PA Band To Follow - Serencia

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Serencia is a sweet little project that stems from Lancaster, PA, and we can't stop listening!

The project was born with the collaborative effort of Derek Paris Frantz and Lily Eckman! While mostly an acoustic, singer/songwriter group - Serencia is constantly working on covers and creating! They recently released a brand new EP, A Leap Of Faith, A Violent Shove as well.

The 14-track album is a beautiful, tender, and warm hearted experience that touches upon aspects of folk, indie, and classic singer/songwriter fundamentals. Serencia recently put out a music video for their track off the album, "There She Goes," so check it out below!

Serencia has been busy since the spring, with the release of their new album, as well as a myriad of shows and small tours, they've been going out and making sure they're getting heard! We're adding them to The Hook's featured artists because Serencia are bringing out a quiet, but provocative sound that you definitely don't want to miss.

Here is one of our favorite tracks off of the new album, "Feels Like This" below via Bandcamp!

The mysticism of Serencia is captivating, and this track specifically feels so, so well rounded and tender. I want to hold it in my hands and listen to it like a shell. Does that make sense? Listen to it until it does.

Check out Serencia's social media for amazing covers of some of your favorite bands, as well as their own original music! You can catch up on tour dates and the new EP as well, and The Hook definitely approves!

Serencia: Facebook // Soundcloud

PA Artist To Follow - Overwinter

We've been busy listening to new music and going to shows, so it's safe to say we've been slacking in featuring amazing music that we've been hearing. But who better to make this comeback with than Philadelphia native, Sarah Ponton, otherwise known as Overwinter.

Overwinter is a singer/songwriter & multi-instrumentalist from right here in Philadelphia, PA who has been hard at work being heard, and thank goodness we're hearing it. Inspired by Motown and soul, as well as modern indie electronic, Overwinter crafts melodies driven by deep emotions and trials. She has performed live at PVD Festival in Providence, RI, and regularly performs in the Philadelphia area.

An impressive repertoire for Overwinter, and her sound fits in a perfect loop of what is exciting about contemporary indie electronic music, with clear influences from aforementioned soul and Motown. Check out the original track off of Overwinter's Demo, "Not Mine," streaming via Soundcloud below!

Overwinter's sweet, provocative voice is captivating and exciting especially in a genre that is really on an interesting come up. The Philadelphia native has been busy playing shows in basements as well as venues, including one of The Hook's most recent showcases! 

When we asked Sarah of Overwinter what inspired her to make music, her response was the reason we all make art, "I started in music when I was four, when I picked up the violin. It's been my instinct ever since, to just play. It's also a great catharsis for all my stress and struggles that I deal with on a daily basis."

We couldn't agree more on that, and with electronic indie & singer/songwriter coming together in Overwinter, you're in for a treat. As of right now, Overwinter has plenty of instrumental demos as well as a few cover songs and original demos available to stream on Soundcloud, so you should check that out.

If you're into Overwinter (like we are) we hope you check out her social media accounts to keep up with upcoming shows and releases. You don't want to miss this one!

Overwinter: Facebook // Soundcloud

NJ Band To Follow - WAYNOWAY

As someone who has grown up surrounded by the ocean, living in Philadelphia has been a bit of a climate change for me. I exchanged sand and surf for city streets and apartment buildings - and while I love my life in Philadelphia, I do miss home, the ocean, and the people who encompassed all of those things, too.

Enter in Waynoway, born in the vintage boardwalk empire of Asbury Park, Waynoway has struck a chord within me that makes me excited for their future in the scene! The 4 piece has only been around for a short amount of time, but they've made sure to keep busy by playing shows in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania; as well as releasing an EP in spring of last year.

Waynoway released their EP, Who Will Pet My Dog When I Die, in May of 2016. The four track EP is one of my most favorite EP's since - a collection of smooth, surf-y vocals, contrasted by the quick, melodic instrumental background to create this perfect, consistent rhythm and sound. Check out the EP tracklist below, and check back soon for a review of Who Will Pet My Dog When I Die, too!

Who Will Pet My Dog When I Die:
1. Did You Leave?
2. Escape
3. I Don't Love You (At All)
4. I'll Be Okay
 

 

 

 

 

Let's get to some specifics: the four piece consists of Matt Bilbao, Thomas Louis, Alex Costantino, and Justin Genzo. They're in the studio, writing and working on putting out more music, which makes us here at The Hook excited to see what Waynoway has to offer for the future! Let's get more ethereal grooves bathed in salty, ocean waters. 

