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 that you will assuredly enjoy, dear reader.
So, buckle up and get ready for a digital ride around Seattle, Los Angeles (three times, wow!) and Portland.
LIV, “Black Girl Unbothered,” Seattle
To perk your ears up and take in a little bit of hard-earned wisdom delivered rhythmically is the essence of why people love and have loved hip-hop music for decades. It’s why it is likely the most popular form of culture in the world. Hip-hop has a reputation for being the street’s CNN, the reportage and stories of the people. Here, with LIV, that tradition is carried on in its purest form.
Lyric Jones, “Face To Face,” Los Angeles
After listening to Lyric Jones for about 15 seconds, you get the sense that you wouldn’t want to get into an argument with her. There’s that famous scene in the Matt Damon flick, Good Will Hunting, in which one of Damon’s friends gets into trouble with a snotty Harvard student. Damon’s character comes in to assist his friend, owning the argument and getting the last laugh. It’s easy to imagine Lyric Jones having that some prowess amongst her crew of compatriots. She’s the ultimate exclamation point.
Mz Neon, “Cop Fucker,” Los Angeles
The great thing about music is that there is so much of it and to each their own. And while we recognize Mz Neon may not be for everyone, we want to acknowledge her skill of making a statement, putting herself and her work out in the world and trying to add to an important narrative. Art is supposed to call into question societal errors. Here, Mz Neon continues that tradition while smirking the whole way home.
Model Child, “Cuckoo,” Los Angeles
Model Child must have found a portal into another dimension. The artist seems to have access to some of the stickiest melodies and lyrics. Model Child, who has written with some of pop’s biggest stars, including Brittney Spears, knows what the camera wants just as what pop radio wants. Here, using the musician’s own moniker, Model Child makes going mad look glorious with colorful, mind-bending moments.
Kassi Valazza, “Johnny Dear,” Portland
Country music fans know that one of the best aspects of the genre is that it’s a paradox. In one way, it never changes. Three chords and the truth. In another way, it can’t help but change. Portland, Oregon’s Kassi Valazza fits that unified dichotomy perfectly. The Pacific Northwest artist is as traditional as it comes despite not residing in hills of the southland. But regardless of location, the music hits home like all the best do in its own personal way.