The Bynars are a Boston synthpop group with a bit of a retro-rock vibe. However, the “synthpop” tag isn’t a perfect title for them as the synth voices are only a part of their sound and not what defines them. While it’s definitely still synth-y, it’s not as “electric” or synth-focused as most artists in the genre. Comparisons can be made to artists like Weezer, Friendly Fires, and even Duran Duran. This video is worth the loading time, as it is interactive and will be a different experience for everyone. It’s a creative, viral way of getting a song out there for the masses. Click here for the video.
Shaun Escoffery is a modern soul artist from London. He is also a major stage actor and has played Mufasa in The Lion King on the West End. He had mild success with a few tracks early in the 2000’s. This is his second hit after his initial success with his song, “Space Rider.” He has headlined gigs around the world and toured with major artists like Eryka Badu. His voice has a very smooth, controlled sound that any soul artist should envy. This video is from a live performance for MTV.
“Days Like This”
So Percussion are one of the premiere ensembles in new music. They have performed all over the world and recently performed at Carnegie Hall for the 75th birthday celebration of composer Steve Reich. The review of the concert can be found here. They primarily use more traditional percussive instruments and elements, but aren’t afraid to step into more unusual territory for their sounds as well. There are several similar successful modern ensembles that use everyday materials to create professional works in a STOMP-like fashion, but a new trend with the widespread access to Final Cut Pro has been to create a song on video in lieu of an entire ensemble. These “sample” videos are equally innovative and interesting.
This is a Swiss drum corps called Top Secret doing a show in the rain. Their choreography and the attention to detail while still maintaining complex rhythms is incredible. They have been invited to perform at the tattoo in Edinburgh, Scotland as one of the first groups from outside the British Commonwealth to ever perform there. A tattoo is a ceremonial military display, usually consisting of a drum corps and marching. Their success in Scotland inspired them to start their own tattoo in their hometown of Basel. Watch in the second video as they light their sticks on fire.
Performance in the rain
Sticks on fire
When Dave Grohl stepped out from behind the drums of Nirvana and into the frontman role of the Foo Fighters, a groundbreaking band was formed. Foo Fighters are one of the rare bands that can convert people that aren’t fans of their genre to like their music. The modern hard rock world is not known for it’s complexity and musicianship, but they find a way to infuse complexities and musical technique into the songs that bring in the more snobbish music fan. This is their newest single from an album released in April called Wasting Light.
Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears is a 4 year old soul band with grooves that harken back several decades. These tunes will instantly draw the easy comparisons to the bigger names like James Brown, but what makes this band special is their reverence for the roots of the music. Just because they’re a full band with horns doesn’t mean they don’t keep the details they learned from the delta blues greats. Music to an audiophile’s ears. The band started in Austin, TX, and have played major festivals like SXSW, toured with artists like Spoon, and released two full albums. This track is from their most recent record, a 2011 release called Scandalous.
“Livin’ In The Jungle”
The New York Voices are one of the premiere vocal jazz groups in the world. Their tenor, Darmon Meader is also one of the most accomplished vocal jazz arrangers and improvisational soloists in the world. His scat on this recording may be the best solo you’ll ever hear over these changes. Their sound is not only well arranged, but well performed with locked in harmonies and attention to detail. The talent level sets them well above most other groups in the genre. This is an arrangement of the famous John Coltrane tune of the same name. It is a great example of a vocalise, meaning they put words to a melody previously absent of lyrics. The track is from a 1991 album called Hearts of Fire. Also, check out Meader’s incredible hair in “Traffic Jam.”