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Go Periscope Takes Pop To The Future With ‘Wasted Youth’

Though many current synth pop artists attempt to recapture the vintage electronic sounds of the ’80s, OurStage act Go Periscope aims straight for the future and never looks back. With their new album Wasted Youth, Go Periscope’s Florin Merano and Joshua Frazier have released a dark and pulsating collection of songs that sound like the 21st century. While Go Periscope’s music does contain clear references to the ’80s synth sounds that inspired its members, the songs are more than just conduits for indulgent electro-nostalgia. In fact, Wasted Youth is unabashedly contemporary, with its obvious debts to EDM and dubstep on tracks like “Black Light Masquerade” and “Break Free.” The synth tones are expansive and thick, layering on top of each other to create rippling waves of sound that undergird Merano and Frazier’s heavily filtered vocals.

Yet, for all of its shine and polish, Wasted Youth speaks to the dark and increasingly unstable world around it. For a work that so heavily revolves around artificially engineered sounds, the album contains a significant number of lyrical references to nature. Fire, water, gold, and horses all appear as damaged or endangered elements in the wake of technology, which electronically manipulates the natural world described in the lyrics. Vocal lines are often sliced, rearranged, and panned until they sound like the inhuman sputterings of a dying computer. Clean vocals intertwine with computerized, bit-crunched harmonies that suggest the integration of human and machine to the point of indistinguishability. In the face of the mechanized depletion of the natural world around them, humans can only choose to “live in fantasy,” as the track “Make Believers” sadly emphasizes through the repeated line: “It was only a dream / But it was just like Heaven.” Ultimately, technology doesn’t just enable these escapist fantasies; it makes them necessary in the first place. At a time when people can’t let go of their smartphones and the world is becoming unyieldingly digitized, Go Periscope is making pop music for an uncertain future. Until then, the dance anthems on Wasted Youth implore listeners to party like it’s the end of the world.

You can buy Wasted Youth now at Go Periscope’s Bandcamp page!

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OurStage Artists Competing For The Cover Of Rolling Stone!

Alright OurStagers, something really cool is happening. Rolling Stone, in conjunction with Atlantic Records, is holding a contest to find the next hot act, and FIVE OurStage artists are contenders! They’ve been featured as Needle In The Haystacks, on the OurStage Magazine, won OurStage competitions and ranked highly on the charts. Jimmy Fallon announced earlier this week that the magazine and Atlantic have hand picked sixteen unsigned acts to compete for the highest honor in music journalism, the cover of Rolling Stone, making the winning act the first unsigned artist to ever be featured on the front of the mag.

Click the images below to vote, tweet and “like” your fav OurStage artists on RollingStone.com. We already know you like them, we already know they rock, so let’s put those OurStage judging skills to work because we all know there’s nothing like the thrill that’ll get you when you get your picture on the cover of the Rolling Stone!

Skyler Stonestreet

Stonestreet’s infectiously adorable indie-pop has turned her into a fan favorite here on OurStage. She’s made regular Top 10 appearances in the in the female singer-songwriter channel over the years, and she climbed to Number 18 on the pop charts in 2011. Stonestreet is also a frequent guest in the OurStage Magazine; her track “Out To Sea” was the download of the week in November of 2009, and she was an artist feature in April 2010. It’s no surprise that she’s done so well with songs like “You” that are light and poppy but still substantial, Stonestreet is sure to charm her way into your heart.

Lelia Broussard

If you’re a fan of rollicking folk-rock in the vein of My Morning Jacket or Conor Oberst, then Lelia Broussard is the girl for you. Her toe-tapping rhythms and delightful melodies have made Broussard a standout she was featured in Folkin’ Around in July 2010 and her tracks often reach the Top 10 in the female Singer-Songwriter and Indie Rock Channels. She also reached the Top 10 in 2010′s Lillith Local Talent Search, and has toured extensively throughout the US. Check out her track “Shoot For The Moon” and see for yourself why Broussard would rock an RS cover.

Go Periscope

We’ve been blowing the horn on Seattle-based electro-pop duo Go Periscope since they released their self-titled debut in January of last year, making them one of our Editor Picks of 2010, and naming them Needle In The Haystack with MTV Music in January. Go Periscope’s Joshua Frazier even emailed us about the Rolling Stone competition, saying, “I just wanted to say thank you so much for the exposure you have given us. I feel like things are starting to move for our band and it’s because of opportunities to be heard, like the one you gave us. Thank you.” Give a listen to “Crush Me” while you check out their artist takeover we challenge you not to get caught up in the track’s funky rhythm.

