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, Portland, San Diego, Los Angeles and Charlestown (South Carolina).
Parisalexa, “Chocolate,” Seattle
The popular NBC Songland contestant recently released her latest record, 2 Real, and one of the hit singles from the album is this celebration of body, style and the “blueprint from the motherland.” Paris, who hails from the Emerald City, is making waves locally and nationally, even though she’s barely allowed to drink a glass of wine legally. For the singer and songwriter who calls musicians like Brandy her heroes, she’s surely inspiring those talents that will come after her, too.
Chad, “Take Me Back,” Portland
The possibilities of music continue to astound. In one moment the sound waves can feel brusque, barraging your eardrums. In another they can seem like a fluffy pink blanket pulled up over your feet. Listening to Portland’s Chad, I feel like I have that blanket up to my neck and everything’s okay. It’s a rare feeling these days and it’s one I’m grateful for.
Hey, Chels, “Clear,” San Diego
This band incorporates a slight – or, even, at times overt – video game feel to its sonic aesthetics and, as a child of the 90s, I’m all here for it. “Clear” is an excellent example of this. I feel like I’m having a pink champagne party inside a Gameboy Color, jumping up and down while hitting my head on ? blocks that give me more pink champagne. Rock on, San Diego!
Alfa, “Box of Letters,” Los Angeles
As soon as you hear Alfa “get all the crazy out” in the first few moments of this video, you’ll have a new fave. Her voice is soft, fluttery like dove wings and her sincerity is like a scarf with which you can keep your neck warm. This singer-songwriter is based in L.A. but comes to the city of Angels via the Philippines and while she’s already decorated as a songwriter, with various awards to her credit, it’s clear Alfa will continue to prove her prowess for years to come.
Sam Rae, “Head Rush,” Charleston
Sam Rae provides the final bookend to this five-song sonic tour of the country. There is perhaps no one better to have the final word. Rae is strong in her delivery but also considerate and empathetic somehow. She is tough love. She is the final gust that pushes the boat over the wave. Rae, originally from Iowa City, now resides in South Carolina where she mixes song with the clay of the earth.