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Hartwick College's Student Newspaper

The View From Oyaron Hill

Five Bands You Can Use to Either Impress or Confuse Your Friends


Tim Raimy

No one can deny that the music industry is massive. There are dozens of bands and solo artists whose presence on “mainstream” radio and in your standard house party has made them almost universally recognizable. But have you ever wondered what happens when you start canoeing down some of the tributaries away from the “mainstream?”

If you’re interested in a folksy vibe you might find Jake Bugg; an English singer-songwriter. Jake Bugg will be releasing his third studio album On my One in June of this year. The single for which the album is named, “On My One,” is currently available on YouTube and iTunes. His two previous albums, Jake Bugg (2013) and Shangri La (2013), were both powerful, touching on Bugg’s life experiences, so it’ll be interesting to see where this third album goes. Bugg also released an EP, Messed Up Kids EP, in 2014 and has performed a few songs for miscellaneous movies and television shows.

Keeping up with bands across the pond might lead you to find Welsh indie rock band Catfish and the Bottlemen, who released their new single “Soundcheck” on February 16 of 2016. Catfish and the Bottlemen will satisfy your rock needs with songs from their first album, The Balcony, which was released in 2014.

If you really want to impress your friends by introducing them to a group that hasn’t even put out a full album yet, you can acquaint them with Schnarff Schnarff. (Yes. You read that correctly.) Schnarff Schnarff is a Scottish fivesome who identify as a “Staccato Grunge Pop” band, and while they may not have put out a full album yet, you can check out their EP, Schnarff Schnarff EP, which officially released in April of 2014, and their two double tracked singles “This Is How We Get Some!” and “Desk” from September and March of 2015, respectively.
To find the work of Sunset Sons, the next band on our tour of the music industry’s less-travelled waters, you’ll have to scrounge around on the Internet to find their first album No Bad Days (2014). Their four members hail from the United Kingdom and Australia. You can find their first official EP, The Fall Line EP (2015) on iTunes, and they will be releasing their first official full-length album, Very Rarely Say Die on April 1 of this year. If you can’t find some of their songs from No Bad Days, or don’t want to scrounge around the Internet looking for them, don’t worry! Several of them are listed on the track list for Very Rarely Say Die.

We return to the United States for the last band on this list, the amazing Blues Rock band Shakes. Alabama Shakes cleaned up at the Grammys this year, winning four Grammys with their second album Sound & Color: Best Rock Song (“Don’t Wanna Fight”), Best Alternative Album, Best Engineered Album, and Best Non-Classical Album. The band first came onto the scene in 2011 with their single “Heavy Chevy,” but didn’t release their first album, Boys & Girls, until 2012. They kept up the momentum with another single, “Always Alright” in 2013, and then released Sound & Color in 2015.

BONUS BAND: Hiatus Kaiyote, an Australian R&B group was nominated for a Grammy in 2016, but didn’t win. They have released two full albums: Tawk Tomahawk (2013) and Choose Your Weapon (2015). They also released a single, “Live In Revolt.” which featured two collaborations on four songs from their first album, as well as a single that was a remix of their song “Breathing Underwater.”