At the beginning of this week I had the idea to put together a post of all my friends’ (and friends of friends’) music. I was very hype to check out a bunch of lesser-known artists and hopefully support some local musicians…but I was also a little nervous.
I was nervous because I was sure if I did an open call to any and all types of music from whoever…there were gonna be a few duds. Would’ve bet a thousand dollars I’d get at least a few artists who were in chorus in high school and decided to record original stuff on a Nintendo DS and upload to SoundCloud in hopes of being discovered despite being absolutely garbage at making listenable music…but I didn’t get anything even close to that. In fact, I LOVED a lot of the artists you guys shared.
I really thought I was gonna be pulling compliments out of my ass for some of these guys but I honestly had nothing bad to say about any of them! I even added several of the songs to my library! And I guarantee after reading this post some of you guys will be adding songs too. Next thing you know, these guys are gonna be blowing up, they’re thankful for me for exposing my MASSIVE following to them (all 11 of my consistent readers) and they take me to Grammy’s next year.
So, without further ado, let’s check out some of the artists my friends submitted (in no particular order), and be sure to share/stream/follow any one you particularly like!
Bio: “Singer songwriter from Boston, MA currently a music teacher and working on her EP 😛”
Best Song: “Like A Fire”
Plugs: Follow @livirheinmusic on Instagram
My Thoughts: Olivia’s music career is going to be like Gamestop’s stock this week, a bunch of people are gonna rally around it once they discover it and it’s going to SKYROCKET. I’ve followed Liv on Instagram for a while now (yes, we go way back, let that be known when she’s selling out the Garden in a few years) and that’s how I’ve known she’s a MONSTER vocalist. Just recently she posted a cover of Frank Ocean’s “Self Control” (one of my favorite’s of all time) and absolutely nailed it. But with her debut song “Like A Fire” and the following single “Nineteen”, it’s easy to see that she’s also a talented original songwriter. “Like A Fire” shows off her awesome voice over a slower acoustic guitar, while “Nineteen” gives you the more fun poppy vibes that you literally could hear on a Maggie Rogers record and not know the difference (and I mean that in the best way). She’s got all the makings of becoming the next big singer-songwriter, so get on it now and tell your friends so you can be a real hipster about it when she hits the Billboard charts.
Bio: “I don’t have a great one but I used to party with a few of them in Salem and they live together in Acton.” – quote from my former “Dish Jockey” buddy Dave who recommended these guys.
Best Song: “I Could Get Used to This”
Plugs: Check out their website for more info here.
My thoughts: WOW. Do yourself a favor and listen to the song above! I really really like the main vocals on this, kind of reminds of some of the more relaxed Linkin Park stuff (Shadow of the Day for example). Listening to their other songs too they definitely have a really unique futuristic and almost darker take on alt rock. Some great bass lines, awesome echo-y vocals and really smooth guitar-playing. Definitely recommend checking out their stuff and really think Dave hit the nail on the head with “I Could Get Used to This” being hit-material.
The Fertile Crescent
Best Song: “Onion Garden”
Plugs: Follow @thefertilecrescentband on Instagram
My thoughts: MY GOOD LORD IN HEAVEN STOP THE PRESSES. Someone named Alexis submitted this (I have a feeling I know which Alexis but please let me know if it was you), YOU NEED TO CONTACT ME IMMEDIATELY! THIS IS UNBELIEVABLE. I love everything about these guys. From the hilarious band name that brings me back to my 7th Grade History Days to the funky soul these guys are spreading in their music, I AM ALL IN. They give off serious Lake Street Dive vibes, just super fun positive jamming. I could listen to this stuff all day. Horns are incredible, vocals are super soulful, drums are immaculate, I mean…I could go on and on but just LISTEN. This is just so directly up my alley and I am so glad that I’m going to be able to get in on the ground floor. Someone I want to see the minute live venues are back up and running.
Best Song: “Lizard Drama”
My Thoughts: Another submission from the anonymous Alexis that’s absolutely GORGEOUS. Some really great vibey guitar playing with some mysterious production in the background to give the song a really BIG existential important feel. I feel like this is something you could play for a friend and tell them it was an unreleased Bon Iver track and they’d be like “oh word yeah this is cool”. I also love how the song picks up and falls down, it really feels like a journey that’s worth sticking around for the whole 7 minutes. The other songs sound great too and we DO get to hear vocals on some and they’re good! I almost wish we heard more! But the guitar alone suffices for now. Super cool vibes here and again, anyone who likes to listen to Bon Iver in the dark and think about life should check this man out.
