Hand-Kraphted – August 2013
Eighteen. In some cultures, this is a number that is symbolic of luck & life. It is only fitting that we provide you with eighteen new songs this month then. For many of us, music is an integral part of our lives and drives some of the core parts of who we are. I know that, for me, living life without music is like being stuck in a black and white movie. The emotion and inspiration I find in surrounding myself with music and the amazing people who create it, provides the bright, vibrant colors that fill in the rest of the picture we live in.
With these eighteen tracks, there is a definite skew towards pop music in all its different skins and styles. We hope you enjoy them as much as we have. Ladies and gentlemen, your Hand-Kraphted artists for August are here.
To download these tracks for free, click here.
Castlecomer – “Forrest”
Location: Sydney, Australia
Genre: Folk Rock
Band Members: Bede Kennedy, Joe Kennedy, Tom Kennedy, Pat Kennedy, Joey Neely
It’s no secret that we are big fans of this group from Sydney. In a recent review, we said “’Forrest’ starts with the five coming together seamlessly the way an angelic choir might on a Sunday morning. Bring in the quick acoustic guitar riffs and an almost tribal beat, and away we go. “Come run with me, we will write history. Life was meant to be taken lightly.” High spirited lyrics and an infectious groove ride shotgun next to those harmonies and take the listener on a wonderful adventure. This track is a finalist out of 3,300 submissions in the Vanda & Young Songwriting competition going against some Australian legends.
Twelve AM Flowers – “A Luxury Squeeze”
Location: New York, NY
Genre: Indie Rock
Band Members: Kevin McGinnis, Drew Thomas, Brendan Moynihan, Chad Dziewior
The first of several artists making a repeat performance on HK, Twelve AM Flowers never disappoints. We highlighted the video for this track in early July. The track “plays in the rock/power pop genre, and despite the song being about the end of a relationship, it is more about liberation than despair. The constant drum track and upbeat guitar riff makes you feel like this girl is walking away and finally taking control of her life. Play this one loud while on the road with the windows down.”
Great Divide – “Ain’t No Roads”
Location: Chicago, IL
Genre: Rock, Soul
Band Members: Teddy Grossman, Jeff Burke, Jeff Leibovich, Josh Kahle, Josh Teitelbaum
It’s time to go to church and get some spirit and soul all up in you with Chicago’s own, Great Divide and their track, “Ain’t No Roads”. From the second the song plays, listeners will get swept away with hearty piano playing, horns and of course rich, soulful vocals (courtesy of lead-singer Teddy Grossman). The song builds and builds, and even features some gospel-choir like backup vocals which is the icing on the cake. “Ain’t No Roads” can be found on their sophomore, self-titled album which they describe as: “Motown meets Muscle Shoals, stoppin’ by Stax on the way up to Levon’s Ramble. “ Released back in March of this year, we highly recommend checking it out.
Polar Caps – “Will You…”
Location: London, England
Genre: Alternative Pop
Band Members: Owen Hughes-Holland
Mr. Hughes-Holland is making a splash in the UK with his debut EP Solutions. The first single, “Will You…” has an infectious sound that draws the listener in. It has a slight electro-beat, but is definitely a pop song. The chorus is the kind that has you singing it in the shower without even realizing it. You’re welcome…
JD Eicher & the Goodnights – “Aaron”
Location: Pittsburgh, PA & Youngstown, OH
Genre: pop, rock, indie, alternative, acoustic
Members: JD Eicher (vocals/guitars), Ben Portz (keys/backing vocals), Jim Merhaut (bass), and Ryan Kirk (drums/percussion)
Mix a little Mumford-style, a few “Heys” reminiscent of a couple recent hits and add the smooth vocals of JD Eicher, and you have this catchy track. Eicher and the boys are gearing up for the release of their new album Into Place, so get in line now. You’ll want to hear the rest of it.
Prisca – “Kamikaze”
Location: Atlanta, GA
Genre: Singer-Songwriter, Pop
Members: Prisca Strother
The first of a string of strong female artists, Prisca brings us her powerful voice and piano on “Kamikaze.” A song about missed chances, you can feel the pain of that lost opportunity and how she tries to tell herself she won’t let it happen again. Seeing as how this was a missed first kiss, that guy better be prepared next time. One missed opportunity you should never have is seeing her live. Prisca is a force and should be experienced.
The Open Feel – “Pushing Back”
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Genre: Alternative, Rock
Band Members: Katie Harris, Tom Brayton
I recently wrote about how Katie Harris’ vocals had “that ability to reach deep down into the nooks and crannies of your soul. Her voice is smooth and sensual, yet raw and emotionally charged all at the same time.” This track provides the perfect avenue to display those traits. Sultry, yet with enough grit so that it doesn’t slip by you, “Pushing Back” is a keeper.
Darienne – “Released”
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Genre: Pop Rock
Band Members: Darienne
Philly artist and multi-instrumentalist Darienne is here and will not be ignored! “Released” is her groovy, electro-tune that showcases and compliments Darienne’s powerful vocals in the best way. Not quite a dance track, but not a ballad either, “Released” is letting audiences know Darienne is going to be who she is, and we couldn’t be more pleased to see and hear. She is currently in the studio working on her debut EP (release date TBA). Be sure to stop by her social media pages for updates.
Erica Ashley – “Where Are We Now?”
Location: Washington D.C.
Genre: Pop, Dance
Band Members: Erica Ashley
Erica Ashley just completed a performance on CBS in Virginia and is releasing the official video for this track on September 6th. With the help of a very talented team of managers, she has accomplished a tremendous amount in such a short time. With comparisons vocally to Kelly Clarkson and Katy Perry, those are some powerful vocals to keep up with. When you realize that she is just fourteen, it makes it that much more amazing.
