Over the last few years or so people always ride in the car with me and comment on some of the music I play. They always don't know who they are but they like it. It always saddens me when people don't know of the greatness of some of these lesser known bands. So I am going to give the top 10 bands that people always want to know about. So maybe someone out there who won't ride in my car will still be able to hear these bands.
These are in no particular order....
Motion City Soundtrack
Motion City Soundtrack always kind of surprises me when people ask about them because they are fairly big. They are one of my favorite bands! There upbeat energy, quirky lyrics and catchy hooks make them a consistently excellent band. They have released 4 albums which are all amazing. One of their signature sounds is the use of a moog synthesizer that really identifies and separates them from many other alternative sounding bands. You might be wondering 'how quirky are their lyrics?" well here is some of their most crazy lyrics....
"Let's get wrecked on pop tarts and sex and see the Taj Mahal
Let's save birds from Prince William Sound and skateboard through the mall
Let's fight crime with mangoes and limes and join the PGA
Let's win big with every spin but hurry, I can't wait"
These however is an excerpt from my favorite song of theirs
I can figure out the point of anything
Just not as quick as I can mess up my life
With all my dreams hooked to hospital machines
I think, "let's try redefining beautiful.
So I would highly recommend them to anyone! They are quite talented.
Album to start with: Commit This To Memory or Even If It Kills Me
Song to see if you like them: The Future Freaks Me Out
Mika is not a band but one guy and maybe some of the most fun music to listen to. Imagine a reincarnation of Freddie Mercury. Mika's songs are all extremely catchy and super happy sounding. His music is the kind you just like to put on at home when no one is around and just dance and sing at the top of your lungs....(not that I've done that.) He only has 2 albums so far but hopefully that will change in the future. Despite his album covers looking like a gay person threw up onto a episode of Dora the Explorer and Yo Gabba Gabba, try listening to Grace Kelly and not wanting to go get the album immediately.
Album to start with: Life in Cartoon Motion
Song to to see if you like him: Grace Kelly
30 Seconds To Mars
30 Seconds to Mars is another one of my favvys. Granted I realize they aren't for everyone. They are an excellent rock band but some people aren't into that. 30 STM was a good band until the release of their latest album...then they became awesome. Their latest album is a masterpiece of rock. It's one of those albums that every song is good. The only word I can think of to describe their musical sound is "Epic." That describes it pretty completely.
Album to start with: This Is War
Song to see if you like them: Kings and Queens
Jack's Mannequin is Andrew McMahon's (from Something Corporate) side project. It's not as punk rocky as SC. It really shows how much he has grown as an artist and songwriter. His first album is another album that is just perfect all the way through. There is no bad song on this CD. Piano being the primary instrument in this band the music can range from fairly rock-ish to relaxed and easy going. Jack's Mannequin now has two albums, the latter being made after a long recovery from Cancer that Andrew went through. His experience can be summed up in his song "Swim" on his latest album. I love the lyrics more every time I hear it. Here's a sample of the lyrics from "Swim."
I swim for brighter days despite of the absence of sun
Choking on salt water
I'm not giving in, well, I'm not giving in, I swim
You gotta swim, swim in the dark
There's no shame in drifting
Feel the tide shifting and wait for the spark
Yeah, you gotta swim, don't let yourself sink
Just find the horizon
I promise you, it's not as far as you think
Album to start with: Everything in Transit
Song to see if you like them: Mixed Tape
Jukebox The Ghost
Jukebox the Ghost is a very odd sounding band. I'm not sure how to describe them. They are like a piano alternative band that is influenced by ragtime...maybe? Their songs all have a very distinct odd sound to them. If you like piano driven upbeat music that things like Something Corporate, Jack's Mannequin, or even Ben Folds, then I think it's safe to say that you will enjoy Jukebox the Ghost. They actually just released their second album a month ago. So I don't know what that one sounds like but i know their first album is enough for me to get it.
Album to start with: Let Live and Let Ghost
Song to see if you like them: Hold It In
Citizen Cope is some of the most chill music you will ever hear. It's funky and chill all at the same time. Citizen Cope is one guy with an odd voice and some catchy tunes. The songs are really catchy. I don't really know what to say about Cope, just that his album is one of the few chill musics I listen to, cuz i'm more of an upbeat music guy.
Album to start with: The Clarence Greenwood Recordings
Song to see if you like him: Pablo Picasso
Get Back Loretta
Like the Beatles? Of course you do. Then give Get Back Loretta a listen. VERY influenced by the Beatles but maybe more indie slash 80's rock-ish. They are a very versatile band. All their songs sound very different, which I like. You never know what to expect, but you can always expect greatness. Barely known outside of where they are from, you should get their stuff to promote them.
Album to start with: Over the Wall
Song to see if you like them: Future of the Moon
Brand new is one of those bands that has everything! They have so many catchy songs, a terrific lyricist, and several different sounds. I will say that Brand New's lyrics are some of the best I have ever heard. They have great great metaphors used in their lyrics, clever rhymes, heartfelt meanings, and wit all put in their lyrics. Here is one of the most heartfelt clever lyrics i have heard
Well, Jesus Christ, I’m alone again
So what did you do those three days you were dead?
Because this problem's gonna last
More than the weekend
This is my favorite verse probably in almost any song...
I wrote more postcards than hooks.
I read more maps than books.
Feel like every chance to leave
is another chance I should have took.
Every minute is a mile.
I've never felt so hollow.
I'm an old abandoned church with broken pews
and empty aisles.
My secrets for a buck.
Watch me as I cut myself wide open
on this stage. Yes, I am paid to spill my guts.
I won't see home till spring.
Oh, I would kill for the Atlantic,
but I am paid to make girls panic
while I sing.
They have another rare album that I consider one of the few albums that has no bad songs on it. Brand New is certainly not for everyone, but at least give them a shot...
Album to start with: Deja Entendu
Song to check if you like them: Okay I Believe You, But My Tommy Gun Don't
This piano driven band is a distant cousin of Coldplay I suppose. They are super chill with a high tenor voice and they're from England. Awesome! They write some pretty catch tunes that you will be humming later. I'm a big fan of piano driven bands if you can't tell already. These guys are more on the slow chill side of the piano genre as opposed to Jack's Mannequin or Jukebox the Ghost but they are still a solid band that I highly respect. Keane currently have three albums out.
Album to start with: Hopes and Fears
Song to see if you like them: Somewhere Only We Know
Thats right. Fun. Period. It describes everything about them in the name of the band. Their music is just to have fun and boy to they excel with flying colors. Their fist song on their album changes sounds like 12 times starting with an accordion then to strings then flute then to electric guitar then to xylophone then to trumpet! CRAZY! but somehow they pull it off with what I consider the best on the album! They have SO much fun with their music. Oh and if this is a selling point of anyone who is familiar with The Format, this is the same singer. So top notch stuff. Nate Ruess has a great voice that hits a pretty dang high note at full voice in the first song. I saw these guys in concert and they just have a great time. I highly recommend these guys to anyone. I bet they will make you smile.
Album to start with: Aim and Ignite
Song to see if you like them: Be Calm
Well there you have it. The top 10 lesser known bands that I feel that everyone should check out. Go look em up and give them a listen and for heavens sake stop listening to "Like A G6!!!" It is undoubtable one of the worst songs I have ever heard.