Bands x Brands: Benjamin Booker and Young & Sick

We’re back with another round of Bands x Brands, artists on the verge that brands should keep their eyes and ears on.

Benjamin Booker

Tampa born and New Orleans based singer/songwriter Benjamin Booker just released his debut album, Benjamin Booker. Endorsed by the likes of Jack White, Benjamin’s style has been called a cross between Sam Cooke and Muddy Waters. He is a great new talent, and although still a little raw around the edges, he is one to watch for in the future for sure.

Young & Sick

Another artist to keep an eye on is Young & Sick, a Los Angeles based music and art project. The brainchild of Dutch artist Nick Van Hofwegen, he is responsible for all of the writing, production and even artwork. In fact, Young & Sick has created artwork for the likes of Robin Thicke and Foster The People. In April , Young & Sick released his first self-titled album and was initially released on vinyl with Hofwegen randomly inserting his artwork into the record sleeves.

- Maurice Bernstein

Bands x Brands: FKA twigs & FaltyDL

This week, we are going to highlight artists who reside on the left of centre side of the electronic music spectrum.

FKA twigs
British singer, songwriter, and producer Tahliah Barnett aka FKA twigs just released her debut album called LP1 yesterday. This comes after releasing a series on EPs named EP1 and EP2, in 2012 and 2013, respectively. Her style and delivery is minimal, but her voice and emotion shines through on this excellent debut. Boston Globe describes it perfectly as having “the grace and mystery of a smoke ring, just out of reach but so beguiling to behold.” Watch out for this artist in the US.

From the US, Brooklyn based producer/DJ Falty DL just released his new album called In The Wild. We’ve been a fan of his production and DJ sets for a while now, and hopefully this release will bring him a wider audience. His clever use of samples and jazzy tones keeps this release moving nicely with stand out tracks being “New Haven” and “In The Sh*t.”

- Maurice Bernstein

Bands x Brands: La Roux & Unlocking The Truth

In this week’s edition, we focus on two very different artists, but both are pushing the music envelope.

La Roux

English synth pop band originally consisting on Elly Jackson on vocals and producer Ben Langmaid released their excellent Grammy Award winning debut La Roux in 2009. Elly has finally released the sophomore album, Trouble in Paradise, but minus Langmaid. It’s one of our favorite cds of 2014 with excellent songs and great driving production.

Unlocking The Truth

A young trio from Brooklyn who are not only the anti boy band but play metal good enough to now be signed to Sony. Malcolm Brickhouse aged 13 and Jarad Dawkins aged 12 met in church when they were toddlers and 13-year-old Alec Atkins joined a couple of years ago. They already have a book contract with Penguin and plans to film a documentary à la “One Direction: This Is Us.” Unlocking The Truth are as unique as they come and distinctive enough to really stand apart.

- Maurice Bernstein

Bands x Brands: Gorgon City & Gabriel Garzón-Montano

This week we are going to introduce two very exciting new artists. One is from London and the other from New York.

Gorgon City are already making a big stir in the UK. They are a production duo consisting of producers Kye “Foamo” Gibbon and Matt “RackNRuin” Robson-Scott from North London.Their 2013 single “Real” peaked to number 44 on the UK Singles Chart. They are also well known for their 2014 single “Ready for Your Love”, which reached number 4 on the UK Singles Chart. Mainly people have compared them to Disclosure, but we feel there is much more they are going to offer. A stateside release on Priority Records is due later this year

Gabriel Garzón-Montano is a young Brooklyn based singer/songwriter who we’ve been watching for a while. Still unsigned (but I’m sure not for long,) he released his debut EP Alma del Huila a few months ago. His style is reminiscent of Sly Stone meets Donny Hathaway and Prince. We are predicting big things for this young man.

- Maurice Bernstein

Bands x Brands: Banks & Glass Animals

Banks (who uses her last name as a mononym) emerged just last year, releasing a steady stream of songs combining the bared emotions of Fiona Apple with the hazy, electronic-R&B instrumentation of the Weeknd and the blue-eyed soul of the XX. It’s a combination that quickly gained her a solid online following, a record deal with Capitol’s Harvest Records imprint followed and plenty of media buzz.” Her debut album, Goddess, is set for release in September. via Washington Post

“Oxford four-piece Glass Animals are signed to super-producer Paul Epworth’s new label Wolf Tone – which, given his talent-spotting track record with Adele and Florence + The Machine, says something for their commercial appeal, sitting as they do directly between Alt-J, Wild Beasts and In Rainbows-era Radiohead. That singer Dave Bayley is a qualified doctor perhaps explains their brainiac aesthetic, all intricate beats and time signatures, but their songs have heart to go with the giant brain. ‘Black Mambo’ is straight-up sexy R&B, ‘Pools’ is an immediate blast of tropical rhythm, and recent single ‘Gooey’ shimmies and slides along magnificently. Best of all is pleading love song ‘Hazey’ and its east-meets-west instrumentation. An assured debut.” via NME