Building toward their second full-length album, we’ve teamed up with Atlanta-bred Faithless Town to debut the visual stream for their lead single “Waste Away.” Whether it’s the dark, heavy verses or the light, airy chorus, frontman Gene Owens’ vocals help craft a sound that is part Bruce, part Bowie, the 80’s, 90’s, and modern mainstream all blended together.
Owens shared with us how the track came to be. “After discovering them at a big outdoor music festival, I spent a lot of time listening to The National. I fell in love with their last album Trouble Will Find Me. One day during that period I sat down and starting strumming the guitar and before long I had “Waste Away.” The song evokes the imagery of a hopeless office worker that feel disenchanted with life and wants more than anything to escape in search of something better. With the production we looked to a lot of Smiths records to emulate how Johnny Marr would overdub multiple guitars to create a dreamy, lush soundscape.” Check out the visual stream for “Waste Away” below and keep your eyes peeled for Faithless Town’s full-length album Empires, to be released on June 2nd!
It’s that time of year again and South By Southwest(SXSW) is just around the corner! We’ve decided to bring back our “50 Acts You
Won’t Want To Miss” feature! Check out our final installment
(acts 41-50, in no particular order) of artists we think you need to check out
*Note: some acts we’ve included are performing at South By So What?! and not
South By Southwest. However, since the festival takes place during the week of
South By Southwest, we’ve decided to still include them in our list!
on our list last year, this 10-piece continues to be one of our favorite
Houston acts. This ten-piece may be overwhelming to some, but the Suffers know
how to utilize each member brilliantly, creating classic tunes of rock &
roll with a bit of soul squeezed in there. Perfection is an understatement.
Sidenote, be sure to catch these guys on Lettermen on March 31st! Where to catch The Suffers: 3.17 – 4:30pm – Paypal Party @ Empire
Control Room; 3.17 – 6:30pm – do512 Family Picnic @ Midway Food Park; 3.18 –
1am – New Frontier Showcase @ Holy Mountain; 3.19 – 12pm – BMI Showcase @
Lambert’s; 3.19 – 4:05pm – Big Picture Media Showcase @ The Blind Pig Roof;
3.20 – 11:30am – Balcony TV Showcase @ Joe’s Crab Shack; 3.20 – 11:10pm –
Convoy Group Showcase @ Palm Door Sabine.
Transit Boston rockers, Transit, have the best mentality when it comes to music.
They create music as a way of finding themselves while sticking true to who
they really are. Every new album from these guys is different and that’s
exactly why we’re fans: because they aren’t conforming to any ideas of what
others want them to be. If you don’t get the chance to catch their performance
at South By, the band will be playing the Acoustic Basement Tent on the Vans
Warped Tour all summer! Where to catch Transit: 3.19 – 1am – Official SXSW Showcase @ The
Empires We’ve been huge fans of Empires for quite some time now. The band produces
music that is nothing but catchy, leaving the listener singing along and
wanting to hear more. At this point, the band has honed their sound and
perfected their own style, blending all the right sounds and feelings into
their work. Where to catch Empires: 3.21 – Official SXSW Showcase – TBA.
The Tontons Another act that appeared on our list last year is the Tontons. This
psychedelic rock/soul band is just so all over the place, but in the most
perfect way. Filled with empowering vocals, the Tontons know how to provide
fans with a unique and soulful experience that they may have never felt before. Where to catch The Tontons: 3.16 – 8pm – Capital One Party @ 6th
and Congress; 3.17 – 5:30pm – Do512 Family Picnic @ Midway Food Plaza; 3.18 –
12am – New Frontier Showcase @ Holy Mountain; 3.20 – 12:30pm – Balcony TV @
Joe’s Crab Shack; 3.20 – 1am – The Convoy Group Showcase @ Palm Door Sabine;
3.21 – 3pm – Eye In The Sky @ Shiner Saloon; 3.21 – 5pm – Holy Underground @
Ghost Town Ghost Town is one of those bands that began making a name for themselves
very early in the game. After being a band for only a year, Ghost Town signed
to Fueled By Ramen in 2013 and has been touring like crazy ever since. From
playing last years Warped Tour to touring with Issues, then Every Time I Die
and The Ghost Inside, now South By Southwest, and just today announced touring
with Falling In Reverse, I’m starting to wonder if these guys will ever take a
break. Passion and drive is what makes these guys one of our must see acts. Where to catch Ghost Town: 3.20 – South By So What?! @ QuikTrip Park.
Twin Shadow Recent addition to Warner Bros. Records, Twin Shadows is one of the newer
artists we’ve been introduced to. After some creative changes and a new
direction, Twin Shadows will be releasing their brand new album tomorrow and
it’s one we highly suggest you check out. Where to catch Twin Shadow: 3.21 – 8pm – Official SXSW Showcase @
Microwave Upon first listen, Microwave will warm you up from the inside out. This
will also happen upon second, third, fourth, and every other time you give them
a listen. This Georgia band uniquely balances genres including pop-punk and
post-hardcore, which is why they made our list. Microwave is one of those
unsigned bands that we expect to make it big before you know it. Where to catch Microwave: 3.18 – 5:30pm – House show; 3.20 – 8:15pm –
Audiotree Showcase @ Licha’s Cantina.
Highly Suspect Prog rockers, Highly Suspect, have become a recent favorite of mine, with
gritty vocals and their hard-rock sounds having previously been compared to
bands including Kings of Leon, Muse and Red Hot Chili Peppers. This is a must
watch-band for us. Where to catch Highly Suspect: 3.18 – Beautiful Buzz Showcase; 3.18 – The
Trophy Room; 3.19 – Sonic Tonic Showcase; 3.20 – Reverb Nation; 3.21 – Trailer
Space Records; 3.21 – Monster Energy Rock Showcase.
