Back of the Rack is ready to kick start your Summer with twelve hot, new, and best of all, free tracks to listen over. As we all get ready for beach getaways, flashy fireworks, and backyard cookouts, we hope the following tracks provide you with the perfect grooves, jams, and laid back tracks to make this year’s festivities ones to remember.
The following music was all provided to us for free by twelve gracious artists eager for the world to hear their music. Let’s return the favor and spread the word on our favorites. Whether it’s Twitter, Facebook, or good old fashion word of mouth, it’s our job to make sure good music is heard. Tell people about it!
Passenger – Let Her Go
Genres: Folk, Roots, Acoustic
Passenger’s third album All the Little Lights features this track, “Let Her Go,” a moving number that pulls on the heartstrings as Mike Rosenberg, the man behind Passenger, croons over the pains of letting loved ones move on. Rosenberg has shared the stage with the likes of Ed Sheeran and John Butler Trio in the past year, and has won critical acclaim from such highly touted sources as Yahoo! and Rolling Stone. For now, Passenger’s biggest fan base is over in Europe, but don’t expect that to last too long. Rosenberg has all it takes to be a hit stateside, as well.
Pinback – Fortress
San Diego, California
Genres: Indie, Rock
Pinback has been around since 1998, churning out catchy numbers like “Fortress” ever since. Think newer Modest Mouse – eccentric guitar licks and singalong lyrics are king here, but bizarre experimentation always seems just a verse away. Led by duo Armistead Burwell Smith IV and Rob Crow, Pinback has performed live on stages as large as NPR’s “All Things Considered.” The band’s fifth studio album is expected this fall.
Empire of One – If I Let Myself Dream
Los Angeles, California
Genres: Indie, Pop
Empire of one get’s many comparisons to Maroon 5, Coldplay, and Train, and with good reason. Lead singer Wil Seabrook commands a similar vocal presence, and the band’s laid back approach to radio rock is the perfect recipe for dreaminess. The band just released their first effort, “Empire of One EP,” and Seabrook couldn’t be more excited about the direction of the group. “For us it really is about making one new fan at a time and valuing that dialogue as the most important element of our success.”
The Dead Stray – Three Years
South East, Great Britian
Genres: Rock, Alternative, Blues
All Black Keys fans, pay attention. The Dead Strays may not be on your radar now, but their fanbase is set to explode in 2012. Just listen to this track, “Three Years” – The grit on the vocals, rough, distorted guitars, booming drums and strong bass lines all come together to prove the band won’t be a local act for long. The group released “Introducing: The Dead Stray,” a six-track EP, in 2011.
The Expendables – Bowl For Two
Genres: Reggae, Rock
Santa Cruz, California
Born and raised in California, the four members of The Expendables — Geoff Weers, Raul Bianchi, Adam Patterson, and Ryan DeMars – grew up as long time friends. Partying, surfing, skating and music were all large parts of their upbringing, and in 1997 the group decided to take on making music themselves. The band’s most recent album, “Prove It,” was produced by Paul Leary, (Sublime, Slightly Stoopid, Pepper) and they can be seen performing throughout this Summer on Warp Tour.
Loyal Divide – Flights
Genres: Indie, Experimental, Electronic
While loyal divide formed in Columbus, Ohio, they now reside in Chicago, Illinois. With their first EP “Labrador” behind them, the group released their first album, Bodice Ripper, in October of 2011. The group has played shows with the likes of Crystal Castles and Chromeo, and although influences from countless genres pop up in Loyal Divide’s work, it’s tough to categorize the group itself. Think indie-house-hip-hop-90′s-electronica. Sort of.
Run Dan Run – Lovesick Animal
Charleston, South Carolina
Genre: Indie, Rock
Run Dan Run may have started as a simple, fun project between two founding members and friends Dan McCurry and Nick Jenkins in 2006, but it wasn’t long before third bandmate Ash Hopkins joined, and the group became a full on, touring band. Run Dan Run has released two albums and an EP, most recently 2010′s “Normal.” The band opts for a true indie approach, recording many of their tracks themselves in their living room, lending themselves to a heartwarming, vintage feel you’re sure to fall in love with.
Radical Something – Be Easy (ft. Kinetics)
Los Angeles, California
Genres: Hip Hop, Rock, Reggae
Rather than give their real names, the members of Radical Something go by Loggy, Josh Cocktail, and Big Read. Continuing the mystery, the group gives little to no information on themselves online, opting for a retro-connection with their fans. What we do know is with songs like “Be Easy,” reminiscent of early Slightly Stoopid, their sound is full of vibes that scream California, and that the band’s relaxed, carefree style is infectious.
Jason Myles Goss – Red Letter Man
Genres: Rock, Indie
Jason Myles Goss has always believed in a do-it-yourself approach to music. He has released three studio albums and a live EP, and his newest effort, “Radio Dial,” is set to be available June 17th. Goss began his endevors at Oberlin College, where he completed his undergraduate studies before fully focusing on his solo career. Citing Elliot Smith and Bob Dylan as major influences, Jason Myles Goss music evokes a feeling of nostalgia and contemplation, perfect for a late-night wind down.
The Burning Hotels – Beard
Genres: Electronica, Pop
The Burning Hotels almost comes across as an 80s tribute band. They’re music is eerily similar to pop music at the time, like the music that skyrocketed MTV to major success when it first launched. Key members Chance Morgan and Matt Mooty supply the majority of the song writing on self-titled LP, which is going to get the remix/b-side treatment later this year. The Burning Hotels is pure, unfiltered electronic pop, so get your dancing shoes on.
The Black Cadillacs – Run Run
Genres: Rock, Alternative, Blues
The Black Cadillacs, fresh off the June 5th release of their album “Run,” aren’t looking to slow down now. This summer is packed with tour dates across the country, as the group looks to spread the word on their brand of gritty guitar rock, which features six members – two guitars and organ included – and is heavily influenced by the likes of the Rolling Stones, the Who, and Jack White. Three years in the making, The Black Cadillacs seem primed to burst on the scene very soon.
Lotus – Blacklight Sunflare
Genres: Dance, Electronica, Rock
Lotus has developed a passionate fanbase due to their deligent touring schedule. From psych-rock festivals to headlining electronic concerts, Lotus has built a following over 87,000 strong on Facebook from the ground up. With their most recent release, free to stream on their website, Lotus has taken a stronger turn into the world of electronica, featuring more synths and samples than earlier efforts. Lotus can be seen this summer July 13th at Camp Bisco, and July 21st at All Good Fest.
This Month’s Art Work:
The artwork featured in this month’s issue was drawn up compliments of Medness, “who loves doodling on the corners of books, ogling at guitar maestros and flipping on skateboards. The quirky and random ideas that swarm in his head takes refuge in a world known as Ahmericarnation, where they are executed in his works of illustrations, branding & identity, and other graphic design projects. If you’d like to drop by that world for some honest and collaborative fun, or any kind of creative work, drop him a message.”
You can check out more of his work at http://be.net/ahmericarnation
Thanks for checking out this month’s issue of Back of the Rack, and don’t forget to support your favorite artists from the issue. Here’s to a great start to your Summer, and we’ll see you next month!
Dean Goranites | Associate Editor