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Category: Artist Features
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Check Out new rising indie artist Molly Marlette


Lately, singer/songwriter Molly Marlette has been gaining a lot of momentum in the music industry, particularly in the form of online buzz. In a world full of online indie artists, it can often be hard to sift through and find the memorable ones. Everyone seems to have something different to say. Molly takes her music in a different direction than most. This minimalist songwriter finds value in writing a unique song with the least amount of instruments and accompaniment possible. Her focus is therefore on her melody, her words, and her message. From her recent front page feature on YouTube for one of her videos at the end of last year to the earlier feature of one of her songs on an MTV playlist at soundtrack.mtv.com, Marlette is making her mark in online communities everywhere. Additionally, she was even featured on our front page right here at OurStage.com earlier last year. Even if you like to stay away from online buzz you may have heard her song “Constantly” on the hit television series “One Tree Hill”.

There is just no escaping the far-reaching qualities of this artist’s appeal. Still think she’s just another one of those indie artists trying to institute an image that was once unique but now all too clichéd? Well think again. I hope I have inspired you to zip on over to her OurStage profile and join her fan club. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.

Best of hip-hop and R&B 2008

To ring in the new year, we here at OurStage thought it would be a good idea to step back and reflect on some great new artists that emerged on the scene in 2008 and are likely to be the ones to watch in 2009. This is our list of top hip-hop and R&B artists:

www.ourstage.com

The Press Project
This 7 piece group blends the styles of hip hop, soul, funk, and jazz into a sound that is completely their own. Though best compared to acts like The Roots, Soulive, and Jurassic 5 they are more different than they are the same. In 2008 they watched their debut album climb the CMJ music charts eventually breaking into the top 40 and reaching number 12. Along with their album climbing the college radio charts the band had marquee performances playing Bonnaroo and opening for Soulive making 2008 a great year for these guys from Boston.

Twank Star
This Houston rapper kicked off 2008 by releasing his single, Free, in January. He got a distribution deal through Universal in November and was also chosen as the winner of the  Step in the Ring with T-Pain contest on OurStage.com. His album “First Impressions” is out now on Wide Boy Music as well as the single “Everybody Else” with T-Pain out on Nappy Boy Digital.

Tori Alamaze
With a sound similar to the soul of the 1960′s Tori Alamaze has added a modern twist to those like  Diana Ross and Tina Turner. After having her song “Don’t Cha” swiped and made famous by the Pussy Cat Dolls it has been a long road back to the top for this Atlanta native. Spending most of 2008 working on a new album with Gnarls Barkley’s Cee-lo it’s only a matter of time until Tori Alamaze is as recognized as The Pussy Cat Dolls.

LockBoyz
These five Arkansas natives have a sound similar to Mike Jones. All five members of Lockboyz are pursuing a college degree as well as their musical careers and are having success juggling the two. Their biggest feat in 2008 at was a spot on Little Rock Arkansas’ Juneteenth Festival along side Mike Jones and Lil Mama.

DK aka Wayne Watts
This Baltimore native channels the flow and passion of Lupe Fiasco and Kanye West in his songs. After showcasing at the NACA music conference in March DK released his “About A Girl” mixtape in July. Since the release of his mixtape he has toured the country playing clubs, colleges, festivals and anywhere people will listen.

Best of Pop 2008

To ring in the new year, we here at OurStage thought it would be a good idea to step back and reflect on some great new artists that emerged on the scene in 2008 and are likely to be the ones to watch in 2009. This is our list of pop favorites:

www.ourstage.com

NeverShoutNever
If you haven’t heard of this kid, it is only a matter of time. Receiving an average of over 60,000 myspace plays a day, this young Missouri native is the definition of internet success, translating his online fanbase into a legion of adoring fans, reminiscent of Beatlemania. After releasing the “Yippee” EP in September, NeverShoutNever went on tour with HelloGoodbye and Ace Enders playing sold out shows across the country.

Freddy
Freddy Wexler has had a long musical journey for such a young musician. In 2005 After getting picked up by a major label and subsequently dropped only two months later the then 18 year old singer had to grasp the fact that he went from achieving his dream only to end up with nothing. This former University of Pennsylvania student is making a name for himself once again. With the help of Kidd Kraddick in the Morning, a radio personality based in Dallas Texas, Freddy is once again on his way to the limelight playing a sold out show opening for Good Charlotte in Dallas in July as well as playing the Dallas date of the Vans warped tour.

