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“I Don’t Dance” by City City

Electro/synth indie rockers, City City celebrate the release of their first official video “I Don’t Dance” off of their upcoming full length, self-titled album. The band previously released two EP’s, Lines and Adult People.

“I Don’t Dance” is a throwback to the movie culture generation of the 80′s and 90′s. City City was originally pioneered by Kyle Minichelli (guitar), Jeff Kirchner (guitar/synth/vocals) and Dan McCollister (lead vocals) in 2006. Later in 2011, they completed their line-up when they recruited Valerie Ngai (bass/synth) and Jarrett Portnoy (drums/vocals).

City City has toured throughout California, the midwest, and several other states, including Hawaii. You may visit the band’s website for a free download of “I Don’t Dance.”

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“I Don’t Dance” by City City

City City

Image and mp3 courtesy of City City and promoted by Independent PR Manager, Tiffany Youhanna

“Midnight” by Ships Have Sailed

The finely-crafted pop tracks on Someday, the debut EP from LA-based band Ships Have Sailed, will be available on July 15.

The brainchild of singer-songwriter Will Carpenter, Ships Have Sailed was formed in early 2013 as an outlet for material that didn’t fit into Carpenter’s role as guitarist for hip-hop rockers 7Lions.

The resulting 6-song EP is a heady blend of current alt-rock, cathartic songwriting, and dreamy-pop. You may view the video for “Midnight” on YouTube. And, feel free to stream the track below, or visit the band’s Soundcloud profile.

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“Midnight” by Ships Have Sailed

Ships Have Sailed Someday

Image and mp3 courtesy of Jennifer Thorington & Samuel Markus of Working Brilliantly

“Love (Fill My Heart)” by Clara Barker

The new album from Manx singer-songwriter Clara Barker, Fine Art & The Breslins, is available now on Small Bear Records. You may also find it on Bandcamp. All purchases from Bandcamp also include four bonus tracks as a special thank you for buying direct from the artist.

The sophomore album from Barker features eleven songs of love and longing along with odes to sleep and Tennessee’s finest. It also features beautiful artwork by Oscar-nominated artist Juan ‘Fine Art’ Moore. Barker, and production partner in crime Phil Reynolds have created a collection of songs that are funny, gentle, brutal, clever and completely open-hearted.

A short video talking about the album can be seen on YouTube. And, more about Ms. Barker can be found here, including the video for “The Bees Song.”

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“Love (Fill My Heart)” by Clara Barker

Album Art (resized)

Image and mp3 courtesy of Phil Reynolds of Small Bear Records

“Shoes” by Samsel and the Skirt

Straight from the heart of Portlandia, Samsel and the Skirt is an alt-country band with sincere lyrics and energetic songs. The band is fronted by singers Cary and Kelsey Samsel. Cary’s blues backround is evident in his singing but well complimented by Kelsey’s smooth heart-wrenching vocals. The two sing tales of heart break, love and disconnect. Recently, the duo opened for folk, soul, blues, pop music duo Johnnyswim.

Have a listen to the track “Shoes” from their debut release Shoebox. Also, you may view their official video for “Those Days” via YouTube.

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“Shoes” by Samsel and the Skirt

mp3 courtesy of NoiseTrade

Samsel and the Skirt

Image courtesy of Samsel and the Skirt’s official site

“Brand New Day” by Ray Tarantino

The new album, Good Things Will Happen (Tiny Drum Records) from Ray Tarantino, is a tribute to the American dream: the story of a guy who walked a road of trial, carrying nothing but a good dose of courage.

His father was a Sicilian diamond dealer; his mother a Tuscan countess. Born in the north of Italy and raised in the UK, Tarantino brings an international sensuality to Americana music.

The start of Tarantino’s music career was as dramatic as his lyrics. After a high-speed traumatic car crash nearly ended his existence, he threw in the towel on his life as a money-making corporate drone and traded a pencil-pushing nine-to-five for a guitar and a ’97 Econo-line van with a queen-size bed in the back. This is the kind of hope-filled journey Hollywood makes movies about.

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“Brand New Day” by Ray Tarantino

mp3s courtesy of Alex Steininger at In Music We Trust PR

Marfa TX

Summer touring across the desert (Marfa, TX)

Image courtesy of Tarantino’s official site

Karen Ogden on Curtis Fields: The Smartphone Guitarist

Guest Contributor: Karen Ogden. Ms. Ogden is a recent college graduate with a degree in journalism. In pursuit of her goal of working for an established lifestyle or culture magazine, she writes on topics related to music, film, and pop culture.

*****

In this day and age, we’ve all grown used to the idea that a lot of popular music is supported by electronic sounds and technological equipment. Creative DJs are in some respects the rock stars of the 2010s, consistently putting out the hottest songs on the radio and collaborating with established, major artists. Even Coldplay – on a new album being praised by many for its personal and deeply emotional undertones (a contrast to the soaring, radio-friendly singles of the band’s recent albums) – saw fit to partner with Avicii for what is quickly becoming the album’s most popular song, “A Sky Full Of Stars.”

