Best New DIY Music of 2015, Vol. VII – Bill and Murray, The Bread Brothers, Skyhound, Sports, Third Brother, Break The Bans, Aüva

Throughout the year, we have been putting a lot of work into reviewing 2015 releases from DIY artists and bands across the country and around the world. We’ve labored over the flood of submissions we’ve received this year (most of them submitted to IRC via our submission form) from every type of artist and band, genre and style, you can think of, and from totally terrible to brilliant music that needs to be heard from talented musicians.

Over the years, since 2008, artists and bands featured on IRC have received all kinds of new fans, more coverage and reviews, gigs, licensing deals, recording contracts with labels, bookings on tours and festivals, and their music featured on television and film soundtracks as a result of being featured on IRC. Nowadays, bands need to hustle to make a living like never before, and harnessing the power of the web is one of the best ways to do it.

In this installment of the crazy popular series, Best New DIY Music of 2015 (which has received hundreds of Likes on FB), we’ve got rock, blues, synth, pop, folk, psych and more – as well as mixes of one or more genres, which is more typical of indie anyways – from bands in Tel-Aviv and London, Kiev and Petrozavodsk, Falun and Truro, and from Boston to Athens, Spokane to Tulsa and Squamish to Omaha.

Click on the player below to stream all of the songs uninterrupted or listen to them one by one by clicking the song links. Enjoy and please Like, Tweet, Insta, Pin and whatever else to show your love. We appreciate it y’all!

In This Installment:

Bill & Murray – Tel-Aviv, Israel
The Bread Brothers – Athens, Georgia
Skyhound – Kiev, Ukraine
Sports – Tulsa, Oklahoma
Third Brother – Falun, Sweden
Break The Bans – Petrozavodsk, Russia
Aüva – Boston, Massachusetts
Dismal Beeches – Tel-Aviv, Israel
Boat Race Weekend – Spokane, Washington
Colourshop – London, England
Sperry Alan – Truro, Nova Scotia
Battling Giants – Omaha, Nebraska
Slunq – London, England
Adam Hill – Squamish, British Columbia, Canada

A new synth dance pop trio from Tel-Aviv, called Bill & Murray, is bound to turn some heads on this side of the globe. The grooving synths and beats of “Rabbit Hole” are irresistible, as are the gorgeous vocals and acoustic beauty of the more subdued single, “The Silence Grows.”

Vocalist and keyboardist Stella Goshtein has a terrific voice that hopefully will gain greater recognition in the U.S. Other cornerstones of the band’s presence are the guitar playing and vocals of David Blau and drum kit work of Ran Jacobovitz.

The origins of the band trace back to 2012 when an experimental collaboration between Blau and Gotshtein quickly turned into an full on band with the addition of Jacobovitz in 2013. The trio have performed all over Israel and music festivals in North America and Europe. They also wrapped up a tour of Europe and have opened for artists like Gary Numan.

Bill & Murray debut album, A New Kind of High, officially drops August 30th. The band’s top musical influences include Joy Division, The Cure, The Stone Roses, Gary Numan, My Bloody Valentine and Bauhaus greatly influenced the album. Though the album combines synth-pop and post-punk influences, the bands personal touch and their unconventional choice of musical instruments and pedal effects created a unique and distinct flavor.

“Rabbit Hole“Bill & Murray from A New Kind of High

“The Silence Grows“Bill & Murray from A New Kind of High

Bill and Murray on Facebook

The Bread Brothers – The Bread Brothers

Rock legends REM’s hometown of Athens, Georgia has produced many fine artists and bands over the years, including indie and DIY that are unknown to the mainstream. For 2015, we’re adding The Bread Brothers to Athens’ growing list of impressive, home ‘bread’ bands. Earlier this year, the brothers dropped their self-titled, debut album. And it’s one hell of an album for a band that few people outside the city have heard of.

But what started as a standard rock outfit has now progressed into a solidified sound; a melodic, yet hard-hitting, signature with many colors reflecting the band member’s musical backgrounds, including experiences with playing folk, country, rock and pop. In fact, fans of The Strokes are probably most likely to be attracted to the talented quintet’s sounds.

