The spring of 2015 is certainly revealing a stream of exciting and promising new DIY artists and bands. Recent posts like Best New DIY Music of 2015, Best New Album Releases, Artist of the Week, among others, present dozens of songs and albums to listen to and artists and bands to watch.
In this first installment of a new series, 5 New DIY Debuts You’ve Gotta Hear – a spin-off of the long-running, popular 7 Bands You’ve Gotta Hear – you’ll hear songs from some of the most impressive 2015 DIY debut releases by under the radar artists, including three duos; GRRL PAL, a girl-boy electro synth duo from the western shores of Australia; Tigers In The Sky, a boy-girl-romantically-involved pop duo from the west coast of California; Stereo Twins, a Baltimore power pop duo helmed by identical twin brothers. You’ll also read about and listen to The Citie, a talented ‘City of Angels’ outfit consisting of four brothers, one sister and one family friend, and Three Witches, an Ohio power pop rock trio of two brothers and a friend.
In This Installment:
– GRRL PAL – Perth, Australia
– The Citie – Los Angeles, California
– Tigers In The Sky – Los Angeles, California
– Stereo Twins – Baltimore, Maryland
– Three Witches – Akron, Ohio
GRRL PAL – Paradise EP
From Perth, Australia, the girl boy synth electro pop duo GRRL PAL have become somewhat of a mini Internet sensation over the past six months thanks to a series of singles the duo has been dropping once a month since last November. The first single in the series was the title track from their debut EP, Paradise (officially released in April).
“Paradise” sparkles and shines and pops, making it almost irresistible to spin again and again, which partly explains how it has accumulated more than 187,000 streams onpage, plus over 1,000 ‘hearts’ and more than 100 comments from music lovers in Australia and across the globe.
Producer and multi-instrumentalist Danny K and vocalist Jay LeKat began recording in a small bedroom in 2013 before the local scene in Perth got wind of their music earlier last year. The duo’s songs are glistening, shiny synth pop compositions propelling off of K’s production skills and LeKat’s intoxicating vocals. Think Grimes with more cream and sugar.
A number of the duo’s singles, including the dreamy “Paradise,” as well as “DARE” and “NGHT,” have been on regular rotation on Australia’ Triple J Unearthed, a top music radio program Down Under. Just a couple of weeks ago, “DARE” was voted one of Buzzfeed‘s 99 Best Songs of 2015 (So Far). The newest single from the EP, “Radar,” was just crowned one of Soundcloud’s Top 100 Free Songs this month.
According to LeKat, “Radar” was “written about crushing on a cute guy and enticing him into luuurving you, TAY TAY style.” We’re not quite sure exactly what that means, but it doesn’t matter – the song, just like the duo’s other tracks on the EP, speaks for itself. GRRL PAL are well poised to become one of the next big things to come out the growing Australian DIY/indie music scene.
“Radar“ – GRRL PAL from Paradise EP – April 17th
“Paradise“ – GRRL PAL from Paradise EP
The Citie – The Citie
The Los Angeles based DIY band, The Citie, with their infectious hooks and funky rhythms, craft captivating songs that depict real life triumphs and tragedies in their lives. Starting out in 2010, the ‘close knit family’ of five young artists have burned the midnight oil and sacrificed much, to relay stories with sounds that many young adults can relate to. All of the members are siblings except for one good friend of the family.
Over the past few years, The Citie have attracted a following and created a little buzz in LA, which itself is no small feat in a city that probably has more bands and artists per capita than any other city in the U.S. The Citie have performed acclaimed shows at some of LA’s most prized venues, including the famous House of Blues. Reviews have applauded the band’s energetic and lively shows. And the band is fully DIV – from the writing and recording of their songs to setting up shows and mastering final cuts.
The band members include vocalist Sofia Cohen (vocals), Jona Cohen (drums/vocals), Adrian Cohen (lead guitar), Daniel Cohen (bass), and Casey Sandino (rhythm guitar), and count among their top musical influences to include U2, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Radiohead, Coldplay, and Muse.
“Baltimore” – The Citie (featuring Addict)
Just a few weeks ago, The Citie dropped a new and very timely song called, “Baltimore,” that addresses the problems of urban strife and police brutality in Baltimore. We like the track so much that it was recently a Song of the Day on IRC. The fact that they added LA rapper Addict, made the song even more poignant and authentic. We’ll be the first to listen to their next single and would encourage them to work on another song with with Addict. “The City of Lost Hope” is a grooving funk pop track. “Snowflakes,” is clearly different from their most recent single, but that’s part of the allure of their debut LP, out now.
