JSWISS is an youthful emcee and breath of fresh air to the hip hop world. Fans of hip hop’s “Golden Age” in the 90s and artists like Talib Kweli, The Roots and A Tribe Called Quest will love what this lyricist has to offer, as will anyone who appreciates quality content from the heart.
With clever wordplay, positive messages and an infectious energy that drives an exciting live show, JSWISS, who Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival producer Brooklyn Bodega calls “a great representative of the future of the culture,” appeals to hip hop purists and new hip hop audiences alike.
Growing up in the New York City suburbs of Dobbs Ferry, NY and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism from UNC-Chapel Hill, gives JSWISS a different perspective from most rappers. Mix that with a strong love for hip hop culture and understanding of its history, and you’ve got a once-in-a-lifetime artist. Since releasing his first mixtape in 2009, while a student at UNC, Swiss has gained fans worldwide and received acclaim from music authorities such as 2DopeBoyz, The Source, Complex Magazine, Hip Hop DX, RESPECT Magazine, Bleu Magazine & much more.
JSWISS has shared the stage with the likes of Rakim, The Roots, Big K.R.I.T., 2 Chainz and Asher Roth, performed at the legendary Apollo Theatre in Harlem, the famed Preservation Hall in New Orleans, and SOBs in Manhattan, and worked with the likes of Kooley High, Brown Bag AllStars and soul singers Maya Azucena and Karen Bernod.
JSWISS' "Awthenticity" LP reached fans worldwide and received acclaim from The Source, 2Dopeboyz and more for its soulful, infectious instrumentals and catchy hooks paired with poignant and sometimes brutally honest lyrics.
North Star Media, LLC
Two bearded purveyors of loud who are delighted to represent the antithesis of a primped and polished Metrosexual. Billed as "Seattle's Only Rock Duo", they crank out lo-fi, high-octane, pure rock and roll that sounds like arena-shaking anthems being played in a neighbor's basement or garage. Asked by writer Trent Moorman to describe Hobosexual’s sound, guitarist Ben Harwood summed it up as “Bearded glory. I also love the idea of the 1980s. Not necessarily the actual decade or reality of the 1980s, but more the one-liners, like when Schwarzenegger throws a steam pipe through the chest of his assailant at the end of Commando and says, ‘Let off some steam.’ That whole rhetoric, over-the-top, Reaganomic banter will never be seen or heard again.”
My name is William Boreing, Front man for Stocklyn. We are a Texas band, we play Rock'n Roll and we mean it.
We've all been playing around lubbock since we could convince bar owners to let us in with X's on our hands. Making our living playing our instruments and entertaining Lubbock as best we could. We have all toured with various State wide and National level bands. But at some point I grew a bit weary of the side man role. I still loved playing guitar and I tried to mean every note I played, put my heart into it. But there was always an itch.
So I started (or rather kept) writing for myself. I've always been hugely influenced by Led Zeppelin, Wolfmother, AC/DC, Aerosmith and several other of the greats. But While playing lead for Red & the Vityls, I had an opportunity to really immerse myself into Texas music... not Texas country but Texas music I found that the music I wrote for myself, the music I loved had a home and people who loved and welcomed it.
So I got with my best friends. A small crew but guys that would die for each other. And I decided we would make music for us. By our rules and within our means.
We never went without. Once we started doing it all ourselves a ton of people kicked in in a BIG way! After contacting several local venues to track in their rooms after 3am when the doors lock, or on their closed days I was contacted by Don Caldwell. Talk about a lifesaver! The guy said he believed in the project and wanted to help in anyway he could including letting me use his studio at night when everyone else left free of charge. We had already decided that we wouldn't sacrifice quality for easy at any stage and without this leg up I don't think we could have accomplished that.
With the help of Justin Thomas Williams, Ryan Garza, Seth Ramirez, Justin Lentz, a whole slew of quality people from the Blue Light we did it.
We never gave up on the dream of the highest quality. We didn't have enough money to rent a lot of things we needed for as long as we would have needed, so if we needed a Marshall sound and couldn't get it we Built a Marshall. If we really needed a u87 and couldn't get it we built a mic. Me and Justin Locked ourselves away for countless hours fueled by a desire to "do it right" and with a "why not us" attitude about trying to be great.
When it was done we were Melanee, we had 6 tracks we were really proud of, and even a couple in studio videos!
From there we burned CDs ourselves, made a stamp to have our name on em (having spent every resource on the product already) and started playing shows. Opening for anyone who would have us and playing for anyone who would listen. We've always had the attitude of "do it right" so every show was our last and if both we and the crowd weren't drenched in sweat when it was said and done I chalked it as a failure.
But the response was incredible! I can't say enough about the Texas scene, the Lubbock scene especially, and the Blue Light and Office specifically,
The project was always about making music for us, making music with my friends, and doing the thing as well as we could.
As luck would have it our little record found it's way to sleepwalker studios via Jeremy Boreing where, upon overhearing it played, it caught the ear of David Hodges ans Steve Solomon who run the joint.
David got in touch with me and I started saving, painting fences, selling all my earthly belongings and putting in sweat to have enough money to get my butt to California and sign a record deal.
