When I attended Hopscotch in September of last year, I attended a few day parties to try and learn more about the local music scene since I was a fan of some bigger local artists like Wednesday and Indigo de Souza. I got to hear a lot of great artists, so over the year I’ve made an effort to listen to more North Carolina artists and attend more local shows. Now that it’s the summer I have more time to search for local artists, so here’s what I’m going to be listening to this summer from North Carolina artists.
First is an artist I’ve been listening to for a while, Melaina Kol, an exciting new independent artist out of Youngsville, North Carolina. The person behind Melaina Kol is Logan Hornyak who first broke onto the indie scene when he released his album Black Bile in 2018. His latest album, “AMOSAT,” was released in November of 2021 and I have not stopped listening since.
The music is infectious and dives into the genres of indietronica, bedroom pop and indie folk. The album opens with the beautiful track “Mi” which transcends you and immediately hooks you into the album. The opening track is followed by my favorite song on the album, “Little Trees” which reminds me of something off earlier Animal Collective albums like Strawberry Jam. I could imagine listening to this album in a field on a warm sunny day as the songs wash over me.
The next album I’ve been listening to a lot is MJ Lenderman’s new album “Boat Songs.” The opening track is one of my favorite songs and it’s perfect for a summer drive, as is the rest of the album. “Hangover Game” is a driving tune, and gives listeners a taste for the listening journey they are about to embark on. This fun alt-country, slacker rock and slowcore album will have you laughing at some of the silly lyrics and dissecting the more serious themes on the album like Lenderman’s chase for fulfillment and happiness. The fuzz on the guitars and vocals make the songs feel comforting, like a warm hug.
Another great band I’ve been listening to is Hiding Places from Asheville, NC. While they only have three songs out right now, the band has amazing potential and I can’t wait to see what they release in the future. Their songs are relatable and have great production which adds an interesting atmosphere to the tracks. My favorite song of theirs is “Heartbreak Skatepark.” The track is a perfect indie rock tune, the end has a great build up that draws you into the story of the lead singer’s heartbreak.
The last artist I’ve been listening to a lot and will be listening to throughout the summer is BEX, also from Asheville, NC. The Asheville-based singer’s new EP, “Move It Or Lose It” is filled with catchy indie rock songs, dreamy guitars and vocals and driving bass lines. If you’re a fan of the indie rock outlet Forth Wanderers, you might like BEX.