The best new artist award is not easily rewarded and even though Macklemore & Ryan Lewis are favorited to win; the award has sometimes gone to lesser known artist. We can all remember the year when big acts were snubbed including Bruce Springfield, Prince, Madonna and U2 also when Esperanza Spalding won over Justin Bieber (2011) and Bon Iver bet Nikki Minaj in 2012.

So here are the nominations of best new artist that may not be well known but could still take the prize:

Kacey Musgraves

Kacey Lee Musgraves is an American country music artist. She self-released three albums before appearing on the fifth season of the USA Network’s singing competition Nashville Star in 2007, where she placed seventh. Country music has exploded in on the scene and acts like Taylor Swift has made it more mainstream.

James Blake

James Blake Litherland, known as James Blake, is an English electronic music producer and singer-songwriter from London. He is also known as Harmonimix when releasing remixes. The rise of electronica is why we are seeing this London artist in the best new artist category.

Ed Sheeran

Edward Christopher “Ed” Sheeran (born 17 February 1991) is an English singer-songwriter. Raised in Framlingham, Suffolk, he moved to London in 2008 to pursue a musical career. In early 2011, Sheeran released an independent extended play, No. 5 Collaborations Project, which caught the attention of both Elton John and Jamie Foxx. He then signed to Asylum Records.

Sheeran began to be known in the United States in 2012. He made a guest appearance on Taylor Swift’s fourth album, Red, and wrote songs for One Direction. “The A Team” was nominated for Song of the Year at the 2013 Grammy Awards and he performed the song in duet with Elton John during the ceremony. He spent much of 2013 touring North America as the opening act for Taylor Swift’s Red Tour. His second album will be released in 2014.

Kendrick Lamar

The second hip hop act for the best new artist award to be nominated and also nominated for 6 more including album of the year and best rap song, he is said to be a direct rival of Mackelmore. His popularity is based on a large internet following which goes to show that the internet can still create celebrity stardom.

Kendrick Lamar Duckworth[1] (born June 17, 1987), known simply as Kendrick Lamar, is an American hip hop recording artist from Compton, California. Initially signed to independent record label Top Dawg Entertainment, in 2012, Lamar and the label signed a joint venture deal with Aftermath and Interscope Records. Lamar is also a member of West Coast hip hop supergroup Black Hippy, alongside label-mates and fellow California-based rappers Jay Rock, Schoolboy Q and Ab-Soul.[4]

Lamar first began to gain major attention in 2010, after the release of his fourth mixtape Overly Dedicated. The next year, he released Section.80, his first independent album to critical acclaim; released exclusively through iTunes and instantly ranked as one of the top digital hip hop releases of the year.[5] Early in his career, before releasing his major label debut, Lamar amassed a large internet following, and had already worked with Dr. Dre, Game, Drake, Young Jeezy, Talib Kweli, Busta Rhymes, E-40, Warren G and Lil Wayne, among other popular artists.

So who do you think will take home best new artist of the year? Comment below and we will tally it up!!

I came across this amazing brand while reading Harpers’ Bazaar and just had to post about this label. The brand is based in Japan and started in 2007 by designer Michiko Nakayama. Muveil was born of two words; “Mu” of muguet, the French word for lily of the valley and the  word “Veil”. Her designs are very whimsical and luxe as they are inspired by French couture and Pop Culture. Her new collections were inspired by “The Wizard Of Oz” and “Superman”! She just recently launched her collection in the USA.

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PVC Dress inspired by Wizard Of Oz $1075

PVC Dress inspired by Wizard Of Oz $1075

We are amazed on how punk music is still underground even with the surge in punk fashion. However, even though this band is not known mainstream, they still have the best fans with thousands of views on the YouTube song, “Daughters”.

The Story So Far is an American pop punk band from Walnut Creek, California formed in 2007. They are currently signed to Pure Noise Records. The band released its debut studio album Under Soil And Dirt in June 2011. On March 26, 2013, they released their second studio album, What You Don’t See. which debuted at number 46 on The Billboard 200.They have also released two EPs and two splits with bands Maker and Morgan Foster. The band was featured on the cover of Alternative Press’s March 2013 issue “100 Bands You Need to Know.”

So we end the week with the youngest punk band that has similar sounds (but unique never the less) of All American Rejects, Blink-182 and Simple Plan.  The sound has that teenage agony that grows to adulthood regret which is always relate-able. The song “daughters”, visits unrequited love, while “bad luck” talks about a nasty breakup where secrets were kept and never shared, and finally, “Things I can’t change” struggles with the need to keep a relationship with someone after love has ended.