Daphne Willis and Company
If you take all the best parts of Ben Harper, Lilly Allen, John Mayer, and Amy Winehouse you’ll  get a good idea of the beautifully laid back sound of Daphne Willis and Company. Since releasing the “Exhibit A” EP in September the band has played over 75 shows throughout the Midwest with acts including Zox, Matt White, and Grace Potter and the Nocturnals. With a new release expected in early 2009 next year should be just as successful for these Chicago natives.

Plushgun
Born out of a “overpriced and undersized bedroom” in New York City Plushgun’s Dan Ingala started the band by adding synth to the acoustic songs he had been writing. Based off of the success of Plushgun on OurStage.com the band was added to the roster of Tommy boy records in June. Plushgun released their first album on Tommy Boy in  July and have been touring ever since.

Jetty Rae
With her heartfelt lyrics and soothing voice Jetty Rae almost immediately creates an intimate connection with listeners upon their first listen. A vocal quality similar to the likes of Norah Jones, Adelle, and  Fiona Apple drive these beautiful acoustic songs. After releasing her first Album “Blackberries” in May  Jetty Rae has continued to gig all over Michigan and the Midwest including a show opening for Grace Potter and the Nocturnals in December.

Best of Country 2008

To ring in the new year, we here at OurStage thought it would be a good idea to step back and reflect on some great new artists that emerged on the scene in 2008 and are likely to be the ones to watch in 2009. This is the list of our favorite country crooners:

www.ourstage.com

Amy Speace
The D.I.Y. efforts of Amy Speace, a New York based nu-country singer-songwriter, have generated a loyal fan following as well as industry attention over the past few years. 2008 has been a break out year with highlights including a performance at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, being a Finalist in the Folk/Singer Songwriter Category for the 2008 Independent Music Awards as well as having a track included on Born To The Breed, A Tribute To Judy Collins (includes tracks from Dolly Parton, Rufus Wainwright, Shawn Colvin, Chrissie Hynde, Joan Baez and others.)

Beau Davidson
Tennessee based musician/ actor/ model, Beau Davidson, kicked off the year with his video “More Than I Can Give” (The Good Hurt ) being included on MTV.com. His rock and roll approach to country has made him a stand out talent in the Country music capitol of Nashville, earning him a spot in Nashville Lifestyles Magazine’s “25 Most Beautiful People”.

Nicole Frechette
Media interest has remained steady for Nicole Frechette, with features in the New Haven Advocate and the Madison Source. She was also voted New England Country Music Organization’s 2008 Female Vocalist of the Year and Female Vocalist of New Country, plus her album nabbed CD of the Year. In ’08 Frechette also shared bills with Tim McGraw, LeAnn Rimes, Gary Allan, JoDee Messina, Rascal Flatts and Taylor Swift.

McClain
The husband and wife team, McClain, met in LA but now calls Nashville home and is coming into their own as artists. Having recently released the their debut recording, Ivy EP, the duo has an avid fan following on OurStage ,which helped secure them an opening spot on Matt Nathanson as well as an opening spot for Grace Potter and The Nocturnals. This Alt-Country duo find themselves perfectly placed in between the world of Country and Indie Rock.

The August
The August’s debut LP, “Thistle, Sparrow, and the Tall, Tall Grass”, has been well received by critics and audiences alike. In fact readers of American Songwriter and Paste Magazines voted them winners of the Cayamo Songwriting Competition. The band will be sailing down to the islands near St. Thomas to perform at sea with Lyle Lovett, John Hiatt, Patty Griffin, Shawn Colvin, Brandi Carlile and others in February. Until then, the band will be gigging in support of  their December release, “Uptown Sessions EP”.

Best of Rock 2008

To ring in the new year, we here at OurStage thought it would be a good idea to step back and reflect on some great new artists that emerged on the scene in 2008 and are likely to be the ones to watch in 2009. This is our list of favorite rockers:

www.ourstage.com

Adam Ezra Group
With the soulful groove of Citizen Cope and a vocal aesthetic similar to the likes of Dave Mathews and John Mayer  this Boston based outfit have made imprints throughout the country this year. Whether it was opening for State Radio at the Nor’Easter Festival in New Hampshire or playing along side Dave Mathews, 311, and John Mayer at the Rothbury Festival in Michigan Adam Ezra Group worked hard this year to become a mainstay in the music scene .

Rantings of Eva
This Atlanta based quartet have had the year of their lives. After six years, Rantings of Eva achieved every band’s ultimate goal and received a record contract. The band entered themselves in the Spin Magazine Hot Pursuit contest, eventually winning the grand prize of a record deal with Original Signal/Epic Records, a brand-new Gibson SG guitar and bass, national press coverage in Spin, and a performance slot at Spin’s Year in Music party.