The Gallery

The Gallery have shared the stage with artists like The Maine and We The Kings, but the band’s upbeat, southern-tinged rock sets them apart from the sea of neon-clad pop rockers. They’ve had several Top 10 finishes in the Rock Channel on OurStage and have climbed the best of charts in 2011, reaching Number 34 in rock and 49 in pop. They were also a critic’s choice on OurStage radio in Winamp, and their guitar-driven songs got them featured on iRock in January 2010. With tracks like the Tom Petty-esque “Who’s in the Right,” The Gallery show that they’re more than ready to grace Rolling Stone‘s cover.

Fictionist

Hailing from the unlikely city of Provo, Utah, Fictionist have been building buzz around their melodic indie-rock since they released their debut album Invisible Hand in 2009. And while they released a follow-up just last year, they’re back in the studio in 2011, planning for even greater things. Be sure to check out their track “Uptight,” which finished in the Top 40 in rock in January and is currently ranked Number 11!

Check out all 16 contestants at http://www.rollingstone.com/choosethecover.

Needle In The Haystack Artist Takeover: Go Periscope, Staying Afloat In A Sea Of Unsigned Bands

Each week we’ll be welcoming our rad Needle In The Haystack artists into our hearts and homes in the hopes of getting to know them and their music better. Being an independent artist is fascinating, whether it be navigating the road in a almost-broken-down van or reaching fans in a new and exciting ways. OurStage artists are truly revolutionary when it comes to putting themselves out there. Florin Merano from Go Periscope let us in on a day in the life of the powerpop duo, and what keeps them going in a new age of music.

Every morning when I wake up (most of the time, late). I try to do something different. Whether it’s listening to a brand new song, drinking some oddly colored tea or yelling at the top of my lungs. As artists in today’s music industry, we have to be inspiring, fresh and more innovative than ever. The goal is to steer clear of  the repetitive and often mundane lifestyle that can easily take hold of an independent artist.

We love pop (both the genre and Diet Coke), we love the ’80s, we love electronica, and we love producing music. Taking old school cuts like “Big In Japan” by Alphaville and mashing it with Wiz Khalifa’s “Black And Yellow” is just so damn fun! What’s not so fun is dealing with all of the business-related things. Things like managing your merch, mailing lists and contracts. Things that need to be done. Nowadays, with all the technology available to us, people worry about an over-saturated industry with too many bands to choose from. But it’ll all work itself out I think. The ones who really want it, will make it happen.

Both Joshua and I write, record, produce, mix, master our own music. We released our own album in early 2010 and manage our own TV placements. It’s like running a business! Although we’ve never thought of ourselves as businessmen, we had to go through everything alone. But now, having experienced it all, and with the support of the most amazing and vocal fan-base in the history of space, we have no doubt that we’ll make it happen.

Hello, new decade.

-Florin Merano

Go Periscope

Be sure to tune in to Twitter tomorrow for our Tweet & A with Go Periscope!

FREE DOWNLOAD: Needle In The Haystack Artist Go Periscope

With electrifying pop harmonies that blend seamlessly into energizing techno beats, its easy to see how Go Periscope keeps the energy up. Each track is decorated with a sound-scape of imaginative colors, enough to rival any Crayola 64-pack. This week’s free download from the Needle In The Haystack artist embraces powerpop and turns it on its head with enough electronica influences to have you dancing at the disco all night long. Check out Go Periscope jump starting the C89.5 Listener Appreciation Party and download “Crush Me” for free below! Remember, every week you can find a new free download right on the OurStage home page.

Needle In The Haystack: Go Periscope

New Year, new music! Welcome to the jump start of 2011′s Needle In The Haystack. Hailing from Seattle, Go Periscope‘s music is anything but dreary. In fact, it could be the perfect antidote for the rainy landscape of the band’s homestead.

Featured in Editor 2010 Picks: Heavy Rotation Playlist, Go Periscope serves up fist pumping eighties music infused with modern twists on pop songs. They recently released a killer take of Day N’ Night (Kid Cudi) Vs. Crush Me (Go Periscope) and their cover of Taio Cruz’s “Dynamite” could give the original a run for its money.

Listen and learn more in the sweet vid below, and check back over the week to see more interviews, posts and songs from Go Periscope. Also be sure to check out the homepage to grab a free download of “Crush Me”.

