Tag: Nashville

Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada-based indie rock act Hey Major, comprised of sibling multi-instrumentalists Mickaël and Raphaël Fortin initially formed under the name Orange O’Clock — and back in 2015, competed against 3,000 Canadian acts in CBC’s Searchlight competition, eventually winning the contest with their single “Can’t Fight the Feeling.”  The following year, the Fortins traveled to Nashville and competed in the International Songwriting Competition, eventually landing second place with their song “Wax ‘n’ Wane.”

Adding to a growing national and international profile, the first single off Crazy Carnival was added to Grant Lawrence‘s monthly “Songs You Need to Hear” playlist — and was promoted on NPR, BBC Radio 1 and CBC music.

Earlier this year, the up-and-coming Canadian sibling duo went on a month-long Australian tour. And upon returning to Canada, the duo holed up at Montreal’s Indica Studios to finish their forthcoming Peter Edwards and Franz Schuller co-produced album  The Station.  Interestingly, the album’s third and latest single is the brooding “The Station.” Centered around a soaring hook, twinkling keys, atmospheric synths, dynamic and propulsive drumming, the Canadian duo’s latest track reminds me quite a bit of Danish JOVM mainstays Palace Winter, as the single finds the duo pairing an elegant and deliberate attention and to craft, and deep introspection with ambitious songwriting.

“This song is an introspective track, describing a moment between two people and what they could have been, but knowing deep inside that they will never be,” the Canadian sibling duo explain via email. “It’s a journey of change and enlightenment through love stories, struggles, encounters and wishes for humanity. That was the inspiration.”


Over the past few weeks, I’ve written quite a bit about Nashville, TN-based sibling duo JEFF The Brotherhood, as they’ve released two singles “Punishment,” and “Idiot” off their forthcoming full-length Zone, an experimental rock album that is the third and final part of a spiritual trilogy of albums that includes 2009’s Heavy Days and 2011’s critically applauded We Are The Champions.  The forthcoming album’s third and latest single “Roachin,” features Bully‘s Alicia Bognano on vocals in a scorching, power-chord heavy dirge that sounds deeply indebted to 90s alt rock — in particular, the Melvins —  as the song structurally consists of alternating quiet and loud sections, and an anthemic hook that you can picture kids moshing out to in a sweaty club. And much like “Punishment” and “Idiot,” the album’s latest single will cement the sibling duo’s reputation for crafting trippy, weed and beer inspired anthems full of enormous power chords, infectious and anthemic hooks.

Formed back in 2002 and comprised of Nashville, TN-based sibling duo Jake and Jamin Orral, JEFF The Brotherhood have developed a reputation for a sound and overall aesthetic that’s been influenced by jazz, black metal, hard rock, the films of Werner Herzog, the choreography of Kate Bush and the rivers of their home state. And over the past decade the duo have played well over 1,000 shows across North America, New Zealand and elsewhere, touring to support 11 full-length albums, as well as creating a number of related zines, puppets and videos among other things.


The duo’s forthcoming effort Zone is an experimental rock album that was recorded and co-produced by Collin Dupuis in a converted warehouse dubbed Club Roar and is the last part of a spiritual trilogy of albums that began with 2009’s Heavy Days and 2011’s critically applauded We Are The Champions, and it features a guest appearance from Bully’s Alicia Bognanno. Zone’s first single “Punishment”isa trippy prog rock-leaning track that begins with a lengthy garage, psych rock intro before turing into a towering squall of power chords and feedback with one of the most impressive guitar solos I’ve heard this year; naturally, the song confirms the duo’s long-held reputation for crafting anthemic and trippy songs with rapid tempo changes, blistering solos and driving rhythms and blistering guitar work.


Gary, IN-born, New York-based (by way of a lengthy stint in Nashville, TN), emcee, singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer Harold Simmons II, best known as FYUTCH can trace the origins of his musical and performance career to when he first starting to gain attention as a young public speaker, who had given speakers at a number of public events — including Mayor Scott L. King’s campaign banquet and on the steps of Congress. When Simmons (alto sax and lead vocals) was 17, he formed Legendary Biscuits and Gravy along with several friends Eric Sexton (keyboard), Brandon Holt (drums), Wesley Winfrey (tenor sax) and Brady Surface (bass), and the quintet quickly came to regional acclaim — they were nominated for Southern Entertainment Awards Best Indy R&B Artist of the Year in 2007 and over the next two years, the band performed at the Next Big Nashville Festival on bills that included several nationally recognized bands including The Pink Spiders, Sam and Ruby, as well as opening for Kanye West, GZA and Nappy Roots.