Say Vandelay
Calling themselves “progressive, aggressive, indie rock and roll” this Augusta, GA band has been around since 2006. With a sound somewhere in between Saosin and the Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, Say Vandelay went in to record their second EP “Actor Meets Actress” in July, and soon after were signed to Wisteria Records.

Kate Tucker and the Sons of Sweden
Washington state based Kate Tucker and the Sons of Sweden have made a ton of progress in 2008, playing major music festivals including South by Southwest, CMJ, and Bumbershoot. The band was also featured on the “Have You Heard” compilation released by Starbucks in July of this year.

Petticoat Junkies
The Petticoat Junkies‘ sound is something that you were more likely to hear opening up for The Band in the early 70′s than on stage with many current acts.  Though given the reemergence of the alt-country sound  driven by acts like Ryan Adams, Fleet Foxes, and My Morning Jacket, the Junkies have found a home in the world of Indie Rock. After forming in January 2008 the band hit the studio this past summer to record their first album with twang legend Will Ray of the Hellecasters at Sunset Sound Studios in Asheville, NC. The band has been playing shows ever since including a show opening for Brooklyn indie rocker Kaki King.

OurStage Band The Luxury Opens for Coldplay

www.ourstage.com

The dream is a familiar one for anyone who has ever picked up a guitar, switched on a keyboard, or plugged in a microphone: the chance to open for one of the biggest bands on the planet, in front of ten thousand screaming fans, at a sold-out arena. Boston-based OurStage band The Luxury got that chance when they they were chosen by fans on a local radio station to open for mega-stars Coldplay at a sold-out TD Banknorth Garden. The Luxury, with their thick layers of driving piano, swirling guitars, and anthem hooks, sound like they’ve been ready for a show like this for quite a while. Frontman Jason Dunn talked with OurStage about The Luxury‘s gig of a lifetime.

OurStage: How did it feel to find out you guys were going to be opening for Coldplay?

Jason Dunn: When I actually got the call that we’d won, I was at work hauling around AV equipment in hotels I can’t even afford to stay in, so the whole situation was pure comedy – I had to get permission to go hide in a storage closet so I could call them back and accept a gig at Boston Garden. Crazy. Made it hard to concentrate on setting up projectors, for sure.

OS: What was the experience like for an up and coming band to play such a huge show?

JD: The show was great. The sound crew were absolute professionals and everyone had their own tailored monitor mix with exactly what they needed, and from audience reports we sounded unbelievable, and obviously that’s what matters. The crowd was about half-full for the local opener, so, you know, only about 10,000 people or so? The response we got was fantastic. It was huge. But it was really comfortable, I mean, these are my boys and this is what we do, it was just projecting to a big arena instead of a mid-sized club. We didn’t feel out of place. In fact, I think we should just play arenas from now on.

OS: Any interesting moments from the night?

JD: A couple – Coldplay left us four bottles of champagne with a hand-written note, and that was really classy and nice of them. Good champagne, too. We ran into Coldplay in the hall behind the stage and chatted for a bit – I’d actually met them a few years previous at a bar in Allston, I was a bit drunk and was going on about wishing them all the luck in the world with their music. I think “Clocks” came out two weeks later. I told Chris Martin about this at the Garden and he said, “Oh! It seems you wished us very well, then.”

Another great moment was when Steve (our drummer) gave Chris a copy of his “Christmas Chickens” record for his kids – it’s an album he made of Christmas songs rewritten about chickens. Chris was reading the song titles and was like, “I might have to run back to the dressing room and learn a cover real quick…”

OS: What’s next for The Luxury?

JD: Well, right now I’m focusing on pushing this AFAM (Advocates For Autism of Massachusetts) we’re playing on Saturday, August 9th. We just had a massive amount of good will and good karma come our way, and I want to bring as many people into this show as possible and give some of that back as fast as I can. Then in September, we’re going to California for a week to tour around the LA and San Francisco areas. I’ve never been there before so I’m thrilled. After that I think it’ll be time to focus on finishing the next album – we’re a good 8 or 9 songs deep into it right now, with another 7 or 8 in pieces or awaiting lyrics. We did the first record ourselves and it did very well for us, and I’d like to have a label involved on the second one if they’re a decent label and know what they’re doing, and they plan to really work with us.

-Matt Watson

 


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