The music is a little loud for the sweet and melancholy lyrics but you can control that on any music player. So here is our favorite video from this band:

 

 

Now don’t stop here, there are other punk  bands out there and we are suggesting you try Alkaline Trio (punk rock), Paramore (pop punk) and Snow White’s Poison Bite (horror punk).

The most interesting part of horror punk is its illusion to self-doubt, revenge on those who hurt you and escape from pain seem to speck universal truths. Wednesday 13 is no exception. They are not a new band but with the release of their new album, “The Dixie Dead”, back in February, we wanted to touch on this slightly underground band.

The name “Wednesday 13” comes from the love of campy horror movies and TV series, originating from the Addams family. Possibly, Wednesday Addams long hair that is similar to his own. Wednesday 13 was born Joesph Poole in Charolette, North Carolina and has moonlighted with several bands including Murderdolls (where his fame originated), Frankenstein Drag Queens from Planet 13,  Bourbon Crow ( a country band with former Wednesday 13 members) and recently Gunfire 76 (with a more glam rock approach).

Poole has been around since 1994 but only began singing as Wednesday 13 since 2005. The horror themes remind me of Emily Autumn but with an edge of Avenge Sevenfold and the deep musical sounds of Rev Theory.  The new album did not release a single which is always a mistake but here is the song “bad things” which turned us onto this soloist.

We haven’t touched on music for sometime but with a surge in popularity of our post on Imagine Dragons, we are finally revisiting the topic. With the talk of the death of punk, we had to prove the critics wrong by covering the latest crop of punk bands to spring up this year from the most unlikely places. So sit back and tour our week long salute to new punk music!!

This week, we are starting with a band from California called Black Veil Bride, which is weird because this is a all male band. The group is composed of Andy Biersack (lead vocals), Ash Purdy (bass, backing vocals), Jake Pitts (lead guitar), Jinxx (rhythm guitar, violin) and Christian “CC” Coma (drums). Black Veil Brides are known for their use of black makeup and body paint, tight black studded clothing, and long hair, which was inspired by Kiss’ and Mötley Crüe’s stage persona, as well as numerous other 1980s glam metal acts.

However, their music has no overtones of glam music and is instead a mash-up of  early guns and roses, a minimal of 80’s rock music and some overtones of alternative. Even though the costumes are well known in rock circles, please note this is not heavy metal or metal music period as the comments on their YouTube page suggests which boosts over 13 million hits for the video, In the End.

Signed by Universal Republic records, the band first began in 2009 with an independent label in which they sold 10,000 copies of their first album, Stitch these wounds, and deputed at no. 36 on the rock charts. They toured with another group we covered “The Birthday Massacre”.  However, it wasn’t till their third album release “Wretched and divine: the story of the wild ones” that everyone took notice. What makes this band extra-special is the DIY fashion and video that embodies the punk attitude.

Here is a look at the video “In the End”…

This week has been all about our favorite fashionable Indie Bands and we couldn’t forget how the Wonder Girls wiggled into our hearts and into your heads since the last article we wrote on them got us the most comments. So what are the Wonder Girls doing now?

Music

Well they have launched an English album last year called “Wonder Party”. The album contains 6 songs in all and the Wonder Girls themselves helped produce some of the tracks. Yenny helped produce & compose the tracks “R.E.A.L” and “Girlfriend” while Yubin contributed to the composition of “Hey Boy“. J.Y. ParkThe Asiansoul“, produced and composed their title track “Like This“. This year another mini album was released called “the Wonder begins” but have to wonder when they would release a full length album (over 6 songs).

We can only imagine the full length album would be  like especially with a break out song “Like Money” featuring Akon. We see a trend towards electro-pop with rap overtones. Unfortunately, their voices have been auto-tuned which I guess is appealing to the US market. I hope that feature gets lost in their new full length album.

Watch the video and tell us what you think:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=quE6Cq4Q2bs]

Fashion

The Wonder Girls seem to be ditching their 1970’s era clothes for futuristic metallic and catsuits. We went over to http://wonder-fashion.tumblr.com/ to see what they are wearing off-set and if the futuristic vibe was just for the video. It seems the girls are dabbling in US fashion like Marc Jacobs and more mainstream brands like H&M. We also saw love for Balenciaga and Lucky Chouette. The look is more prints and chic off camera.  Here is video interview on Vibe about their favorite fashion picks:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V5kaODtV_0A]

Gossip
Sunye is pregnant and is three months along which means she would be having a baby this October or November. Congrats on the baby!!