Of course, I can't say for sure, but I do think it's going to be great. I do know that the NJ locals will be heading to Philly to play at The Pharmacy on February 17th for a PAWs benefit show which you can check out the event for here.

Otherwise, check out out their social media to always keep up to date on what's happening with Waynoway! Ask them about their dog, Cloud, about their favorite food, or what meme fancies their style this month.

WAYNOWAY: Facebook // Instagram // Twitter

NH Band To Follow - The City View

My favorite kind of music is the kind of music you aren't looking for, the kind of music that pops up in the background of some place else, so absent minded it's like you made it up in your head. The City View was just the band I wasn't looking for - and I'm so glad I found them.

Let me back track to the beginning.

The Hook throws shows, you guys know this, we do it once a month all around in the tri-state area. I had put together a show at The Meatlocker in Montclair, NJ - the band I manage WAYNOWAY offered up The CIty View as a last minute replacement for a band who had dropped or something like that - a band who was willing to drive 6+ hours each way to play my Wednesday night show.

Of course, I was stoked to have a full bill and everything was going to be going great! That's not how the story turned out, and that show was one of the worst I had ever put together, but hey you win some and lose some, but I think in this instance I definitely won.

The City View played last, and as I stood, tired and wet and cold in this venue not meant for us, I listened to the pure ethereal static that filled the room. I was standing still in this moment that felt so perfect - the kind of music I had been trying to find for years, so deep seeded in my brain I don't even know I'm looking for it.

The City View are still working on finalizing a collection of music - but, I couldn't be more excited for that day. Until then, The City View has a few singles on their Bandcamp to show off that dreamy bedroom pop sound that I've just fallen in love with - one that uses traditional instrumental sound, guitar, bass and drums - while also exploring how to manipulate noise with electronic technology.

Honestly when I saw them I was just so fascinated by the performance and the ability to incorporate all of these different elements to create a sound that mimicked early 2000's bedroom/electronic pop, but was modern and exciting.

Anyway, if I haven't turned you on to The City View, I've got a few bandcamp links streaming for you to check out - and definitely do listen for yourself. In the meantime, while I impatiently wait for TCV to put out new music (so I can fangirl some more), check out their social media! Give them a like, tell them why you also are now in love with them, eat a cookie near them, you know the drill.

The City View: Bandcamp // Facebook

Bo Mason Wants You to Evolve

Taking a look back at 2016, it truly was "the year about just realizing stuff...", as uttered through the voice of our generation's augmented lips. While many took this insightful quote as a confirmation of all the bad that transpired throughout the year, some let these words sink in a lil deeper...planting the seeds for inspiration. 

I look at this idea of "realizing stuff" as one's realization of their own true potential...however, it is then up to you to harness said potential, to come into your own and manifest what ever it is you desire. But how do you do this? Let's take a look at one of my best mates, Bo Mason, who is doing just that through the power of Twitter.

After receiving a lukewarm amount of hits on his debut LP, Doves In the Valley of the Shadows, Bo, a vocalist based out of Jersey City, NJ, took it upon himself to turn it up a couple notches. He was able to jump from a Soundcloud stream count of 50 up to (as of this writing) 240k+ in less than a month. How? It all started with this fateful tweet:

Shortly after posting the father-son blood pact, the tweet took off. People began to listen, they began to share and before long, the tweet transcended Twitter, appearing on various social media outlets. More and more people tuned in to hear Bo Mason - who is he? Some Soundcloud rapper? Why doesn't he just get a job? Why does he need to be freed? Is his music even worth listening to? Well, as recent history (and my personal bias) has shown, it very much is worth a listen(s).

After a few weeks of heavy RT'ing and steadily increasing Soundcloud streams, outspoken Canadian DJ, deadmau5 caught wind of the mysterious Bo Mason. He must have been impressed with what he heard, for he took to Reddit to let everyone know that if Bo hits a benchmark of 1 million streams, Mr. Mau5 himself will fly Bo out to mau5trap and co-produce an album with him. Wait, what? Yeah. Check out the post below:

So what happens next for Bo Mason? Only time will tell. As of deadmau5's endorsement, Bo's Soundcloud, which was already on fire, is seeing even more traffic...his album having jumped from 160k to 240k+ streams in a matter of days. deadmau5 even did a live stream of himself re-mixing "Drifting", a track off Doves, on his twitch channel...so needless to say, it's been a very interesting start to 2017 for Bo.