In 2009, under the moniker of Future the Artist, Simmons released his self-produced, solo debut The Sci Fly EP which was nominated for a Nashville Music Award for Best Urban Recording of the Year. He followed that up by the Overnight Mixtape series in which he recorded and released six mixtapes, recording each mixtape during an overnight studio session and releasing it for a free download the next day — and the mixtapes caught the attention of Nashville Scene, who wrote that the emcee, singer/songwriter and producer was dominating the local, indie scene; in fact that fourth mixtape of the series features collaborations with Bun B and GLC. And with the attention he was receiving, Simmons opened for the likes of Wale, Pharrell, Little Brother and Afroman.

After graduating from Belmont University, Simmons along with fellow Nashville-based artist Chancellor Warhol recorded “Bonus Lvl/Fly Away,” which appeared the HBO Canada series Less Than Kind and E!’s Khloe and Lamar, adding to a growing national profile, followed by an appearance at 2012’s SXSW.

By late 2012, Simmons changed his name to FYUTCH (pronounced Fuetch) after discovering that there was another artist by the name of Future, who was starting to receive national attention. Since then he has had a number of releases — the Mr. Flaptop, which was executive produced by DJ Rob “Sir” Lazenby and featured guest spots from Mike Stud, Futuristic, Mello Rello, Whitney Coleman and production by G-Pop, Wick-it the Instigator and The FANS; a psychedelic hip-hop concept EP Peace, Love and FYUTCH which was produced by G-Pop and featured deeply obscure samples and world music percussion.

Simmons’ latest single “Funked Up,” produced by Solar Shield is a Dam-Funk inspired jam that pairs twisting, turning and shimmering synths, a sinuous bass line, a propulsive motorik groove and Simmons rhyming a hilarious tell off to a lover, who has fucked with his head and heart and yet still is attracted to — and throughout the song, the song’s narrator expresses frustration, bemusement and lust simultaneously in an incredibly slick, dance-floor friendly song.



Primarily comprised of its creative masterminds and founding members Daniel and Jenna Watters, Austin, TX-based indie soul act The Watters can trace their origins to when the band’s founding members met as children. As the story goes, they first met while playing on the same pee wee football team in Sedona, AZ that Jenna’s father coached — although they did attend rival grade schools. The duo eventually went to high school together and at that point, began a collaboration that can trace its origins to when the duo performed together at their high school graduation and then fell in love; in fact, they’ve performed together for over 12 years, written together for over 8 and have recorded 6 albums together while in the Denver, CO then Nashville, TN-based nationally touring act The Oak Creek Band.

Now writing and performing together as The Watters, the duo’s forthcoming debut effort Great Unknown was influenced by Daniel and Jenna’s own personal experience. As Daniel Watters explains in press notes: “The concept of the Great Unknown came to us while we were in transition between Nashville and Austin. We were living in Sedona, AZ with my folks for three months having left Nashville and had no idea where we were moving to. Our bassist was going to move to California and so were we, but we happened to stop in Austin on our way back and fell in love. We were so torn on what to do, but we trusted our instincts and made the hard decision to leave our musical brother and start a new life in Austin. The Great Unknown is [about] the power of intuition and the beauty in uncertainty. Instead of finding fear in the unknown, I find it easier to see the beauty and opportunity in the unknown. Our move to Austin was a complete leap of faith, but a year later we are very happy here and feel an overwhelming support system here.”

Recorded at Cacophony Recorders, Great Unknown features some of the Austin, TX area’s best and most renowned musicians including Band of Heathens‘ Trevor Nealon, Golden Dawn Arkestra‘s Joe Woullard and Zumbi Richards and Erik Hokkanan and was recorded live to tape to best capture the band’s live sound.  Album title track and first single “Great Unknown” has the band pairing Muscle Shoals soul with 70s AM rock — a soulful horn arrangement and Jenna Watters’ effortlessly soulful vocals are paired with jangling guitars and gently propulsive drumming, along with a careful and deliberate attention to craft. Lyrically, the song focuses on two very different things -taking a big chance on your dreams with the hope that things will come out in your favor but also on something that people often forget, sometimes you can’t fight the tide; things will sort themselves out in their own time and in their own way even your own dreams.





