We’re getting into the holiday season and all we want to do is listen to local music (and maybe some holiday music, but not until after Thanksgiving, because any sooner than that is straight up nonsensical). Don’t know what to get your super picky family for the holidays? Just send them this link. It’s what they’ve always wanted.
Here’s this week’s playlist!
1. The Lefties – “American Dream”
Psychedelic and heavy, The Lefties’ freshman release, For Daisy, is a fast-paced, garage-trip experience that bends the line between the ’70s rock of old and a form of modern shoegaze. There are familiar guitar riffs holding down their roots, but the energy of the tracks combined with some fun effects brings out some fuzzed up twists and turns. The vocals are tucked under a layer of reverb, which really rounds out The Lefties’ sound and provides that heady feel we all love from psychedelia. We’re looking forward to hearing more from these guys.
2. Yada Yada – “Do Me Right”
We couldn’t help but include our Ann Arbor neighbors, Yada Yada on this week’s playlist. Gigging in Detroit counts, right?! Coming off of their sophomore release, Oochy Wah Wah, this group is a bundle of musical surprises. One minute you’re grooving along to this jazzy beat and the next you’re bumping along to a semi-psychedelic folk riff. We love the dynamic, especially when these two genres are spliced together to create this sound you never knew you liked. The tracks are smooth and upbeat, making this album an easy listen that will put a smile on your face.
3. Kommie Kilpatrick—“I Wanna Be A Bird”
Don’t let the band name fool you, Kommie Kilpatrick is all about the punk jams with a jagged edge. The tracks are simplistic and raw with high energy guitar riffs and hammering drums. Kommie Kilpatrick’s 2012 release, Nature Sounds, is authentic and clever with their straightforward lyricism that holds nothing back and drives the point home…that punk is here to stay. We don’t know when or where, but we’re hoping Kommie Kilpatrick serves up some new music or shreds at a venue sooner rather than later.
4. Remnose—“For The Birds”
Picture yourself in a log cabin with a wood-burning stove permeating the room, while you sip on a steaming hot cup of cocoa with your favorite flannel jacket wrapped over your shoulders. If you’re Remnose, it’s always winter in Michigan and they’re here to warm your soul with the tunes of the north. This alternative country vibe stirs up some nostalgic feels, while the heart-wrenching guitar riffs leave you feeling quiet and alone. Their release, For The Birds, has an overarching sentimental tone that offers a more laidback sound. The drums are delicate, the guitar is in the forefront, and the vocals are pleading through an array of poetic verses. Remnose is ready to be the soundtrack of your winter hibernation, so don’t wait to check these guys out.
5. Hear and Now—“Fate of Tonight”
Energetic and pop-filled, Hear and Now’s self-titled release is a wonderland of groovy tunes. The guitars are snappy and jammin’, while the drums follow pace, making you want to shimmy to the beat. A youthful sound is hard to deny when it ignites your imagination and energizes your soul. Bouncing between epic and light-hearted pop-punk, the vocals are emotional and gusty while still maintaining their efficacy and vitality. Hear and Now maintains their roots throughout this release, but manage to keep each track unique and interesting making this an entertaining listen.
6. The Means—“Let It Go”
On a mission to create their own unique musical adventure, The Means sophomore release, Understand?, reflects their need to be undefined by typical genre descriptors. Their Detroit Motown-inspired sound is full of luscious bass lines and twangy guitar riffs. The vocals are smooth and soulful with complementary harmonies that round out their sound and add a layered feel that makes the tracks feel full and boastful. The Means have a sneakiness to their sound that makes you wonder what’s hidden around the corner. You don’t have to try and describe this band’s sound, let them describe it for you with their original jams.
7. Deadbeat Beat—“Tin King”
Punky surf rock may be one of our most favorite sub-genres out there. It’s uplifting, inspiring and just downright fun. Deadbeat Beat lays it out in their November release, Only Time Will Tell, making you run for the nearest Hawaiian shirt you can find, with your pinned jean jacket in tow. It may be fall in Michigan, but this album has us ready for a bike ride on the pier. The vocals are catchy and jubilant, and the guitars are harmonious and fuzzy (just how we like them). Deadbeat Beat’s lyricism is witty and makes you want to sing along to some sort of youthful anthem about not giving a hoot about anything or anyone. The drums and bass remain steady and strong throughout every track, breaking in here and there for the occasional run that kick-starts the next verse, chorus or hook. It’s just a fun album and really grabs at your inner punk. We advise letting it out and checking out Deadbeat Beats at their next show.
8. Android Automatic—“When Summer Ends”
Synth-heavy, retro new wave artist, Android Automatic, offers us a perfect soundtrack to those days when we wish we were back in 1986 with Maverick in Top Gun (we can picture his Ninja motorcycle and shiny aviators as we speak). When Summer Ends is a perfect homage to the synth rock of the ’80s, but don’t be mistaken, Android Automatic knows how to add his own modern twist to the classics. It’s a delightful soundscape that transports you back to a certain place and time using power chord guitar riffs and mesmerizing synth beats. Android Automatic is the 80’s master and if we didn’t know any better we’d say he hopped a ride on the DeLorean just to bring us these wicked-righteous jams (sorry, not sorry for all the ’80s references. We couldn’t help ourselves). Clutch!
9. Outside Yeti—“I Don’t Know How It Happened”
We’ve been having a really fun time with instrumental, electronic artists lately. Outside Yeti is one of them, coming off of his most recent sophomore release, Awkward Fistbump. It’s a compilation of intricate and complex tracks that influence some deep feelings of reflection. The track titles are pretty hilarious, but the music itself is serious and passionate. The natural sounds of bells, chimes, and piano colliding with the synthetic synths and drum beats makes this record an orchestrated, dream-pop thrill that stimulates all of your senses and helps you escape the mind-meld of the daily grind.
10. Marcus Elliot—“Movement Three”
Talented saxophone artist, Marcus Elliot released this collaborative album this year and we couldn’t be more delighted. If improvised, Detroit jazz is your thing then definitely check out Elliot’s release, When The City Meets The Sky. It’s a beautiful compilation of horns, bass, drums, piano and sax that put you in a state of bliss. It’s sophisitacted and entertaining without being one bit like the elevator music you may be accustomed to. The tracks are standard length, which make the listening experience effortless. We’ve got some talented artists in this city, and Elliot and his quartet are definitely some of them.
That’s this week’s round-up! Have a local band you can’t stop listening to? Tell us in the comments!
Also – local bands: Local music fest Detroit x Detroit (where local bands perform as other Detroit artists) is returning February 20th – and they’re accepting applications from local artists, now through December 1st! Fill out an application here!