1. Band of Horses
Formed in 2004 in Seattle, Band of Horses is an American rock band that has released four albums. One, Infinite Arms, was Grammy nominated. I came across them on Spotify while listening to Kings of Leon radio. “The Funeral” from their album Everything All The Time struck me in the sense that I could not get enough. My true favorite is “No One’s Gonna Love You” from Cease To Begin. I take the song as a rocky relationship that the singer wants to save. Definitely a band to check out when you’re in the mood for deeper stuff, or just a different sound.
2. John Legend
I knew I loved John Legend when I would act out a music video to “Ordinary People” in 5th grade. His voice can easily send me shivers in some of his music. It’s not just the sound of his voice that makes me shiver, its the chords of the song – like in his song “I Love, You Love” from his album Evolver, the guitar riff in the beginning easily sets the mood of the song. His voice is powerful and his lyrics are very meaningful. Plus, he has a hot wife, Chrissy Teigen – and most of his songs are about her.
Two brothers, Guy and Howard Lawrence make up the duo “Disclosure.” Their debut album Seattle was nominated for the Best Electronica Album at the Grammy’s. The brothers have been around since 2010 and are both very young. My personal favorite by them is “White Noise.” I have danced around in my underwear to that song numerous times. Their album is a definite dance-in-underwear album. My friends and I always play Disclosure songs at parties and it’s a hit. They give off the party/dance vibe. So if you want to be lifted into good spirits, play ’em.
4. Sam Smith
Smith is taking the world by storm after being the voice of Disclosure’s song “Latch.” Although this hit has been around for almost 2 years, it just rose to the top in America. Smith is only 22 years old, and has an album out now, titled In the Lonely Hour. It lists 15 tracks, including the acoustic version of “Latch” and his other top hit “Stay With Me.” I try to avoid going crazy over the mainstream songs that artists have, so try listening to his song “Leave Your Lover;” the music video is on Vevo. You’ll thank me later.
5. Iron & Wine
39 Year-old Samuel Beam has caught my heart. An American singer-songwriter with tons of talent seeps through my headphones, usually towards night time. He likes using acoustic guitars, banjos and slide guitars. His voice is soft, yet loud enough to reach you. He has various EPs, singles, and five albums. I like his music for long car rides, or sunny days when you’re poolside- even though I’m sure most of you picture upbeat music for that scene. Give him a shot, you never know what you might find. “Naked As We Came” is one of his biggest hits, and I highly recommend it.
Highly underrated, Schoolboy gets me thinking I am a rapper when I sing along to his music. With my new favorite, “Studio” off his latest album, he captures my attention. Schoolboy became serious about music back in 2006. His biggest influences are east coast rappers- such as Nas, 50 Cent, and Jay-Z. He uses the “rhyme” technique in all of his songs, so he says. With various shows all over, ScHoolboy does nothing but amaze his fans. He was nominated for a BET Award for Best New Artist, this year. Even if rap isn’t your style, he may be an exception. After all, he is the “Man of the Year.”
7. The Holdup
With music that’s a mix between reggae, hip hop and indie sounds, your summer is complete with this band. From San Jose, California, The Holdup is my go-to for summer sounds. From 2006 til now, six albums have been beautifully created with their most recent one released on December 6th, 2013 by Dub Rock Records. My personal favorites are “The Drugs” from Still Gold and “Back Then” from Confidence. The beats are solid and definitely good for beach days with your friends. It’s the type of music you need to drink a beer to, which would be good music, right? They are a kickass band, as they also put on a memorial show for an avid fan who passed away in 2011.
8. Childish Gambino
More than a triple threat, Donald McKinley Glover (Childish Gambino) is a rapper, writer, actor, comedian and producer. Because The Internet is his latest album. It features tracks titled “Death by Numbers” and “1. Flight of the Navigator” which are two of my favorites. He is a mix of geekiness and electricity. He can shock you in a second with his words, but at the same time, his words can sometimes be cheesy. I just today retweeted a GIF of him in his music video saying “And if I lose my mental, just hold my hand, even if you don’t understand.” These are words I think we all can relate to every now and then. He is definitely someone who needs to be added to your playlist.
9. Jhene Aiko
Being someone who has done a song with Childish Gambino (“Bed Peace”), she is also someone I admire. Jhene Aiko is signed to Island Def Jam label and has already created some hits. Her song “The Worst” can be heard at least once a day on your local r&b radio station. She is definitely a looker who’s voice is perfect to match. Whenever I’m relaxing or just driving alone, I put her songs on and just sing along. To start her songs, she writes lines of poems and puts them to different melodies. Her music is soft, and has also been said to be “pop-tinged” by her vocals. I am in love with her song “3:16 AM” on her album Sail Out. I get the vibe of ‘too much of one good thing can be a bad thing’ from this song, and that’s a valuable lesson in life. She rocks, I like her. It’s always good to listen to an artist with a good mind and healthy spirit.
10. Kings of Leon
OF COURSE, I save the best for last. My love for Kings of Leon burns so, so, so bright. This American-rock band formed in 1999 in Nashville. Kings of Leon is made up of three brothers and one cousin, whom have all had alcohol/drug addictions. The genres they fall under would probably be alternative/southern rock. They have six studio albums, and their latest one Mechanical Bull was released in September of 2013. “Wait For Me” is my favorite song from that album. You may know their popular songs “Sex on Fire” and “Use Somebody.” I think their rock music opened up new doors for me when it comes to liking different kinds of music. Their music helps release emotion, turn up some emotions and more. They have the sexy, grungy rock look to them. If you’re looking for a new taste of music, listen to their song “Revelry” and keep an open mind.