“Hometown (Live)” by Joe Hertler & The Rainbow Seekers

With spectacular energy pulsating from every member of the band, Lansing, Michigan-based Joe Hertler & The Rainbow Seekers could illuminate the very chambers of Heaven. Lead singer and Amish excommunicate Joe Hertler splashes through lyrical puddles of golden rain. A ride on the Rainbow will take you across the mountains of Motown, through the fjords of folk, over the archipelagos of Americana, and—at last—into a funky firth, where only the fiercest of friendships can be found.

The Rainbow Seekers began their quest beneath Hertler’s fingertips. Kevin Pritchard (bassist and producer), Rick Hale (drummer) and Ryan Hoger (blues guitar) wrangled Hertler into musical collaboration. The core of the Rainbow was thereby established, but it did not take long for The Seekers to continue their expansion. Multi-instrumentalist and notable auxiliary percussion maestro Micah Bracken journeyed from the bowels of Atlantis when he heard tell of the Rainbow, and the earth trembled as saxophonist Aaron Stinson descended from Olympus on a golden rainbow of his own. Finally came the debonair violist Joshua Barber Holcomb.

Hertler and The Seekers put forth a masterful mix of indie, folk, mo-town funk, R&B, and pop with their new album Terra Incognita. The album is available now via Bad Mascot.

[audio:Hometown (live).mp3|titles=Hometown (live)|artists=Joe Hertler & The Rainbow Seekers]
“Hometown (Live)” by Joe Hertler & The Rainbow Seekers

Joe Hertler & the Rainbow Seekers

Image and mp3 courtesy of Kyle Pacynski, Radio and Online Publicity, The Planetary Group

“Gold In The Sand” by Andrea (Andie) Sandoval

Pop-rock singer-songwriter, Andrea (Andie) Sandoval, was born and raised in Mexico. She began performing at the age of six. She has been descrived as “Kelly Clarkson meets Taylor Swift, Aretha Franklin and Adele.” She has a strong and soulful vocal, and heartfelt lyrics and melodies to accompany it.

While pursuing studies in fashion, Sandoval kept writing and soon collected over 30 songs in Spanish with a parallel English version. She speaks fluent Spanish, English and French. In 2012, Sandoval left the fashion world and moved to Hollywood, California to start an Associate Degree in Vocal Performance with emphasis in Independent Artist at Musicians Institute. She graduated in spring of 2014.

She is currently working on a solo project with side projects in collaboration with various musicians, songwriters and producers. “Gold In The Sand” is the name of her first single available on iTunes now.

[audio:Gold In The Sand.mp3|titles=Gold In The Sand|artists=Andrea (Andie) Sandoval]
“Gold In The Sand” by Andrea (Andie) Sandoval

Andie Sandoval

Image and mp3 courtesy of Andrea (Andie) Sandoval

“Cavalcade” by The Slow Readers Club

One of the most exciting new bands to emerge from Manchester’s music scene in recent years is The Slow Readers Club. Their new album Cavalcade (released April 13 via Extenso Music) perfectly showcases the brooding, electro indie masterpieces that have won them such a huge fanbase across the UK and more recently in America and Europe.

The Slow Readers Club regularly receive rave reviews for their live shows and 2014’s highlights include a sold out show at Manchester’s Night and Day and appearances at Tramlines Festival, Party in the Pines and Blackthorn Festival together with support slots for Catfish & The Bottlemen, The Struts, Reverend and the Makers and The Sunshine Underground.

[audio:Cavalcade.mp3|titles=Cavalcade|artists=The Slow Readers Club]
“Cavalcade” by The Slow Readers Club

TSRC Cavalcade Cover

Image and mp3 courtesy of Andrea Lynch of Blue Soap Music Professional Radio Plugging and Music PR

“Second to Last” by Gretchen’s Wheel

Ethereal and spacey pop-rock gem, Lindsay Murray, is the mastermind behind the truly exciting project, Gretchen’s Wheel (a reference to a beautiful and timeless musical composition by Schubert). Featuring Ken Stringfellow of The Posies, R.E.M. and Big Star, as well as Ira Elliot of Nada Surf on drums, Murray was able to pull together something very special on her new record Fragile State (released January 27).

Speaking to the delicate place of mankind in the world and the difficulties that we face on a daily basis, Gretchen’s Wheel is the music of hope for a better future. Reminiscent of Matthew Sweet and Nada Surf these wonderfully sad songs will guide you towards inner peace and a sense of belonging in what is too often a turbulent world.

You may stream the album via Bandcamp and Soundcloud.

For Murray it was the melodic, hook-filled power pop sounds of Matthew Sweet that provided her a formal entrance into the music world. At the age of fourteen, she discovered Sweet’s 1995 album 100% Fun and was immediately compelled to pick up a guitar for the first time.

Although born and raised in rural Tennessee, she moved in a different direction from the well-worn musical traditions of nearby Nashville, finding herself altogether more at home alongside independent, forward-thinking musicians of the 90s. Later, she developed an interest in classical music. This interest led her to explore vocal training and opera repertoire.

[audio:Second to Last.mp3|titles=Second to Last|artists=Gretchen’s Wheel]
“Second to Last” by Gretchen’s Wheel

Gretchen's Wheel

Image and mp3 courtesy of Matt Bacon, Artist Liaison at Independent Music Promotions

“Let It Burn” by Magic Giant

Los Angeles, California-base indie folk band, Magic Giant, recently wrapped up self-producing its debut EP, notably featuring Rashawn Ross of Dave Matthews Band and Spencer Ludwig of Capital Cities. The band is comprised of Austin Bis (lead vocals), John Zambricki (banjo, mandolin, and fiddle), Brian Zaghi (upright bass and acoustic guitar).

