Darren Campbell is a Scottish singer/songwriter who blends indie and folk music with pop and rock in a sound not unlike Ed Sheeran or Jason Mraz. He has a new song entitled “Medicine.” You can listen on Spotify or watch the video below. If you enjoy what you hear, you can find more from Darren on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, BandCamp, or his official site.
Country/rock from Tennessee. For fans of Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert, Pistol Annies, etc. Lyrx just released her first single, “Take the Money.” Check it out!
Industrial music from California. For fans of KMFDM, Bile, Nine Inch Nails, etc. 3teeth will be releasing a new album this year. For now, here’s “Atrophy” and “Pit of Fire.”
3. Thieves and Lovers
Alternative rock from Maryland. For fans of Gin Blossoms, Tom Petty, Goo Goo Dolls, etc. Thieves and Lovers just announced that there will be a new EP released this year. Listen to “Underneath” and my personal favorite, “Long Goodnight.”
Nu metal/alternative metal from Florida. For fans of Spineshank, Deftones, Mudvayne, etc. NoSelf is set to hit the studio soon and work on tracks from their upcoming release, Human Cyborg Relations, Ep. 2. Check out their latest videos, “Frisco” and “Casting Stones.”
Alternative rock from California. For fans of the softer, more melodic side of Sevendust, Three Days Grace, Incubus, etc. CLLCTV’s latest EP, Seasons, was released in February 2018. Enjoy the first single, “Summer.”
1. Kempo Slice
Hip hop/alternative from Alabama. For fans of Eminem, Three 6 Mafia, Logic, etc. Kempo recently released Kempin’ Ain’t Easy (download available here), and he has been hinting that new music is on the way! Check out “Gumptown Blues,” which features Mike Bama, and “They Say.”
2. Shallow Side
Rock from Alabama. For fans of Default, Tantric, Theory of a Deadman, etc. Shallow Side released their Origins EP in July and are currently touring; you can visit their Facebook for dates. Since I’ve been a fan for a while, I am going to share two of my favorites from Shallow Side: “My Addiction” and “Out of Reach.”
Progressive/alternative rock from Ohio. For fans of The Mars Volta, Coheed & Cambria, A Perfect Circle, etc. Firmament’s first full-length album, Spirit of Place, is available on such outlets as Spotify, iTunes, and Google Play. Hear “Bilateral” and “As One Watches the Rain” now!
Alternative rock/”gunk” from London. For fans of Blur, Green Day, Radiohead, etc. YOU! is booking shows and have upcoming dates in Warwickshire and Camden. Visit their official site for a full list and updates from the band. YOU! shared their first official music video for a track entitled “Selfish” back in June. Listen to it and “A Bird’s Prey” below.
5. State of Illusion
Rock music from South Carolina. For fans of Breaking Benjamin, 10 Years, Cold, etc. State of Illusion will be playing the Blue Ridge Rock Festival, which takes place Labor Day weekend. Their album Aphelion is available through the official page and most digital retailers. Check out “Blind” and “Find Yourself.”
1. Greyhaven (UK)
Alternative/modern rock from London. For fans of Bring Me the Horizon, A Day to Remember, Walk the Moon, etc. Back in May, Greyhaven was featured on a Metal Hammer tribute to Avenged Sevenfold. They covered “Hail to the King.” Here are two originals from the band: “Breathe” and “Truth”.
2. Playing Savage
Funk/soul/rock with a hint of hip-hop, based in Vienna. For fans of Res, Michael Jackson, Alabama Shakes, etc. Playing Savage is busy writing and recording new music! In the meantime, check out the Spotify page, as well as these two songs from the YouTube page, “This Is Love” and “Get Off of My Back.”
Alternative/pop/rock band from New York. For fans of Fall Out Boy, twenty one pilots, Panic! At The Disco, etc. According to their Instagram, Moonfall has “so much in the works” but “so little we can say.” You can, however, check out the lyric video for “Windswept,” and the video for the first song I heard, “Lost.”
4. Dare Defy
Hard rock/metal music from Florida. For fans of Killswitch Engage, Taking Back Sunday, Finch, etc. (with a touch of Slipknot). Dare Defy’s first EP is available via Spotify. They are currently booking shows and Labor Day weekend, they will be playing the Blue Ridge Rock Fest alongside such acts as Puddle of Mudd, Orgy, Lamb of God, and Jonathan Davis. Listen to the songs “Love Sick” and “Burn.”
Melodic progressive rock from Arizona. For fans of Tool, A Perfect Circle, Pink Floyd, etc. Indogen is working on new music and playing live in and around the Phoenix area, so if you’re anywhere nearby, check out their Facebook page and get to a show! Crank up the volume and jam “Autopilot” and “Implosion.”
1. Meka Nism
Metal from Florida. For fans of Arch Enemy, Within Temptation, Nightwish, etc. Meka Nism just released their latest EP, The War Inside, in May and are now booking shows. Check out the title track and “Bring the Sun Back.”
