We’re back this week with another helping of Detroit music across all genres. Sit back, relax and let us give you a listening experience you won’t forget.
We promise not to disappoint.
1. Charming Relative – “It’s The Truth”
Charming Relative is one man, Tyler Wiles, and one acoustic guitar telling stories in that folky, warm way that makes you wish he could soundtrack your life. The acoustic softly twangs, while Wiles’ voice gruffly soars above. The lyricism is poetic and thoughtful, matching the simplicity and delicateness of the instrumentation. It’s easy to tell that Wiles is one with his instrument and it’s merely an extension of him.
2. Gray/Bliss – “Inextricable”
Lo-fi and surfy, Gray/Bliss’ EP release Hyesta, Local is short and sweet with a groovy laid-back tone that reminds us of summer. It’s uber groovy and experimental with sound bytes mixed together with casio piano, beachy harmonies and tasteful reverb. We like the fact that this track is longer than your standard EP track because it really draws out the “jammy” quality of the music.
3. The Counter Elites – “Quality Control”
The Counter Elites chose a unique approach to their impressive 25-track release Are You A Counter-Elite?. Each track is less than a minute of chaotic drums and bass. Let us remind you that there are only two dudes in this band, and that’s saying something. Their sound is knock-your-socks-off punk that’s short, sweet and to the point. Their lyrics are like anti-establishment haikus that are cleverly crafted to make you think while you’re banging your brains against your skull. They pack a poignant punch, but will help you release that built-up frustration you may have towards the status-quo.
4. The Science Fair – “Northern Light (All My Life)”
The Science Fair’s album Odd Hours is a rejuvenating and thoughtful listening experience with subtle, jazzy, R&B tones colliding with psychedelic jams and repetitious vocal harmonies. The guitars are sultry and accentuate the sound while the bass rolls peacefully with the beat of the drums. The tracks differ in energy levels, but each one still holds those smooth transitions. You could dance or you could relax with just one album. It’s definitely dynamic.
5. Magnanomus – “Stolen Cheese”
Bass heavy, theatrical, mind-altering and experimental. Magnanomus’ track “Stolen Cheese” is a bluesy Detroit anthem with slick guitar riffs and a variety of vocal arrangements that jumps from groovy to hardcore and back again, making you wonder where this song is taking you. Magnanomus is clever in his own right by mashing popular works of well-known artists and delivering enticing original work that begs the question, what is this guy doing? It’s an interesting discography of a little bit of everything. There’s blues, psychedelic rock, rock-a-billy, it’s a genre melting pot and we’re diggin’ it.
6. Bathroom of the Future – “Idiot’s Loop”
Fuzzy and messy, Bathroom of the Future’s 2015 release Heck Awaits is a grungy pop punk album with plenty of clever lyrics and song titles. The music is wholesome, you can tell it’s not some rock star facade. It has that DIY sound without the frills or shiny editing that can become fairly apparent in music. It’s just wholesome indie punk rock, the way we like it, all scrappy and heavy with lots of heart.
7. Sleepology – “Trash”
Sleepology’s sound is layered with lots of synth and guitar, varying sound effects and tones. It’s like mixing paint; the colors are vastly different, but they can come together harmoniously and create something new. It’s most notably a geek-rock creation with lo-fi, echoey vocals and quirky lyricism. “Trash” is our favorite track; the opening bell tones start it on a curious note and makes you grasp for more. The tone is perfectly sinister and dark.
8. Unlimited Head – “High Time For Sunlight”
The riffs in this song are hard to not fall in love with. It’s rock n’ roll at 100% and brings some intense grooviness. This 2014 single is a hard-hitter full of guitar, festive drums and some clanky auxillary percussion (can we get some more cowbell?!). These guys know how to make their audience dance and have a good time. The vocals are vivacious, running along perfectly with the heaviness of the instrumentation in an almost big-hair band style. If you’re wondering where the rest of the discography is, so are we. We want to hear more!
9. Island Kin – “Evoke Me”
Ambient and thoughtful, Island Kin’s self-titled EP released earlier this year is a warm and cozy exploration through indie folk landscapes with deep acoustic guitar, heartbreaking cello and trolling piano. The vocals are haunting and emotional with goosebump-inducing harmonies that will swim in your head for hours after listening. There is a delicateness to the sound that is unobtrusive and intimate, like the music is played only for the sole purpose of playing it, not so much for entertainment’s sake. It’s a gorgeous compilation of music that is intriguing and mysterious, with surprises at every melodic turn.
10. Fifth Avenue – “Old Movie”
Jazzy with a splash of Parisian class, Fifth Avenue’s 2013 release has an alluring and vintage sound with soft and melodic vocals. The simplicity of the female vocals and bass guitar brings a unique dynamic that provides a bluesy feel, but keeps it light and airy. It’s perfect for casual listening and gives the listener a positive, careless attitude. Sometimes you don’t need much to make quality grooves, and these guys know how to utilize that minimalism.
Don’t forget to share your thoughts in the comments and let us know if you have a Detroit artist that you would like featured on future playlists!