We retracked the record with me playing almost every instrument, still keeping as many of my friends and original parts as we could. It really mattered to me that it be the best it could without loosing itself and it's roots in great music by great friends.
More recently we were picked up by Scott Weiland & the Wildabouts' camp and given the opportunity to tour the US with 'em. LA to NY to FL, Corpus Christi to Boston and everywhere in between, myself Blake Vera and Seth Ramirez, playing homemade Rock'n roll as hard as we can, and never loosing the get sweaty mentality. We are so grateful to be doing what we love, and getting to share it with so many. The response has been amazing!
"They're an audacious guitar driven strut. It's loud, sweaty, near the edge of excess, and on the cusp of chaos; it's the way rock and roll was meant to be played."
-Thomas D. Mooney, New Slang
In late 2012, Wild Ones was on the verge of collapse. Guitarist Clayton Knapp had blown out an eardrum, the band’s original drummer left the group and his replacement, Seve Sheldon, was in the hospital with a punctured lung, practicing songs on a drum pad with a tube sticking out of his chest. The band’s members had funneled all of their money into a debut record, Keep It Safe, that had taken a year to write and nine months to record and mix. Fans and followers began to wonder if that record would ever see the light of day. It was make-or-break time.
Wild Ones made.
Instead of folding in the face of financial drama, injuries and personnel changes, Wild Ones took a deep breath and adjusted to its new surroundings. This band is used to adjusting. Since its formation in 2010, Wild Ones has insisted on operating as a DIY collective. The band recorded and mixed its debut as a group (with help from engineer David Pollock). Sometimes considering each member’s opinion meant endless revisits and tweaks to the album’s tracks. The process was time-consuming, but it was also worth it. “That was a reaction to the bands we had been in before,” says lead vocalist Danielle Sullivan. “This band was born out of our desire to have a democratic, all-inclusive music-making process.”
Going it alone—even the artwork on Keep It Safe was created by Wild Ones’ keyboardist Thomas Himes—comes with its fair share of challenges. Most of Wild Ones’ debut was recorded in a two-story East Portland warehouse rehearsal space, where the band was surrounded on all sides by rock acts like Quasi and the Thermals. Wild Ones would get to their practice space around 8 am to record, often grabbing quick takes between thunderous drum solos from down the hall. “Somewhere on the record, if you listen close enough, you can probably hear the metal band next door,” Himes says.
“When we went in that room in March, it was raining,” says Knapp. “When we finished recording in October, it was raining.”
Keep It Safe, the album that finally emerged after well over a year of gestation, is bigger than the sum of its meticulously gathered parts. Even now, the band’s sound continues to evolve. Wild Ones’ members come from vastly disparate musical backgrounds—guitarist Nick Vicario was a Portland punk icon long before he turned 18; bassist Max Stein is a classical composer—and all of their experiences inform pop music that is influenced by everything from German techno to American R&B. These are sounds that don’t usually come packaged together, but in the able hands of Wild Ones, they seem like a perfectly natural fit.
Bridge Nine Records
When it comes to Candy Hearts' open-book policy, that book is essentially a diary. Since conceiving the band while attending college in upstate New York in 2010, frontwoman Mariel Loveland has used the band as an outlet to vent her feelings and frustrations in honest and relatable ways by way of familiar imagery and revealing, recognizable failings of short-term romance, empathetic tragedies channeled through '90s alternative-soaked pop-rock. It's a maneuver fully realized on their sophomore full-length,All The Ways You Let Me Down.
"This album really spans the whole spectrum of a relationship," says Loveland, "from being single and looking for somebody, to finding someone and then breaking up." All The Ways You Let Me Downdetails the trek, pinpointing the highs like building emotional bonds during car rides ("The Dream's Not Dead", "Brooklyn Bridge") as well as the lows of unsureness and/or desperation that comes with any escalating relationship ("Michigan", "Coffee With My Friends", "Playing With Fire"). "Coffee With My Friends" and "Playing With Fire" also highlight the relationship one develops with themselves, a theme that subtly inflects "The One To Get Me Out" and other moments on the album.
While coming off emotionally wounded, occasionally downtrodden and heavily introspective, Candy Hearts - currently filled out by bassist John Clifford and drummer Matthew Ferraro - have always bundled these sentiments with hook-filled, bubbly, poppy inclinations. "It's a cool vibe for me," Loveland says of All The Ways. "It definitely has a more alternative and pop vibe than our last EP [2012's The Best Ways To Disappear]. It feels like Taylor Swift meets the Breeders, and that's something we were always going for. It's a lot less pop-punk; it's just like a straight-up pop-rock record."
New Found Glory guitarist Chad Gilbert, who took on the band a couple years ago after overhearing their music from a bandmate on NFG's tour bus, has helped polish these intentions as producer for All The Ways You Let Me Down (as well as The Best Ways). He's also helped expose the band to broader audiences, handpicking them as the first act on his Bridge Nine imprint, Violently Happy Records, and taking them on a couple tours, including the upcoming UK Pop Punk's Not Dead run in the fall.
