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.

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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 (twice!), Los Angeles, Brighton (UK) and Fort Erie (Ontario).

Evan Flory-Barnes, “I’m Out,” Seattle
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Simply, this track is an example of music mastery. The Emerald City’s Evan Flory-Barnes is part-composer, part-front man and part-full orchestra. Additionally, on this song especially, the artist is a therapist of sorts, imbuing the power upon his audience to set boundaries and accept the possibility of walking away from situations that don’t serve you. In short, Flory-Barnes assures us, it’s okay to say, “I’m out!”

Proud And Nasty, “Organ Licker,” Seattle
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What a debut from Proud And Nasty! Fronted by organist, Michael Zabrek, this project is accentuated by the guitar styling of Jimmy James (known for his work in the chart-topping group, Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio). Together, Zabrek and James are a standout duo and all the years of jamming together and listening to music in Seattle clubs like The Sea Monster Lounge have certainly paid off.

Austin Ward, “Big Technology,” Los Angeles
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Austin Ward has that sweet gift. It’s comprised both of mystery, musicianship and allure with a touch of sorrow. Put all together, they make up the recipe of an excellent pop tune. Ward, based in Los Angeles, doesn’t disappoint on this track, either. It begins thoughtful, even forlorn, but kicks up a notch like an airplane finding its altitude. Propelled by the drums and Ward’s cresting vocals, we kiss the blue-grey sky.

CIEL, “The Shore,” Brighton
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CIEL’s single, “The Shore,” is the song you put on after you’ve drawn the shades. You’ve lit a few candles. You’ve made room in the center of your living room. You sit cross-legged on the rug and you close your eyes and see bright lines of fiery light. Suddenly new smells hit your nostrils. You imagine someone feeding someone else green grapes. As you delve deeper into the vision, you forget if the clock said 3pm or 3am. Does it matter? Does it matter? Does it matter?

DJ Shub, “The Social (feat. Phoenix,” Fort Erie
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The argument could be made that a song like this is more important than any history book. As each day passes, it seems that what we learned as children is nowhere near as comprehensive as we maybe were led to believe (at best). Imagine reading about the Revolutionary War and interspersing the curriculum with “The Social (feat. Phoenix)” from DJ Shub (the artist known as, “The Godfather of PowWowStep”). Now that would be progress.

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