indie

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 - 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

 

CA Band To Follow - Crooked Teeth

Photography:  Ashly Nicole

Photography: Ashly Nicole

Crooked Teeth is one of the newest bands we've been into, but their freshness doesn't take away from the pure sound that they create - and we're adding them to The Hook's most watched band list!

Out of San Francisco, California, Crooked Teeth claim to be a "a cocktail of all of [our] favorite elements from (but not limited to) Emo, Pop, Punk rock, Pop punk and Alt Rock." Take it from us, Crooked Teeth is a gratifying collection of eclectic music. Not to mention, Crooked Teeth has spent the entirety of their short existence making sure that their resumé is nothing short of impressive. Having shared the stage with acts like Have Mercy, Cute Is What We Aim For, and This Wild Life, as well as having played for Common Ground Fest Wests Festival, and Emo Night LA.

And for all of these really cool accomplishments, we were even more surprised to find that Crooked Teeth is only a three piece comprised of Tyson Evans (Vox/Bass), Adam Miranda (Guitar) and Adam Galindo (Drums).

Photography:  Ashly Nicole

Photography: Ashly Nicole

According to Crooked Teeth, "The project was started out of a desire to not really have any limitations as far as sound or one particular genre association. The band was put together within six months of the completion of the debut EP, Out Here, A Lone. Adam Miranda (Guitar) ended up printing some shirts for me (Tyson), and I sent him the songs with no objective, which was when he reached out to play and invited his friend (now also mine) Adam Galindo of Strife to hop in on drums."

A band with a plan is what we like to see. Out Here, A Lone dropped on May 27th, 2016. It was produced/engineered/mixed by Matt Lang, percussion was done by Andy Rodesney, and finally mastered by Mike Kalijian. The 5-track EP is the perfect little teaser for what (we hope) is to come from Crooked Teeth.

Think about Green Day and Blink 182 for us, then check out their bandcamp to form your own opinion. Otherwise, check out the tracklist below.

Out Here, A Lone Tracklist:
1. Golden Boys
2. F@#k Up
3. Deal
4. Helpless
5. State Lines

 

 

 

 

Crooked Teeth is a really exciting new venture, and The Hook is on for the ride. In regards to their future and current goals, Crooked Teeth had this to say, "The project is still relatively fresh and we are just getting our feet wet under this new name and identity. Ultimately, our goals are to shred really fucking hard, have a kick ass time doing so, and write jams that we would want to turn up loud."

In the meantime, check out Crooked Teeth's social media plugs below, and stay tuned with this up & coming band.

Crooked Teeth: Facebook // Bandcamp

Philly Band To Follow - MOON JELLIES

It's been a while, but we're happy to be back with Philadelphia natives, and newest Hook obsession, MOON JELLIES!

This psychedelic 4 piece has been experimenting with sound in relationship to music in a way that feels refreshing, fun, and smart. Of course, what we feel is most important about this band is their ability to morph into different things. While psychedelic indie feels nice to say, MOON JELLIES is huge on that experimentation bit, and can go between different sounds like neo-soul, or dream pop, and even psych rock. 

We're stoked on MOON JELLIES, though, because they're all of those things that embody their music too. But, to understand this band, maybe it's best to go back to the beginning. The lineup consists of Eoin Murphy (Guitar/Vocal), Kevin Segal (Bass), Ethan Berkowitz (Synths/Keys), Phil Conine (Drums/Percussion). According to MOON JELLIES, the project began in high school when frontman Eoin and former member Kevin Moran came up with the idea. After a few years, and a lineup change, the band has become what they are today. 


Fast forward to now - MOON JELLIES spent their summer playing shows. The month of August, the band toured all the way from Philly to West Virginia, and then have spent the month of September playing a series of six shows throughout Philly! 

A busy bunch, if you ask us.

Of course, the band has said that for the future they plan on taking the month of October to play fewer shows, focusing more on getting into the studio to record and release their first full length. Besides that, the band says they are working on some big winter plans including another tour that may extend all the way down to Texas!

Which is exciting, and we're most excited about the new music part. MOON JELLIES are doing something right - a lot of things right, actually, and we're on board. We want more gooey synthesized sounds, more whiney, haunting vocals, more dissociative guitar murmurs, more passive drums. We're just asking for more.

