Rolo's "9 Bands You Should Be Listening To"

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Rolo's "9 Bands You Should Be Listening To"

Postby Rologton » Fri Jun 14, 2013 8:29 pm

This section is pretty stagnant, so I figured I'd do something different. Here's a list of 9 decently established, modern bands that you should be listening to. They've all had a good amount of exposure, and you may have heard of them or heard a few of their songs, but I firmly believe that they're the kind of bands that you should download the discography for and get to know really well. These bands are fairly established (meaning 2 or more albums), but you may have missed them over the years. They are in no particular order of rank.


The Shins



The Shins have actually been around since 1996, and you have more than likely heard at least a few of their songs. They're widely considered one of the biggest and most important Indie bands out there. Fronted by James Mercer, the Albuquerque band recently went through a line-up change that has left him as the only original band member left. While this usually spells disaster for bands, particularly in the Indie genre, nobody can argue with the results of their last album, 2012's Port of Morrow.


Matt & Kim



Here's one of those groups that I bet all of you have heard but barely know about. This duo out of Brooklyn released their first album in 2006 and has been well known for a "do-it-yourself" style of recording. They gained notoriety in 2009 when their song "Daylight" was used in a commercial for Bacardi, and the catchy, upbeat tune gained them a number of followers. Last year's album Lightning has recently launched them into stardom, as they've had a number of singles off of it that have been picked up by radio stations. Most people are put off by their first two albums, as the DIY style recordings sound unrefined, and were not perfected until their 2010 album Sidewalks. I would recommend you don't be one of those people, as when you get past the fact that some songs sound like they were made in a garage (they probably were) you'll find that they had some really great works off of those albums. "Frank" off their first album is a personal favorite, although you might have to listen to it a few times to appreciate it. Also, from experience, I have to say, they put on a killer show.


Passion Pit



I can't begin to describe how much I love Passion Pit. Hailing from Cambridge, Mass., Passion Pit has been growing in fan-base and recognition pretty steadily over the last few years. Fronted by singer and pianist Michael Angelakos, this amalgamation of electro-pop, alt-rock and indie rock has one of the best sounds of any bands to come out over the last few years. Angelakos manages to fill every song with an emotional charge that reflects his own personal struggles with bi-polar disorder, without relying on it, to make great music that at one moment can leave you in a state of melancholy reflection or excited joy. Their 2009 breakout album Manners took the indie music scene by force with beloved songs like "Sleepyhead" and "Little Secrets", and quickly cemented them as an up-and-coming act to follow. Everybody who heard their music knew they were destined for greatness. Their 2012 sophomore album Gossamer is one of the few follow-up albums that may actually be better than the break-out one. Lately the band has been touring (I should add, because I did it for Matt & Kim, their show is incredible) and making a number of really excellent music videos that reflect the emotion and artistry of each song. I highly, highly recommend you check them out.


The Fratellis



If you've ever wondered why so many Indie bands have been used for commercials lately (you know, because so many people wonder that other than me), your answer is The Fratellis. Already popular in their native Scotland, The Fratellis appeared on the U.S. scene after Apple used their song "Flathead" in one of the most recognizable add campaigns of the last decade. Their breakthrough album Costello Music became an instant favorite amongst Indie fans, as its upbeat and often quite funny tunes brought a smile to just about everybody's face. Most have to admit that their sophomore album Here We Stand did not manage to live up to the original, but I encourage you to still give it a listen as it's still quite a good album. The band went on hiatus in 2009, but last year re-formed and began to tour together again. Around the start of the New Year, they announced that they will drop a new album, so far being called We Need Medicine in September of this year, something that I am just chomping at the bits to get my hands on. Give them a listen and you'll understand why.


Two Door Cinema Club



Hailing from Northern Ireland, Two Door Cinema Club is the kind of band that you'd probably only hear on an Indie station. This trio started playing together when they were 16, and dropped their first album called Tourist History in 2010. It reached critical acclaim and became very popular in their native Ireland, but didn't manage to hit off too strong in the U.S. Their sophomore album called Beacon finally broke them into the U.S., spearheaded by the music video for the single "Sleep Alone". Since then, a number of their songs from both albums have been picked up into circulation for many radio stations. They have a great Indie rock sound and weave some wonderful harmonies, as all three members contribute to vocals. I highly recommend them if you're looking for something mellow, upbeat and fun to listen to.


The Black Keys



I almost didn't include these guys, because honestly, by this point, you have no excuse not to be listening to The Black Keys. But in case your ears haven't been graced by their glorious, classic-blues influenced sound yet, listen to them. Seriously. Get every album and listen to every song. You won't be disappointing. This Ohio duo began recording their own music in basements and garages in 2001 and since has all but single-handed revived Blues Rock into modern radio stations. The band has won numerous Grammy awards for their music and albums, and their last album, released late in 2011, was nominated for 2013 Album of the Year, losing to Mumford and Son's Babel (For the record, Babel is not a better album than El Camino, not by a long shot) but still won Best Rock Album. On a personal note, they have given me hope that The Blues still lives on in rock music today.


