Fly Moon Royalty. A somewhat unforgettable band name, even more unforgettable when you hear the soulful mixture of Adra Boo’s sensual voice and DJ Action J’s incredibly uplifting beats. Hailing from Seattle where grunge is dominant, this duo has comfortably created a concoction of soul, hip-hop and electronica; while this may seem like an unimaginable mixture of genres, the charm of Fly Moon Royalty lives within their songs. Fly Moon Royalty’s new EP, dropping on February 18th, aptly titled “Unfinished Business” is sharp, Boo and Action J created an EP that just seamlessly flows together into a big funk jam with infusions of hip-hop verses and club beats. “The Anthem” is easily their most ear-wormy and catchy songs, it’s hot, it’s sultry, it’s something you COULD hear on Top 40 radio, but underneath that is an honest independent duo, creating music, creating a genre that is all their own. With the rise of soul and R&B music in the indie charts–much thanks to Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings, Janelle Monae and Solange—Fly Moon Royalty fit into their carved niche of the genre. Their beats are fresh, the lyrics are sharp and witty, Boo’s voice is forceful yet elegant, and their live performance is phenomenal. Adra Boo is also a real women’s singer, she exudes femininity and can capture any listener with just the independence of her voice. This is what makes Fly Moon Royalty good, besides the funk and the soul, they exude confidence, they believe in the music they are making, and that is clearly evident on their new EP. If “Unfinished Business” is any indication of what’s to come, the Fly Moon Royalty duo is someone to keep your eyes and ears on.
With a hauntingly powerful voice, The Lift presents a hard style of piano rock that is wonderfully desirable. Amber Ojeda has this heartbreaking romantic voice that is so smooth, you just fall into the song. “Lost In the Middle” is a story, plain and simple, there is nothing crazy on the melodies, but Ojeda’s lyrics just bring the song into another dimension and you can simply float away on this band’s music.
The winter time is for the slow, quiet woodsy folk music so beloved by many. Enter in Garry Bean, hailing from Yorkshire in the UK, somewhat new to the scene but could easily dominate it within months. He has this rustic, charming voice that makes you fall in love with him immediately, but his songs have this sad quality. It’s a song for a cloudy day, it’s a song for a sunny day, it’s a song for every day because he makes it relatable to anyone who just enjoys music.
To change it up a bit, here is some distorted, heavy guitar rock that should easily be something out of the 1970′s. Shipwreck Motel has somehow created a time bubble and everything from that sex-oozed voice to the guitar riffs has carved out a nice place in rock music for these guys. The song is full of guitar solos and a driving melody that just makes you want to stomp around and headbang slowly along with it.
90′s girl punk rock. From the Pixies to the Cranberries, this music gets me amped, and We Are Us gets me so pumped up about the direction of this genre. While it has been floating around with Best Coast and the Dum Dum Girls, We Are Us uses that genre as a driving force to evolve the music into something new, with electronic keyboards. The lead singer’s voice is that perfect riot girl voice, she is mystical, almost and quiet with this large guitar swell behind her. It’s utterly brilliant, this band can really bring something new to the exhausted genre, and can liven it up around the indie world.
It is very rare to find a vocalist who truly understands the power of music and how it can capture just a single moment in a lifetime but have it relate to thousands. Anna Jordan can do that, and with a beautiful voice that will melt anyone’s heart. Dust is one of the strongest EP’s to be released, with four songs that creates stories full of heartbreak and longing. “Silent Sea” is haunting, with a melody that will make you forget the world around, and with the voice of a jazz goddess, the vocals float effortlessly through the notes to add incredible depth to the simplistic piano behind her. “Dust” is equally as strong, and the repetition of phrases throughout allows the listener to create an emotional attachment to the song about love and heartbreak. The greatest thing about Anna Jordan is her ability to write lyrics with a poetic flair, she balances the light with darkness, the romance with pain and presents a classic topic with an edge and it just works beautifully within the music. Jordan also has this spectacular ability to play along with the music, making it almost like a conversation between melody and words, almost creating a duo instead of a solo artist, she is masterful at allowing the music to speak instead of the words but can easily balance both. Between all of these aspects, Anna Jordan creates good, thoughtful music that will stay within your soul for a long time. Please check out her Bandcamp and support her music at the link below.
Since July, I’ve received a lot of emails from bands/managers asking me to listen and spotlight the artists. I’ve saved every email in hopes that my bug to write would come back, I finally want to show light on how amazing some of these unknown artists are.
Breathy, ethereal and almost unreal vocals have allowed Only Girl to carve a new niche into the dream R&B genre that the xx have dominated. All the girl power recently has been refreshing; with new gorgeous ladies showing their power through their voices and instruments, Only Girl is no exception. “Mountain” is just sexy, her voice shows this emotion of love and want that can only be shown through song, her smooth range is just utterly astounding, watch out for this girl, she is coming to kick ass.
Harkening back to when pop punk was great, The Assembly Line shows the world that the genre is not dead, by any means. Their songs emote head shaking, toe tapping angst that brings on a definite nostalgia for middle school summers. They bring a new flair to the genre that has been lost throughout the years, with a fresh look on the hooks and lyrics that make pop punk so lovable.
The dream pop genre is on the move, it’s different evolutions have created probably a thousand different sub genres, but people keep wanting more. Mammoth Life furthers this want. With a Cranberries-eque lead singer, and some heavy guitars strewn within the dreamy haze, Mammoth Life knows how to grab a listener’s attention. It’s almost like music that should have been made in the 90′s, but no one could grasp it, and now it’s out in the open and it is fantastic. While some may say it reminds them of Beach House, it’s heavier and less sleep music, it’s more sunshine in your face with rocking guitars. You know, THAT kind of dream pop.
Kira Velella, a New York vocalist with the power to make you cry. Her poetic lyrics create a whole other world of indie folk that gives kudos to the classic genre. Kira’s voice is simple and sweet, with her personality shining through each song. There is nothing elaborate about the EP, but there is something so wonderfully complex about the simplicity of her voice and the melody that you start to realize that there are lots of hidden changes within it. Kira is a folk force to be reckoned with.