The track “Let It Burn” gets you stomping your feet and clapping your hands in the soulful rhythm the band creates. It also maintains a sense of hope, exemplified in its hook: “rivers run dry, alright; soldiers may cry at night, bridges could fall, that’s life; seasons will turn, so let it burn.”

Kicking off their first tour, Magic Giant will be hitting the road and greeting fans in San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, Los Angeles and more. They’ve played both Sweetlife and the Life is Beautiful festival, sharing the stage with acts like Phoenix, Passion Pit, The Killers, Kendrick Lamar and Imagine Dragons. As Magic Giant rapidly makes a name for themselves, be sure to attend a show on their winter tour, which will take them primarily along the West coast and end in their hometown of Los Angeles.

[audio:Let It Burn.mp3|titles=Let It Burn|artists=Magic Giant]
“Let It Burn” by Magic Giant

Magic Giant

Image and mp3 courtesy of Nicole Acosta of LaFamos PR & Branding

“One Last Time” by The Jade Assembly

From the passion of Andy Watson and Danny Hayes’ rhythm section, to the raw power of Gareth Smedley’s guitar work, each tune from The Jade Assembly (TJA) has a clear sense of purpose, nothing is contrived.

Central to their main point of difference is John Foster (Foz), a true northern poet and songwriter that places honesty above favor. He also plays lead guitar for TJA.

On the surface, their demeanor is typical of an indie rock outfit. But brimming underneath the exterior is a thousand emotions, waiting to be exposed. Emerging unscathed from years of well-trodden paths of punk and indie is a band that now display all the hallmarks of a new northern treasure.

[audio:One Last Time.mp3|titles=One Last Time|artist=The Jade Assembly]
“One Last Time” by The Jade Assembly

The Jade Assembly v2

Image and mp3 courtesy of Andrea Lynch of Blue Soap Music Professional Radio Plugging and Music PR

“Sirens” by Stephen Langstaff

Soul-inspired singer-songwriter Stephen Langstaff released the track “Sirens” on March 23 via Hug Records Absolute/Universal. According to Langstaff, it is “a song about a girl with a bad reputation and a big heart.”

With support from BBC Merseyside, BBC Radio 2 and 6 Music and with his songwriting skills in demand form other artists such as Blue Miller and Artful, this debut release gives us the first glimpse of an incredibly talented and exciting musician.

[audio:Sirens v2.mp3|titles=Sirens|artists=Stephen Langstaff]
“Sirens” by Stephen Langstaff

SL Live Press Shot

Image and mp3 courtesy of Andrea Lynch of Blue Soap Music Professional Radio Plugging and Music PR

“Backs Against the Wall” by Offbeat Motif

Boston, Massachusetts-based outfit Offbeat Motif (OM) released their first self-titled EP on April 17. They recorded tracks for the entire album during one day-long session (11 Hours) back in January with Toft Willingham of national touring act Spiritual Rez at 9B Studio in Milford, Massachusetts.

OM singer and guitarist, John Hanson, has been part of the open mic scene since age 15, and began hosting local open mic’s in 2011. During this time Hanson began forming a group with long-time friends. In May of 2012 Offbeat Motif was officially born. The core group of members is now: John Hanson (vocals and guitar), Connor Quigley (lead guitar, vocals), Ricky Giorgio (drums), and Matthew ‘Gravy’ Giorgio (bass, vocals). Common guests and past musicians of the group are: Mike Mullen (drums, one of the founders), Colon Kirwin (bass, one of our founders), Steve Cerrata (Lead guitar) and Jim Macguire (keys, sax).

Next on the agenda is to begin recording a full length album, featuring 12 brand new songs. They aim to record the whole thing at Hanson’s house studio, and release it in September 2015.

In other news, Hanson is also now a guitarist and songwriter in another band called The Daybreakers. They are in the process of recording their first album in his studio and they are planning to drive across the country on tour in September.

[audio:Backs Against the Wall.mp3|titles=Backs Against the Wall|artists=Offbeat Motif]
“Backs Against the Wall” by Offbeat Motif

Offbeat Motif

Image and mp3 courtesy of John Hanson, singer and guitarist for Offbeat Motif

“Behind The Scenes” by Vinnie Ferra

The new single from Vinnie Ferra called “Behind The Scenes” will be on his new album arc en ciel, scheduled to be released on June 23. The track premiered on Diffuser on May 6. Chuck Armstrong of Diffuser said the track “expertly blends the worlds of indie and folk rock into one cohesive sound.”

Last year, Ferra successfully ran a Kickstarter campaign to record his new album. Fans were given a glimpse of the new album with the single “God Forbid.” The song and video plunges listeners into the struggles of love and relationships. Ferra states that he “wants the listener to leave knowing more about themselves. I hope to help them tap into a part of themselves they maybe spend all day ignoring or suppressing. Join them in that alone time or that moment they are sharing with another. To me, I feel if someone has listened to a song of mine and all they think about at the end is me, then I didn’t do my job properly.”

Known for being an indie-folk artist, Ferra is more composer than singer-songwriter. He writes the lyrics, composes the arrangements, and orchestrates the musicians and parts of these harrowing, yet approachable songs.

[audio:Behind The Scenes.mp3|titles=Behind The Scenes|artists=Vinnie Ferra]
“Behind The Scenes” by Vinnie Ferra

Vinnie Ferra Behind The Scenes

Image and mp3 courtesy of Theresa Montgomery, Partner at 24West