Sometimes music is better described using objects, colors, and feelings rather than sounds. When listening to Earthly, you picture yourself skiing down the sides of red, blue, and yellow ice cream cones, falling onto a rubbery drum set and slingshotting back to that one class field trip in elementary school when you caught a crawfish by hand.
DJ iCloud caught up with Edaan and Brint of Earthly, who played WKNC’s Double Barrel Benefit Night 2. They talk about some of Earthly’s beginnings, inspirations, and future plans for the project.
Born and raised in Charlotte, Deniro Farrar has become a major hip-hop heavy hitter within the past few years. With the success of Fayetteville’s J. Cole and Raleigh’s own King Mez getting a feature on Dr. Dre’s Compton, North Carolina is, undeniably, rapidly gaining momentum in the music scene. Blogs like Pitchfork and Vice are claiming that Charlotte is the next city to watch specifically for artists within the rap genre.
Deniro is debatably the posterboy for Charlotte’s developing rap scene and proclaimed the “Leader of Cult Rap,” derived from the way people religiously follow the music of the underground scene to keep up, as it is not mass-produced and regularly broadcast. Deniro doesn’t fail to deliver relatable down to earth lyrics accompanied by (you guessed it) a sick beat. Working with Ryan Hemsworth, Flosstradamus, skywlkr, Lunice and Black Sky Black Death to name a few, Deniro has crafted a unique sound all while gaining traction as an artist and putting North Carolina on the map.
– Emma Badorrek, WKNC Assistant Promotions Director
Growing up in low-income housing Baltimore, Maryland and a transplant to the Triangle area, Professor Toon has become a staple in the Durham music scene. Sharing the stage with De La Soul during the fifth annual Hopscotch Music Festival among other hip-hop heavy hitters such as Juicy J, Meek Mill, Project Pat and Run the Jewels. Toon uses his life experiences such as his abusive childhood and his relationships to fuel his lyrics and live performances. Being the “professor of things,” Professor Toon has worked relentlessly to make an impact on his fans in dirty DURM and beyond. Catch him at Double Barrel 13 on February 20th performing songs off of his new album Take Notes.
– Emma Badorrek, WKNC Assistant Promotions Director
Mario Farrow, aka SkyBlew, is one of the Triangle’s brightest rising hip-hop stars with a style all his own. The Chapel Hill rhyme spitter’s story started in Alabama where he grew up bouncing from foster home to foster home and surrounded by inner city violence. He used this strife to create a space for himself via rap lyricism that would help him rise above the turbulence mentally and physically. Drawing inspiration from cartoons like “Rocco’s Modern Life” and “Dragon Ball Z,” his music is inspirationally positive, and never glorifies the horrors of street violence.
To classify SkyBlew as “nerd-core” is the kind of box he doesn’t want people to put him in. His rhymes aren’t all nerd all the time, there’s more depth, more soul. Recently he started playing live with a jazz accompaniment that brings his whole brand together, so to watch him perform is almost like a mix of The Roots and De La Soul.
Featured by notable media outlets like MTV, HYPERFRESH, DJ Booth Magazine, 2DOPEBOYZ, and Afropunk, SkyBlew is on his way up and ready to stake his claim in a hip-hop environment that’s beginning to turn its head toward North Carolina. Recently he did a regional tour of the Southeast with video game rapper Mega Ran, and released an exceptional EP with Scottie Royal entitled The Royal Blew Reverie that is sure to keep the heads ringing well into 2016.
The Triangle may be known for its indie scene, but it’s home to an inventive electronic community as well. Part of this community is the DJ-duo Earthly, hailing from the Durham area. Earthly’s unique sample-based DJing makes their sound hard to classify; their newest release Days ranges from fun and exciting vibes on the track “Ice Cream” to more calm, consistent beats on “Daemon.” Their interesting mix of serene and playful sounds will either have you dancing or feeling like you’re playing a video game on a cloud.
With the increasing recognition of the Triangle electronic scene, Earthly is bound to have a popular year in 2016. The duo’s debut album got a 7.8 from Pitchfork last July, which I think is a pretty good sign that they are on to something big.