It’s hard not to think of The Strokes with the wonderfully jangling, jamming electric guitars, the radical chord shifts; the coarse, yet melancholic vocals, and driving percussions of the standout single, “Milk and Honey.” The brothers weave elements of folk rock with pop rock on the mostly uptempo single, “Dirty Deeds,” with its hard acoustic guitar playing and glittery piano swirls.

The ‘brothers’ of bread include Aaron Campbell (vocals); Cody Provost (rhythm guitar); Remington Rehklau (bass); Cameron Kelly (drums), and Alex Magee (lead guitar). They have opened for bands like Stop Light Observations, Voodoo Visionary, Lindee Link, and Chasing Jonah. Their top musical influences include The Strokes, Kings of Leon, and Needtobreathe.

“Milk and Honey“The Bread Brothers from The Bread Brothers

“Dirty Deeds“The Bread Brothers from The Bread Brothers

The Bread Brothers on Facebook


Skyhound – Dreamcatcher 7″

It’s not often that we come across a smoking hot band from the Ukraine. While the former Soviet satellite has been garnering worldwide attention as Russian separatists battle Ukranian loyalists, two Ukrainian friends and musicians – Farid Mbaidin and Daniel Hryhoriev – from the capital city, Kiev, have been writing and recording high energy synth/electro dance pop songs in their spare time under the moniker Skyhound.

Mbaidin and Hryhoriev have been working on their music since forming Skyhound last summer. The result are the two singles, “Dreamcatcher” and “Till We Fall.” The first track, “Dreamcatcher,” is an emotionally-charged, subdued song with a big, booming bass drum beat throughout, dark pop synth embellishments and haunting, layered vocals. The second track, “Till We Fall,” is epic-sounding with its driving rhythm, charged melodies and full throttle dance synth pop flourishes.

“We are in charge of everything in our band,” Mbaidin says, “starting with songwriting and lyrics, through designing artworks; mixing and producing songs, and finishing with music videos shooting and editing.” Mbaidin cites bands like Linkin Park, The Knife, M83, Howard Shore, Broods, CHVRCHES, and Evaline as top influences. The Dreamcatcher 7″ officially dropped on July 7th. The duo are working on their debut LP.

“Dreamcatcher“Skyhound from Dreamcatcher 7″

“Till We Fall“Skyhoundfrom Dreamcatcher 7″

Watch the ‘Dreamcatcher’ video via YouTube

Skyhound on Facebook


Sports – Naked All The Time

Heavy bass lines, steady, grooving rhythms and beats, soft vocals and layered choruses, and dreamy psych synth pop melodies are the hallmarks of singles like the swaggering “You Are The Right One” and the sunny, breezy “Panama.” Both tracks are from the new album, Naked All The Time, by the Tulsa, Oklahoma DIY band Sports. These guys delicately weave synth pop with tinges of psychedelia and dream pop.

Throughout junior high and high school, members Jacob Theriot (bass, keys), Christian Theriot (guitar, keys), and Cale Chronister (vocals, keys, guitar) have written and recorded music together under various project names . Not surprisingly, they are fans of bands like Tame Impala, as well as Prince and Fleetwood Mac (that’s an interesting range, chronologically and genre-wise).

Sidebar: One thing worth mentioning – and advice for other new bands – is that picking such a common and diluted word, ‘sports,’ puts the band at an immediate disadvantage because it is nearly impossible for potential fans and followers to quickly find more information about the band in a Google search. Lesson 101 in band naming/branding in 2015: Create a totally original band name that will guarantee that all of the web pages and social media links with your band name will come up first and dominate Google search results. For example, a band name like The Radically Sonic Bandits.

Now, back to regular programming. These two hot tracks from Tulsa band to watch, Sports, are sah-wheet!

“You Are The Right One“Sports from Naked All The Time

“Panama“Sports from Naked All The Time

Sports on Facebook


Third Brother – No Mind Police

In Falun, Sweden, a new DIY band called Third Brother released their debut EP, No Mind Police. The title track from the EP has a bit of a foreboding tinge to it even though it’s an otherwise uplifting track that weaves folk and rock elements. It’s a standout song, rich with melodies and choruses. The story behind the song seems to be a love song about the emotional struggles love inevitably encounters.

