Since I started this blog, my love for indie music and the artists that create it has grown exponentially. On a daily basis, I force myself (literally) to listen to a minimum of 15 minutes of mainstream radio. I usually start with our local Top 40 station and within two or three minutes, I just can't take anymore of it. More often than not, my exposure to what is out there is limited to satellite radio. Now don't get me wrong. I don't absolutely despise mainstream music. There are actually some decent singers/bands out there. I mean, didn't they all start out as independent artists?
This all brings us to tonight's featured artist. When I compare what I see happening in the music world today (both mainstream and indie), I see a vastly glaring difference on how artists support each other. In the world of mainstream, if it doesn't line someone's pocket, no one is going out on a limb to say, "Hey, you gotta check out the new album by such and such who is on a different record label than mine who isn't currently on tour with me..." Indie music? Not even close. The artists that I follow on Twitter and like on Facebook jump at any chance to help other artists get their music heard. Whether it's guest DJ'ing on an internet radio station and spinning the indie tunes they dig, to posting on their personal accounts about someone they like, they get what it takes. They know how important they are to each other, to the bars and coffee shops they play in, to the bloggers who write about them, to the fans who grow to love each and every one of them.
Several weeks back, an artist who regular readers of MY Indie Music Blog will recognize, David Gielan, did exactly what I just touched on. He posted a link to Southern California acoustic duo August Melody on Facebook. I thought, if THE greatest indie artist out there likes this band, they must be pretty good, right? I had no idea what I was about to get myself into.
I've been patiently biding my time waiting to introduce August Melody to you. At the time that I first heard them, they hadn't started a Twitter account yet. Only one other time have I posted a blog for an artist that has no presence on Twitter. That's just because I feel like it's a more effective tool in the realm of social networking to help indie artists get heard. Don't ask me for my thoughts on Facebook on this matter. That's a different blog in and of itself for another time. But now, the August Melody Twitter account is off and running, and we all get to reap the benefits!
Ray Obenchain and Stephanie McManus are August Melody. August Melody is the self professed "best band ever." Take it as tongue-in-cheek, but I dare you to argue otherwise. The first time I hit play on their song Coffee House from their latest self-titled album, I was obsessed before they hit the chorus.
Call them singer/songwriters, call it folk, call it Americana, call them country, call it alt/country, call it the blues. You can put nearly any tag to their music that you want, as long as you call them what they are. Brilliant. There is not one single thing about them that I don't absolutely love. This is stripping music down to its basics. Write a good song that tells a story. Put an acoustic guitar to the words and bring on a songstress with one of the most beautifully melodic voices, and repeat. Over and over again. For the record, Mr. Obenchain, you're not too shabby on the vocals yourself. Painted in Red is one of the best tracks on the album!
Count on me to remain obsessed with August Melody. Period.
Now it's up to you, my faithful readers and lovers of all things indie, to show some love to August Melody. There's a reason why you're along for this ride with me. August Melody is that reason right now.
Follow the band on Twitter, like them on Facebook, check them out on ReverbNation and head over to iTunes to download August Melody. iTunes not for you? You can get the album on Amazon as well.
And as always, follow along right here on MY Indie Music Blog for all things August Melody!
Support unsigned artists... give indie music a chance.