January 2017 Music Picks

Rag N’ Bone Man “Human”

The downside of devoting December to year-end countdowns is waiting until January to rave about hot new music.  Dozens have already dubbed British singer-songwriter Rory Graham aka Rag’n’Bone Man a “star-in-waiting”.  His amazingly soulful single “Human” has hit number one in Austria, Germany, Belgium and Switzerland and more.  With a driving bass beat and “growling vocals that soar over a genre-blending melange of hip-hop soul and gospel” this single and artist definitively stands out from the crowd.  His debut album is scheduled to arrive in March.


LP – Lost On You

One of the rare ones that made me say “WOW” on first listen and I’m loving it more with every subsequent replay.  LP (Laura Perfolizzi) is an American pop/rock singer from Long Island.  She’s been on the scene since her debut release in 2001, has collaborated with Linda Perry, and written for Cher Lloyd, Rihanna, Christina Aguilera and more.  The single “Lost On You” has topped the charts in seven European countries to date (France, Greece, Israel, Poland, Romania, Serbia and Turkey) and amply deserves to do the same here in the U.S.


Colony House “You & I”

Tennessee indie rockers Colony House are adept at creating earworm melodies. Caught these guys live in 2014 and am thrilled to see them back on the alt charts with some new tunes.  Loving the euphoric melody on the chorus and the rather timely lyrics.  “I’m not scared of fighting, I’m just a little bit over this conversation… Maybe the world isn’t crazy, maybe it’s you and I…”  (Note: While this video may be a bit amusing to watch, the actual song starts at 2:06).


Orwells – “They Put A Body in the Bayou”

Chicago-based rockers The Orwells first caught my ear in 2014 with a sound that’s distinctly their own, yet somehow still oddly familiar.  The LP “Disgraceland” featured melodic sing-along garage rock/indie pop with catchy energetic riffs that showcased the band’s punk sensibilities and generated comparisons from The Doors to Nirvana.  The band seamlessly blends the old and the new (love the retro album cover!) and the video for “They Put A Body In The Bayou” offers a commentary on the ever-present problem of corruption in politics. The new album “Terrible Human Beings”, due for release on February 17th, has an evident Pixies influence.  Frontman Mario Cuomo notes, “We wanted to make songs that at their core are catchy and pretty, then slash them up.” They’ve done a fine job at that.


Night Riots – Nothing Personal

These guys are on my “need to see live” list!  And since they’re from San Luis Obispo, that shouldn’t be TOO difficult, right?  Drawing influences from punk rock, goth and the 80s, they’ve been compared to bands like The Cure and The Killers. Their new album “Love Gloom” has been described as “diverse and energetic with darker musical undertones…and songs that are emotionally thought-provoking while making you want to dance around.” Besides which I kind of just…really love this video!!


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