Against the grain of pop culture, Alternative artists consistently step outside the box, taking genres we’ve all come to love and bringing them to a whole new level of ‘cool’. Without fail it’s been Alternative artists who have made the biggest blip on my radar lately–No surprise there! So, I thought it appropriate to do a little countdown of sorts, focusing on the best new Alternative artists Audio I.V. has heard in the last few weeks. Their styles may differ, not every band is strictly pop/rock, but the thread that weaves these artists together is quality. Take a peek below, watch a few videos, stream a few tracks and share, share, share your favorites with everyone you know!
10. Rocki Rock.
Hailing from a tiny little town in Maine, Rocki Rock is a peaceful soul with love on her mind. She’s mastered the art of the indie-pop vocal, and her songs have that ripped-from-my-diary feel. Honest lyrics and a perfectly simplistic vibe make Rocki one to watch in the alternative game.
RIYL: Ingrid Michaelson, Brooke Waggoner, A Fine Frenzy
9. Justin Froese
It’s true there’s no shortage of male singer/songwriters in this world. And it makes sense; the ladies love them, they have a way with words, and their naturally sensitive dispositions make for natural springs of inspiration. Justin Froese fits the description, but his alternative spirit allows him to raise above the John Mayer copy-cats of our generation. Justin combines the emotion of Isaac Slade’s vocals with the grit of Kings of Leon, creating a sensual auditory experience that’s hard to shake. Check out Justin’s latest release on Bandcamp here.
RIYL: Johnny Lang, Kings of Leon, The Fray, John Mayer, Lorien.
8. Mr. Adventures
They can’t help it. Their music is so catchy it’s a shame more people haven’t jumped on the Mr. Adventures’ band wagon. This folky five-some from Nashville isn’t afraid of harmonizing, love the ukulele and have mastered the art of performing live. Their standout song is “Coconut Grove”. It’ll transport you to a lush Caribbean island where the breeze blows softly and life really is a beach.
RIYL: The Avett Brothers, Old Crow Medicine Show, Train, Mumford & Sons
Kinch take piano pop to a whole other level. The Arizona-based foursome melds the unapologetic energy of Something Corporate with the quirky melody lines and twisted arrangements of Ben Folds. They’ve mastered the art of word play, and have no problem writing songs about characters like John Adams, or fiery vixens named “Carolina Cannonball”. Check out their MySpace and feast your ears on some Kinch!
RIYL: Ben Folds, Ben Kweller, Something Corporate, Ben Lee
6. Death On Two Wheels
Made up of five multi-talented musicians, Death On Two Wheels blends pop-inspired hooks of southern rock with hard hitting metal-esque vocals to create a sound that bends the alt-rock mold. The band’s latest full-length entitled Separation of Church and Fate will tickle your ears with songs like “Calling Us Back Home”–a clear nod to classic rock gods of the past–and reel you in with wailers like “Bobby Havis” and “Sweet Love” all the while reminding you what alt-rock could be if it weren’t so eager to impress.
Check out a video of DOTW doing “Bobby Havis” live on JBTV here.
5. The Material
Channeling alt-rock heavyweights Paramore, The Material brings a similar energy to the pop/punk scene. Front woman Colleen D’Agonstino shines with her power-house vocals and the band as a whole has a seemingly effortless songwriting style that’s also surprisingly unpretentious. You can catch The Material on one of many upcoming tour dates near you, just check the band’s MySpace for dates. AND, if you need a little preview of what you can expect at a show, check out the video for one of my favorite songs, “Before the Ship Goes Down”.
RIYL: Paramore, Automatic Loveletter, Flyleaf
As bands with exclamation points in their names come, Gunfight! is relatively unpretentious, removed from the world of glam-pop, and about as un-related to rap/rock as you can get. Instead, this exciting group of gents from Brooklyn, NY tap a grittier alt-country sound that’s more Deer Tick than Kings of Leon.
2. Jane Lui
San Francisco singer/songwriter Jane Lui has played with the best of them. A native of Hong-Kong, she burst on the scene in 2000 peddling a sultry, yet delicate version of piano-driven pop/rock. She has since opened for Jason Mraz, Kate Earl and Jim Bianco, among others, and has been showered with awards for her songwriting and performances. Jane’s latest, Goodnight Company is a masterfull compilation of quirky vocals, and playful arrangements that will get your attention, and keep it.
Chicago, IL is known for it’s deep dish, gusty winds, and of course, it’s uncanny ability to cultivate raw talent. After all, Chicago gave us Alkaline Trio, Rise Against, and AM Taxi. Now, the windy city brings you Mutts–an agressive, blusey rock band with all the makings of a legenday trio. Boasting whiskey-soaked melodies and off the cusp arrangements that will surely move you, Mutts is poised to make quite a wave in the world of alt rock.
Stream Mutts’ pulsating single “Junior” here: Mutts–Junior . And check back for a full feature on the band soon!