None of this is news to modern music fans, but if you thought non-instrumental music only went as far as DJs, you may have another thing coming in rising R&B star Curtis Fields. An unknown talent just a few years ago, Fields is now the proud beneficiary of a major record deal with Epic Records. He has a widely released EP (titled Cherish The Day), he has a performance at the 2013 BET Music Awards under his belt, and he has shared the stage with artists as renowned as John Legend. Plus, he did it all with music he produced on his smartphone.

If you watch the performance from the 2013 BET Music Awards, you might not quite believe what you’re seeing. A naturally gifted singer, Fields sits confidently on stage strumming and picking at his phone. The phone, hooked up to an ordinary amplifier, puts out a pure and rich guitar sound that you would never suspect to came from an electronic source. It was almost alarming for me to watch as I began to wonder how many amateur musicians out there could already be in the process of trying to duplicate Fields’ talent.

But why use a smartphone? It sounds primarily as if the initial inspiration was financial in nature. In a Verizon Wireless post in which Fields demonstrates how he plays on his phone, the artist explains that with limited income it was simpler for him to organize and record his music via his smartphone. He used the iShred and GuitarStudio apps to avoid spending money on an actual guitar and expensive recording equipment. Though these frugal methods have no doubt alleviated his financial strain, I suspect due to the popularity they have granted him, he may continue in this fashion.

It’s quite possible there are a lot of traditional musicians out there rolling their eyes at the popularity of Curtis Fields. And, for some, it may be easy to dismiss him as something of a gimmick. Love it or hate it, however, Fields may have opened a new avenue for singer/songwriter artists. While not every amateur musician with a smartphone can obtain the kind of success Fields has, many of them might now find it easier to try.

Curtis Fields

Image courtesy of Curtis Fields’ Facebook Timeline Photo

“Slow Motion (live)” by PHOX

PHOX is a six-piece indie pop band from Baraboo, Wisconsin. Their self-titled debut LP will be released on June 24, 2014.

The band formed when Zach Johnston began writing songs while living in San Francisco. He worked with singer Monica Martin to get the band together while playing a series of shows around Madison.

The band released their EP Confetti in early 2013. The rest of 2013 brought their success to the next level with a Daytrotter session, positive press, a spot at SXSW, and a national tour opening for Blitzen Trapper. They also played Lollapalooza as a last-minute addition in August 2013. Furthermore, in September 2013, PHOX opened for The Lumineers at Apple’s iTunes Festival in London. The band is currently managed by Onto Entertainment and signed to Partisan Records.

You may view the official video on YouTube.

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“Slow Motion (live)” by PHOX

PHOX

mp3 courtesy of NoiseTrade
Image courtesy of PHOX’s Facebook Profile Pictures

“Get Back Up and Walk” by The Boston Boys

Roots band, The Boston Boys released a new EP this Tuesday, May 20 entitled Idea of Love.

As its name suggests, the group was formed in Boston. Currently all band members live in Brooklyn, NY and they play all around the world. In only two years, they have performed in over a dozen countries throughout Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East.

Mandolinist, guitarist, and lead singer, Eric Robertson, initiated the project as a student at Berklee College of Music. He, along with multi-instrumentalist Duncan Wickel, bassist Josh Hari, and drummer Nicholas Falk deliver a new fusion of American roots music inspired by bedrock artists like Paul Simon, Ray Charles, and The Band.

You may stream and purchase the album on bandcamp.

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“Get Back Up and Walk” by The Boston Boys

Idea of Love Cover Art

Image and mp3 courtesy of Amanda Charney of Black Panda PR, LLC in New York, NY.

“When Death Should Find Us” by EdTang & The Chops

A self-titled EP was just released last Friday, May 16th by MusicArtiste veterans EdTang & The Chops.

Tang is an American songwriter with an old soul. A raspy voiced crooner with punk rock influences and rockabilly-folk tendencies. He is a product of the thriving original music scene of Asbury Park, New Jersey.

Starting EdTangMusic in 2009 as a means of independently producing and publishing his music, Tang has to date released three albums. To listen or purchase the most recent album, visit bandcamp.

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“When Death Should Find Us” by EdTang & The Chops

EdTang & The Chops

Image and mp3 courtesy of Ed Tang of EdTang & The Chops

“I Won’t Follow” by Secret Someones

Lelia Broussard started a band with her best friends called Secret Someones. The band is Bess Rogers, Hannah Winkler, Zach Jones and Ms. Broussard herself. This project was born out of the four members touring together as solo artists. They ended up having so much fun making music together, they just didn’t want it to end there. Thus – Secret Someones was born.

Currently, Broussard is taking a break from her solo career to give all of her energy to the band. If you live close by, check out the group live on tour this summer.

You may stream and download the debut EP, I Won’t Follow, on bandcamp.

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“I Won’t Follow” by Secret Someones

SS Summer Tour

Image courtesy of Leila Broussard’s Fanbridge Campaign