Which means we like their stuff, and you should too. 

For now, though, you should definitely be checking MOON JELLIES out. They're an active, all around fun group of people who work really hard to share positive music vibes. Check out their social media to keep up with their day-to-day lives, set up a dinner date with them, watch them eat pizza, hold their hands. 

MOON JELLIES: Bandcamp // Facebook // Soundcloud // Twitter

NJ Band To Follow - Wishwell

Photography:  Phillip Shvartsman

Photography: Phillip Shvartsman

This week keeps getting better and better - and it's only Tuesday. New Brunswick, NJ offers up The Hook another freakin' rad bunch of dudes with alt/indie rock group, Wishwell.

Another relatively new band to the scene, Wishwell has been working hard to get themselves out there with a sound that is sincere, calming, and in way too short of supply (if ya ask us). However, regardless of the band's age, these guys are already killin' it. The five-piece includes Kenny Valinote (Vocals, Guitar), Jakub Szczepaniak (Guitar), Tom Risi (Bass), Pat Risi (Keys, Percussion), and Conor Risi (Guitar) to cultivate a sound influenced by post-rock and post-hardcore genres.

Wishwell just put out their debut EP, Reasons, back in February! A stellar 5-track wonder wall of music.

Valinote's voice paired with precise guitar, steady bass, and a trusted drum make for a really centered, focused and professional sounding EP. Reasons was produced, mixed, and mastered by Mike Watts at Vudu Studios in Port Jefferson.

Check out the tracklist below!

Artwork: Julie Chencinski

Artwork: Julie Chencinski

Reasons Tracklist:
1. Will We Wait
2. Bury Me
3. Cathedral
4. Two Colors
5. Say What









Honestly, it's a stellar EP - one perfect for the Fall, or even right now, we don't care. The lyrics are masterfully done, and Wishwell sounds as if they've been together for years - which makes us really stoked on what the future has to hold for these NJ natives!

The band's been quiet after what looks to be a decent amount of show-playing and touring, but according to social media, things are looking to start rolling hopefully soon for Wishwell - and they better, because here at The Hook we're just stoked to get more. 

As always, check out their social media to find out more, or check back here for future news! We're sure the dudes at Wishwell would love some pestering for some news, send them flowers, compliment their eyes - you know the drill. Links below!

Wishwell: Website // Twitter // Instagram // Bandcamp

NJ Band To Follow - The Fifth Down

There are countless reasons I would defend New Jersey, and I'm adding The Fifth Down to my list.

Self-proclaimed indie-punk group, The Fifth Down, is one of my newest discoveries in the New Jersey local scene - and to be honest, thank goodness. 

After a supposed failed attempt as a Ska band in High School (Ska was in then, right?) the original members, Elias Kotsis (keys/vocals), Bobby Lussier (guitar/vocals), Kyle Murphy (lead vocals/guitar), and Ethan Wagner (bass) were joined by George Ford (drums), Dylan Levine (guitar/vocals) to begin their project in a new direction - of the indie punk variety.

If you're looking for a reference, you can think of bands like The Front Bottoms, Brand New, and The Wonder Years. 

The Fifth Down has been busy! Of course, why wouldn't they be. They're really good. Back in 2013, The Fifth Down released their self-recorded debut EP, A Reason to Celebrate. All of which using material dating as far back as eighth grade. I've listened to the EP, it's pretty rad - you can get it on iTunes. 

They're currently working on their upcoming full-length, More Than Just Your Own Kind. The band says that this LP is focused on "the story of growing out of one’s home to explore more genuine, organic relationships and what is needed to sustain them." More Than Just Your Own Kind will be released on June 3rd, 2016, and you should totally check back on The Hook because we're stoked to be reviewing it!

The Fifth Down also recently just shared their track, "Canada Dry," from More Than Just Your Own Kind! The guys premiered it with SIMGE on May 16th in preparation for the June 3rd release! You can check out "Canada Dry," streaming on Bandcamp, and you can also purchase the track - so you should be doing all of these things, right now.

And from me to you, I've been listening to More Than Just Your Own Kind, and you should be pumped. Obviously, we're going to be talking more about it on our review of the album, but here's a sneak peek: really stellar emotional lyrics, the best track titles I've ever encountered, and a soundtrack that's going to be your summer anthem.

