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In Dee Mail 2010, Vol. VI – Whisperlights, Snuffaluffagus, Wonderflu, Kate Martin, Photosonic Orchestra, Light For Fire, DZ

Phoenix band Whisperlights are making noise in the southwest

Over the next several weeks, and probably into 2011, there will be an uptick in the number of In Dee Mail playlist posts; the latest one was just published last week.

We’re excited because IRC readers and visitors traditionally love the In Dee Mail series. But most of all we’re amped to share with you even more relatively unknown bands creating interesting, eclectic, creative, unique and quality music. Almost every artist or band in this series were new to us (and just about everyone else) until they sent in some of their music via our submission form. There is something uniquely special about hearing good-to-great music for the first time from an unknown band.

Dozens of artists and bands have told us they got their first ‘big’ or ‘real’ exposure via In Dee Mail.  The majority of bands that are featured on the In Dee Mail series are unsigned, or signed to a small label, and usually completely DIY. Hidden gems await you.

In June, the locally popular Phoenix, Arizona band Whisperlights released their debut EP, Wake Up Dead, and we’re just getting around to it now. Apologies. Whisperlights is a group of multi-instrumentalists and individual songwriters that coalesced in early 2009 around the ideas of writing folk-inspired pop music that didn’t lose itself in endless noodling. The band, consisting of Illya Riske, Owen Marshall, Wasef El-Kharouf, Tobie Milford, and Dave Gironda, quickly became known in Phoenix for their chaotic and energetic live shows with seemingly sporadic instrumental changes, vocalist changes and full-throated choruses.

Since then, the Whisperlights have invaded the Phoenix music scene, played festivals all over Arizona, Nevada and Colorado, as well as touring the west coast in the summer of 2010, after releasing their debut EP in June. In between nearly non-stop tours and gigs, the Whisperlights managed to complete recording their first full length record, Surfaces, to be released in mid-2011. The band has already opened for Josiah Wolf, Common Loon, Parachute Musical, and Slang Chickens, and include among their biggest musical influences, Akron Family, All Elephant Six Records, Andrew Bird, Walkmen, and Broken Social Scene.

“Death” Whisperlights from Wake Up Dead

“Guillotine”Whisperlights from Wake Up Dead

Snuffaluffagus – Brooklyn, NY

Brooklyn band Snuffaluffagus‘ musical influences range from big hitters of indie rock, such as Animal Collective and Dirty Projectors, to earlier eras of creative music from artists like Caetano Veloso, Jorge Ben, and Astrud Gilberto. The band’s penchant for diversity in music is evident on their newest album, Brazil Wood Poetry, which features mixes of styles like tropicalia and indie.

Snuffaluffagus has toured on and off since 2007, and have moved around a bit – from San Diego to Portland, Oregon – before landing in New York. The band has previously opened for Hosannas Finn Riggins, Japandi, Boomsnake, Weatherbox, Ah Holy Famly and others. Although they don’t say so, we’re guessing this artist must have some fondness for the early work of Sufjan Stevens, based on the flourishing and ambling compositions filled with brass and strings, various stop and starts, and supplemental instruments, like a wood knocker – quite appropriate for a song called “Brazil Wood Poetry.”

“Brazil Wood Poetry”Snuffaluffagus from Brazil Wood Poetry – June 23rd

Wonderflu – Paris, France

Accessible, melodic pop rock songs, with a touch of Pavement, on the single, “Travel,” and to a lesser extent via the track, “Running Faster,” from the indie pop-rock band Wonderflu have definitely put this band on our radar for 2011. Wonderflu’s debut LP, Lota Schwager, was released in Europe in September. Not surprising, this Paris, France band include Pavement and Dinosaur Jr. among their biggest influences. That’s pretty much all we know about Wonderflu at the moment.

“Travel”Wonderflu from Lota Schwager

“Running Faster”Wonderflu from Lota Schwager

Banjo or Freakout – London, England

Lefse Records is running a series called Way Slow, in which some of their artists will record a track that falls outside their normal sound and style. In the first track of the series, released a couple weeks ago, the lads of indie group Banjo or Freakout, recorded, “Over There”.

“Over There”Banjo or Freakout

The Beautiful Music is a strange name for a rock band, but we like the UK post-punk feel of the song, “Pop is Falling Apart.” The only part we don’t like about it is the obvious rip-off riff from The Who’s anthematic classic, “Baba O’Reilly.”

“Pop is Falling Apart”The Beautiful Music from single, October

If you like female singers of the folk pop genre, then chances are you’ll enjoy the track “Lua” a gentle ballad that exhibits the beautiful voice of Kate Martin. The song is from her self-titled, debut LP, out now.

“Lua”Kate Martin from Kate Martin

Dublin, Ireland alternative rock band Photosonic Orchestra (although there’s nothing orchestra about their sound; so that’s a bit strange) include musicians from Ireland, Poland and Italy, and recently performed at the Body & Soul Festival in Ireland. The Drink Me EP was released in August.

“Drink Me!”Photosonic Orchestra from Drink Me EP

“Birthday Song”Photosonic Orchestra from Drink Me EP

From Washington, DC, the indie band Daddy Lion were featured on NPR‘s Song of the Day series and opened for popular band Evangelicals. Their debut EP, Divine, was released on 24 Hour Station Records back in June.

“Morning”Daddy Lion from Divine

Other Songs In Dee Mail We Like

These are songs we like but we don’t have really much information on the artist, and for some songs, like “Let It Go” we don’t even know the artist name (although another song in this mix by the same name does have an artist name – weird, huh?), so if you know any of the artists listed as ‘unknown,’ speak up please. Also, not enough time to write about the other songs here from Michael Doyle, Mean Creek, Keith Canisius, Goodtimes Goodtimes, and DZ.

“Big Spoon”Michael Doyle

“Let It Go” – Unknown

“The Green Life” – Light For Fire

“The Comedian”Mean Creek

“People’s Faces” Keith Canisius

“Fortune Teller Song”Goodtimes Goodtimes

“Gebbie Street”DZ