In Dee Mail, Vol. XXIX – NIHILS, Famous Unknown USA, The Ineloquent, Geoffrey J, Nick Shattuck, Daniel Ellsworth & The Great Lakes, Robyn Cage

For those of you who have followed us over these many years, you know that In Dee Mail is a long-running, popular and special series that simply highlights artists and songs we have been digging for some time; therefore, the songs themselves are not necessarily new, but definitely noteworthy. Enjoy.

NIHILS – Triol, Austria
Famous Unknown USA – Chicago, Illinois
The Ineloquent – Boulder, Colorado
Nick Shattuck – Los Angeles, California
Geoffrey J Band – Los Angeles, California
Daniel Ellsworth & The Great Lakes – Nashville, Tennessee
Robyn Cage – Park City, Utah
Weepikes – Helsinki, Finland

NIHILS – Triol, Austria

When four lads from the Tyrolean Alps region of Austria decided a few years ago to stop building “lethal ski jumps and plummeting down the Alps” and redirect that energy to create a band, they did just that. They spent the ensuing years, in the words of bassist Dominik Brunner, “refining our indie electronic soul-infused sound,” as found on the funky-laced indie dance track, “Lovers On The Run”, with is memorable hook, chorus and grooves. This was the band’s breakthrough track, garnering over 67,000 plays and 1,200 likes on Soundcloud alone, and attracting a new swell of fans.

The band’s next single, “Help Our Souls”, dropped in the summer of 2015, really put them on the map, wracking up 1.3 million plays and over 21,000 likes just on Soundcloud. The song was performed extensively at gigs in Austria and Germany, including several music festivals (Donauinselfest; Alternative Escape), as well as opening for artists like Nena and Friska Viljor. Because of the Austrian Music Fund, the band was able to record and release their debut album.

Famous Unknown USA – Chicago, Illinois

Based in the Chicago-area, the musical trio, the Famous Unknown USA, is comprised of experienced and accomplished veteran musicians who came together with similar interests in 2010 to combine their skills and creativity to piece together a range of influences that include classic rock, folk, pop, alt. rock and blues – all evident on the 90’s-like alt. rock tracks like, “Canvas,” or the bluegrass-folk single, “Stain Glass Window,” which was named as a semi-finalist in last year’s International Songwriting Contest.

Collectively, band members – Gary Reyes, Bob Hauck, and Chris Reyes – offer more than 25 years of stage and studio experience, with influences that include classic rock, alt. rock, folk and blues.

The Ineloquent – Boulder, Colorado

Admittedly nomadic yet hailing primarily from Boulder, Colorado, indie rock band The Ineloquent deliver contemplative and meaningful piano driven pop rock with catchy melodies, layered vocal harmonies and honest lyrics featuring messages of hope.

The trio’s melodic and engaging musical style draws comparisons to artists like Coldplay, The Fray, Keane, and One Republic, while the band’s frontwoman, Georgiana Eakins, is often compared to vocalists like Ellie Goulding, Regina Spektor, Nora Jones, and probably most often, Leigh Nash from Sixpence None the Richer.

The Ineloquent’s writing style is sincere and straightforward, giving language to the inner struggles that many of us wrestle with. With lyrics that are revealing and deeply personal on the 2015 EP, ‘E Is for Emergency,’ the band weaves together themes of love, brokenness, fear, hope, and restoration.

The track “Verge of a Breakthrough” is a synth dance pop track that is more laid back and sensual than most; in fact, it’s a terrific bedroom chill song.

MP3: “Emergency“The Ineloquent from E is for Emergency

“These are songs that are meant to do more than just spill sound into silence,” says vocalist and keyboardist Georgiana Eakins. “They are meant to challenge and inspire while bringing something musically fresh to the table.” This is also apparent on the semi-title track, “Emergency,” a track for which to put the headphones on and fade away with the dreamy keys and vocals.

The other band members include Daniel Eakins (vocals, guitar) and Pablo Calderon (bass, drums). The band’s top influences include Coldplay, Future of Forestry, Imogen Heap, Keane, and Snow Patrol.

Nick Shattuck – Los Angeles, California

Born and raised in the Midwest, singer/songwriter Nick Shattuck moved to Los Angeles in the fall of 2011 for the sun-soaked life of the west coast and to “surround myself in a competitive music environment.” Right away, Shattuck went to work, exploring the environs of southern California and writing songs.

