Off-mainstream mindset? Check — a SoCal native, Rachael decided to go against the grain and move… gasp… east on her 21st birthday, where she quickly made her mark on the Boston indie music scene, then victoriously returned to California. Touring with indie icons? Check — Tegan and Sara, we’re looking at you. A “whole package” deal? Check — this singer-songwriter comes with haunting vocals and a deeply human lyrical sensibility.
And since it’s time for the obligatory comparison to put Rachael’s music in context, we’ll just say she’s part Ingrid Michaelson, part Iron & Wine, part something else entirely, all dipped in the vocal magnetism of an early Sarah McLachlan.
We recently caught one of Rachael’s most powerful songs, Devil’s Thunder, on an episode of ABC’s Private Practice. The song, unfortunately, is yet to be released — but you can hear it on Rachael’s MySpace or settle for this crappy YouTube version.
Give Rachael’s latest album, Run All Night, a spin for a taste of this up-and-comer.
A stride-stopping hit from Brooklyn’s notoriously hit-or-miss indie music scene.
This week’s musical discovery takes us to Brooklyn, the grand stage where indie-folk-rock band Joanna Erdos & The Midnight Show gifts unsuspecting hipster audiences with supreme outstandingness.
(They also happen to be one of those last quintessentially “indie” bands left — think nada on Amazon, not even a two-liner Wikipedia page.)
From the keyboard magic to the fantastic vocals of lead-singer Joanna Erdos, The Midnight Show is indeed a rarity of talent. It’s also rare that we struggle to muster an appropriate comparison to better-known musical greats in order to put a band’s music in context. But, if we must: Imagine the low notes of Fionna Apple done right, the high notes of Rachael Yamagata layered over the equally excellent piano, all wrapped up in the musical aura of an early Tori Amos.
The Midnight Show is Joanna Erdos (vocals + piano), Jesse Krakow (bass + vocals), and Kevin March (drums + vocals).
Their ridiculously good self-titled debut album is available for the ridiculously low price of $8.91 on iTunes — so start practicing that “best indie band you’ve never heard” spiel for your next dinner party.
How to dodge mediocrity every Monday and boost your music street cred with the next big thing.
We’re starting something new: Monday Music Muse, a quick bite every Monday that helps you navigate the shoreless ocean of mediocrity and the small but nonetheless overwhelming puddle of goodness that is today’s music landscape. In other words, so much out there, so little time to dodge the bad and find the good, that we thought you may appreciate some help.
Every week, we’ll feature a lesser-known artist worthy of your time, ears and dollar.
So without further ado, let’s launch with half-French, half-Bulgarian New-York-based singer-songwriter Lionel Neykov. Between the soulful vocals, the deeply heartfelt lyrics and the acoustic guitar that churns out understated perfection, it’s easy to get boggled down in comparisons to Amos Lee, Jack Johnson and John Meyer.
But Lionel’s music is a gem all its own.
It also doesn’t hurt that he has a great sign-of-the-times story to tell — a true indie poster child, he got discovered through YouTube and really made the cultural radar in December 2008, when Spanish agency Ricardo Pérez Asociados licensed one of his tracks in a TV commercial for the Spanish Christmas Lottery.
He then decided to completely circumvent the music industry’s standard distribution model, releasing his fantastic debut album, Songs of Want and Loss, using nothing but web tools and his fans’ support.
Check out his album on Amazon and keep your eye out for Lionel while you show off your impeccable indie music taste at your cultural gatherings of choice.
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