This past year has been a bit of a blur at times; on the other hand it feels like this has been my life all along.
I’ve submerged myself into learning a shit-ton about sound production. Why? Because I love making music, I like wearing many hats (both metaphorically and literally) and I do rather enjoy doing things solo and in my own way, so I need to know as much about my craft as possible.
I approached all this at first with a pretty myopic point of view…make my music my way, produce my music my way, end of plan. Despite the way I set out, I’m learning just as much about the indie music community as I am about myself as an artist and I have to say it’s been a very happy by-product of this process.
I’ve always listened to “indie” music I guess, one of my favourite bands from a young age being Death Cab For Cutie but in the last year admittedly, I’ve listened to a more wide range of cracking indie artists, bands and shows by independent radio broadcasters and I’ve come to the following conclusion…
I’m in awe of the sheer talent, work ethic and production skills of indie artists and broadcasters out there. Their passion for music, doing it for themselves: it’s really inspiring and I want to do all I can to share their music with you and support them to keep going and do what they love doing, what we all love doing in this community.
Sharing is caring, so here’s just a few of the fantastic indie artists, bands, radio stations & bloggers I’ve come across so far.
Nominated this year for ‘Best Electro Act’ in the WIGWAM online radio awards, this dynamic duo create beautiful, eerie melodies with insightful lyrics and haunting vocals – check out ‘To Drown Is Love’ and ‘Treasure’. Their electronic prowess comes through in tracks like ‘Untitled (Voxless)’ but there’s a real sense of eclecticism with their music which I love, from electro pop, to shoegaze to alternative rock (listen to ‘Hold Me Back’): this duo have it all. And they’re self-produced. Talented or whit! I urge you to do your ears a favour and listen to them. Now…
I first came across this chap on Canadian radio and I have to say I’m impressed, not only with his music but his production skills, site, blog posts and attitude. This guy’s a pro, the complete artist. His style is diverse from soft rock, jazz, prog-rock, fusion, pop, to classic rock. The Bearded one has a smooth, distinct voice, plays all of the instruments on his tracks as I understand it (one man band!) and the composition of his tracks is clever, creative and free-flowing…each song is like a wee journey. Okay, I’m rambling a little but if you check out his stuff I’m sure I’ll start to make more sense! My personal favourite track of his is ‘Frozen In Time’ but there is genuinely a song on his Soundcloud for every mood!
I’m a new listener to this Glasgow indie band but having seen them live, I can tell you The Vignettes bring lots of energy to the stage and catchy, feel-good rock tunes to boot. Talented, young guys with a bright future ahead of them, I’m sure. Check out their debut single, ‘Young Bohemians’ – just posting it here as it doesn’t come up on their own Soundcloud page: https://soundcloud.com/in-black-records/young-bohemians/
I dig dem groovy basslines and so does the local scene: The Vignettes have received great reviews already…
Why not have a read yourself? http://www.imposemagazine.com/bytes/chatter/week-in-pop-mozzy-only-the-vignettes-the-lovemakers-the-beta-macks/5
BLACK SKY ECLIPSED
Want something to rock to? Of course you do…then this three-piece Swing-Core band’s awesome guitar riffs, funky basslines and kick-ass drums are for you! Check out their track ‘Toy Factory’ at https://soundcloud.com/caits-503269021/black-sky-eclipsed-toy-factory-1-offical-mix – you won’t be disappointed. These Glasgow guys have a particularly authentic, raw quality which makes them stand out from other metal bands in my humble opinion. Worth a listen indeed and I hear they’re recruiting so do check em out!
CAMPFIRES IN WINTER
This isn’t just another Glasgow indie band. They aren’t generic. These guys are experimental and talented, seasoned performers. I can vouch that they are as good live as they are recorded and I’d urge you to go see them if you get the chance. They have a ton of tracks for your auditory pleasure but my personal favourite is their poignant and emotional track, ‘Picture of Health’. Campfires in Winter remind me of all my favourite bands growing up: Mogwai; Radiohead; Death Cab, yet they maintain their own sound and originality…go check them out!