The Way Back
Bio: “Prov-Based Guys”
Best Song: Newport Mansions
My Thoughts: Oh HELL YEAH. First of all, always gonna back Prov boys. But also, these guys are making some great Pop-Punky music! Especially with the resurgence of Pop Punk from Tik Tok and Machine Gun Kelly and stuff, these guys are definitely someone you want to check out. Really great chorus, a great guitar riff, an awesome build up and a really explosive bridge and guitar solo towards the end. Rich, who let me know about these guys, also said their song “Narragansett” ruled but it’s not on Spotify. Might be worth digging around to find another Rhode Island-centric slapper.
Bio: “He’s a great guy with a lot of talent! He works in banking by day but is so not your typical NYC finance bro. He’s a great storyteller in his songs and they all give off a thought-provoking vibe with great beats.” – Our mutual friend Clare
Best Song: “Good Right Now”
Plugs: Follow @mikeoconnor_music on Instagram
My Thoughts: My friend Clare who recommended this dude is from Jersey and I can definitely tell this guy is too, mainly because this song gives off some serious Springsteen vibes. I’m such a sucker for a song that involves friends talking at different points, and joining in even. The nostalgia of the lyrics, a simple but highly relatable chorus, and some really great happy-hour sing-a-long guitar strumming ties this song into a great summer soundtrack. He’s clearly a very a talented guitar player and songwriter and I guarantee he’d be a great time to see at the outdoor bar, singing along with all of your friends a couple beers deep. Get on this guy now before his music pops off at your local beach bar this summer.
Bio: “Based out of Dedham Massachusetts, Village 11 is an American rock band with a sound that gives a modern feel to the 90’s alternative and grunge aesthetic. Their music contains songs with intense riffs and heavy lead lines, as well as compositions with a softer and more emotional feel.” –Rattler Mag
Best Song: “What It Takes”
Plugs: EP Coming Soon!
My Thoughts: Journalist Integrity Warning: The lead singer of this band is my very talented cousin Mark and the release of this song is actually what inspired me to ask about other local/original acts, and I think these guys ROCK. They recently got a write up in Rattler Magazine (which I linked above) and they did a much better job talking about the band then I ever could, but they especially nailed the idea of their sound. It really gives off that 90s grunge/rock vibe and “What It Takes” absolutely reminds me of something you’d hear from Nirvana. Mark’s vocals sound a bit different than when I was listening to his angelic pipes at Sunday Mass in Dorchester, but in a great way. He delivers each line with a ton of emotion, the guitar riff puts you into a space-like trance, and the UNREAL guitar solo towards the end is a cherry on top. Anyone who used to love 92.9 WBOS back in the day should definitely check these guys out. This is their debut song and it’s got me excited for the EP that’s dropping this year. Can’t wait to be use my man’s industry connections to promote the blog when he blows up.
Bio: Singer-Songwriter who has definitely seen some success in the past few years, playing in Nashville, at Festivals, and has over 19,000 monthly Spotify listeners. (My Words)
Best Song: “Munich”
Plugs: Follow her on Instagram @chloegilligan24
My Thoughts: My friend Molly actually showed me Chloe a few years ago at the beach. She played “Munich” and I LOVED it and we legit joked about me giving her promo on the blog, and now it’s finally come to fruition (not that she needs promo at all). The song has the same lyrical feel and guitar vibes as something George Ezra would put out. She has a really strong voice, great relatable lyrics, and sings every word with a ton of passion. I honestly don’t have to say much about her just because I think her trajectory is already way past my dinky little blog but go check her out and watch that “Munich” music video because it rules super hard and I want to be able to sing along to it with friends rather than just in my car alone.
Bio: “Vibes Are Immaculate” – Molly (who also showed me the last artist).
Best Song: “Losing My Mind”
Plugs: Follow @betchaband on Instagram
My Thoughts: I mean, these guys have over THREE HUNDRED THOUSAND monthly Spotify listeners so not really sure how much they need my promo (and Molly I’m realizing you are friendly with too many famous people). I really like the main singers voice in this band though, he can hit those higher notes but get back into the rougher tone when he needs to. This song “Losing My Mind” has some Coldplay vibes kind of (and please don’t take that the wrong way, I like Coldplay lol), between the great lyrics and the sweet melodies. I listened to a lot of their other stuff too and it’s a little bit heavier and harder but in a good way too. They have a ton of versatility it seems and have a very clear vibe. Can totally see why they’re taking off.
