Five to Discover: Acts You Need To Know

In this – the age of the Coronavirus – many of us are stuck at home, isolated with only TV screens and the glow of laptops and phones to keep us connected. In other words, there isn’t much to do.

Videos by American Songwriter

However, one thing that is available to us all is the wide world of recorded music. And now is as good a time as ever to get to know some bands you may not have heard of but ones that you will assuredly enjoy, dear reader.

So, buckle up and get ready for a digital ride around Seattle, Spokane (Washington), Ottawa (Ontario), Chicago and Tijuana.

Bread & Butter, “Psycho World,” Seattle
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It’s hard to be droll. Mostly because it’s not something you can really try to do. You have to talk around the humor. And Seattle rock ‘n’ roll band, Bread & Butter, is one of those groups that utilize humor and lightheartedness to its great benefit. This is only possible, of course, because the band is made up of such expert players. Their songs always sound compelling even before you begin to dissect a single note or syllable. Put the band on, bop and grin.

Mall Daze, “Ten Favorites,” Spokane
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Reminiscent of artists like Alphaville, Cyndi Lauper or The Cure, this new wave band from Spokane (by way of Alaska) is prepared to bring back the dreamy-hazy-dark-depressive nights we all knew so well before Smart TVs and cannabis dispensaries. Nevertheless, Mall Daze hypnotizes as it delivers a droning, thoughtful lyric in your ears gone thirsty for this velvet sonic pastiche.

Asuquomo, “Don’t Be Scared,” Ottawa
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Spastic and piercing, aggressive and personal, intriguing and entrancing. All the while the emcee, Asuquomo, tells you that throughout the experience, it’s going to be alright. In this life, he reminds, “Don’t be scared.” We’re all going to come out better thanks to this track, this video, this energy, this artistic truth. This work is captivating, challenging and, we hope, one of many the Canadian rapper creates.

Wallace Tallman, “Repa(i)r[then]ation,” Chicago
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A lovely song with an even lovelier message. Reparations is not just a theory, it’s an important reality that could and should be put in practice. What it looks like? Very hard to say. But nuance is not our enemy as we force into the future. Yes, practice and action are much harder than theory. But it’s important to talk about difficult concepts – I think we can all agree on that. And when our artists bring the important topics of conversation to their songs (and song titles), we’re all better off. Standing ovation, Wallace Tallman.

DFMK, “Mal Presentimiento,” Tijuana
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The sign of a great punk song is if it makes you want to get the fuck up out of your seat and move. And by “move,” I mean break something. A wall, a political system, a chain of oppression, a vase you never liked holding flowers you never wanted. Whatever it is, the exorcising of rage through music is a time-tested way to feel better – if for no other reason than to break a sweat. DFMK inspires.

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