I mean, what I admire most about them is how really relaxed their music feels. It's reminiscent of some of my old favorites, early 2000 jams. Also, there's a song called "Gas Station Sushi," which is gross and great. I don't know, maybe I don't know much about the indie-punk music scene, or I'm just ready for NJ to represent - but The Fifth Down is definitely representing. The Fifth Down is exciting. The Fifth Down and their music has a lifelong fan in me, I'm gonna be real. 

That's right, you heard it here: The Fifth Down is your new windows down, going to the beach, eating pb&j dudes. Listen to them in your backyard (I did), in your car (I did), while eating a banana with peanut butter on it (did that, too) - point is, just check these guys out. 

Check back here for an album review of More Than Just Your Own Kind in June - and a show review later that month as well!

As always, head over to their social media, take a listen to "Canada Dry," tell them your favorite color, why you can't eat pickles anymore - about your experiences with sushi from sketchy places. Just check it!

The Fifth Down: Website // Facebook // Twitter // Instagram

Philly Band To Follow - Sonnder

Photography:  Mac Schibel -  TriipUP Media

Photography: Mac Schibel - TriipUP Media

Philadelphia Natives, Sonnder, have been using their time extremely wisely.

Fronted by lead singer and songwriter, Ryan Weidman, the band also consists of keyboardist Kat Stein, bassist Steve Iannettoni, and drummer Mike Liszka! The band released their first EP, Thief, back in 2014 and have been making huge strides since!

I mean, seriously, the next few paragraphs are going to be filled with some really amazing and impressive accomplishments - so hold onto your seats!

Sonnder released Entanglement just this year, but they had spent all of 2015 gearing up for the release by making huge and powerful gains thanks to their hard work and dedication! Leading up to the release, the band finished a year-long "singles project," where they shared a brand new track for every month of 2015! This happened via the band’s website, as well as other online music distributors.

That project culminated into a full-length album, Entanglement, which was then accompanied by a couple of new tracks as well when completed! The singles project gave Sonnder the expansion of reach that they seriously deserved and worked hard for! They moved forward from the northeastern United States - giving them the ability to not only garner attention and radio air play, but also a ton of live interviews and performances from big stations like Philly’s Radio 104.5, WXPN, & WMMR

Sonnder's single project was a superb and smart step for the four piece. Multiple tracks from the project have received noteworthy acclaim, write-ups and overall excitement, including “Drifter,” “Backwards Ambition,” “Siren Calling,” and “Pink". All of which were featured on WXPN’s The Key! While, the band’s current lead single, “Along The Way,” has also received some really fantastic airtime on Radio 104.5’s “New Music Discovery Show” and “Something New” feature.

Sonnder just recently shared the stage with other well known bands, such as The Dear Hunter and Northern Faces at Union Transfer right here in Philly! Now with a heftier catalog and discography (including 2014's debut EP Thief) Sonnder is ready to set forward!

Photography:  Alexandra Healey Photography

Photography: Alexandra Healey Photography


Of course, all of these amazing accomplishments are just the surface of how enthralling and captivating Sonnder is as a group. I've had my eye on them for almost a year now, a band that is cultivating an interesting and encompassing genre of experimental indie - the type of indie I've been looking for since hearing The Hip Abduction's, Gold Under The Glow back in January. It feels refreshing, it feels exciting, it feels good.

Entanglement is an impressive collection which we'll be talking more about in our upcoming review! The exploration of honesty, moving forward, and positivity drives the album with the subtle vocal work, and soft (but powerful) instrumental hook. Each track is a new experience, with Ryan's ethereal voice to tie each to one another.

Sonnder has a few dates coming up where you should definitely be checking them out! Of course if you can't see them live, you can always head to iTunes or Bandcamp!

Upcoming Show Dates:
Spring City, PA || May 15 - Chaplin's -With Awaking Mercury (Luke's Birthday Show) & Maitland.

Newark, Delaware || May 20th - Temple of Sludge

Not to mention, Sonnder is just rad as heck, and we're excited to see where they head to next! The Hook following dutifully (and excitedly) behind! You can check out their links below for more on Sonnder, just tell them they're cool, tell them a joke! Do the thing! 

Sonnder: Website // Instagram // Soundcloud // Twitter