The follow-up single, “Boxes and Old News” is a mellow, folksy acoustic number that somehow sounds so amazingly woodsy, almost like you can smell decaying leaves in November walking in the forest after a rainfall, or old newspapers in an aged shoebox – from notes of music. That’s a unique talent.

It turns out that Albin Carlson, Third Brother’s songwriter, vocalist and guitarist, retreated to a small cabin ‘deep’ in the woods of Dalarna near his home in Sweden. There he wrote and recorded demos for the songs and set out to form a band, bringing together Anton Klasson (guitar and backup vocals), Axel Widmark (bass), and Philip Stjernberg (drums) to complete the band line-up. Not surprisingly, Carlson’s major influences include artists like Fleet Foxes, Bon Iver, Nick Drake, and Radiohead.

“No Mind Police“Third Brother from No Mind Police

“Boxes and Old News“Third Brother from No Mind Police

Third Brother on Facebook


Break The Bans – Okay, Okay

Based out of Petrozavodsk in the Karelia region of Russia, the garage/punk rock band Break The Bans, formed in 2007, rip out raw, raunchy rock on their debut album, Okay, Okay. Songs from the album made their way on to radio stations in Spain, England, the U.S., Finland, Italy and Portugal by popular request. In fact, the song featured below, “How Can I Love Her?” was featured on a commercial for Hudson Jeans.

Unfortunately, the band did not have the resources – including cash and visas – to tour in order to build on the momentum. But there is still the band’s amazing kick-ass discography. The single, “How Can I Love?” is amazing; we’ve spun it countless times in the cafe. It’s dark, disassociated and different. The second single, “Sexy Lady,” is raw angst the way we like it, and not like we have heard from an overseas DIY band in a while. If you like angry, non-conformist punk rock, you might just want to give this Russian band a shot.

It’s also worth noting that the songs from the band’s album were featured in the indie movie, Drive-In Movie, at a film festival in Belgium.

Last year, the band dropped the EP, Propaganda, which made it to No. 24 on Starfrosch Top 100 Hot Download Charts in Russia. Band members include frontman Alex Fry on vocals; guitarist Vadim ‘Bad’ Bogorodski; Tim Romanse on bass; Louie Zipper on drums; and Tom Rise on guitar.

How Can I Love Her?Break The Bans from Okay! Okay!

Sexy LadyBreak The Bans from Okay! Okay!

Break The Bans Facebook

“In Russia indie-rock is freedom and poverty. You can make the music you want. But it does not makes money.”
– Alex Fry


Aüva – Light Years

Among its many prestigious universities, the Berklee College of Music is one of Boston‘s most respected educational institutions, and one of the top music schools in the world. And consistently over the years, it has spawned many great artists and bands. A new DIY band, Aüva, is among the latest to join the ranks of bands born at Berklee.

The four music students who make up the band arrange complex and sophisticated tunes that feature cross breeding and layering of garage surf rock and dream psych pop. Their tracks from the band’s new debut EP, Light Years, are wild, idealistic and full of energy as glimmering, glam pop tracks like “Into Place,” with it’s layers of harmonies, demonstrate. The second single, “Nothing Else,” is a more dreamy song, while still maintaining somewhat of a driving beat and rhythm.

All of the band members – Miette Hope (vocals and piano); Jack Markwordt (guitar, vocals); Jake LeVine (guitar, vocals) and Michael Piccoli (drums) – are students at Berklee who decided earlier this year to form a band.
The band’s surfy, dream pop tracks, like “Into Place” and “Nothing Else” are catchy and hard to forget.

Recently, friends and fans of the band have titled the band’s music as, ‘dolphin music,’ because of its watery driving guitar, over up tempo and dance-influenced drum set parts. “If dolphins made rock n roll, this may be what it would sound like,” Piccoli said.