So what can we take away from this story? Are you to draft an agreement with one of your parents whenever you need to push your music? No. But you are to have faith. Faith in yourself and your ability. Have faith in your ability to create something undeniable. Something true. Something that resonates with you. Then what? You run with it. You take something you believe in wholeheartedly and you share it with others...as many people as you can. You realize your potential, you harness it and thus, you manifest your desires...and evolve. You create the reality in which you wish to exist in. Bo's doing it. Why aren't you?

So if you're feeling inspired or if you just want to hear what all the hullaballoo is about, you best start streaming Doves in the Valley of the Shadows below:

After replaying the album 700 times, you can keep up with Bo's journey via his social media below!

Bo Mason: Twitter // Soundcloud // Instagram // Youtube

MD Band To Follow - WVNDER

It's been a while since we've been excited about someone new, but Maryland alt-rock quartet, WVNDER has quickly become one of those bands tugging on our heart strings!

The Frederick, Maryland based quartet has beginnings in 2014 with a debut Bandcamp album - a band made up of core members, Andy Cizek (Vocals), Jack Rentschler (Guitar/Vocals), Danny Salsbury (Guitar/Vocals), and Brett Schleicher (Drums) - WVNDER quickly caught the attention of a few important people in the scene, which skyrocketed their short, however impressive career into the blossoming present it currently takes.

WVNDER signed with Boston label, We Are Triumphant - who re-released their debut album in August 2015, and otherwise allowed for an open door to the spotlight WVNDER wanted - and dare we say, deserves. WVNDER, a two year old band, has spent their time making moves, playing shows, affiliating themselves with companies who they hope will better their standing - and as a listener we admire that in a fellow group of artists. 

WVNDER released their full-length sophomore album back in August of 2016, solidifying their seats as a band you should be watching out for. With roots in pop punk, alt-rock, emo punk, WVNDER has transformed themselves with the use of technical musicianship and emotionally driven, cathartic lyricism. 

Precipice follows debut album WVNDER with 12 tracks, and maintains important footholds that WVNDER had established previously - we're thinking of lead singer Andy Cizek's voice that breaks through the wall of instrumental power, and delivers not only the weight of emotion that the lyrics exude, but also ground the listener in a specific moment that transforms each track into separate entities of being.

Check out the tracklist below!

Precipice Tracklist:
1. Afterimage
2. Character Blur
3. The Dark
4. Goodbye
5. Crier
6. Other Worlds
7. Spellbound
8. Limbo (feat. Bradley Walden)
9. Stay Away
10. Come Home
11. Dream Life
12. Bliss


Of course, what upholds Cizek's voice is the backing of powerful, heavier musical technical prowess of Jack Rentschler and Danny Salsbury. The duality of the guitar allows two separate sounds, one that steadies the beat, and another that highlights the working vocals. And, obviously, the importance of drummer Brett Schleicher to hold down each track with the constant beat. 

By definition, a precipice is a very steep rock face or a cliff - and this Precipice feels like the leap into freedom. That was what we, here at The Hook, most enjoyed about WVNDER and Precipice. WVNDER joins the ranks for band's we're watching out for - one that brings back memories of what we loved about pop punk, what we miss about it, and what the scene needs to uplift sometimes tiresome roots.

If you're in the Baltimore area, check out their show on December 8th!


Otherwise, definitely check out WVNDER - they're always up to something, especially really awesome shows, and in the meantime check out Precipice, or take a look at their social media to stay up to date on some really good fuckin' music.

WVNDER: Facebook // Instagram // Twitter

NJ Band To Follow - Shark Club

Shark Club is a band that I didn’t know I needed in my life until I heard them. Everything about them and their music screams authenticity, honesty, and innocence in a peculiar way that is reminiscent of childhood memories. The band has been hard at work in 2016 releasing arguably their strongest set of songs in their latest EP Michigan a little over 2 months ago. On top of that, they have also recently released a cover of Slaughter Beach, Dog’s song “Monsters” which you can listen to below!