Next up in our Indie series is my fav Estonian, Kerli! I know we all loved Kerli’s haunting voice and bubble goth style but lately her record company Island Def Jam records has thought that with Kerli’s stunning looks and voice they would try to change her image to that of a techno house musician. Gone are the fascinators, skulls  and pretty corsets. She now bares her mid drift and wears a lot of bright fishnets, hot pants  and dreads. She did have that edgy goth sound mixed with techno and it worked beautifully with “Army of Love” and “Zero Gravity” but then it started to change and goth was left on the cutting room floor and techno took over.  I find myself highly disappointed after hearing  “The Lucky Ones”. Now she has released a mini album in March of 2013  ”Utopia” and I can’t believe how much Kerli has changed and not for the better. (The only song that makes me believe there still is a chance for Kerli is the stunning ballad “Love Me Or Leave Me”) I am so confused as to why Island would take on a goth artist only to completely change her sound and look when she had millions of views on youtube and sales with songs like “Walking on Air” and “Tea Party” now sadly her new songs get only thousands of views and she has been delegated to sad South Florida concerts where she is one of dozens of acts and not even a main artist. I’m hoping things will change when her record label sees that people aren’t warming up to the new sound. Kerli please go back to the lovely goth artist you were.

Kerli Then

Kerli starting to transform with “Army of Love”

Kerli now

Kerli 2013 “Utopia” mini Album

It’s

It’s Indie music week so we will be bringing you updates on your fav indie rock chicks! Emilie Autumn, Kerli and The Wondergirls !We always love Emilie Autumn Victorian Raggedy Annie style but her latest album based on show tunes has her showing a all new fascination with bodice, fishnet stockings and long socks giving a whole new meaning to “individual style”. Coupled with the usually extras like feathers and trim we can still see her Victorian roots. The only way we can describe her new style is “Victorian American Grunge” possibly a throwback to her return to the US coast of California.

We also bought the album which the title song our first download, “Fight like a girl”. The song is slow to begin in typical Emilie Autumn style and builds a momentum with a high pitch violin for almost a minute. The song is basically a neo-war song against the greedy and cruel. The song kinda states that girls fight better if not more cunning then the other sex. The song has instant anthem quality. I have yet to listen to all the songs since the album has a overwhelming 16 songs. Wow!!!

Now if she could only keep her tour dates in the US. I went to Orlando to see her show and made her a hat but the show was canceled the day before it was scheduled. The same thing happened at the Miami tour date. I would love to see her in concert someday and if any body has a tour schedule in the Us let us know. I still have the hat. Oh, by the way, still a fan.

Here is the title song:

 http://prostopleer.com/tracks/5253527vgCj#

You can pick up the album on Amazon.com or itunes.com.

The band Fun. explodes on the scene with smash hits “Some Nights” and “We are young”

We love that indie musicians are having a moment and the two songs that topped the chart from this band, “some nights” and “we are young”. Fun. may have  been formed from the breakup of “the Formal” but the music is original with an eighties sound and the doubts and frustrations of the 21 century. Fun is an American indie pop band based in New York City that was formed by Nate Ruess, formerly of The Format. After the breakup of The Format, Ruess formed Fun with Andrew Dost and Jack Antonoff, of Anathallo and Steel Train, respectively.

The first album “Aim and Ignite” did not gain the band must attention but the album “Some Nights” showcased their true sound. “Some Nights” is about a person who sold their soul for fame and fortune only to learn that it comes with a price, loneliness and alienation.  “We are young” is more an anthem of youth with the idea of reckless abandonment of responsibility.

Fashion wise the band mixes causal with hipster staples like jean jackets and suspenders. In their videos, they usually up the ante with streamline tailored suits and buttoned up shirts. In the “some nights” video, they matched their style with the style of Janelle Monae who sung with them.

Here is a behind the scenes look at their video for “We are young”:

Tickets are on sale now for the US leg of thier tour that begins in July with New York shows already sold out: http://ournameisfun.com/tour2013-splash/

I couldn’t help notice the uncanny resemblance between these two actors even though they are a decade apart in age (Timothy Olyphant was born 1968 and Shane West was born 1978) But only Shane West sings. But both actors got their start on television shows. Even more strange than both of these men taking up acting is that Shane’s mother’s middle name is Catherine and Timothy’s mother’s first name is Katherine! freaky right? You be the judge and let us know what you think

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