This talented singer/songwriter/guitarist from Paisley is nominated for ‘Best Female Artist’ in this year’s Online Radio Awards and the nomination is deserved. Lisa has a pure, soulful voice beyond her years and her songwriting ability is one to watch! I like her track ‘One Day’ a lot. Lisa is already an experienced performer and I often see on Twitter that she is out and about doing various gigs and radio shows: her passion and drive comes across and is second to none…as they say, she’s a woman after my own heart! Please check Lisa out and give her your support…
These guys describe their style of music as “SIB” and they couldn’t be more accurate! One of a kind, wacky, electro-rock perfection is how I’d describe SIB. I’m a big fan of their tracks ‘Einstein’ and ‘Goodbye’ in particular (offfffft those guitar solos) and their use of pan-ning in their track ‘Taking a Poo’ is nothing short of comedy genius…worth listening to, trust me. SIB have done a lot for indie artists in their time, having created and hosted their own podcast series some years back, the band are now back at the helm, making music and I’m excited to hear more from them in the future. Don’t be a square, be a rhombus and check these chaps out…
You may recall I asked you earlier if you want something to rock to? Well, you might need a wee rest from all the rockin’ after Magic Trik are done with ye! Rock n’ roll, blues, shredding guitar solos, vocals that Zeus himself couldn’t reach even if he were kicked in the balls: this band is the real deal. I personally like ‘Your Wings To Fly’ (find myself singing along to this and scaring the neighbours with the high notes ) and ‘Not For Long’. Again, this is a great indie band who produce their own work: we Scots are nothing if not multi-talented 😉 Do have a listen to Magic Trik and watch their vlogs, very entertaining indeed…
This Canadian force of rock is an independent songwriter and producer. Jubekyth’s sound is unique, interesting and yet I relate to it: mark of a good songwriter in my view. This artist’s tracks are effortlessly catchy, melodic and well-produced. I enjoy listening to ‘Lightning’ and ‘Limelight Stricken’ in particular but there is a wealth of musical magic from Jubekyth on Soundcloud to delight your ears folks. Give it a spin, you won’t regret it…
I heard Toggo Ultrarock’s song ‘Cannonball’ on awesome Canadian indie station, KB radio, about a month ago and it was instantly stuck in my head! Seriously, it’s never going away…
Toggo Ultrarock gives you electro-rock anthems with full throttle vocals and honest, fun, high energy music. Another favourite of mine is ‘Fuck You Just Fuck You’ – not only an epic song title but a cracking tune with beautiful vocal harmonies. I have been known to be partial to a a few harmonies haha. So, why not give it a listen?
I intend to get to know more about this German “songer-singwriter” as he calls himself. Kostja is a lovely guitar player and his songs have that chilled, acoustic, indie vibe running through them. My favourite track of his so far though is his latest, ‘Sezuan’. The instrumentation and production is excellent. It’s a beautiful instrumental piece and I could listen to it for hours, without tiring. Please check it out and Kostja’s many other tracks here…
When it comes to the indie music community, a big mention has to go out to the stations that support, play and help promote artists like us. So, deep breath time…
Radio WIGWAM (http://www.radiowigwam.co.uk/live/)
KB Radio (http://www.kbradio.ca/)
Strawberry Tongue Radio & Music Magazine (http://www.strawberrytongue.com/radio/)
Cumbernauld FM (http://cumbernauldfm.co.uk/)
Sheppey FM (http://sheppeyfm.org.uk/)
CONTROL Radio UK (http://www.controlradiouk.com/)
EGH Radio (http://www.eghradio.com/)
Way Out Radio (http://www.wayoutradio.co.uk/)
There are of course shed-loads of other stations and bloggers out there who deserve a huge pat on the back and our mutual support but these folks above are those that I’m most aware of and can speak personally to their dedication and passion for discovering and promoting new indie talent. If I’ve missed anyone, I do sincerely apologise! Just drop me a threatening line here and I’ll get it sorted…
Final thought (Jerry Springer style): I’m overwhelmed by the support I myself have received from other artists and stations this year. It’s a great motivation to keep going, to be part of something bigger than myself and my own music. So, indies, let’s all support each other, gather round the campfire and sing kumbaya…