The Gaslight Anthem



Here's another band that gives me hope for the future of music. The Gaslight Anthem is a New Jersey band that is part Punk Rock (the good, classic stuff, not the modern stuff where you whine about political issues you don't understand and dress like a 14 year old girl who's pissed off at daddy (Green Day)), part Blues Rock and part Bruce Springsteen aficionados. Their original two albums, the first dropping in 2007, are definitely more Punk oriented, and it can be heard in the unrefined, "did it in my garage" sound you get off the recordings. I'm going to say the same thing I said for Matt & Kim: don't get turned off by that sound. It may take a few listenings to get over it, but when you get past how unrefined the songs are, you realize just how good the music is. Their next two albums, particularly 2012's Handwritten have brought in a huge Bluesy, Classic Rock influence. Some of their songs sound like they came out of the mid 70's, and they sound goooooood.


Starfucker



That's right, there's a band named Starfucker. And they rule. Hailing from Portland, Oregon, this quartet picked their name simply because they wanted to see how far they could get with what they themselves called "the stupidest name in the world". Dropping their first, eponymous album in 2008, they gained some recognition in 2009 when their song "Rawnold Gregory Erickson the Second" was used in a memorable Target commercial for the company's in-store pharmacy. Since then, their songs have been used in other commercials, some TV shows, and the movie Chronicle. Their mixture of catchy, trippy, up-beat and impossibly danceable tunes is reflected in their on-stage and music video antics, in which they tend to dress in drag and do other things simply to mess with their crowd. They released a new album called Miracle Mile earlier this year.


Ratatat



As far as I'm concerned, the only reason anybody gives a shit about Kid Cuddi is because of Ratatat, who featured in two songs on his debut album, including his most popular song "Pursuit of Happiness". This New York City duo released their first album in 2004, but it was their sophomore album, the aptly named Classics that brought them some serious recognition. They have released a total of 4 studio albums and 2 remix albums and have become well known for their experimental, electro-rock style that is solely unique to them. Both artists play every single instrument heard on each of their songs and somehow manage to blend hip-hop, bluesy alt-rock, electronic rock and a personalized indie sound that is truly unique to them. If you've heard them before, it's probably from a TF2 frag video. Begun by the infamous stabby-stabby, who has used a number of their songs in his popular videos, Ratatat has been used by other TF2 players in their own frag videos. Partially as an homage/parody of stabby's, but also because they're just really, really good songs. By this point, Ratatat is probably second only to Pendulum in the "most popular band to use as music for your frag video" category. They have all but disappeared since mid-2012, and claimed on their website that they would be releasing a new album later that year. That album still hasn't come, 6 months into the New Year (not that I'm bitter or anything), so look for it to drop some time in the next few months.


Honorable Mention: There's a band out of Syracuse, New York called Ra-Ra Riot. They're by no means particularly bad, but I can't really call myself a big fan. They have a few good songs, and their album Beta Love, which dropped earlier this year, is definitely their best sounding, particularly their single from that album which had dominated the Indie airwaves for a time. And for good reason, it's a great song and leads me to believe that they may have finally found a sound that works for them. Still, somebody might like them quite a bit more than I do, and I feel that they're a band to watch out for. Their next album may be the big hit they've been waiting for.


So there you have it. Those are 9 of my favorite bands (plus one honorable mention, of course) that I genuinely believe everybody should be listening to. All of them are new, modern bands that are each unique and exciting in their own way. Hopefully this sparked some interest in a few of you guys and I've introduced you to a really great band that you may not have heard of before. I hope you guys enjoyed the read and I hope you enjoy the music even more!
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Re: Rolo's "9 Bands You Should Be Listening To"

Postby Thret » Fri Jun 14, 2013 8:59 pm

You forgot Caravan Palace.
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Re: Rolo's "9 Bands You Should Be Listening To"

Postby Beartato » Fri Jun 14, 2013 10:23 pm

I'll argue with the results of Port of Morrow. I found it subpar considering everything that came before it, including even the Flake Music releases. I think the biggest issue was that Mercer fired two band members shortly after Chutes Too Narrow and it took a toll on the vibrant sound they had up until then.

But overall solid list for the bands I do already know of. I'll check out the others shortly.
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Re: Rolo's "9 Bands You Should Be Listening To"

Postby cloud » Sun Jun 16, 2013 1:14 am

you forgot most bands from the 80's and back.
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Re: Rolo's "9 Bands You Should Be Listening To"

Postby Rologton » Sun Jun 16, 2013 1:23 am

cloud wrote:you forgot most bands from the 80's and back.


This was a list of modern bands. I fully intend to do a classic rock one, too.
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Re: Rolo's "9 Bands You Should Be Listening To"

Postby Balubish » Sun Jun 16, 2013 1:41 am

Nice music Rologton ! :D Perfect to listen while working.
Last edited by Balubish on Tue Jun 18, 2013 5:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Rolo's "9 Bands You Should Be Listening To"

Postby Beartato » Sun Jun 16, 2013 8:21 am

cloud wrote:you forgot most bands from the 80's and back.

80's should be forgotten, musically. But 70's and back holds true.
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Re: Rolo's "9 Bands You Should Be Listening To"

Postby taco man » Sun Jun 16, 2013 5:59 pm

Rolo, have you heard of awolnation?
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Re: Rolo's "9 Bands You Should Be Listening To"

Postby Pikmin3411 » Sun Jun 16, 2013 6:24 pm

I dont listen to music, but I shall show this thread to some of my friends.
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Re: Rolo's "9 Bands You Should Be Listening To"

Postby Rologton » Sun Jun 16, 2013 9:34 pm

taco man wrote:Rolo, have you heard of awolnation?

I have heard of them actually. I always think I should get into them but then never have...

I'll definitely check them out.
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