City of Lost Hope – The Citie from The Citie – April 10th
Snowflakes – The Citie from The Citie
Tigers In The Sky – Golden Lights EP
Tigers In The Sky is an eye-opening, ear-catching DIY folk-pop boyfriend/girlfriend duo from the Hawaiian island of Oahu. The duo has largely flown under the radar for a few years, until now. TITS’ introspective, playful and cheerful songs manage to capture the breezy, subtle beauty of their island surroundings with bright acoustic guitar rhythms, steel pedal infusions, piano flourishes, soaring violins, horns and gentle drum beats.
Multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Lionel-Keone DeGuzman and vocalist Casey Liu, who met some four years ago, blend and mix gorgeous vocals and choruses magnificently on geographically-centric tracks like the foot-tapping and transformative song, “Mexico,” and the soothing single, “Paris,” two of the standout songs from the couples’ debut EP, Golden Lights.
Tigers In The Sky raised the money to record, mix and master Golden Lights on Kickstarter, thanks to a small, but loyal, following. Recently relocating to Los Angeles from Oahu, Tigers In The Sky is clearly a band to watch in 2015. Clearly, DeGuzman and Liu have something special going; the enthralling, intricate and warm compositions and cheerful melodies on Golden Lights will bring a smile to your face and tug at your heart strings. Think Lord Huron meets Beach House. What a discovery! Golden Lights was released on March 24th. The duo list their musical influences as Head and the Heart, Miniature Tigers, Jack Johnson, Lord Huron, and Telekinesis.
“Mexico“ – Tigers In The Sky from Golden Lights
“Paris“ – Tigers In The Sky from Golden Lights
Stereo Twins – Good News
Identical twin brothers Brandt Huseman (vocals, bass, drums, keys) and Matt Huseman (vocals, guitar, keys), formerly founding members of Baltimore bands The Greenberry Woods and Splitsville, decided last year to strike out on their own and form the new power pop duo, Stereo Twins.
As twins, they’ve discovered over the years that they have very similar tastes in music, and yet just enough small differences, that they can each contribute to Stereo Twins equally. In fact, their new duo is just a continuation of a “lifelong musical partnership” with the pursuit to create songs with “strong melodies, punchy choruses, and soaring harmonies,” as is evident on their debut album, Good News, featuring terrific tracks like the harmonies and hooks of “Stars Shine” and the Greenberry Woods-ish “Mariamne.” Their musical influences include Neil Finn, Teenage Fanclub, Big Star, Neil Young, Paul McCartney, and XTC. Damn good and diverse taste in music.
– Stereo Twins from Good News – Jan. 20th
– Stereo Twins from Good News
Three Witches – Three Witches EP
The Akron, Ohio DIY trio, Three Witches, have a uniquely goofy view of the world and their place in it. “We’re just three college graduates that want to make cool music and tour around the world instead of having to get real jobs.” And they might just have a shot. The band members (two brothers and one good friend) – Zachary ‘Wacky Zachy’ Manning (vocals, guitar), Sean ‘The Lawn’ Manning (drums, guitar, vocals), and Nick ‘The Stick’ Schirripa (bass, guitar) – have served up some pretty awesome tracks – like the upbeat lo-fi and quirky power pop of “WD Hamilton” and the Pavement-like mysticism on “Poltergeist” – from their recently released, self-titled debut EP. They have previously opened for bands like Bad Hounds and HOLA MESA, and are fans of The Smashing Pumpkins, The Strokes, Bloc Party, Saves the Day, and Foals.
Since the indie pop rock trio officially formed last year, they’ve been recording tracks in their basement, using ‘bottom-of-the-line’ microphones with ‘top-of-the-line’ guitars and amps, MIDI controllers and Logic Pro X. “We live together in Akron, work at crappy jobs, play music and eat a lot of chicken,” brother Zachary said. “Because of this, our George Foreman grill is our most prized possession. We don’t really know what we’re doing when it comes to recording so we just make everything sound as good as we can before deciding something is done.” The band contends that their ultimate goal is to create “the musical equivalent of the George Foreman grill – innovative, timeless, revolutionary and fucking awesome.” What the guys got cooking so far smells pretty damn good.
“WD Hamilton“ – Three Witches from Three Witches EP
“Poltergeist“ – Three Witches from Three Witches EP