2. Love The Hate
Rock from Mobile, Alabama. For fans of 10 Years, Tantric, Chevelle, etc. Love The Hate recently opened for From Ashes to New and Bad Wolves at a hometown show. Their latest album, Burn, is available for purchase through various digital outlets. Get a taste of Burn on ReverbNation, and listen to “Bleed the Weak” now!
3. A Light in the Darkness
Progressive metal from Texas. For fans of Lamb of God, Soilwork, early Trivium, etc. A Light in the Darkness currently has two EPs available — Conspire and Athens to Piraeus — on digital platforms such as iTunes and BandCamp. Here is “Ransom,” from Conspire.
Electronic/industrial/dubstep duo that formed in Australia. For fans of Sköld, Die Antwoord, Skrillex, etc. Skynd premiered their video for “Gary Heidnik” recently, which features Korn front man Jonathan Davis. This is my new favorite band. Thus far, their songs and videos have been delving into the minds of murderers, and I love it! Please check out both of their singles, “Elisa Lam” and “Gary Heidnik.”
5. Hank the Businessman
Folk/progressive rock from Pennsylvania. For fans of Ed Sheeran, John Mayer, Jason Mraz, etc. Hank the Businessman released the Mountain EP in June. Here are my two favorite songs, “One” and “Tangled.”
Artist: Jude Buckingham
Hometown: Detroit, Michigan
I first met Jude in May at one of Almost Kings’ hometown shows. That night, he joined the Atlanta natives onstage for a cover of Eminem’s “Lose Yourself.” He joined them on the road following that night, and I have had the pleasure of watching him perform multiple times in the months since. I decided to check out his solo work and was quickly convinced I needed to spread the word about him.
Not being overly familiar with rap as a whole, and therefore unsure how exactly to describe what I was hearing, I asked for others’ input on Jude as an artist. Bryan Bozeman, vocalist for Almost Kings, had this to say:
“He has that Detroit grime with deeper meaning…”
And Adam Palka, a producer who has worked with Jude extensively, offered this description of his music:
“As far as I can describe, Jude has the kind of style that no matter what song you’re listening to, you’ll always have your head bobbing. He’s got a deep lyrical flow that can appeal to people that are looking for genuine hip hop. The kind of stuff that reminds you of hip hop back in the day, but also has a new style to it. Every song he makes is something new and he’s always trying to push the envelope further. Real hip hop fans love his music because they know he’s got a lot of talent and always delivers on every track…”
Neither Boze nor Adam were fully willing to compare Jude to any current rap/hip-hop artist, though when pushed, Boze answered with Eminem. It is easy to understand why that parallel was drawn; it has been repeatedly emphasized that Eminem raps about things that are relevant and real, things that the average person can easily relate to.
That was the thing I immediately zeroed in on when listening to Jude–the fact that his lyrical content had that same kind of meaning. He writes about everyday subjects that have or will affect most people at some point in their lives. Take this excerpt from the track “My Mind” as an example.
“…Yeah, dig deep within yourself, I know what you’ll find/It’s not what you have, but what you leave behind/A memory, a chain of events/So where you stand, which side of the fence?/You wanna make an impact on your people?/Then do it now, your life has no sequel…”
For a better grasp of what Jude is all about, I did a very brief interview with him.
Me: When did you first know that you wanted to be a rapper? I mean…who or what did you see/hear that made you say to yourself “I want to do that”?
Jude: I learned early that writing was something I was passionate about, around 10 or 11 years old. I wrote poems, entered contests and things like that. My brother put me on to music early as well, Nirvana, The Offspring, Snoop Dogg, Nate Dogg, Dr. Dre, etc. I grew up well rounded in different genres and different styles. In high school one of my closest friends began to rap quite a bit. He was extremely talented, and pushed me to really focus on hip hop and that writing process.
Me: Who are your biggest influences?
J: My influences come from people in my life and my experiences. Being able to express my opinion the way I’d like to. As far as artists go, Eminem has always been an influence. I’m fortunate enough to have a mentor who is, in my opinion, one of the best to ever do it, Boze [Almost Kings]. One of the most underrated artists, the guy is a machine. His work ethic and skill in his craft are unbelievable. The experience I get from working with him on a daily basis is priceless, couldn’t ask for better.
Me: From where do you draw most of your inspiration for lyrics?
J: Inspiration for lyrics come from my day to day life. The people around me. My ups and downs. Music for me is my outlet. I can express any emotion, any way I choose. It’s truly a blessing to have this outlet.
Me: What do you hope to do with your music? (Be a millionaire, help people, etc.?)
J: With my music I truly hope to inspire people. Help people get through things. Of course the normal rapper answer is “I want to make a ton of money” and all that, but money to me isn’t important. It comes and goes. I have the ability to live forever by giving people a piece of me in the studio. That’s something money can’t buy.
I fully encourage you to head on over to YouTube and listen to these tracks.
If you like what you hear–and you will–go to iTunes and buy his EP! I was given the opportunity for a sneak peek into what’s next for Jude and I’ve gotta tell you…he’s only getting better.