Shark Club consists of guitarists/singer songwriters Jake Britton and Russel Cerminaro, bassist Eric Ciparis, and newest member, David Juro on the drums. With influences from bands such as Modern Baseball and The Front Bottoms, the band strikes a perfect balance between nostalgia and innovation while crafting a sound that is all their own. The name Shark Club, just like the members of band, comes from simple beginnings. One day Britton approached Cerminaro with a song he had written which they later recorded. They quickly realized the potential behind their music, recruited additional members, Ciparis and Juro, and began practicing in Cerminaro’s basement. That practice space was decorated with an odd painting of a pink shark wearing sunglasses.

Right below the shark, the painting read “shark club.”

The band has released 2 full length albums and 1 EP. Their latest full length effort, Michigan, is the band’s most collaborative project with each member contributing to every song on the record equally, and it definitely shows. Michigan captures everything that is fun and exciting about Shark Club and puts it on full display in a neatly polished package that just makes listeners feel good. 
You can check out the tracklisting for Michigan right here!

Michigan Tracklist:
1. In Your Eyes
2. Aim For The Heart 03:11
3. Paper Bag Funeral 03:20
4. In Time 02:30
5. Mint 04:18
6. Weathered 03:09
7. Yosemite 02:18
8. Blue Whale 03:43
9. God Walks on 45th Street 03:38
10. Midnight 03:25
11. Tomorrow 04:44
12. Quilt
 

Just like their recorded music, Shark Club’s live shows are just as fun and inviting. Even before they set foot on the stage, the members of the band make it a priority to go around and engage audience members by asking random questions that are guaranteed to take you by surprise. When they finally do take the stage, you better believe their shows will be filled with infectious music and good vibes. “If our high energy songs and scrumptious breakdowns don’t get you pumped, I’m not sure what will.”

Unfortunately Shark Club has no set shows in place at this moment. The members are at school until winter break rolls around when they will be back at the grind recording the dozens of songs they have amassed since their last record. 

If you have never heard of Shark Club before, then now is the perfect opportunity to join the club (pun fully intended). You’ll be treated to wonderfully benevolent music that will make you feel happy in the most innate way while still bringing energy and intensity. Michigan is an awesome, feel-good record that I highly recommend. Check out Shark Club’s social media links below and keep your eyes and ears peeled for even more new music and show dates.

Shark Club:  Facebook // Soundcloud // Bandcamp // YouTube

Philly Band To Follow - Coping Skills

As time continues to move forward (as time does), The Hook has been reflecting on our upcoming October 13th show - and the exciting acts that it will include. One of these is the fantastic self proclaimed "moderately gay, post ironic, bummer pop" duo, Coping Skills. 

Rachel Dispenza & Lauren DeLucca created Coping Skills, "more than a band name," the pair spent a great deal of time after meeting in college figuring out what it meant to be friends. Coping Skills says, "after a tumultuous (and entertaining) two years of living together, muddling through school together, attending shows together, in addition to recording a benefit compilation and booking a release show, they decided they needed to be writing music together, too."

Thank goodness for that, because Coping Skills has become a rising Philly favorite. 

Since their first EP release in 2015, Everything is Stupid + I Hate It, Coping Skills has since released SAD 4 SAD with Anna Ladd, and lastly their debut LP, Relatable Web Content in the spring of 2016. The 9-track LP is the embodiment of the DIY work ethic, and if you don't know - one of Philly's most current coveted genre technique. Rachel and Lauren recorded the music, created the artwork, as well as released the album digitally and on cassette by themselves. 

Check out the tracklist for Relatable Web Content below!

Relatable Web Content Tracklist:
1. Internet Yardsale
2. We Bury Our Dead Alive
3. Drop Out of College
4. Fuck Me Up, Ben Gibbard
5. Great, Big
6. I Don't Feel Good About This
7. 4 Days with Me Will Change Your Life (Cool Girl)
8. Cheap Shots
9. @ Me Next Time

 

While Coping Skills normally play shows with a drum machine, their friend Sam Becht (Jank) played live drums on the album! However, according to the duo "Coping Skills sets are meant to be a unique experience as much as they are a musical performance. They recently hopped on a tour at the last minute, so Rachel FaceTimed Lauren into every show from hundreds of miles away. This is only one example of their anything goes, fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants mentality - but it’s just another day for Coping Skills."

And, let's be real, we're beyond stoked over here at The Hook. Coping Skills will be joining us for our October 13th show (presented in tandem with Paper Scissors Media) - so if anything about them seemed interesting, you should totally come check them out on October 13th at The Tralfamadore right here in South Philly!

Otherwise, check out Coping Skills' social media below!

Coping Skills: Facebook // Bandcamp