Those songs, featured on his 2013 album Up Late, Dreaming, are wholesome, heartfelt, introspective, woodsy, and at times, celebratory, as standout tracks like “Your Heart” demonstrate.

Shattuck has opened for artists like Howie Day, Ben Taylor, Rhett Miller, Sea Wolf, Meiko, and Tyler Hilton. He lists his top musical influences as Ray LaMontagne, Joe Purdy, Ben Howard, James Vincent McMorrow, and Bon Iver.

Geoffrey J – Los Angeles, California

They are an anomaly in today’s world of pop driven rock. With influences like Aretha Franklin and The Beatles, the boy who grew up on doo-wop is now a singer-songwriter that reflects the styles of Lou Reed, Bob Dylan, and Lyle Lovett.

Both as a solo and band performer, Geoffrey J, has played at many of the prestigious Los Angeles music venues including the iconic Whiskey A Go Go, Room 5 Lounge, The Mint, and The Viper Room. His other musical influences include Macy Gray, INXS, and The Black Keys.

We were first introduced to his music thanks to the amazing track, “Merry Go-Round” – a gold nugget; not many DIY bands can write and record an amazing song like this. But Geoffrey certainly has; don’t be surprised if you play this song over and over.

Another track, the uptempo song, “Here I Am,” was a grower song for us. J’s vocals are very professional and evoke a sense of fun with happy groove and catchy rhythm guitar.

Daniel Ellsworth and The Great Lakes – Nashville, Tennessee

On their sophomore album, Kid Tiger, released in March of 2014, indie rock band Daniel Ellsworth and The Great Lakes fuse raw energy with crisp melodies and danceable beats on standout songs like “Phantoms” and “Sun Goes Down.” Kid Tiger was produced at Nashville’s Sputnik Sound Studios by Grammy award-winner Vance Powell, who has produced albums for Jack White, The Whigs, Kings of Leon, and The White Stripes.

Formed in 2010 in Nashville, Tennessee, Daniel Ellsworth & The Great Lakes released their first full-length studio album, Civilized Man, in 2011. Recorded and co-produced with Mark Nevers (Andrew Bird, Yo La Tengo, Silver Jews), Civilized Man went on to be listed in the top 100 albums of 2011 by Amazon, with songs like the pop-rock single “Shoe Fits,” which debuted at No.7 on Amazon’s Top 100 Songs of 2011.

Band members include Daniel Ellsworth, Timon Lance, Joel Wren, and Marshall Skinner. The band considers among their influences Local Natives, Haim, Phoenix, Buddy Holly, Tom Waits, and Dr.Dog.

MP3: “Phantoms“Daniel Ellsworth & The Great Lakes from Kid Tiger

Robyn Cage – Park City, Utah

Robyn Cage’s ethereal yet powerful soprano and impassioned live performances have dazzled audiences from Boston’s Symphony Hall, to thousands at outdoor festivals, and the prestigious and intimate singer-songwriter circuit in New York City.

Born in the Utah desert as Robyn Kemp, she went on to study at The Boston Conservatory and became an accomplished actress in NYC. Recently, she migrated back to her Park City, Utah birthplace and was creatively and soulfully reawakened.

For her debut album, Born In The Desert, which dropped on Oct. 2 of last year, Cage teamed up with two-time Grammy-nominated producer Darryl Neudorf (Neko Case, Sarah McLachlan) and Grammy-nominated and Juno Award-winning producer Dan Burns (Rachael Yamagata, Lenka, Michelle Branch). Her biggest musical influences include Susanne Sundfor, St. Vincent, PJ Harvey, Lana Del Rey, among others.

MP3: “Born In The Desert“

Weepikes – Helsinki, Finland

Helsinki alternative rockers, Weepikes are, according to the band, a ‘time machine’ band that gained a sizable following in the mid-1990’s in North America and Europe, but burned out, and disbanded, in 1997, after less than four years together.

Then, in early 2013, after 15 years apart, the band re-emerged with the release of a new EP, which introduced them for the first time to many music lovers on IRC who were either toddlers or babies (in some cases, not even born yet) when the band broke up, and also rekindled interest among long-time fans, many of who probably forgot about them over all of the years.

Weepikes, despite their name, rock! And if you like what you hear on “Nothing But A Soar,” check out another track from the EP and read more about the band from the original post published in February of 2013.

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