One of the things we like to do at WMWM is promote independent musicians from the local music scene. Some of our shows, like “What's Happening” on Saturdays, and “The Juke Joint” on Sundays, have showcased North Shore artists live. And “Everything You Know Is Wrong” mixes in a bunch of up-and-coming Boston / New England artists. This list includesfrom that show that had new releases this year.
Molly Pinto Madigan
She's near and dear to us at WMWM, having lived in Salem and graduated from SSU. She was also recently featured at an open mic night on campus this semester. Her latest album “Wildwood Bride” showcases her acoustic guitar skills, as well as her light-as-air voice and her album's artistic arrangements, conjuring up images of walking through forests, rustling your feet through autumn leaves. The title track is a poignant statement of willingness to commit to a relationship for life, while “On the Hunt” and “To You” are blessed with the intelligent poetry of love and longing. She has a knack for crafting expressive lyrics and creating aural wonders of nature. The album's a beautiful trip.
Molly's latest is on Bandcamp here: http://mollypintomadigan.bandcamp.com/album/wildwood-bride
If you prefer something louder with a grungy crunch, check out Dinoczar. This “doom punk boogie” trio from Boston via Laguna Beach comes from the school of Terry Malts fuzz rock, and they bring it with tempo changes. Check out their work on the single “Burnt Out” - it blasts a hole in your brain, and just as it kicks ass, then dives right into a bluesy downer, then toward the end picks you back up off the floor and smacks you around a little. Or a lot. “Burnt Out” is the single to their next album due out in early 2016. I expect their next album to bring a matured fuzzed-up sound in all sorts of creative directions.
Dinoczar on Bandcamp: http://dinoczar.bandcamp.com/
The critics love this alt-rock band, and with good reason. This Northampton, MA band's 2ndalbum “Foil Deer” is crammed with ingenious lyrics, which you should expect from lead singer Sadie Dupuis and her MFA in poetry at UMass Amherst. Speedy Ortiz stuffs a suitcase full of different approaches to indie rock, to go along with the well-honed lyrical skill: as Pitchfork.com said, the words are “gleaming with threats involving sharp blades both literal and figurative”.
Speedy Ortiz on Bandcamp: http://speedyortiz.bandcamp.com/
Latest video for “My Dead Girl”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=voen58Mn8sY
Their latest album is “Sundream”, and I fell for this one pretty hard. On one hand, I admit there's a sameness to many of the tracks when taken as a whole, but on the other hand all of them crank and can stand on their own. “Psychotic Dance” and “Fwench” are the best tunes, and the title track gives my spastic joy. Three guys make a lotta noise to fill your brain with the appropriate RDA of sound. Get yours today with a tall glass of milk and get healthy, people!
Zip-Tie Handcuffs on Bandcamp: http://ziptiehandcuffs.bandcamp.com/
This Boston artist may remind some of Lana Del Rey and Lorde, and maybe early period Tori Amos. Her vocals on her newest EP “Melting” are as soaring as they are searing. She also comes with critical chops: last year she was named Rock Act Of the Year by the New England Music Awards.
Annabel on Bandcamp: http://annabelxlee.bandcamp.com/releases
Glenn Yoder & the Western States
Their latest “Blood Red Moon” maintains Glenn's authentic alt-country sound and themes. On the track “1711” he recalls pulling over on a Texas country road to just stare at the stars. Other tracks such as “Ferris Wheel”, “Drunk On You”, and the title track sum up the joys and pains of relationships. This album pairs well with barbecue ribs and a tall lemonade, or a bourbon on the rocks.
Glenn Yoder on Bandcamp: http://glennyoder.bandcamp.com/
Named for the Massachusetts city where they're from, Salem Wolves generate lo-fi power pop with a couple milliliters of glam punk. They released a 4-song EP and 2 slammin' singles in 2015, and they're going to get busy on the club scene this month, with shows at O'Brien's onDecember 12 and Opus inSalem on December 18.
Salem Wolves on Bandcamp: http://salemwolves.bandcamp.com/
As the Sparrow
Our former general manager Eric Roberts was a big fan of this band – they mix vocals, strings, and brass in their latest EP “The Otherside” into a potent and intelligent mix of driving alt pop. “Lie To Me Dear” is a swinging cabaret of mixed emotions, and “You Showed Us” shows us how to tightly integrate violins into a fast-paced rock song about love smashed to bits.
As the Sparrow on Bandcamp: http://asthesparrow.bandcamp.com/
This 3-piece band from Salisbury, MA seem to have built their own echo chamber for a deep resonant vocal sound to go with their psychedelic guitar work. On their latest “High Or Die”, the tracks “DMT”, “Asyd”, and the best of them, “Ex To See”, all try to launch into space using just your mind. This is not drug-induced either. They just started recording a new album, due out next year.
The Televibes on Bandcamp: http://thetelevibesofficial.bandcamp.com/album/high-or-die
Other bands worth a mention:
- Bad Rabbits – Boston's biggest undiscovered funk band. Nominated for another BMA award. They are so close to making it nationally big.
- Chanticlear – a big supporter of my show, which I appreciate! They rock out hard-core style, and since they're from Lawrence, it's fun to listen to them throw shade at Haverhill.
- Procedure Club – this New Haven CT band has a heavily-layered shoegaze (is that redundant?) single “Let Us Leave Town” which they promoted as part of their O'Brien's show last September. Wishing they left us more than just a taste...
- PinkShinyUltraBlast – not from New England, but St. Petersburg, Russia. A spry mix of shoegaze and hard guitar. “Everything Else Matters” is my fave non-New England LP of the year.
This is a very limited list – it's limited to my own exposure to bands on my own time. If you have any Boston / New England bands that you thought lit up the scene in 2015, email me at “firstname.lastname@example.org”.