One of the biggest bar nights of the year is coming up (the day before Thanksgiving, for those that don’t know). Hurray! No work, no school, and all the food you could ever possibly imagine – let’s not forget the leftovers, too. In order to get you even more hyped than you already are for driving in all that slushy mix we’re supposed to be getting this week, we have a great playlist for the beginning of the holiday season that is undoubtedly upon us. Check it out!


1. Bad Dads—“I Grew Quite Tall

Emotional and raw, indie rock band, Bad Dads’ debut album, Melancholy, is a perfectly executed and beautifully rendered record full of reflective and lonely tracks. The vocals plead as they billow over twanging guitar, dramatic bass runs and a calamity of drums. Each song tells its own story, but the haunting theme of the album never wavers. The focus is turned to their poetic lyrics, but takes a turn at times to embrace a more epic and full sound that drowns any inkling of silence. This album is a rollercoaster of emotion and sound rising and crashing as you ride out each track.

2. Chris Zehnder—“Charlie’s Smile

Charming and upbeat, Zehnder’s release, Goin’ Through the Motions, is a folk rock, alt-country jam that will most definitely uplift your spirits. Everything about the first track on this album is jazzy and old-school. Piano, organ, guitar, bass, and drums — the list goes on. Talented individual artists come together to create a fun and entertaining piece that rocks a professional quality. Zehnder’s vocals are soulful and theatrical, giving the track a lot of genuine personality. We look forward to hearing more of the tracks off this one!

3. Eleanora—“I Know or I Will Know

(credit: Julia Stephenson)

(credit: Julia Stephenson)

Sophistication is the name of the game with the multi-talented group that forms Eleanora. Complex tracks with highly poetic lyrics and a myriad of instruments makes their 2012 release, Some Happy Accidents, a charming and gothic experience. The harmonies dance effortlessly above the instrumentation and soar through notes of pure vocal bliss. Eleanora doesn’t adhere to the typical indie, folk rock aesthetic and makes a point to push their talents to the forefront and make them hard to go unnoticed. The arrangements are strikingly dark and ethereal, but the addition of the violin lightens it up and offers a warmer tone. Hopefully we’ll hear more from Eleanora in the near future!

4. Old Empire—“Give Any Love

Old Empire’s release, How to Make an Entrance, offers up this exciting single as a sample of what’s to come. Old Empire is a wholesome and jubilant rock group keeping things fresh, yet original with their upbeat vocals and hard rockin’ guitar riffs. The lyrics are clever and simple, keeping the focus on the awesome grooves belting from their instruments. The harmonies are youthful and make you want to sing along at the top of your lungs. Give Old Empire a try this weekend, it’s bound to lift your spirits.

5. River Spirit—“Baybee

This artist creates an interesting layer of genres. From folk and blues…to rock and experimental psychedelic, they don’t leave any sound untouched. The vocals are the highlight of their EP, basking in the forefront of each track and creating a haunting and almost chilling atmosphere. The guitars and drums dance playfully in the backdrop, twanging and jangling away giving it a jazzier touch. There is definitely a spirit at work with this artist and we find it to be quite beautiful.

6. Brae—“Holy Ghost

(credit: Sanne Bruinsma)

(credit: Sanne Bruinsma)

Vibrant and eclectic. Brae’s 2012 release, Another Time and Place, is a scenic landscape of sound with complex lyricism and passionate vocals. The rhythm is consistent and catchy, every chord and beat precisely made. The harmonies are delicate and flowery next to the huskier lead vocals, creating a heart-felt dynamic throughout the album. The guitar riffs are emotion evoking, while piano, drums and other intriguing instrumentation dance in your head. There’s a rumor that Brae will be dropping a new album in the coming months and we can’t wait to check it out! Until then, click here to view the GoFundMe page for Brae’s next release.

7. Adventurer—“House

(credit: Forrest Wright)

(credit: Forrest Wright)

Intense and hardcore, Adventurer’s self-titled release is a fun, nostalgic album incorporating everything you love about post-hardcore, screamo, and pop punk. This band is nothing but energy, full of sharp and witty lyricism that practically rips you apart. The vocals are rough and in your face, sprinkled with harmonies and back-up vocals that soften the choruses (but barely, because this stuff is pretty intense and it’s awesome!). Adventurer brings the high-powered guitar riffs and bass-heavy drums keeping the vibe of their music chaotic, yet structured enough to catch the beat. Go ahead, scream your head off, we won’t judge.

8. Palomino Witchcraft—“Twenty Four

(credit: Emily Wolfenden)

(credit: Emily Wolfenden)

Psychedelia-lite is how we’re describing this band from Saginaw. Their experimental indie rock gives them a laidback sound that creates for a casual listening experience, but they know just when to turn it up a notch and hit you with some speedy drum work and rockin’ guitar. Palomino Witchcraft’s debut album, Spirit Guide, is a turbulent and emotional ride through imaginative lyricism, drippy guitars and eccentric drum rhythms. Their sound seems systematic and fine-tuned, but the vocals manage to come across as off-the-cuff and biting.

9. Kriss Gaynes—“Old Science Is

Hyper-experimental artist, Kriss Gaynes puts it all out there for his album, Monument River. There’s a play on sound, song structure — everything! Laced with synth and hooky guitar riffs, this album is fun to listen to because you really don’t know what’s going to come next. We like this abstract take on music and using it in a non-conforming way to make a unique sound all its own. There’s a very black and white feel to the tracks, giving it an almost industrial vibe. All music is art, but this album in particular is something to dissect and listen to carefully. There’s a lot of layers to this one.

10. Signature Mistakes—“Cold Heart (feat. Ciara Catalla)

Chipper and witty, Signature Mistakes is an indie rock band, heavy on acoustic guitar and light-hearted lyricism that is charming to hear and even more relatable. On their recent release, Novelty, the drums are energetic and carry each song to completion with perfect rhythm, while the guitars and bass jive along to their own harmonious beats. Some songs are hyper and folky, while others are more humbled and simplistic. There are beautiful vocal harmonies wrapped up in these tracks that play up the more rustic male vocals and offers an enjoyable dynamic. Each track is a sweet, little gift about love, life, and a smidge of heartbreak to make it even more relevant to everyday life.


Happy Turkey Day to all! Be safe out there, kids!


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