"It's always really great when we work with him," Loveland says. "We have a good vibe together. He really understands what we're going for, musically. There are no arguments, and he definitely helps bring out the best parts of songs and shape them to be something that is definitely more catchy."
A cameo from Jordan Pundik on "Something's Missing" also provides a pleasant collaboration between the bands, especially with the NFG frontman acting as an influence on Loveland's musical upbringing. "I was psyched," Loveland says of Pundik's vignette. "There are only a couple singersâ€”the Beatles, Alanis Morissetteâ€”when I was younger where I was like, 'Man, that is something amazing.'"
Although Loveland says she would love for millions of people the world over to hear and buy All The Ways You Let Me Down, she does so with a laugh, aware of the struggle it takes to gain as much fame as Candy Hearts' pop-rock predecessors and peers. However many people hear it, though, she'll ensure that the message is still as clear and honest as possibleâ€”to both fans and themselves. "I've always wanted this band to be completely true to ourselves," Loveland says, "That's just what our band has always been about."
Einstellung formed in 2003 as an outlet for it's members to blend their record collections, with a nod to Spiritualized, Neu, My Bloody Valentine and Black Sabbath amongst others. Not attempting to reinvent the wheel, Einstellung's manifesto is to enjoy each other's company, produce music that makes them laugh/cry and through the use of dynamics and texture, create an all-engulfing sense of now.
Playing their distinctive brand of reverb drenched garage, Jet Trash was named one of San Francisco's best up and coming bands of 2014 by Deli Magazine. Combining vintage sounds of Sixties Pop, Surf, and Lo-Fi with a modern D.I.Y. aesthetic, Jet Trash has begun to attract a fervent crowd in the City of Fog. “There’s about a million garage bands running around San Francisco these days, which makes it really difficult to separate the cream from the crop at times. Luckily, San Francisco’s Jet Trash somehow showed some promise and rose to the top of the mountain.” says Russell Jelinik, editor of The Bay Bridged. With spirited live performances throughout the Bay Area, Jet Trash has quickly generated a buzz culminating with a performance at this year’s Noise Pop festival in San Francisco.
The group was spawned from their desire to re-create raw & wild sounds like legendary west coast stalwarts The Sonics. Keith Shughrou (lead guitar) and Paul Kemp (rhythm guitar & vocals) provide a lively twin guitar attack that at times feels like a tidal wave crashing down on the beach. Marshall Fassino (bass & vocals) and Robby Justesen (drums) smooth out the sands beneath with their solid and infectious rhythm section grooves, all the while the vocals striking a perfect balance between sweet and razor-sharp.
After posting a handful of self-recorded demos online, Jet Trash caught the attention of veteran producer and engineer Andy Freeman (Eisley, Max Bemis of Say Anything) who was impressed with their unabashed use of melody and pop hooks. “They have well crafted songs; a lot of strong musical themes which I don’t typically hear in many garage acts.” Soon, the band and Freeman found themselves encamped at San Francisco’s legendary Coast Recorders. The result is a debut EP both unique in its approach to retro rock and decidedly confident as a first artistic statement, one that the band plans to take on the road for their first West Coast tour this summer in support of the new record.
Originally from the San Fernando Valley and eventually relocating to Echo Park, CA, Corners began playing high-energy shows around Los Angeles in 2011. Influenced by late 1970s punk and 1980s post-punk, Maxed Out On Distractions, is a synth-inspired album in the Internet age. The album title itself is a reflection of living in the Internet age and literally not having any room in your life for more distractions. Singer Tracy Bryant explains, “The album title relates to the music in the way we approached making the album itself…blocking out everything else and focusing on making pure music, not being distracted with the constant addiction that social networking sites have become.”
401K Music, Inc.
The New York based Spires seemingly came out of nowhere last year, the rock band burst onto the scene last Summer with a Residency at Pianos on the Lower East Side. After winning over audiences and media alike with this stunning entrance and highly praised live sets at the Northside Festival and CMJ they followed it up with shows with Temples, The Horrors, Toy, Noah and the Whale, Allah-Las, Widowspeak, Caveman and Hookworms.
Their debut single "Candy Flip"(b/w "Comic Book) was released by 401K Music in the US and on the Too Pure Singles Club in the UK to great critical acclaim from both sides of the Atlantic. BBC 6 Music made it their single of the week, KEXP championed the band and featured them in session, the NME, The New York Times, Brooklyn Vegan, all raved about the band and the single which was produced by Connor Hanwick of The Drums and mixed by Claudius Mittendorfer (Muse, Johnny Marr, Alberta Cross, Temples).
The Greater Goods Co.
Caspian is a rock band from Beverly, Massachusetts, a seaside town 20 minutes north of Boston. Nobody sings. Most of the time we play heavy, other times quite soft. We always try to play with heart. So far we have recorded three albums. The process is always evolving - Thanks for exploring it with us.
Since 2004, CASPIAN have performed over 650 concerts, bringing their music to 40+ countries stretching over 4 continents. They released their fourth studio album, "Waking Season" in 2012, and a companion EP "Hymn For The Greatest Generation" in November 2013.
The band are currently writing their 4th full-length album in Beverly, MA, set for release in 2015.