Indie Music Hour with DJ HotJack

A regular journey around the music scene

Unsigned Artist Alert – Detox Cute And The Beauty Junkies

detox
Part of the Unsigned Artist Alert here on Indie Music Hour is to make people aware of good music being made by bands who are unsigned or who are independent and don’t have the corporate backing or limitless commercial media machines working on their behalf.

Detox Cute And The Beauty Junkies (great name, huh?) are a pop duo. ‘Pop music’ has become a cringeworthy phrase to some of us indie kids but, personally, I love a bit of pop music. I’m just particular about trying to only listen to the good stuff. I really like Helen Love, The School, Stereo Total and Au Revoir Simone and they would all probably sit very nicely in the ‘pop’ category. Detox Cute And The Beauty Junkies are much the same.

Here’s the blurb from their lastfm page:

“Charlie and Paisley formed Detox Cute in the summer of 2008.

Paisley is from Brighton and Charlie is from London. Influences include Dick Van Dyke, JB Fletcher, Cliff Richard and Hello KItty. Abba and The Ants also feature in their thoughts when making pop songs.

It was the day before the day before yesterday – singer Paisley Play-Doh was working as a scrubber for a Dutch TV station when she received a wrongly dialled telephone call from New Zealand’s most famous Freeman’s Catalogue model, Charlie Darling …

Their confused conversation led to futile and spurilous arguments about the cost of Wold Fat and the number of fish in the atmosphere. In addition, and also weirdly, they discussed just how much they could nick off Abba, The Ants, Ultravox and old Cliff Richard movies …

So Paisley and Charlie formed a pop duo, in the long and distinguished tradition of Yazoo, The Pet Shop Boys, Peter & Gordon and PJ and Duncan. Their mission was simple – bring joy to the masses and spread the word – don’t be afraid of Pop Music – despite Simon Cowell – it doesn’t hurt.

By lying about their abilities, they managed to secure a residency at ‘The Disco At The End Of The Universe’ playing pop songs to their hearts content.”

They are a quirky pair but that doesn’t mean they aren’t serious about producing good music. You’ll find tracks laced with audio from old movies and this is cool but, more importantly, there is some substance in between the flamboyance.

I’m delighted to say I have secured 3 MP3s for you guys to download. I’ll also supply oodles of links to other places you can find their music and vids. As an extra treat, I also have a link to their Paisley and Charlie side-project.

You can download a zip file containing the 3 tracks HERE

Myspace page with tracks and vids HERE – you’ll also be able to access Pop Trash TV from that page from the end of this month.

Paisley and Charlie side-project HERE

Website with YouTube vids HERE

Lastfm page HERE

Have fun 🙂

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August 18, 2009 Posted by | Unsigned Artists | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Unsigned Artist Alert – Grip

grip

Something a little different now. As a British indie-kid I’ve tended not to delve too much into hip hop or RnB but Grip contacted me after reading another Indie Music Hour Unsigned Artist Alert and I added his mixtape to my listening list.

Grip is an independent performer from Brooklyn who writes and produces his own material. The mixtape is called Future of the Fly Shit and I’ll put a link at the end of this post so Indie Music Hour listeners can download it for free.

I’ve gotta say, I enjoyed this. I don’t feel I can really add any knowing comments to this as it’s still not a genre of music I’ve had a lot of exposure to. The lyrics felt unforced and well-crafted and the whole thing flowed well. I’d say the effect would be better in the car with the hood down on a warm summer evening but this is the UK so I had to settle for noise-cancelling headphones whilst sat at my PC.

I think it’s great that artists are out there producing, writing and performing regardless of what genre of music they align themselves with and Indie Music Hour will always aim to highlight talent from different spectrums of the music scene.

You can get your hands on the whole Grip mixtape HERE and his myspace page is HERE

August 17, 2009 Posted by | Unsigned Artists | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Unsigned Artist Alert – The Trees

thetrees

A part of the Indie Music Hour blog that I’m really enjoying is making readers aware of some of the great bands out there who haven’t been signed up to commercial deals. One such band is The Trees. As their lastfm page says:

“The Trees were formed in the late 90s by Simon and Tony over a few drinks in a local club.
They played gigs in and around London for a few years until illness and management issues forced the band to slow down.
The Trees continued to write and record songs at their home studio then, due to the response on myspace and other internet sites, The Trees found a new lease of life.
The Trees are now entering the studio,to record a album and .So watch this space for exclusive demos and Eps.:)
Thanks for listening.”