Sonya Titus – “Now”
Location: London, England
Genre: Singer-songwriter, pop
Band Members: Sonya Titus
Like that first glimpse of sunshine after a storm, “Now” is an uplifting track from previously featured Wordkrapht artist, Sonya Titus. We were happy to feature this song as a Daily Krapht, and we are happy to have it on Hand-Kraphted as well. Titus is a unique singer-songwriter that brings her own style of “feel-good vibes” to the music. She will be releasing a new single off of her debut album (also called, Now) on September 30th.
Mellomanic – “Send Me Down The River (Live)”
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Genre: Folk Rock, Rock
Band Members: Joshua Larsson, Megan Chilibeck, Ryan Krumins, Clark Buchanan, Adam Gordon, Sam Buckle
Mellomanic is a six-piece band out of Vancouver, B.C. “Send Me Down The River” is their first single the band of friends has recorded as Mellomanic since being part of various other music projects together for the past ten years. The song features impressive vocals and harmonies. Recorded live at the Unitarian Church of Vancouver, hearing the acoustics and echoing really brings the song to the next level. Mellomanic are planning on recording more music in the winter, so be on the lookout for new music soon!
2 a.m. Orchestra – “Believe In Me”
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Genre: Alternative, Indie Rock
Band Members: David J. Kelley, Andy Smith, Tim Gittins, Chris Dawson
New Zealand band 2 A.M. Orchestra is back with new material after some time between their last release. The track, “Believe in Me” is swimming in melodic, textured, post-punk/alternative goodness. This is the kind of band who is ever-changing and evolving to keep fans old and new on their toes. They like the idea of each performance being a new experience, and for that we salute them. “Believe in Me” can be found on their new album, Working to Divide, which is scheduled to be released September 24th
The Sunday Skyclub – “Call Tonight (See Ya Later Alligator)”
Location: Exeter, England
Genre: Indie, Pop, Rock
Band Members: Ed Goodwin, George Goodwin, Sean Mariner, Andy Farrow
Founded in 2010 by Brothers Ed and George Goodwin, The Sunday Skyclub is here to make you feel good with their brand of indie-pop. After a few different lineup changes, this band from Exeter, Devon is finally hitting the right notes. “Call Tonight” is the single they shared with us, and the song has some hints of a more peppy Death Cab for Cutie sound. Comparisons aside, the band just wants to share their music with the world. “We write catchy pop songs with mega hooks and huge choruses that you can’t get out of your head after you’ve seen us play.”
Eazy Steve feat. Brantley Smith – “Shoot My Soul Down”
Location: Chattanooga, Tennessee
Members: Eazy Steve
Eazy Steve is a hip/hop artist out of Chattanooga Tennessee. “Shoot my Soul Down” is a laidback track featuring Brantley Smith. Steve’s flow is relaxed yet confident, with some refreshing lyrics as well. “Shoot My Soul Down” is a great track to introduce new listeners to what Eazy Steve is all about. Steve will be releasing his debut album, Simply Steve September 6th.
Konshens and His State of Mind – “The Chosen One”
Location: Washington DC
Genre: Hip/Hop, Rap
Band Members: Konshens
Pronounced “Conscience”, Koshens and His State of Mind are bringing back thought proving, unique hip/hop to the world. Koshens, whose real name is Tarik Davis has been involved in music ever since he was a young child, and is bringing something new to the table as an adult. He has put together a seven piece band (called His State of Mind”) which all can be heard on the track, “Chosen One”.
“Chosen One” is a powerful track, with poetic lyrics delivered perfectly. We love supporting those who stay true and create with their hearts, and Koshens and His State of Mind is a prime example of just that.
Sun Brother – “Howl At The Moon”
Location: Greenville, SC
Genre: Rock, Pschedelic
Band Members: Zebraylon Deonte’ Woodruff, Joel Walter, Sheldon Bird
Sun Brother, a trio from Greenville, SC, bring an old school groove with “Howl At The Moon.” The laid back funk of the guitar combined with the solid bass line and drums provide a nice foundation for Zebraylon Deonte’ Woodruff’s vocals. You can find these guys playing anywhere, including dark alleys. Go check them out.
Carpetbagger – “My Best Regret”
Location: Austin, TX
Genre: Americana, Rock, Alt-country
Band Members: Greg Loftus (guitar, vocals), Cody Brown (lead guitar), Kevin McCann (drums), and John Tranum (bass)
Carpetbagger is yet another band who is taking advantage of all we have to offer indie bands here at Wordkrapht. Not only did they submit “My Best Regret” to be considered for Hand-Kraphted, they also shared with us their debut EP, which our very own Melissa Landrin covered and raved about. Of “My Best Regret,” Melissa had this to say about it: “My Best Regret” has a very distinct country quality in a song about a man who makes no apologies for who he is and lives his life with no regrets.” Carpetbagger are playing in Austin, Texas throughout the month of September so if you’re in their neck of the woods be sure to check them out and let them know Wordkrapht sent you!
Mark Webb – “Can We Make It Right”
Location: Greenville, SC
Band Members: Mark Webb, Russ Chapman and Josh Lane
“Can We Make It Right” is one of those songs where at first listen you are drawn in by just music and vocals. Webb’s vocals are deep and smooth, while the up-beat Americana style of the music gets your toes tappin’ and your head boppin. Take another listen, and you will find a bitter-sweet tale of love gone sour, leaving us to wonder, can they (or did they) make it right?
There you have it. We hope you found something you liked. If so, make sure to support these musicians. If not, tell your favorite bands to contact us. We’ll be here waiting.
Kerri Curtis contributed to this article.
Cover art by Brady Effler.