Auva has previously opened for bands like Bay Faction and Elizabeth Color Wheel; the band’s top musical influences include Tame Impala, Wild Nothing, Diiv, Beach Fossils, Mammas and the Papas, and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.

“Into Place“Aüva from Light Years

“Nothing Else“Aüva from Light Years

Aüva on Facebook

Dismal Beeches – Into The Woods

We’ve been coming across a series of artists and bands this year from Tel-Aviv. While Israel is not considered a hotbed for indie or alternative music, bands like the dream folk rock outfit, Dismal Beeches, are doing their part to create a local scene. This ‘dark wave’ duo is comprised of long-time collaborators, Stephan Friedman and Ronnie Slogun, who aspire to “create somber, intimate aural portrayals dedicated to the sacred mysteries of Nature.”

The eerie title track, “Into The Woods,” from the band’s debut EP, is something you’d expect to hear on the soundtrack of an indie horror track – and that’s not minimizing the song at all. It’s genuinely creepy. The same is nearly true for the song, “A Tramp’s Tale Told Late At Night Near The Salvation Army Homeless Shelter,” a poignant and hauntingly beautiful piece with expressive, echoey vocals, aqua-like psych guitar and glittery but tame synth melodies galore – a strikingly rich and complex song. The guys favorite artists are Cocteau Twins, David Lynch, Lustmord, and The Cure.

DIsmal Beeches describe the story behind their debut EP as “a mystic journey in the depths of the Forest told through four different stories. We start off at a recluse’s retreat in the woods, then proceed through an enchanted woodland as twilight shadows lurk behind the trees; stop by a rural asylum to hear a dreary tale of a beggar; and finally step into the heart of the black forest to meet the spirits of old.” Friedman plays electric guitar, e-bow, kantele, harmonica, synthesizer, sings, and programs drums and effects. Slogun adds bass and vocals to the lineup of instruments.

“Into The Woods“Dismal Beeches from Into The Woods

“A Tramps Tale Told Late At Night Near The Salvation Army Homeless Shelter“Dismal Beeches from Into The Woods

Dismal Beeches on Facebook

Boat Race Weekend – The Talisman

Boat Race Weekend is a new alternative/pop punk trio based out of Spokane, Washington. Comprised of three childhood best friends – Evan Kruschke (guitar, vocals); Collin Price (bass) and Jay Orth (drums) – the band officially formed in spring of 2013 when asked to perform at the college they attended, Gonzaga University. The band caught attention of many students and began playing packed house shows in the college neighborhood. Soon, the three started playing venues throughout the city of Spokane and the greater Pacific Northwest.

Their demo, “Beautiful Days,” caught the attention of Identity Recording Studios where they recorded their debut album, The Talisman, which was released DIY-style in March 2015. Boat Race Weekend music is characterized by pop punk verses, airy post-rock breakdowns, and heartfelt lyrics. BRW rages through like a hurricane on songs like “The Welcoming,” with blazing guitars, storming drums, frantic bass lines and angst-filled vocals. The band has since grown in popularity in Spokane and more recently in Seattle.

The trio has opened for artists like Dan Smith, Hank and Cupcakes, Heart by Heart (founding members of Heart) and include among their top musical influences Brand New, Blink 182, The Wonder Years, The Story So Far, and Have Mercy.

“Beautiful Days“Boat Race Weekend from The Talisman

“The Welcoming“Boat Race Weekend from The Talisman

Boat Race Weekend on Facebook


Colourshop – 3PM

The acoustic, experimental folk pop of London‘s bro duo, Colourshop, is captivating, spirited and uplifting on songs like “My World” and “3pm,” the title track from the duo’s debut album that dropped officially in May. “My World” is a powerful, heart-wrenching song; vocalist and guitarist Alfredo Salvati sings his heart out, backed up nicely by glimmering keys and backup vocals from his brother Diego Salvati. The brothers have a wonderful synchronicity that is unmistakable, and an originality that is encouraging. Colourshop is definitely on our Best Overseas DIY Bands to Watch.