Concord America With an upcoming full-length on the horizon, this trio is one to keep on
your radar. Forming around their love for Rock & Roll, Concord America
contains sounds from a variety of genres from Garage Rock to Doo-Wop to Power-Pop
and even Surf. Though their tastes may be scattered, their music is cohesively
original. Where to catch Concord American: 3.18 – 7pm – Ground Floor Booking/Hot Grits
Records @ Love Goat; 3.18 – 12am – Fireball Island Presents @ The Lost Well;
3.19 – 3pm – Sonic Tonic Pool Party @ Amli Downtown, 3.19 – KVRXPlosion; 3.20 –
21st St. Co-Op; 3.20 – 7:30pm – Audiotree @ Licha’s Cantina; 3.20 –
South Fry South Friendy’s @ Chain Drive Austin; 3.21 – 6pm – Georgia Theater
Athens @ The Side Bar; 3.22 – ATX Overload @ Spinner’s.
Halsey For fans of Ellie Goulding, CHVRCHES, and Lorde, you’re sure to love Ashley
Frangipane, also known as Halsey. There’s something so refreshing about this
artist. At only 19, Halsey is taking over and is sure to be a household name
before you know it. Where to catch Halsey: 3.18 – 1am – Official SXSW Showcase @ Bar 96
The inaugural Fashion Meets Music Festival kicked off this past Labor Day weekend in the Columbus, OH area. Music and fashion have intermingled for a long time and there are many musicians who even create their own clothing lines and brands. FMMF set out to provide the best of fashion and music and although these two didn’t necessarily mesh over the weekend, there were plenty of activities for each respectively.
There were well over 100+ plus performances throughout the festival with concerts on three main stages along with after party shows at local bars/clubs in the downtown Arena District. For the fashionistas in attendance there were fashion seminars held by Project Runway alum Kelli Martin and Althea Harper, runway stages and a retail marketplace.
The music lineup was filled with a variety of different genres, but seemed to mostly contain indie/alternative artists. One of the highlights at festivals for me is discovering new music that I haven’t heard before. A few of the artists that stood out the most to me were NGHBRS, Envoi and empires. Each band brought a lot of energy to the stage and left me wanting to hear more of their music.
Overall FMMF brought in a fair amount of concert goers with numbers increasing later in the night for the main headlining acts: O.A.R and Local Natives (Friday), Circa Survive and Switchfoot (Saturday), New Found Glory and Cold War Kids (Sunday). The drawback of the headlining performances was the overlapping set times (with one headliner starting 15 minutes after the other) which didn’t allow festival goers to see full sets of both bands if they wished.
Besides the fashion and music, FMMF also offered a couple of other extras. A variety of food trucks, vendors and sponsor booths were available to the public. There were also some fun activities that included ferris wheel rides and ziplining.
Since FMMF is an up and coming festival there is room for a few improvements, but overall it was a very fun weekend full of great music. I think it has the potential to develop over a few years and become a very successful festival that people will look forward to attending every year.
For our photos from the festival, please click here!
We recently spoke with Mike Robinson, drummer of empires, to discuss how the band started, who their biggest influences are, and what we can expect next from the band!
Check out the interview below!
How long have you guys been playing together, and how did empires start? The band has been together since 2008, but I started playing with them in 2012. Sean, Max, and Tom all knew each other before playing music together and I met them through mutual friends at a venue I work at in Akron, OH.
Chicago is home to a lot of great upcoming bands; are there any that have been there with you guys along your journey or any bands that have impacted you along the way? Disappears is a Chicago band that was a part of the inspiration for us to work with John Congleton. He’s done some really great work with them.
Who would you guys say some of your biggest influences are? Individually and as a collective unit. This is constantly changing. Personally, I grew up listening to a lot of The Beatles, Zeppelin, and soul music and that ultimately got me interested in playing, but as far as current influences it’s pretty vast and just depends on the day.
You guys are playing on Letterman soon, which I think we can agree is a pretty big feat. What would you guys say were some key moments or steps in getting to that point? I’d like to think that the music speaks for itself and caught some interest organically. We have a great team behind us as well that really helped out.
What advice do you guys have for any bands out there who are currently working their asses off? Keep working your ass off.
What can we expect next from Empires? We’ll be touring a lot this year and we have a full length, “Orphan”, coming out this fall.
Thank you for your time! Anything else you’d like to add? Our new EP, “How Good Does It Feel”, just came out last week. You can buy it on iTunes or our webstore atwww.weareempires.com… And thanks for getting in touch with us, we really appreciate it!
For Fans of: The National, The Strokes, The Airborne Toxic Event
Empires’ new EP How Good Does It Feel may only have four tracks, but really that’s all these guys need. Each track is as catchy as the one before, leaving the listener singing the tunes hours after hearing it (I know I was), but not only are these songs catchy as hell, there are some serious emotions brought out throughout the whole thing – love, longing, guilt. With How Good Does It Feel, it’s clear that empires have honed their sound and perfected their own style.
“Hostage” starts the EP of perfectly: in your face drums that the listener can’t help but at least to tap their foot. “How Good Does It Feel” and “Please Don’t Tell My Lover” are both pleasantly reminiscent of The Strokes’ First Impressions of Earth. “Lifers” ends the EPon a slower, more emotional note, leaving the listener in a state of the best kind of contemplation. How Good Does It Feel is a perfect blend of all the right sounds and feelings; it’s impossible not to fall in love with Empires.
Release Date: June 17, 2014 Run Time: 13:48 Rating: 4/5
Track Listing: 1.“Hostage” 2. “How Good Does It Feel” 3. “Please Don’t Tell My Lover” 4. “Lifers”
empires is: Tom Conrad Mike Robinson Max Steger Sean Van Vleet