Over the past few months, Jack Berry, a Reno, NV-born and Nashville, TN-based singer/songwriter and rock/blues artist has quickly become one of my favorite artists of 2016 as I’ve previously written about two singles off Berry’s forthcoming full-length Mean Machine  The Bull,” a sultry and bluesy single with an anthemic hook that sounded as though it were Superunknown-era Soundgarden — in particular “Mailman” “Spoonman,”and “Fell on Black Days,” as well as “Bad Dog,” a swaggering, cocksure song that continued in the arena rock-friendly vein of “The Bull” but bluesier, as though Berr were attempting to channel Howlin’ WolfMuddy Waters and John Lee Hooker.
Mean Machine’s latest single “Coal” will further cement Berry’s growing reputation for bluesy and anthemic power chord-based rock that manages to possess a moody, sensual and contemporary take on hard rock and the blues,  complete with his signature cocksure swagger.









Since their formation back in the 2007, the Atlanta, GA-based quartet The Pinx, currently comprised of Adam McIntyre (vocals, rhythm guitar), Chance McColl (lead guitar), Jonathan Lee (bass) and Dwayne Jones (drums), have developed a reputation across the Southeast for a relentless touring schedule that had the band opening for the likes of Ben Harper and Relentless7 among others, for songs that have appeared during highlights broadcast on ESPN and Fox Sports, and for a sound that draws heavily from The MC5, Cheap Trick, Led Zeppelin, Motorhead and others — or in other words 70s-leaning arena friendly power chord rock.

After a brief hiatus that saw McIntyre’s stint with fellow Atlanta-based band StoneRider during their European tour and a massive lineup change, the band reformed and with a change of songwriting approach and sonic direction. As McIntyre says of the material he wrote that comprised the band’s forthcoming new album, Freedom: “A lot of the stuff I learned about songwriting during my decade in Nashville came back. Not the formulaic bro-country aspect, but folks like Todd Snider and Dan Baird. Smart, funny guys who write songs that reflect themselves well. I wanted some of that to come through. It all has to mix with the rock & roll and the blues and soul and everything, and I put together a band tailor-made to do just that.” McIntyre also adds ““These songs are all true stories. I tried to write concise, simple little rock and roll songs. This is the set I want to play live.”

Freedom‘s latest single “Baby Won’t Ya” is an Southern double fried, whiskey soaked, The Black Crowes-indebted cover of The MC5 that retains the song’s anthemic, power chord-heavy swagger but with a studio sheen that doesn’t clean up the original’s sleazy dive bar feel.


Comprised of siblings Kyle Davis (drums) and Tyler Davis (guitar, vocals), who were actually share the same birthday, two years apart, along with Jota Ese (bass) and Ric Alessio (organ and vocals), Nashville, TN-based quartet Chrome Pony have developed a growing profile for a fuzzy and heavily indebted 60s psych and garage rock sound. And with the release of Illegal SmilesYou Are the PiscesLazy Bones and their latest effort Past Lives, the Nashville-based quartet have added themselves to a  growing list of artists that includes contemporary artists like Cool Ghouls, Raccoon Fighter,  The Black Angels, Elephant Stone, Sleepy Sun and others.

Past Lives’  latest single “Ragged Child” has the quartet pairing twisting and tumbling organ chords, a rolling bass line and shimmering and chiming guitar chords with propulsive drumming, a trippy guitar solo and anthemic hooks, and the result is a shuffling and shambling, seemingly jam-based song that subtly meshes elements of grunge rock with 60s psych rock.

Chrome Pony is currently on tour with Cage the Elephant across both the European Union and the UK, and when the quartet returns to the States in March, they’ll be playing a series of US dates including stops at Savannah Stopover Festival and the Sweetwater 420 Festival. Check out tour dates here: http://www.bandsintown.com/ChromePony?came_from=198&mc_cid=528c75bfcc&mc_eid=c74f701724