For fans of: 3OH3!, Odd Year, Metro Station, The All-American Rejects, Cobra Starship

Editor 2010 Picks: Heavy Rotation Playlist

In 2010 hundreds of thousands of artists entered our monthly competitions, and millions of music lovers ranked their favorite tracks, positioning the Top 100 songs across thirty or more music charts every month. As a proud connoisseur of independent music, I’ve always made it a point to turn my family and friends on to new talents that “I” discover. With a talent pool as rich as the OurStage music charts, there is a never ending reservoir to tap into.

The “Lilith Local Talent Search” brought droves of female artists, “Your Next Record with Keith Urban” brought the country, Drake’s “Thank Me Later” Competition represented hip hop and promotions with Bon Jovi, John Mayer, Train and the Goo Goo Dolls rallied legions of pop and rock artists. While there were many winners who earned career-enhancing opportunities, editorial coverage and cash money, the front-runners only scratched the surface of artists whose talent need to be heard.

Press “Play” to hear songs that have been in heavy rotation throughout 2010 then continue reading to find out why these artists made this list.

-KB

Editor at Large and Director of Community & Content for OurStage.com

Heavy Rotation Artists:
Dirty Fuzz. Why? Cuz these UK rockers kick-it old school. Think Muddy Waters meet Zepplin.
The Story of Sound. Why? Hailing from Orange City, Florida, the quintet released their impressive debut EP earlier this year. Check out the killer breakdown in “The Razing”.
Transmit Now. Why? Provocative lyrics and you can dance to it.
Hotspur. Why? The cool kids at OurStage having been digging this DC based band for awhile, but this year the band won the New Music Seminar’s “Artist on The Verge” award and the industry took notice.
Sleeperstar. Why? Their epic Pop song “Disengage” ranked within OurStage’s Top 10 throughout 2010, and helped secure their opening slot for John Mayer.
Go Periscope. Why? Eighties inspired music for fist pumping at the disco. What’s not to love?
SOFIA. Why? Winners of the October’s 5k Grand Prize. ‘Nough said.
Dujeous. Why? Soul-fueled hip hop with guest vocals by the Sharon Jones!
IYEOKA. Why? Power-house vocals, infectious beats and uplifting lyrics raise the roof on “Millionaire”.
Tierra Heart. Why? Granddaughter of legendary jazz musician Julius Hemphill, this California natives gives Beyoncé a run for her money.
Chris Akinyemi. Why? Digging the R&B vibe this newcomer embraces on his debut EP, released this past summer.
Shane Gambles. Why? Country crooner Shane Gambles wets our taste for lovesick melodies on “Turn My Way”.
Katie Cole. Why? Cole’s  radio-ready “Lost Inside A Moment” feels like the pop crossover for an already established country star.
Ashlee Hewitt. Why? Love Taylor Swift but want to hear a song that isn’t overexposed? “About A Boy” will be music to your ears.
Grant Craig. Why? Enshrouded in mystery (read: one song uploaded to an otherwise empty profile on OurStage), Craig’s “Good To Be Alive” is reminiscent of Pete Yorn and catchy as hell.
Chris Pureka. Why? Because Pureka’s latest release How I Learned To See In The Dark is one of my favorite albums of the year. The internationally touring indie songstress has recently garnered press from Billboard and The New York Times.
Lindsay Mac. Why? Mac strums the cello like a guitar and is evocative of PJ Harvey, Morphine and Liz Phair.
Lady Lamb the Beekeeper. Why? Wide eyed, low-fi and wonderously quirky, Lady Lamb the Beekeeper (aka Aly Spaltro) has won the hearts of tastemakers including the Brooklyn Vegan.
The Organ Beats. Why? Noelle LeBlanc was signed to a major and toured internationally with her band Damone but traded it in when she found her life at a crossroads and her brother available to get behind the drum kit.
Pomplamoose. Why? Before their quirky covers of hits like “Single Ladies” went viral on YouTube, and before becoming the duo in the holiday Hyundai commercial, they were on OurStage and we were blogging about them.
Shayna Zaid And The Catch. Why? Because they are another OurStage artist currently licensed to a national ad campaign that we can’t get enough of.
Who’s on your heavy rotation list for 2010? Share your picks in the “Comments”.

Poptarts: Summing It Up

Well folks, it’s time for me to pass the torch. My colleague Jay will, from now on, be taking over Poptarts duty on the OurStage blog. OurStage’s Pop Channels are some of the most diverse and talent-filled on the site, and I’ve selected a few of my favorites artists from the past six months.

