Ear Farm recently created a list of the top 10 North Carolina Bands you should hear. Amazing choices that I’m sure most will agree upon, they include: The Proclivites, Bellafea, Lost in the Trees, Black Ses, Schooner, Hammer No More the Fingers, The Bronzed Chorus, Birds of Avalon, Megafaun and Lonnie Walker as their number one choice. Undoubtedly terrific choices, but we here at WKNC are lucky to get the up in coming, the raw recordings, the unheard vocals of brand new local bands. So here is my short list of 5 avid local listeners might not have heard of….yet.
5. Free Electric State: Described as “Crushing distorted guitar…and vocals stylishly almost like background sound..” by our very own DJ Caid it’s hard to not be impressed by this group. Formed in Durham, NC Free Electric State is very new with only a two song CD in the station. This band should take off quickly with its ability to grab attention with the 80st inspired vibe and catchy lo-fi sound.
4. M1 Platoon: Local Durham Hip-Hop crew M1 Platoon caught my eye during the joint album release show with Kooley High. The group joined together in the D.C. area and now can be found in Durham, NC. The lyrics consistently hype up their hometown as well as their new homes in Durham. The lyrics are great but it is the stage presence that immediately attracted me to M1 Platoon. With 7 group members plus a live DJ the stage itself is packed. It is incredible to watch each individual put their heart and souls out onto the stage. From jumping onto the amps, masking wearing interpretive dancing, to cheeky dance moves the group never stops moving. You see that the lyrics come from the heart and that what they are doing in the moment is what they are ment to do. If you only see one show this year I recommend checking out M1 Platoon doing what they do best.
3.Veelee: This band is one that I heard while driving to work. It was one of those music moments where your heart kind of fills up because you finally heard that sound you have been craving, something that shifts your insides around. Maybe that’s just me but to put it briefly, this stuff is good, really good. The Chapel Hill duo creates pop music with a strange dark side. With easy to follow singalong lyrics to unique keyboard sounds Veelee embraces the idea of minimalistic pop music that makes the listener want to put it on repeat.
2. Old Bricks: Raw, sad, make you curl up the fetal position and cry type songs. Greymatter says ” the vocal style is best described as desperate and pathetic, but it works.” He is right, it totally works. The songs run from about six to eight minutes apiece but each one just grows upon itself. With a Daniel Johnson vibe the listener feels connected and appreciative that someone else is saying it for them, that we all hurt. Old Bricks shares with us the beauty and raw power of putting real human emotions into music. Check them out August 31 at Slims Downtown.
1. You and Your Effects: Astounding folk rock built upon banjos, violins, flutes, accordions and incredible lyrics. DJ Chuck compares them to Bowerbirds, DeVotcka and Sufjan Stevens. The band is made up of five kids all under the drinking age which says a lot when listening to the lyrics these guys write. Dealing with adult issues and putting a intense,almost orchertratal(?) sounds as the background makes You and Your Effects an instant favorite to new listeners. Don’t be fooled though, they also hop to upbeat, jamish twangy rock and roll turning that frown right upside down. Unfortunately the college students are out and about doing what college kids should do…traveling the world, so don’t expect to see them live anytime soon.
Keep your eyes peeled and your ears tuned in to WKNC. For now I highly suggest checking out the links to hear for yourself just how incredible the scene around us is becoming.
Big congrats to one of our favorite local bands, Lonnie Walker, for being nominated as Ear Farm’s Band of the Week! Lonnie Walker has been making a name for itself this past year, having been named one of the News and Observer’s Great 8 Local Bands, playing at WKNC’s Double Barrel Benefit, Raleigh’s Artsplosure Festival, and oh yeah, releasing an amazing album “These Times Old Times” which won our listener’s top vote for best album so far of the summer.