Des Ark, a staple of the Triangle music scene for over a decade, will be headlining Night One of Double Barrel Benefit 13.
With the ability to captivate an audience with just an acoustic guitar, Aimeé Argote brings a high level of sincerity and intensity to every performance. Even with the immense power behind her full band sets, it’s not hard to identify and connect with her emotive lyrics.
To the delight of fans, Des Ark released their LP Everything Dies this fall on Graveface Records, reminding us all why we love this band. The record seems to find the perfect blend between delicate and striking, with a beautiful mastering of Argote’s folk melodies. Double Barrel 13 Night One marks Des Ark’s homecoming after a month-long, nationwide tour. Des Ark takes the stage Saturday, February 13, headlining Kings Barcade in Raleigh.
Long-time local favorites Schooner first formed in the early 2000’s from Reid Johnson’s four-track recordings. In 2004 they played the first ever Double Barrel Benefit. Since then they’ve released several records and gained quite a following throughout the Triangle. Self described as disheveled-pop-indie-psych-soul, Schooner’s music has the ability to transport you to another place. The live energy when Schooner performs is amazing. It’s easy to see why they have been such a big part of the triangle music scene for so long. I can’t wait to see them play at Kings on Feb. 13!
Museum Mouth is no stranger to WKNC. With their heartfelt lyrics and indie punk feels, these Double Barrel veterans have garnered a supportive and loyal following here in the Triangle.
Coming out of NC coastal town Southport, Museum Mouth formed in 2009. They released their first EP I Am the Idiot Of The Jungle in 2010, followed quickly by full-length Tears in my Beer. This album, along with their later releases Sexy But Not Happy and Alex I Am Nothing received four-star reviews on PunkNews.org. The group gained their first big recognition winning mtvU’s Freshmen in 2012, getting the title track of SBNH aired on the channel. Since their start, Museum Mouth has only continued to grow and cultivate their sound. They also released a split EP last year with Double Barrel artist Naked Naps.
– Phian Tran, WKNC Local Band Local Beer Coordinator
Originating at the beloved house show venue Mattress Fort and boasting a minimal two-piece sound, Naked Naps have exemplified the DIY rock scene in the Triangle for years. And they’re coming to Double Barrel hot off of their second full-length record. The duo have a unique talent for creating songs that feel sincerely emotional while simultaneously detached and cynical. Their music is bursting with energy but is also subtle and understated. The strong following their fantastic debut album generated is only getting bigger after their latest record and their split EP with fellow DBB artist Museum Mouth. With their new material ready to hit the stage for the first time, Naked Naps is the perfect band to kick things off at this year’s Double Barrel Benefit.
An incredible lineup is coming to Kings tonight! Local faves Museum Mouth are headlining and are sure to bring the noise. One of my favorite aspects of the band is the instrumentation; Karl Kuehn plays drums and sings Museum Mouth’s emotive lyrics at a punk rock pace. Museum Mouth are getting ready for Double Barrel Benefit 13, then tour with Say Anything through April and May. They released a few new tracks late last year. I’m pumped to catch them for some of their last local shows this weekend and at DBB before they hit it big time. Speaking of Double Barrel (specifically, DBB alums), Dax Beaton from Body Games will be performing a solo set. This will be a unique set for anyone who’s seen Body Games before, since they usually perform with three members. We’ll have to see what Dax has in store, but if previous shows are any indication, it will be an awesome, danceable, and immersive audiovisual experience.
Linking these two seemingly disjoint acts will be Kississippi and Superbody. Described as popviolence, Philadelphia two-piece Kississippi plays impressively catchy rock grooves without overfilling their musical space. Paper Magazine named them in their list of Top Musicians Who Will Dominate 2016. This will be the second-to-last show of Kississippi’s winter tour, so they’re sure to impress. Superbody mixes nonsensical ideas (best exhibited in their video for “Call Me That”) with classic pop beats to create truly different but still addicting music. If you’re a fan of at least one of these artists, odds are you’ll be led to like the others through Kississippi’s and Superbody’s performances. I’m looking forward to learning more about electronic influences on music this weekend at the show. The lineup is great in that there is no obvious common thread through all four acts, but each artist fits into several genres and can be easily related to one other.