Notes is surely one to watch in the alternative rock scene!
The young LA band Harmonious Monks are a quartet who have somehow managed to seamlessly blend jazz and hip-hop styles to create their very own unique sound. These four USC students quickly forged a friendship over a shared love of music, and that bond is evident in their thoughtful instrumentation and tight rhythms. On songs like “The Theory”, vocalist MC Martin writes thought-provoking lyrics that brings back the socially-conscious aspect of hip-hop, which flows perfectly over the smooth jazz-inspired accompaniment. If there is any band that deserves to be heard, it’s this one, and we can’t wait to see what more they can do!
Cousin Liar is a Los Angeles-based indie electronic band whose experimental style is already making waves in the scene. Their dreamy textures and airy vocals are reminiscent of artists like Crystal Castles, The Naked and Famous, and Animal Collective. Their new EP Daydream Backwards is filled with unique sounds and intriguing lyrics. The lead single “Soft Paws” feels like falling into a dreamland, as the trippy-as-hell music video surely supports that aesthetic. It’s no surprise they’ve been catching the attention of the most savvy people in Hollywood; they even had the opportunity to perform (twice!) at the exclusive venue SunSeshLA. Cousin Liar is one of the most exciting new finds out there right now, and we can’t wait to see what else they’ve got up their sleeves!