We’re getting back into the music festival season, folks! It’s an exciting time here in Detroit with the winter nearing an end and the sweet smell of paczki in the air. We couldn’t think of anything better than to stuff your face with a fatty, polish treat and drown your pre-Valentine’s Day sorrows with this week’s playlist.
We couldn’t send every one of our readers flowers or chocolates, but we did craft this homemade Detroit playlist just for you. We hope you like it.
1. Harbormaster – “Talking Without Hands”
Bright and coastal, Harbormaster will bring you some warm tunes during these cold winter days with their single, “Talking Without Hands”. This indie-pop group knows how to deliver a catchy hook and keep the melody light, yet not overly-simplified. The guitars are surfy and melodic, while the bass is buttery smooth in the background, complimenting the unobtrusive drum rhythm. The vocals remind us of Incubus lead singer, Brandon Boyd, but on a less theatrical note and with a softer delivery. We can’t help but feel cheery and upbeat when listening to this track, so if you need a pick-me-up…this is it.
2. Libby DeCamp – “Old Witch”
Libby DeCamp transports us back to a simpler time with her haunting and eclectic folk-bluegrass single, “Old Witch”. Her voice is coaxing and mischievous, while the violin, percussion and bass give you an eerie, mysterious feeling. The upright bass makes a beautiful appearance throughout the track making this a string-lover’s dream. There are so many peculiar percussions and melodies (on top of fabulous production) that compliment DeCamp’s voice and really meld it all together to create this hollow and woody sound. It’s folk perfection. Catch Libby at Elijah’s in Hamtramck tonight!
3. Dower Townes – “Vanisher”
Recently relocated to Detroit, Dower Townes brings us the sounds of the west with a group of demos from his upcoming EP, Vanisher. It’s lo-fi and indie with a garage rock feel to keep it low-key and authentic. You’ll love the varying rhythms and subtle, bluesy guitar with untouched vocals. His Americana sound is emotional and unhinged, leaving you with an exposed feeling that lingers once the tracks are finished. The raw authenticity from Dower Townes is refreshing and we can’t wait for his new EP to drop. Dower Townes will also be playing at Elijah’s tonight, so don’t miss his debut! Welcome to Detroit, man! We’re happy to have you.
4. Bevlove – “Obsession”
Bringing soulful R&B to new heights, Bevlove has struck again with her recent single, “Obsession”. The melodies are airy and romantic with a sultry back-beat that will have you swaying. The vocal harmonies soar behind her sensual voice that undulates between breathy and purposeful. The beat is simplistic and allows for Bevlove to show off her lyrical ability, as well as those awesome pipes. There’s nowhere Bevlove can’t go, so stick around to see what she comes up with next. Until then, you can see Bevlove live with Tunde Olaniran on February 20th at the Blind Pig in Ann Arbor!
5. Carcosa – “Kick Back”
Carcosa has a little bit of flavor for everyone with their familiar sounding jams, but they definitely know how to play with perceptions and bring a new taste to rock n’ roll. Heavy on the bass runs and groovy with their guitar licks, Carcosa brings a high energy rhythm that gets your head banging. Their alternative rock roots really project their experimentation, while maintaining that signature sound. You’ll catch some jazzy riffs, a bit of metal some grunge – you name it, and Carcosa probably has a taste of that sprinkled somewhere in their tracks.
6. Devinition – “Cruz”
Packed to the brim with clever and cultured rhymes, Devinition is a Detroit rapper with a newly released album, Articulate Architect. The beats are simple and ageless, while his rhymes are witty and imaginative. Listening through the tracks, we made the assumption that this hip-hop artist doesn’t take himself too seriously, but the relationship to his art is a different story. There’s a very underground element to his vibe and a Detroit representation that resonates with us.
7. Major Murphy – “On & Off (National Broadcast TV)”
Dreamy and summery, Major Murphy has a unique and captivating vibe with their recent album, Future Release. It’s nostalgic, uplifting and downright surfy. The guitars are bright and the bass is warm underneath crisp and rhythmic drums. If sunshine had a soundtrack, we’re pretty sure it would be Major Murphy. We love the lyricism, with its quirky sincerity, but aside from that, the hooks are so catchy you can’t resist humming along. These guys may be a bit out of our Detroit realm, but they deserve a spot because they’re making us long for summer.
8. Radio Burns – “Radio Burns”
Radio Burns’ self-titled single is an anthemic punk rock hit with rioting vocals and sick guitar solos over steady pulsing bass and drums that build you up for an epic finale. This rock n’ roll-filled track has a familiar sound that makes it an instant favorite. These guys bring the energy and fun through the speakers and directly to your ears. “3164 Hanley” is another track with vibrant guitar and off-the-wall drums jamming you into oblivion.
9. SHELLS – “Raining”
SHELLS is a single artist project based out of Ann Arbor where instrumental guitar is taken to higher levels of consciousness. SHELLS’ multi-layered and hypnotizing 2013 release, In A Cloud, is a soundscape of epic proportions with rhythmic loops and melodic riffs. There’s a bluesy undertone to most of the tracks, but there is no theme to this album. It’s a menagerie of ideas, sounds, emotions and textures. The plethora of effects seems endless as the tracks continue on their underwater march, but as we all know, music is limitless, and SHELLS proves that to be true.
10. Bingo Mama – “Turn Around”
Simplistic and stripped-down, singer/songwriter Bingo Mama serenades us with her delicate and breathy voice and hopelessly romantic lyrics over a beautifully raw acoustic guitar. Each song portrays how exhilarating and frustrating love can be while strumming out folk tunes that grab your heart and twist it into a million little pieces. Each track has picturesque lyrics with beautiful imagery and deep, poetic angst. Her songs may be dark and reflective, but her acoustic is lively and serene. Just sit and take it in.
Love Detroit? Love local music? Love giving people recommendations? We’re all ears!