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 the continental United States with stops in Seattle, St. Joseph (Missouri), Nashville, Chicago and New York City.
The Black Tones, “Ghetto Spaceship,” Seattle
Essential link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_lVF7-iBIo
Founded by twins Eva and Cedric Walker, this hard-hitting group is doing all it can to promote old fashioned, necessary rock ‘n’ roll. With chilling vibratos, drum beats that stick to your spine and songs that feature spiders, old second-hand stores and their grandparents’ striped pantaloons, The Black Tones are a household name in the Northwest due to their live performance prowess, catchy songwriting and unparalleled sibling charm.
Radkey, “Bend,” St. Joseph (Missouri)
Essential link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxPSCITi2m4
Sometimes, when you’re home for weeks on end and you’ve only gotten out of bed for the essential grocery store runs, you need something to put some pep in your step. Let Radkey be your alarm clock. This band has fingers in many riveting musical pies: pop, rock, punk, blues. The Midwestern three-piece is a welcomed kick in the pants and probably the best thing to play for cooking breakfast after 90 days in a row at home.
Adia Victoria, “Different Kind Of Love,” Nashville
Essential link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0yCkoLm3AKo
You’ve seen or dreamed of these images before: a bit of blue moonlight slicing the leaves of a tall, black branch in the middle of the night. Maybe a star or two blinks in the midnight expanse. Well, Adia Victoria bottles these moments for the potions that inspire her music. She’s a spell cast over a bubbling pot. She’s a cat hopping from rooftop to rooftop. She’s as compelling as a bolt of purple lightening.
White Mystery, “Paint Your Nails (REMIX),” Chicago
Essential link: https://whitemystery.bandcamp.com/track/paint-your-nails-remix
Named after the AirHead candy ??? flavor, this sibling duo group marked by their floppy curls of read hair, have been around for a few years but the band recently released a three-song EP of remixes that is worth highlighting now. The band, which has two-dozen releases to date, often features distorted guitars and hard-hit-splashing drums backing them. Here, though, the quirkier remixes represent another fun direction to sample.
Puck, “Good Friends (feat. Space People,” New York City
Essential link: https://soundcloud.com/k_puck/good-friends
Puck, who also plays keyboard for the wildly famous SZA, has a bouncy aesthetic that mixes with a voice that most resembles a plume of smoke. As of this minute, there isn’t much about the artist on the Internet besides a few songs and a shroud of keen curiosity. In this way, though, her music is that much more intriguing. We know we will hear a few sparing tunes now but we’re sure to here many more polished ones, sooner rather than later.