Alexandria Maillot – Canadian singer-songwriter Alexandria Maillot is not your average teenager. At 17, she has won numerous talent and song-writing competitions, and even co-wrote a song picked up by Universal Music as the third single off of Swiss recording artist Stefanie Heinzmann’s chart topping album. Her songs are filled with catchy hooks and memorable melodies. Combined with her powerful, skilled and soulful vocals it’s no secret that the girl’s got talent along with maturity beyond her years. She was also one of our Needle In The Haystack MTV picks!

Stacy ClarkStacy Clark is like most talented indie-folk-pop singer-songwriters; her melodies are relentlessly catchy, her lyrics are honest and heartfelt and she’s often compared to the likes of Regina Spektor and Imogen Heap. Although her quirky piano hooks and splash of electronica can evoke sonic thoughts of these two artists, there’s something much more relatable and pragmatic about Clark’s music. Her song “Touch and Go,” available in the playlist below, has been featured in one of the national Canadian Palm Pre commercials, thanks to the incredibly bubbly and heartwarming lyrics and music—not singing along by the end of the song is nearly impossible.

Hollow Sound - Nowadays, MTV’s image mostly consists “reality” shows starring superficial, plastic LA girls and fist-pumping “guidos” from the tri-state area. However, under that horrifyingly hilarious exterior lies a sleeping giant, percolating with innovative new acts with just enough pop hooks and power to bring the music back into Music Television.  One such band can be found right here on OurStage. Not only has The Hollow Sound’s music been featured on MTV’s College Life, but the band was selected as four-time finalists on MTVU’s Best Music On Campus as well.

Woodward – One of the first things you will notice about Woodward, both through their music and their online presence, is that they are full of energy and don’t take themselves all too seriously. With so many emo, whiney, pop/rock bands out there nowadays, it’s refreshing to see (and hear) a band that is genuinely excited about life and their music. The word on the street is they put on a pretty energetic and entertaining live show as well. Check out their catchy pop/rock song “Footski” in the playlist below.

Go Periscope - Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past couple of months, you’ve probably noticed the “latest craze” in pop music—electro-pop wonders with club-worthy beats and robotic, auto-tuned vocals. Go Periscope is a perfect example of a group that has embraced the trend, and expanded it to include soaring melodies, catchy hooks and a mix of both organic and synthesized sounds. Check out their dance hit “Crush Me”.

Amanda Duncan - Armed with a guitar, mandolin, various hand percussion instruments, a killer voice and—as you can see in her OS profile pic—a great sense of humor, Amanda Duncan is slowly winning hearts all over the country with her earnest lyrics that cut right to the core (in the most positive, simplistic way you could imagine). Incidentally, she won the OurStage Grand Prize of $5000 with her song “Word That I Say” included below.

Hailey WojcikHailey Wojcik is disturbingly hilarious. With lines like “Let’s get hit over the head, just not so hard that we’re dead, but so hard we forget all the things that we’ve said,” her break-up songs are the perfect medicine for any downtrodden lover. In her song “Anglerfish” she sweetly sings, “I hope it doesn’t work, I hope you make each other as miserable as you made me. I hope it blows up in your face” and then later wishes syphilis on her partner.

Lion of Ido – Front man Ido Zmishlany has a voice equipped with the power of pop rock groups like Panic At The Disco and depth of indie favs such as The Killers’ Brandon Flowers. And he writes pop hooks that could compete with any Top 40 hit. Lion of Ido’s songs are perfect for any indie pop lover with an affinity for hand claps and snaps mixed with electro pop beats.

And with that run down I pass the post on to Jay. From here on in he’ll be introducing you to more of the OurStage Pop Channels’ finest. In the meantime enjoy a pop playlist made up of the artists above and other past Poptarts faves!

Poptarts: Go Periscope

OSBlog02_PopTarts_MASTER_01Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past couple of months you’ve probably noticed the “latest craze” in pop music. The harmonizing boy bands and sugary pop stars bound to go bad of the’90s and solo acts, like Justin Timberlake and Beyoncé, of the early ’00s need to make way for today’s electro-pop wonders with their club-worthy beats and robotic, auto-tuned vocals. Now, Jay-Z may have declared death to auto-tune, but let’s face it, it’s here to stay. With bands like Owl City and Cobra Starship topping the charts, and T-Pain’s auto-tune iPhone app that puts the power of the voice-altering device in the palm of your hand, there is no way to escape the buzz. And we all know resistance is futile so maybe the best way to deal with it is to embrace it. Go Periscope is a perfect example of a group that has embraced it, and expanded it to include soaring melodies, catchy hooks and a mix of both organic and synthesized sounds.
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Read more about pop wonders Go Periscope

 


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