“My World“Colourshop from 3PM

“3pm“Colourshop from 3PM

Colourshop on Facebook


Sperry Alan – Hold On Tight

In Truro, Nova Scotia, musician John Alan Sperry has been writing, recording and releasing albums DIY style since 2004. He crafts alt. rock/folk tracks with introspective lyrics and musical conviction, like on the lo-fi single, “Hold On Tight.” A bit of work on mixing instruments for a master is needed to create a more full sound. His influences include Matthew Good, Silversun Pickups, Smashing Pumpkins, and Sean Panting. There is a youthful inspiration to his music, and attention to artistry and tradition.

“Hold On Tight“Sperry Alan from Hold On Tight

“Give Me A Warning“
Sperry Alan from Hold On Tight

Sperry Alan on Facebook


Battling Giants – Birth/Death/Reckoning

Battling Giants is an alternative hard rock blues band from Omaha that formed in 2014. In May, they dropped their sophomore album, Birth/Death/Reckoning, featuring songs like the raunchy, kick-ass rocker, “Hell Water Blues,” and the dark and menacing, “Dr. Dealer,” a track about prescription drug abuse and the doctors who ‘deal’ out such drugs (especially with the nationwide problem of opiates and subsequent heroin abuse when opiate addicts can find or afford the pills). The band is currently touring. The band members are Lucas Smith vocalist and guitarist Lucas Smith, bassist Matt Limberg, and drummer Scott Peterson.

Battling Giants have opened for bands like All Them Witches ( Nashville), The Well (Austin,Tx) Crushed Out (NY), among many others. Their top musical influences include Queens of the Stone Age, Eagles of Death Metal, Clutch, White Stripes, Black Rebel Motrocylce Club, and Motorhead

“Hell Water Blues“Battling Giants from Birth/Death/Reckoning

“Dr. Dealer“Battling Giants from Birth/Death/Reckoning

Battling Giants on Facebook


Slunq – Eel World

From London, the alternative noise rock band, Slunq, is the collective brainchild of brothers Peter Dahl Collins (bass, drums) and Chris Collins (guitars), and their friend, singer and songwriter, Daniel Knowler. We first featured the band back in 2013. Now back with new material, the singles, “Farming Equipment” and “Angeldirt,” from the band’s new EP, Eel World, Slunq’s music feels more menacing and tighter.

The dark, haunting hard rock of “Angeldirt” is riveting, with mind-blowing riffs, mini guitar solos and thunderous percussions. The trio’s musical influences include Cardiacs, Killing Joke, Oceansize, Future Of The Left, and The Pixies.

“Angeldirt“ Slunq from Eel World

“Farming Experiment“Slunq from Eel World

Slunq on Facebook


Adam Hill – Old Paint

You can’t really appreciate, and love, the every expanding ‘indie rock’ genre without respecting, and listening to, the new releases of music that comes from indie and DIY aritsts and bands of all kinds, whether they are rock, folk, pop, folktronic, synth punk, new wave, C-86 and so on. That’s why we can appreciate the folksy music of Adam Hill and friends from Squamish in British Colombia, Canada.

We don’t normally hear southern rooted folk/country mixed with tinges of blues and bluegrass. “[I perform] new and timely indie folk music… on acoustic instruments and [sing the songs] the way they were meant to be sung – address the present without betraying their roots in the past,” Hill writes. He has traversed the United States and lived in states like Ohio, Tennessee, Wyoming, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington before making his home in Squamish, BC.

The tracks, “Three Hundred Miles” and “The Cuckoo,” are rambling and festive, but with a bit of darkness lurking between the notes. Hill writes all his songs, plays all of the instruments – including guitars, bass fiddle, mandolin – sings, records, mixes and masters DIY style. Stephanie Dawn provides additional vocals. Hill is a fan of the Punch Brothers, Sam Amidon, Frank Proffit Jr., and Ola Belle Reed. The album Old Paint dropped in June.

“Three Hundred Miles“Adam Hill from Old Paint

“The Cuckoo“Adam Hill from Old Paint

Adam Hill on Facebook

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  1. Hey, Phil! Nice job, but “Nothing Else“ – Aüva from Light Years is actually just “Into Place” again. Love the sound, so I’m anxious to hear that track…. Thanks!

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