Summer Indievescence!! featuring Jarell Perry, Baiyu, Vanessa Elisha, Grids, and Dame

Because of technology and social media, there is so much well done indie music out there just dying to be taken to the next level.  That means someone has to generally invest in it so that tours, merch, radio play, etc. etc. all happen.  Unfortunately, in the music industry there is just no middle class, as Jay-Z has so aptly displayed recently!!  So that leaves it to us bloggers and music fans to spread the word because Jay-Z doesn’t need our help… I bring you Indievescence!!

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JARELL PERRY  “4th of July”

Earlier this year, LA-based R&B/pop singer Jarell Perry released his album Simple Things for free download.  It’s one of the best records of 2013 (a bizarre oversight on my part to my last blog post), and he keeps sending high quality freebies our way.  The latest, in time for the US Independence Day holiday, is “4th of July”, which is the scene for a love that has ended, but which the singer still wants to have.  Like many of the songs in Simple Things, “4th of July” is an emotional affair, flawlessly sung and produced.  If a major label does come along and take Jarell out of indieland one of these days, they will have a huge hitmaker on their hands.  Download “4th of July” using the Soundcloud link above.

BAIYU “Fire”

New York singer Baiyu has been releasing one song a month for free since January, and “Fire” is not only one of her most different and haunting songs, but it’s also one of her best.  To me, a song like “Fire” takes the balladeer Baiyu to another level, which was sometimes achieved in last year’s Hunter mixtape.  It’s got a very low key but dirty synth line that carries the imagery through to the obvious theme of playing with fire.  Baiyu can kill a regular ballad with ease, but hearing a song like “Fire” is much more of an adventure.  You can download it for free in the You Tube link above.

VANESSA ELISHA, Don’t Go (EP)

In follow up to her single “Home To Me”, beautiful Australian singer Vanessa Elisha has released a five song pop/R&B EP, Don’t Go, which includes that lush song still playing on repeat on my iPod.  And if you enjoy the music of the aforementioned Baiyu, then Vanessa Elisha’s songs will resonate with you in a similar way in addition to songs by the likes of Anita Baker, Toni Braxton, Jill Scott… a pleasing hybrid of traditional and new.   You can download the entire EP for free using the above Soundcloud link.  Next best to “Home To Me” would be the memorably understated “Waiting”, though the title song probably features Vanessa’s best vocal.  I’d love to hear Baiyu and Vanessa in a duet *hint hint*

Grids

GRIDS, Grids (EP)

Today, Toronto quartet Grids officially released their debut self-titled EP.  What’s most ear-catching about the music of this guitars-bass-drums outfit is a raw, gritty rock sound that you might associate more with the early 90’s onset of grunge – and in Canada that means early sounds of bands like Sloan, The Doughboys, Econoline Crush, and I Mother Earth – all popular when these early 20’s guys were just kids.  You can hear all four of the songs yourself and download them for free through the band’s Bandcamp page.  The song that sticks in my head is the tightly played “Bathroom Tiles”, which somehow manages to combine the rawness of 90’s Seattle sound with the flourish of early 80’s post punk, and bassist Sean McKee’s voice has Bono moments reminiscent of U2’s Boy or October albums.  Download “Bathroom Tiles” right here.  Grids plays Toronto club Double Double Land on Saturday July 13 along with one of my ongoing favourites, fellow Toronto band River Tiber, so if you’re in Toronto it’s a mere $6.00 cover.

DAME, “Holy Moly”

Dame is an L.A. based singer (née Michelle Armstrong) whose voice is just waiting to be heard.  Think of a blend of Kelly Clarkson-meets-Sheryl Crow-meets-Pink-meets-Amy Lee and you can get an idea of the kind of power and range she puts forth in “Holy Moly”, from her EP Preventions Of Heartbreak.  It’s an interesting juxtaposition to feature a slight kind of phrase like holy moly in a serious song where the singer is looking for her would-be beau to commit to her and not take the relationship for granted through lust – and she’s even willing to wait for him to come around, too.  The video (above) through many close-ups brings this across beautifully and the performance pieces show an earnest style which signals that Dame could be well-positioned for some success soon.  I’m looking forward to seeing where Dame’s songs take her next.  “Holy Moly” is a grower and a keeper.  As a side note, Dame is the companion of TV hunk Matt Lauria (Parenthood, Friday Night Lights) 🙂  

Published in: on July 12, 2013 at 10:15 pm  Comments (1)  
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  1. […] actually wrote about this next debut quite a while back, but the more I hear it, the more it resonates with me.  It’s also one of the rare songs […]


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