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.

Neighborhood Jams: The Aura & Øvation

Hello friends! This week on Neighborhood Jams I am featuring the San Diegan band, The Aura & Øvation! I highly, highly recommend listening to these guys – each musician adds so much emotion with their preferred instrument. This past January they released the album, Brilliant Nights – EP, and you can purchase it on iTunes. On their website you can listen to their entire acoustic EP, read up on each member’s background, and check out a quick summary on each song from their acoustic EP. It’s absolutely great to read about the band’s feelings and thoughts on their own songs – it makes the connection between the musician and listener stronger. I loved it.

If Dashboard Confessional were to do a collaboration with Kings of Leon we would get the guys from The Aura & Øvation. They would be considered alternative rock. Lead singer and guitarist, Mike Strong, combined his instrumental skills along with his passion for poetry and, in the first song from their acoustic EP, titled Vines and Mini Blinds, Strong’s emotions and honesty shines through. You can feel the rawness in each chorus, and I believe it is truly beautiful. Alongside Strong is Jesse Richardson on guitar and bassist Paul Philips each bringing a key ingredient to the heart wrenching songs. Lastly, Chris Thiel is strumming away and keeping rhythm on drums. Thiel is three-time San Diego Guitar Center Drum-Off Champion, and his skills and techniques really round out The Aura & Øvation.

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I also really loved the songs House on Fire and On These Brilliant Nights both featured on their album Brilliant Nights – EP. Each song sounds full, powerful, and make me want to close my eyes and do a slow head bang. The guys have played at several local venues including The Tin Roof and Point Loma Nazarene University – I wish they could play at SDSU! It’s so great to find local bands filled with so much passion in their first albums. Great job guys, great job. Check out The Aura & Øvation on October 24 at PLNU’s Fall Fest.

Give these guys a like on their Facebook.

 

Photo Credit: Sarah Binsfield

Mackie Dre’s Submissions Highlights: The Ten Thousand

The Ten Thousand – Beg for Mercy

The Ten Thousand – Low Level Hum

The Ten Thousand

This one’s a little late, but well worth it: The Ten Thousand.

If you’ve been listening for a while, you know that we’re no stranger to this band, but they just released a new EP called Nausea and it’s pretty awesome.

While the whole EP plays with different genres, my personal favorites are “Beg for Mercy” and “Low Level Hum.” “Beg” reminds me personally of Beatles vocals and piano work, while also making me quite sad. It’s a gorgeous song and I definitely recommends it. “Low Level Hum” is more upbeat and offers a lengthy musical playground and Rock guitar riffs. The vocals are reminiscent of White Stripes garage sound, and the lyrics are sing worthy.

In terms of the other songs, “What’s Wrong With David?” begins with gospel-y pianos and erupts into rock and roll guitar and vocals, eventually intruding with a distorted organ sound that’s just fantastic. “Leave Home” is a bit more mellow than “What’s Wrong” and “Low Level,” but I love it no less. I particularly enjoy the way the group sings “change” and hope you’ll check it out below in the links.

Did I mention you can get the EP for free here? Check out their website and throws some likes at their wall, for me?

You know what’s coming. Here are my songs from last week that deserve many of the repeats.

10 March Highlights

The Precious Lo’s – More Than Friends (feat. Maylee Todd)

Daily Grind – From the Ground Up

Bonnie and the Bang Bang – Car Crash

Mackie Dre’s Submissions Highlights: Rhino House Band

Rhino House Band – Little Things

Rhino House Band – Dirty Hobo

Rhino House Band

Hello there lovelies…today, I would like to give you the gorgeous sound that is the Rhino House Band.

I can’t find a bad thing to say about this band. Their Indie Pop Rock sound makes me so incredibly happy while their lyrics are so many shades of thought-provoking. Don’t worry, I’ll get there. First let’s get you acquainted with this wonderful band.

Hailing from Brooklyn, Rhino House Band formed in early 2013 and are currently making a name for themselves over in the lovely state of New York. While we here in San Diego can’t go hear them live, you can go download their Golden Summers EP and fall in love on repeat. Comprised of Ricky Demetro, Steven Bartashev, and Joey Vergara the band seeks to “strike a chord in the indie scene and continue to push their musical boundaries,” a lofty goal, maybe, but I know these rad dudes have it in them.

Above are two of the awesome songs on Golden Summers: “Little Things” and “Dirty Hobo,” my favorite. “Dirty Hobo” juxtaposes the homeless of SoHo with the wealthy while simultaneously critiquing the goverment and the church. That’s quite a bit of anti-establishment going on in one song (and I absolutely love it).

Please give a listen and let me know what you think on twitter or Facebook. Don’t forget to like their page and follow them on tumblr!

And you know what’s coming next. Here are some other fantastic songs that deserve all the repeats.

1 March 2014 Highlights

Ess Vee – Pen and Paper

Paul Cannon Band – Thinking About You

The Kid Ryan – Run That