Bio: “A group of a few guys who collaborated on an EP – Allen Mello is PC ‘19” – Katie Sullivan (aka great twitter user ktsullz)
Best Song: “See It Thru”
My Thoughts: First of all, absolutely Go Friars to these guys. Making PC Proud. I am like 75% sure my guy Cousin Greg is also a part of this group, or at least a fan…but correct me if I’m wrong. What I am sure of is that this song slaps. I mean you could play this at any party and people wouldn’t bat an eye, they’d just think it’s the newest EDM banger to hit the mainstream. I feel like EDM is a tough business because so many people think it’s easy and you just toss some half-assed mixes on Soundcloud, but that’s clearly not what this is. These are original bangers with really fun electrifying drops and I don’t know who is on the vocals of this track but just the perfect dance-music voice. Absolutely a song I’d vibe to whilst playing some drinking games with my friends on a Friday night. Highly recommend diving into their Soundcloud and checking out some of their mixes, great energy for working out, doing work, or just hanging with friends for sure.
Bio: “Junior at Denver, released a few songs recently” – Luke Walsh
Best Song: “Judy”
My thoughts: Adorable. This is that great Sunday Morning going-to-get-bagels vibe that you can normally get with like Ingrid Michaelson. Super bouncy acoustic guitar strumming, really great semi-raspy voice, and the little xylophones and stuff to compliment the lyrics make this a great little number. Can’t help but bob your head to it. I can really see people digging this. Makes me wanna make waffles for my non-existent girlfriend. Listened to a few of her other songs too and they’re great acoustic bedroom-pop tracks, every one of ’em. Big shoutout to “On the Inside“, made me very emotional for some reason, big testament to her song-writing ability.
Bio: “Works with me at school but is an artist at the same time. Educator and artist. Super dope.” – Maggie Kiley
Best Song: Far Away
Plugs: Follow on Instagram @biajavier
My Thoughts: INCREDIBLE voice. Just absolutely flexing her vocals on everyone. And she’s also an EDUCATOR? Really just doing the lord’s work. My friend Maggie (who’s music reccs I always trust) also mentioned to watch her IG video for her song “George Floyd“, which not only shows how amazing of a singer she is, but also emotionally makes a point about the Black Lives Matter movement in a way that I’m especially happy to see a teacher expressing. Overall, her voice is wicked good, the instrumental she uses is great R&B vibes and reminds me of one of my favorite singers in the game right now, SZA. Speaking of which, she also did a great acoustic cover of SZA’s hit “Good Days“. Really liking her sound and it’s definitely something people are loving these days, could see her really taking off.
Bio: Veteran DJ who knows exactly what the crowd wants. (My Words)
Best Song: “Driver’s License” (DJ MikeyNice Mashup)
Plugs: Follow @mikesplann on Instagram
My Thoughts: I am a looooong time fan of DJ MikeyNice here and have been fortunate enough to attend several functions he was behind the boards for, and the man does not disappoint. He knows the best throwbacks to play, he knows when to play the new jams, and he does it all masterfully while mixing and mashing into one long beautiful set. His most recent flip of Driver’s License is absolute GAS. I talked about how the song is taking over recently, and on it’s own it’s definitely not a party song, but Mike mashes it up to make it a real certified slapper. Really big awesome drop and makes you wanna belt out the words even louder than usual. Mike’s done a lot of great mixes in the past that you can listen to on Soundcloud, but I realllly like this remix he did and excited to see him dip his toes into more of the one-off single boosters. If you’re a friar who loved dancing like a drunken idiot on the dancefloor of Whiksey Republic, this guy’s for you.
Bio: “Satirical Rapper from the suburbs of Upstate New York” – Obie (my roommate and close friend of Chubbz).
Best Song: “HD”
Plugs: New single coming soon called “Chaos”
My Thoughts: I’ve had the inside scoop on Chubbz for a while because he sends my roommate rough cuts before they drop, and this most recent single “HD” is one I’ve been very hyped about coming out. The chorus just rules so hard, with the title and premise of the song being built around the concept of watching 2 Girls 1 Cup in HD. He’s got the hilarious punch-lines you’d expect from someone like Zack Fox, with a flow like Lil Dicky, and to tie it all together some surprisingly catchy beats! This is what I love about rap, you can make a song that’s not taking itself too seriously, but it can be seriously catchy. Highly recommend checking out his album Suburban Dwarf and the tracks “Brunch Bro” and “Flightless Birds” which really capture what my man Chubbz is going for. Guy knows how to have fun.
Well, that’s it folks. Please go follow, listen, and share this music with your friends. Like I said before, I was really blown away with how great everyone’s stuff was and this was definitely one of my favorite posts I’ve ever done (despite me not really having to do anything other than listen to some really great lesser-known acts).
Enjoy, and tell ’em DJ ChickenParm sent ya.