The band list giants of the music scene as influences – Pink Floyd, The Beatles and The Doors – and their material does have a ‘classic’ feel to it. Not that it can be put into a certain period of time but that it feels neither new or old. That probably isn’t the best explanation but, for me, some music sounds very much of its time and some seems to transcend the period in which it was recorded. The Trees fall into the latter category. I guess if I was forced to classify it I’d describe it as indie rock but that is such a broad church.

I’ve uploaded 3 of their tracks for you to download HERE or you can access the tracks via the band’s lastfm page HERE

You’ll also find additional tracks, including a great one called Sometimes, on their myspace page HERE

August 16, 2009 Posted by | Unsigned Artists | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Unsigned Artist Alert – Good Morning, Captain

Good+Morning+Captain+1

Tyler got in touch concerning his music project (Good Morning, Captain) and has made both of his EPs available to Indie Music Hour readers free of charge – see links at end.

The first EP I listened to is the one released this year, The Rewind. It has a sparse, stripped-back feel to it that creates a fragile and beautiful feel. Male and female vocals feature and portray an honesty much like Iron And Wine, The National or Band of Horses. ‘Umbrellas’ was probably my favourite track but it only just beat ‘Come Wander With Me’ as the female vocals on that were haunting. Although the EP is pretty new, it has an ‘old’ feel to it like much of the contemporary folk movement has.

The second EP is from 2005 and is called Poverty Hill Lane. It opens very differently to the other EP as ‘Autumn Rhythm’ has a post-rock core to it and a greater sense of urgency. In fact, the whole EP has a very different vibe to The Rewind – as a 4-year gap in recording would hopefully always dictate. I wouldn’t say either of the two were better … just different. On this EP, influences feel more upbeat with ‘Walking Distance’ sounding like an acoustic version of a jangly indie-pop tune and ‘Black Curtains’ ending with a gorgeous fuzzy guitar and electro sample playing counterpoint to the delicate vocals.

These are good pieces of work. Thanks to Tyler for getting in touch and sharing his music with us!

You can visit the myspace page HERE

The Rewind (2009) EP available HERE

Poverty Hill Lane (2005) EP available HERE

August 9, 2009 Posted by | Album Reviews, Unsigned Artists | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Unsigned Artist Alert – Foxtrot Bravo

Foxtrot_Vibe bar_bW

In the words of the band:

“Foxtrot Bravo is a Swedish/Anglo 5 piece indie-outfit based in London. The music sounds like a mix between a Swedish summer day and a gritty London night…”

I really like what I’ve heard so far. It’s more melodic indie-pop than raw guitar-laden stuff but it has just enough balls. Jaguar and Lose It are both very strong tracks. You can listen for yourselves HERE

July 27, 2009 Posted by | Unsigned Artists | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Palomine – A New Approach to Music Marketing

PALO_AA_cdcover

I was contacted by Levi from Belgian indie band Palomine. I was very impressed with the creative way they are attempting to launch their new CD and I have copied, below, much of the information Levi provided. If you would like to get involved in this exciting project, please access the website Levi mentions. You can get a little more information on the band, including some audio and video, HERE


Dear Jack,

I play in the band Palomine. Our first cd, released two years ago, did get good airplay on national radio and tv. Our second album, “Attention Alpha”, is just recorded. But as you all know, the promo machine has to start again, at the launch of each cd.

We are not signed with a Major. Only to a indie label (LC MUSIC). We do not have distribution from a major either. We have distribution from LC MUSIC.

So, the promo we also have to do ourselves. What we are doing for the launch of this cd:
We think you must send out a positive, challenging and interactive idea, so this is our statement:

We won’t release our cd until at least one person from each country of the world had a chance listening to it. This is no joke. A real challenge, yes! There are 194 countries associated with the United Nations. ( + The Vatican, which will be a tricky one)

We had a lot of thinking about this, and so we started the campaign (one week ago actually): “The world is listening”. You can check this out on http://www.theworldislistening.com.

What is our goal: make a buzz about the cd with a simple but fun idea, then the media will hopefully follow (see below).
We don’t aim for world domination. We just want attention for the cd so we can play decent gigs.

