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 Tacoma (Washington), New Orleans, Amsterdam, Atlanta and Seattle.

Mirrorgloss, “I Feel Free,” Tacoma
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Just as you put on “I Feel Free,” the lights dim. You’re now in a cushioned booth and you’ve just finished a Cosmo. A hand comes from the dark and grabs yours. Suddenly, you’re on the dance floor. A disco ball shines down on your grin. Hips shake. Fingers touch. Hair splashes across your cheeks. You can send your thank you card to Mirrorgloss in the morning – after a late brunch.

Video Age, “Shadow On The Wall,” New Orleans
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You’ve lit the couple candles you could find. Now it’s their glow and just the light from the street outside coming in the window. You put on your favorite radio station and Video Age plays. The song unwainds and when you switch the station, it’s Video Age again. “You’re just a shadow on the wall,” the band sings. A plate of steak and eggs appears in your hands. You close your eyes, the song ends and you bounce into another surreal daydream.

(Photo by Alex H. Payne)

Nana Adjoa, “No Room,” Amsterdam
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Have you ever been inside a diary? Skipped from word to word, syllable to syllable? Absorbed the secrets like a sponge and spat them out through your shining eyes? That’s what it’s like listening to Nana Adjoa. Each clink of percussion, each breaking vocal line, she has selflessly offered the key into her journal and unlocked the sights and sounds. All you have to do is run like a breeze over and under each idea.

Mattiel, “Looking Down The Barrel Of A Gun,” Atlanta
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There are lots of people who like the Beastie Boys. But it’s always great to meet a Beastie Boys fan. You don’t have to know the entire catalogue, you just have to get the ethic – the snarl. And Atlanta’s Mattiel is all snarl, from black eyelash to extended shimmering fingernail to the delivery of each line from the classic New York City trio. It takes guts to take on this jam, but Mattiel’s might just be filled with a beloved NYC plain slice (aka cheese pizza) given this tremendous performance.

Beverly Crusher, “Pills,” Seattle
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Speaking of pills, there is something supremely addictive about the music that Beverly Crusher makes. The band’s latest single, “Scared,” is permanently seared on the sonic side of my brain. And their most recent, “Pills,” is doing its best to make some extra room. The band’s vocal hooks are just that: hooks. And my mind is a fish on the line. I guess what I’m saying is, “Got ‘Pills’?”

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