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Here it is. The last Indie Dojo of 2015. Take a moment to soak in all the wonderfulness of the past year. If you need to go back for a refresher, we’ve got all the past Indie Dojos easily accessible. If you want to move right on into something new, we’ve got you too.
So cheers to the year behind us and to the new year ahead. And as always, thank you for coming back for more. See you on the other side!
Even though I’ve been writing for TMN over the past five years, I certainly don’t expect any of you to have me or my musical tastes pegged. In fact, I’d much rather you see this site as a whole, enjoying the eclectic blend that all the ninjas bring to the table. But, if you have paid attention, you’ll know that I love nothing more than hunting through submissions, SoundCloud, BandCamp, tweets, and smoke signals to try and find the best and brightest emerging artists.
2015 brought a few new acts to the scene that I simply couldn’t get enough of, a few of which made it into this year-end playlist. In addition to those, my musical world was blessed with albums from artists who haven’t released something in quite some time, including one band that surfaced after a six-year hiatus.
My 15 favorite tracks are listed below in no particular order because that would be painfully difficult and time-consuming. Instead, I’ve compiled them in a way that should provide you with an enjoyable listening experience, start to finish. If you’re unfamiliar with any of them, I’ve included a one-sentence description that should help highlight what to expect.
It’s the holidays! We’re supposed to be full of love and joy and gratefulness. BUT THERE IS SO MUCH TO DO and in so little time that we find ourselves swirling around in bah humbugs and stress-ridden shopping. And in the snap of a finger, it’s all over. NOTHING worth stressing over, that’s for sure. So let’s do us all a favor and remind each other to take a step back from the hectic, consumer-ridden craze and enjoy the moments we are able to spend with those closest to our hearts. Money can’t buy us love, but kicking back with our favorite people while listening to a free Indie Dojo…priceless.
The holiday season is in full swing, with Christmas’ velvet red hat peeking right around the corner. By now, most of you have had your fill of Bing Crosby, Mariah Carey, Dean Martin, and Elvis, and for obvious reasons. Yes, they are timeless classics sung by musical greats, but they’re also classics from a very small pool of selections. With this in mind, we scoured the internet to collect some newer Christmas tunes from acts you listen to on a daily basis, and some from acts you might not have heard just yet. Some just popped up in our feed this year, some are favorites from years past.
If you can convince your parents or grandparents to let you take the musical reigns at your holiday gatherings, throw this on. Who knows, maybe your family will find a new favorite from this mix.
Lastly, happy holidays to all of our fans out there. We wish you a happy and healthy season filled with great food, great booze, and great memories with your loved ones.
It’s probably safe to say that this is the first time you’re hearing about Noah Kenton. It’s also probably safe to say that this certainly won’t be the last. We have a pretty strong feeling that after folks catch wind of his latest few releases, this Virgina-based indie popster will get his much-deserved attention.
Today, we’re excited to bring an instantly memorable track, as well as the accompanying music video. “Crimson” simply dazzles from the beginning, initially locking listeners in with subtle finger picking. From there, momentum picks up, carried by the powerful vocal prowess from this youngster. The hook is radio ready, complete with catchy-as-hell sections that might get you caught in an embarrassing moment at a stoplight. But, don’t let that awkward look from a stranger stop you from belting it out. Based on what Kenton said in regards to the track, he would probably want you to have as much fun with it as he did.
Crimson was the first track we recorded for the EP and when it was finished I felt incredible. We were perfectionists when it came to these tracks, which can be stressful, but I think that Crimson really just shows how much fun can come out of all the hard work. Lots of people worked on the video and I felt so thankful for it. It’s truly Incredible to see people breathe their own life into my work.
The music video, which was shot by HMD Films, displays a captivating story from director Nathan Mcfarland. Take a quick break from work and check it out below.
The thing we love most about Laguna Beach-born garage rock prodigy Ty Segall is that his, or their, music speaks for itself. Without the need of an introduction, one listen to their stuff and you’ll know exactly what they’re all about—some badass, lo-fi, grungy rock n’ roll. The prolific Segall has done it again with his band in his track “Buick Mackane” off of his latest release Ty Rex. The fantastically named EP gives birth to more of what Segall has blessed us with over the years with upwards of eight studio albums, and we couldn’t be happier for the times their music brings us back to.
“Buick Mackane” features a Hendrix-esque introduction and a final product that perks up our ears especially as Zeppelin fans. We know these are intense comparisons, but trust us, their work deserves it. We find this release to be particularly refreshing in a world of electronic music (which we’re not knocking at all) and are thankful for groups like Ty Segall that continue to take us back to the roots of where one could argue it all began—rock n’ roll. Paired with a more modern mix of drums and hyper-distorted vocals, “Buick Mackane” is a song that can be enjoyed by all. Like, our parents would like this stuff. But like, cool parents. How awesome is that. Isn’t music grand.
Trevor Powers, aka Youth Lagoon, has been an indie favorite of ours since his first release Year of Hibernation back in 2011. Mastering the DIY, low-fi electronic ballad game, Powers created a work of art then that has gone down as an instant vinyl classic for the modern music generation. Following that up with his next release Wondrous Bughouse in 2013, Youth Lagoon showed us that he had some pretty complex composition skills under his belt and delivered an album that was full of playfully eclectic beats, sounds and vocals. Now in 2015, Powers has begun releasing another set of songs that could fall into their own genre entirely, the newest one being his single “I’ve Seen.”
Playing with elements of acoustic guitar and theatrical keys we hear a change in the rhythm sections that used to be dominated by distorted strings. Powers’s’ voice falls in and out of the track which is a dynamic that we’re very appreciative of because it gives us more time to listen to the instrumental mix of dry and wet strings and synths combos. This pulls Powers’s work up and into a new kind of experimental music for him. With these new sounds and his natural affinity for the piano, the track has started to take on something that resembles an early Radiohead, and here at TMN, that’s a pretty big deal. And we heard he’s on tour with Taylor McFerrin, who is also great. Catch that show if you can.