So how does this work: at least one person of each country has to make a video message of themself, where they say something about Palomine, in their native language. All video messages are uploaded on youtube. (actually, people can simply upload their movie on http://www.theworldislistening.com and then we upload it to youtube)
All movies will be centralised on http://www.theworldislistening.com. They can keep track of the progress of our project.

After people uploaded their video message, they get a login code to download the new cd including artwork for free.

You may think: how are you planning to get all those people willing to do this: surfing to your site, making a video, uploading a video?
Well, we use myspace (you can search by country there), facebook, youtube, interpals, couchsurfers, blogs, aid organisations (they are spread all over the world) last.fm, … The rest is viral.
It is not that we want to have those movies by next week. It maybe half a year, maybe longer. That is not a problem. The summer is not a good time for us to release a cd anyway.

We get loads of hits! Funny actually, if you think about the fact that we are not a world famous band.
In a weeks time, people from 47 countries have visited the site. Some already uploaded a video.

With our first cd, we went to the media ourselves. Now, they seem to come to us. A few days after we started, we had inqueries from 2 big newspapers here in Belgium.

What does this cost us? No money, only time. (a LOT): It’s a DIY project:
I made a teaser http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UKjrG1Lf8Jc
and brother and I made the website ourselves. (he is also in the band, playing keys).

Some might say: then you give away free cd’s to maybe hundreds of people (every person who makes a video gets the cd for free, even if we already have a video for that country)
Yep, that’s true, but hey, we don’t care about that. We don’t live from our music (we all have dayjobs). We think it’s more important that people actually get the chance to listen to our music.

We think it’s fun. We get good response from all over the world. And, we’ll see what comes out.

July 26, 2009 Posted by | indie music, Music Scene News, Uncategorized, Unsigned Artists | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Unsigned Artist Alert – Steal the Prize

STP

When I’m told that an album will take me for a journey, I tend to become a little cynical. When I’m told the album is a concept album I become even more so. However, I’m an ass and Steal the Prize have just proven that.

I was contacted by Ben Delaurentis who is the band vocalist/guitarist and I duly settled down to listen to the album, titled I Want To Talk To God. I had been told to expect psychedelia but, seeing as LSD is hard to come by in my neck of the woods right now, I decided to tackle it straight.

Let me firstly say that this is a killer album. It truly is. I was thinking about how instantly ‘right’ it felt and how easily I understood. That is, I understood from my perspective. Without wanting to disappear too far up my own anal cavity, it spoke something to me. Naturally we are all different and our meandering minds take us to very different places so I would hazard a guess that what this album says to people will vary greatly. I mentioned the music somehow feeling right – even though I hadn’t heard it before – and the last time I recall sensing that was when I heard my first Black Keys album. That isn’t to say the two bands are actually all that similar but then they aren’t miles apart either. That might make sense after you’ve heard both. Or it might not.

I promise I haven’t actually smoked or swallowed anything that has altered my consciousness but I am aware a lot of what I have written so far does suggest my state of mind was altered. It was. For others that might also be the case or perhaps I’m just in a highly suggestive mood. I’ll leave you all to make up your own minds on that. Please do make up your minds though and listen to it. You will find a link at the end of this post to a free download of the whole album. I would echo what Ben told me originally – that it should be listened to in one sitting and starting with the first track and following the intended sequence.

For me personally, the album was about one core theme. It’d be easy to focus on religious elements but I think it goes far beyond that. I’m agnostic and what I took from the album was the theme of existentialism. The introspection that comes from beginning to question our very being and the world around us. How did we get here … what is the purpose to our lives … what happens when our bodies give up … all that kinda heavy shit. Some of us, me included, spend more time than is healthy pondering this kinda thing whereas others glide through life blissfully unaware of their impact on others and without giving a thought to what tomorrow might hold in store for them.

Anyways, that was probably the most personal review I’ve written and likely tells you as much about me as it does about Steal the Prize but, regardless, I strongly urge you to check them out.

From their lastfm page :

“Steal the Prize is a versatile rock band from Lynchburg, VA with the passion to let the world in on their moments experienced through open-minded oneness as a band and community. Musically, the band draws influences from The Beatles & Led Zeppelin while still remaining able to create new feelings and ideas. Nothing is off limits for Steal the Prize, as they use a wide variety of instruments and ingenuity to channel their souls into every possible sound.

