By: Taylor Douglas
The past couple of days have seen two almost polar opposite articles posted here, with one being a tongue in cheek destruction of how we judge generations based on stupid fads and a cathartic piece (for me) on my grandmother on how we deal with death and life in general. At this point, I’m literally just writing whatever comes to mind to keep you guys from posting negative comments on the million Instagram posts I’m putting up like a mom who just got back from her beach vacation with the fam. (Plug Alert: follow me on Instagram @tdoug01 — #shameless). Anywho, before I get into today’s article, I want to send a big bold, italicized, all-caps THANK YOU! to everyone who has checked out the blog. For the first two articles, I had around 150 unique visitors for each, which was hype af for someone who literally thought he was about to write a few blog posts for his mom to read. I’m really excited because I’ve always wanted to do a blog, mainly because I have this irrational vision that it’ll blow up and I won’t have to do real work after I graduate this May. Jokes aside, I love getting to write, I love when you guys check things out, and I hope you enjoy the content. I’m really excited, because I think I’ve finally guilted my good friend and co-creator of our podcast, Michael Totty, into writing an article on some cool new research on how diets that encourage your body to burn ketones as energy have some interesting neurological effects. He’s currently a neuroscience student at Texas A&M who was one of the first guys I got into fitness with way back in high school, so you can count on him doing some great work. Our other co-creator, Taylor Brewer, has mentioned a little something about game reviews for all you nerds like us out there. If you like brash, slightly irrational, and extremely opinionated characters, you’ll love his stuff too.
Once again, thank you for reading along so far, and I would love for you to reach out with anything you’d be interested in reading about by commenting on my Facebook or Instagram posts, or shooting me an email at email@example.com. Without any further ado, here’s the real reason you clicked on this post…
5 Artists You Need to Check Out RIGHT MEOW
I love music, like pretty much every other human being on the planet. Our first podcast we released was on all the emo music that influenced us growing up, talking about Fall Out Boy, MCR, and several others, and it was fun as hell to make. I’m planning on releasing a few Recs on Instagram each week that you won’t see here, so be on the lookout for them. Now, from 1-5, five artists you need to be on…
1. Judah and the Lion
Judah and the Lion is a band from Nashville (right around where I’m based), and they are freaking hype. If you like listening to full albums, but don’t want everything to sound the same, these are the guys for you. They’ve received some mainstream attention with Take it All Back 2.0 which really follows the Folk-Hop theme on their latest album in banger kind of way. The rest of Folk Hop ‘n Roll has a great mix of songs from another radio friendly hit Suit and Jacket (video below) to the grainier Stockholm that’ll make you want to take a road trip and never come back. Their first album has a Kings of Leon/folk-country feel that makes for really easy listening on a long car ride, although those songs are admittedly more similar to each other. All in all, they’re probably my favorite band that I’ve started listening to in the past couple of months, so give them a look.
2. Quinn XCII
With apologies to my girlfriend (whose fav new band is coming up shortly), my favorite concert that I went to in 2017 was Quinn XCII’s. He played at the Exit/In in Nashville in October, and despite his produced stuff having a little more of an EDM/Chill side, his set was laced with real instruments and (dare I say it) a little bit of a bluesy sound. I was lucky enough to happen upon him when Soundcloud played Another Day In Paradise on a random playlist I was listening to in the summer of 2016. Like I mentioned, his EP’s and new album The Story of Us are laced with chill music with some good vibes. I have to stay true to the piece of his work that was my first love and leave Another Day In Paradise below, but Flare Guns off the new album is his biggest song right now. I also highly recommend the single Make Time and Fight Song off the Bloom EP. If you want a little different sound, try his stuff on YouTube at 1.25 speed. It’ll surprise you.
3. The 1975
The 1975 are probably the most popular band worldwide on this list. They’re a band from Britain with a way different sound than the rest of the artists mentioned here. If you don’t like Brit-Pop, you might not be able to get into these guys, but they have some great stuff. The first song I heard from them is Chocolate and like Quinn’s Another Day In Paradise, it’s still my favorite. It’s funky and catchy with a different kind of sound than what you’re going to hear on the radio. Also, for you stoners it’s all about the ganja. They’ve received a little bit of radio play in America with Chocolate and The Sound (another good song). I also like She’s American and for those of you with some patience for a hook, Menswear, from their first self-titled album.
4. Hot Rod Circuit
For those of you who agree with us that the emo music of our youth were the real bangers of the 2000’s, Hot Rod Circuit is a band for you to check out. I somehow missed out on these guys until my girlfriend and I caught them opening up for Bayside and Say Anything last summer (two other bands with some good songs). This was one of the only concerts I’ve ever gotten hype about a band whose music I didn’t know. Their best album from top to bottom is Sorry About Tomorrow. It has The Pharmacist, At Nature’s Mercy, and Cool For One Night which will take you back to the bittersweet parts of the hometown you want to forget. From their first album, Irish Car Bomb is really good, but the production quality is a little grittier than their newer stuff.
I mentioned my girlfriend’s favorite new band earlier, and here they are. She put me on them a few months ago before she “dragged” me to their concert in St. Louis. Suffice to say, they killed it with another great live show. Their concert brought me a major milestone when I got to participate in a mosh pit for the first time in my life and subsequently fall flat on my face like a dolt. If they sound familiar, we talk about them a little in The Emocast. They’re a punk rock band from Oakland with some crossover songs (one of which we’re pretty sure was featured in a Taco Bell Commercial last year). For the Green Day superfans, SWMRS’ drummer is Billie Joe Armstrong’s son. Despite that, they have their own sound, and are another band with an album full of songs that sound different on Drive North. Figuring It Out has a huge chorus that you can get into, and their homage Miley is weird, appropriately vulgar, and awesome at the same time. My guilty pleasure is Ruining My Pretending, and they have some heavier stuff as well.
Bonus Band: Levon
Ok, so I couldn’t keep it to just five artists here. I think having 6 in the title is begging for bad ju-ju anyway. I have to admit that I have some ties here, so I might be too biased to objectively include these guys. Levon is a country trio from Nashville, TN, and I may or may not live with their mandolin/guitarist/backup vocalist Ryan Holladay (go follow him @ryanholladaymusic on Instagram). Ties aside, Levon is built for Nashville radio. They’ve been on the road in the last year with the likes of Jake Owen, Lady Antebellum, and Maren Morris. Their self-titled EP has a mix of songs ranging from an homage to cougars in Ms. Marianne, a California throwback in Runaway Love, and the gospel sound of Why Oh Why. Below is my favorite song of theirs, Wired. Check it out and keep an eye on these guys (even Rolling Stone says so!).
I think extremely highly of all the bands mentioned here. As an avid music fan (and lucky Spotify Student subscriber for the next few months), I’m always on the lookout for great new bands to get into. I hope you check all these guys out and enjoy them as much as I do. Be on the lookout for more Recs in the days and weeks to come. If you think I missed someone (obviously there’s way more than these great bands), send them my way! You can connect with me on Facebook and Instagram (Plug Alert #3: @tdoug01 again), and I’d love to give you a shoutout for sending a great recommendation. Thanks for reading, and Happy Listening!