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 (two times!), New York City, Toronto and Los Angeles.

Iska Dhaaf, “Everybody Knows,” Seattle
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What a badass video and even more badass song. Vietnam madness mixed with some good ol’ Emerald City vibe. From the lead singer’s mouth to the troops and their entertainment, minds mesmerize. It’s an acid flashback we didn’t know we had in the catacombs of our brains. One we needed, truly (shout out Macklemore with the golf club). Iska Dhaaf fucking rocks. And this jam will probably be on rotation in your quarantine tonight.

Tomo Nakayama, “Bright and Blue,” Seattle
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Fresh off his collaboration with Dave Matthews for the Seattle S.M.A.S.H. benefit, we thought it appropriate to celebrate one of Tomo Nakayama’s sweetest songs here. The video is a true celebration of life, the little things most of all. It’s the kind of video and song where, if you were having a panic attack, you could take this in and feel better, easier. It’s a Bob Ross painting set to melody wrapped in a home movie.

Gem and Eye, “Lucky 2 Be,” New York City
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This brother and sister duo from the Big Apple makes music that has toes in several waters. There are soul overtones, electronic undertones and a middle buoyed by a love of dance music sensibilities. One gets the sense that if you were to give these two a few to-go containers and chopsticks, they’d come up with an ear-perking beat borne of a general love of melody and rhythm.

Savannah Ré, “Solid,” Toronto
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This track may make you break into spontaneous ballet in your apartment. There’s a soft exterior mixed with such a solid core to this song that it maybe both solidify your spirit and breathe life into your courage long gone dormant. A tear comes to your eye as your remember the love that may have gotten away. You wish you had it in your hands. But then you remember you do because love never truly leaves.

Shungudzo, “It’s A Good Day (To Fight The System),” Los Angeles
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Some songs are explosions. Some songs are Ferris wheels in the night skyline. And some songs are like roots that connect you into the earth, bring water to your bones and nourish. This song is like one of those. Shungudzo reminds that it’s always good to press against the powers at be. In fact, as our Fore Fathers wrote into our Constitution, it’s imperative. Let the roots sink in, soak it all up.

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