Band To Watch: Super Whatevr

As the lead vocalist of the main band I Don’t Know How But They Found Me sang “No one likes the opening band,” it really got me thinking- does anyone really like or even pay attention to the openers? It takes a great and vibrant band to grab and hold the attention of an audience often restless and sometimes brutal to first acts.

On Sept. 27, 2017, the band I Don’t Know How But They Found Me played an intimate gig at the House of Blues in San Diego. The opening band Super Whatevr really captured the crowd’s attention. Walking out on stage, they introduced themselves like a high school band at a talent show. But once they started playing, their talent and energy flew off the charts. Super Whatevr took the stage and performed five songs with ease and passion. Despite playing in front of disinterested teenage girls, I was surprised at how comfortable they all seemed onstage. Like any promising band would, they grabbed the audience’s attention and made everyone, including myself, want to see more. The freshness of an up-and-coming band with new music is always exciting to me.

The lead singer, Skylar, posses a voice missed in the rock-n-roll scene. His raspy yet passionate and powerful voice made the songs fun and enjoyable to watch. The band even performed an emotional ballad called “Someone Somewhere Somehow”. The lyrics “Believe he actually was a corpse before his life had ended” really struck a cord in everyone at the venue. One could feel the sympathy radiating from the audience as the song began to build and the lead singer’s voice grew more in longing and emotion. Tears filled the eyes of many people in the room that night.

The guitarist, Dylan, also stood out to me. He seemed quiet and reserved but he seriously rocked on the guitar.

As I was watching them perform I knew the world needed to know about them. They are a must-watch band and I hope to see their name in lights on the Whiskey a Go Go marquee someday. Keep on rocking Super Whatevr!

The Evolution of Harry Styles

Sept. 19, 2017. Echoes of the song “Ever Since New York” play from the stage, which is covered by a pink banner. As the third echo plays, the spot light hits the banner revealing his shadow. The banner drops and Harry Styles is revealed to the Masonic Theater in San Francisco on his first show of his first tour. A rockstar was born.

Now, we all have heard of Harry Styles by now. Whether it be since the heyday of One Direction from 2010-2015, or since his first solo single “Sign of the Times” was released. But, there was always the nagging feeling that he could be a bigger star than he already was – and he proved us right.

For those who may not know, Styles auditioned for the X Factor UK in 2010 and was put into a group with four other boys to form what is presently known as One Direction. One Direction had many “bubblegum pop” songs, starting with the infamous “What Makes You Beautiful,” and going on to many others, such as “Kiss You” and “Best Song Ever.” With millions of young fans, Styles was undoubtably the most popular in the group. His personality shined on stage and his voice grew stronger with each passing album. As One Direction fans grew older, so did One Direction. The last two albums from the group contained many songs written by the members. While in the group, Styles wrote “Stockholm Syndrome,” “Olivia,” and several songs that were recorded by various artists (most notably Ariana Grande’s “Just a little Bit of Your Heart”). He was surely coming into his own as a singer, performer, and songwriter.

In 2015, when the group split up, many fans and even critics were interested in what Styles would release. What kind of music was he connected too? Does he have what it takes to be an actual solo artist? Who actually is “Harry Styles”? Would he flop? The answers to all these questions were provided when he released his debut, self-titled album on May 12 of this year.

His song “Sign of the Times” ruled the airwaves this past summer. And, his appearances on popular TV shows, such as “Saturday Night Live” and “The Late Late Show with James Cordon” (which Styles was a guest on for an entire week), showed the world how funny, carefree, and lovable the 23 year-old heartthrob actually is.

Styles’ album had many ’60s and ’70s rock-n-roll influences. His song “Woman” has a clear psychedelic, Bowie-like influence that wasn’t necessarily expected from someone with a track record like Styles’. In his harder rock songs, “Kiwi” and “Only Angel,” we can hear the influences of other legendary artists, such as The Kinks and The Rolling Stones. As for his slow ballads, “Meet Me in the Hallway,” “Sweet Creature” and “From the Dining Room Table,” we get hints of Lennon-McCartney sounds.

Since the album was released, many rock-n-roll legends have showed their support for young Styles. People such as Mick Jagger, Gene Simmons and Mick Fleetwood are noted fans. And, the legend Stevie Nicks even sang a duet of “Landslide” with Harry Styles during a secret show at the Troubadour.

This album proved to his fans and the people who doubted him that he was indeed unique and talented, and most importantly, here to stay.

In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Styles states that he wanted to be honest with this album. He wanted to tell his stories and be honest, which is “something he hadn’t done before.” If we look at the response from fans, critics and those in between, we could say that his honesty put him on the path to rock-n-roll stardom.

With Grammy nominations on the horizon, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see his name on the list. All in all, Harry Styles is THE rockstar we need in this day and age.

Featured image: All rights to Columbia Records. Retrieved from here.


Undiscovered Artists: Banks

Hello KCR listeners/readers. I’m here to bring you a new artist that most of you may not have heard of. Her name is Banks and personally, I think she is one of the most amazing female singers that is in the music industry at the moment.

Banks hails from Orange County California and started her career in 2013. Her first official single “Before I Ever Met You” was played on BBC Radio 1 before she was even signed to a record label. Banks’ sound has been described as dark R&B. Her first album titled Goddess was released in 2014 and received many great reviews from accredited music magazines such as the Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly and The Guardian. The Rolling Stone said:”confirms a beguiling, diaristic voice that echoes avant-pop forebears and a taste for gloomy, synth-centric productions.” If you’re into artists such as The Weeknd and Fiona Apple, Banks would definitely satisfy your musical needs.

Banks was first introduced to me through my good friend Jordan Rogers from San Francisco State University. He texted me saying ” You gotta check out this singer Banks!! She sings my soul” Taking that recommendation was probably the best thing I could have done. You can find her music just about anywhere: youtube, soundcloud, spotify you name it.

Some of her songs that I would recommend is: Goddess, F**k Em Only We Know, and Before I Ever Met You. Those songs are really good for chilling in the house on a Sunday morning drinking coffee or vibing out with a couple of close friends. Personally, I think Before I Ever Met You is her most real and relatable song to date. Banks is just one of many artists that I have recently came across that I absolutely love. If you decide to search up Banks after reading this then I applaud you and I hope you like her as much as I do.