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Unsigned Spotlight: Night Like This (Pop Punk/Alternative/Acoustic)

How often do you hear the phrase “less is more”? Do you believe those words? Do you apply them to certain aspects of your life? Every once in a while a band comes along that reminds you just how much sheer beauty can be created within the musical ideology of minimalism. Enter Des Moines, Iowa pop-punk/acoustic trio Night Like This. A surprisingly overlooked quality that many of the most popular and beloved artists in modern history share is that multiple members contribute vocals. (The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Fleetwood Mac…

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Album Review: Justin Courtney Pierre ‘In the Drink’

When Motion City Soundtrack took an indefinite hiatus in 2016, fans were hit. Hard. Right smack in the face. Especially me. I was hoping for a 20th anniversary of the band (co-founded by Justin Courtney Pierre and Joshua Cain in 1997), but alas, they hit the pause button just a year short of that milestone. Known for their incredibly catchy beats, the Minneapolis alternative rock band managed to find a perfect balance between poppy synths, and dark, dismal, often dysfunctional lyrics. The clouds have cleared, and Justin Courtney Pierre is…

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Unsigned Spotlight: Guss Royall (Waterloo, IA)

In recent years we’ve seen a notable and refreshing surge in bands wearing their classic rock influences on their sleeve, helping connect the next generation to many of the greats we and our parents listened to. Greta Van Fleet is a large-scale example, but another up-and-coming quartet is bringing back classic bluesy-rock vibes and mixing it with their own modern alt-rock sound for a highly memorable blend. Enter Waterloo, Iowa’s Guss Royall. The “about” section of the band’s Facebook page makes it clear in just a few words what Guss…

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Alternative Features Indie New Discovery News Singer/Songwriter Unsigned Spotlight 

Unsigned Spotlight: Bernie & The Wolf

This week’s edition of Unsigned Spotlight shines on Chicago-based indie rock duo Bernie & The Wolf, comprised of singer/songwriter Bernadette “Bernie” Conant and Erik “The Wolf” Lobo. B&TW’s sound is a mix of chaotic alt-rock and indie rock with a few math elements, all balanced with the shimmering beauty of the vocals and occasional acoustic guitar. It combines to create a sound that is very much the duo’s own and firmly stands out from the crowd. Hot on the heels of their 2017 LP Catch Some, Bernie & The Wolf…

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Alternative Features New Discovery News Rock Unsigned Spotlight 

Unsigned Spotlight: After Arizona (Rock/Alternative)

This week’s Unsigned Spotlight takes us over to Lincoln, Nebraska alt-rock quintet After Arizona. Tinged with the classic grittiness of Midwestern rock & roll and the heart-on-your-sleeve honesty of modern emo, After Arizona have formed a sound listeners won’t forget anytime soon. Listening to the band’s 2016 single “I Can’t Do This On My Own” (watch the lyric video below!), you’re equally amazed at how refined the band’s sound already is and excited at what future releases will bring. This song is a fast-paced banger with lyrics that deal in…

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Alternative Features New Discovery News Pop Punk Singer/Songwriter Unsigned Spotlight 

Unsigned Spotlight: Latenightsinmycar (Pop-Punk/Acoustic)

For many artists and fans alike, music isn’t just a source of pleasure – it’s also an essential release, a temporary escape from the world, an unfailingly loyal friend that’s always there to help you through life’s tougher moments. Like it’s personally reaching out to connect with the listener. Relatability and passion personified – that’s what you get from every last moment spent with Wheaton, IL pop-punk/acoustic act Latenightsinmycar. The band’s 2018 EP, titled Daydreams, deals in such intricacies as past relationships and dealing with loss but also the hope and…

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Unsigned Spotlight: We Were Once (Alt Rock – North Carolina)

There are so many beauties in music. It transcends time. It transcends age. It transcends genre. It transcends language. It also transcends religion. Fayetteville, North Carolina’s We Were Once may be a Christian rock band at heart, but this is a band and sound I would highly recommend to any alt-rock fan regardless of your religious beliefs. We Were Once released their debut EP Piece By Piece in September 2014 and have made big waves throughout both their local rock scene and the Christian music scene, winning Rockshop’s Battle of…

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Alternative New Discovery News Rock Unsigned Spotlight 

UNSIGNED SPOTLIGHT: Dreamhouse (Milwaukee Alt-Rock)

You know that extremely rare but amazing feeling that comes when you hit play on a new band’s song and you realize about five seconds in that it’s love at first listen? In this edition of Unsigned Spotlight, we’re sharing the gold we struck upon finding Milwaukee alt-rock powerhouses Dreamhouse. With their own brand of soaring alternative rock with punk and pop undertones, Dreamhouse leave you in no doubt they’re here to stay with a sound that’s both highly refined and clearly defined. 2017 saw the band follow up their…

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Album Reviews Alternative News Rock 

Album Review: Blue October – ‘I Hope You’re Happy’

“I hope you’re happy” is usually a snarky, slap-in-the-face retort, but for Texas band Blue October, it’s a genuine well wishing, and a genuinely fresh outlook.  An outlook that for many years, has been dark, dismal, and yes — pure rock. The 2018 release of I Hope You’re Happy, via Up/Down Records, and leadsinger Justin Furstenfeld’s label, Brando Records, is out Aug.17. Sobriety sounds good on the often tumultuous Blue October soundscapes, although — it is a stark contrast to what many fans may be used to. Furstenfeld doesn’t label…

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UNSIGNED SPOTLIGHT: Secret Tree Fort

Standing out as an acoustic artist can be tricky. Some folks hear the term “acoustic” and immediately think slow guitar plucks, soft vocals, earnest lyrics, and that’s about it. Skyler Truth, aka Secret Tree Fort, blows that perception away with his special hybrid of raw acoustic emo and undeniable pop-punk catchiness that chills and thrills in equal measure. Secret Tree Fort’s 2018 EP, titled Willow, sees Truth pouring his deepest, often darkest emotions on the line for everyone to see and feel. These five songs are built on deeply introspective…

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