In 2002 Ben Delaurentis & Adam Rodgers met through middle school and started writing and playing music. Delaurentis & Rodgers added Mark Cullen in 2004 and early in 2007 the band formed into the current state by adding the fourth member, Jon Fies.

Currently the band is unsigned, and has released a full length album called “I Want to Talk to God” and two EPs, the first entitled “Vanity Isn’t Fair,” and the second titled “Tourists.”

Find them on myspace

Download the full album, I Want to Talk to God, here

Please leave some comments for the band here or contact them via their myspace page.

July 24, 2009 Posted by | Album Reviews, Unsigned Artists | , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Unsigned Artist Alert – Taylor Vieger

taylor_vieger

I’m happy to say that Indie Music Hour has been contacted by another independent artist and he is comfortable with me doing a write-up on his work for the blog. Step forward Mr Taylor Vieger.

From Taylor’s own bio:

“Taylor starting playing music when his grandfather taught him Green Sleaves on the piano when he was 7. He then went on to sing with Barney and Friends, The Texas Boys Choir, and The Vocal Majority. As he progressed vocally and in musical tastes and sensabilities his world opened up when he studied music at the University of North Texas. After a short adventure in Los Angeles with a dance-rock band he has since moved back to Texas where his roots remained all along. There he is inspired daily by his wife, family and friends and Richard Turtle. He plays all around Texas. The way it SHOULD be.”

The first thing you’ll likely notice about Taylor (after the beard) is the quality of his voice. I was very much impressed by how much control he had over it and how he could move between honeyed tones and falsetto, seemingly without much effort. Whilst I was listening, I was trying to think about which well-known vocalists he reminded me of and, at different points during the songs, 4 actually came to mind. The fact they are as diversely different as Bryan Ferry, Jeff Buckley, James Taylor and Chris Isaak says a lot for Taylor’s vocal versatility.

I guess I’d describe the genre loosely as folk-rock but that is probably way too narrow a definition as I picked up a few different elements during listening.

You can access many of Taylor’s tracks here and here and his latest album, Whiplash Ballroom is available to buy via i-tunes: Taylor Vieger at i-tunes

July 22, 2009 Posted by | Unsigned Artists | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Unsigned Artists

unsigned

Listening to Juston’s album (see previous post) reminded me that my original intention was to heavily feature true independent (indie) artists and focus more on unsigned artists. Unfortunately time hasn’t really allowed me to carry out the necessary research.

So, this is a shout out to anyone who is an independent artist or knows one. If you would like your creations featured on Indie Music Hour’s “Unsigned Artist Alerts” in the same way as Juston’s album has, please get in touch with me and we’ll work out the details:

Email Jack

Thanks!

Jack

July 20, 2009 Posted by | Unsigned Artists | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Unsigned Artist Alert – Juston Payne

Full album available to download and enjoy!

juston

Having already treated you by providing links to the Indie Rock playlists, I’m about to spoil you all even more. Feel the love from Indie Music Hour!

I was contacted by an independent singer-songwriter by the name of Juston Payne. Juston was kind enough to provide me a link to his latest release and, now that I’ve had the pleasure, we’re going to make the whole thing available to Indie Music Hour readers too.

The album is called The Meat That I Am Made Of and contains 9 very well written tracks. Juston’s lyrics are the type that cause you to stop and think and, ultimately, the type that we can all read our own individual meanings into. My personal favourites on first listen are Troubles In My Brain and There Is No Escape whilst Juston highlights An Effigy, A Damn Fine Shot and Wolf Song so download from the URL at the end of this post and choose your personal favourites!

I put Juston on the spot and asked him to provide his own blurb:

“Juston Payne is a Los Angeles transplant living and working in New
York City. He performs his music around town and in his apartment
with equal gusto and even occasionally produces his own albums. “The
Meat That I Am Made Of” is his follow-up to 2008’s “Look Past The Dust
Storm” and features nine songs written, performed, and produced by
Juston. He prefers to not elaborate on the album’s content, believing
it’s more meaningful when people bring their own interpretations. His
parents spelled his first name strangely to avoid a phonetic
playground joke.”

Grab the full album at Juston’s website: JustonPayne and please do provide him with some feedback via his website or by commenting here.

July 20, 2009 Posted by | indie music, Unsigned Artists | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment