Top 5 Honors: January 2014

Top 5 Honors is a new segment here at unEARTH Music Hub where we recap the past month with a look at some of the underground talent that blew us away. This can be in the form of album releases, shows, or all around exceptional contributions to the underground Music Scene.

1. Nilu
Nilu finally released an EP!!!
The new EP, Dichotomy, effortlessly mixes a fresh take on the pop genre mixing heavy influences of jazz, rock and folk to produce a sound that is creatively unique and universally acceptable.

In honor of the new release, she held a wildly successful show at the Constellation Room that was packed to the roof with fans. She also released a live video of one of her songs, “Breakdown,” that has already exceeded 3,000 views on youtube. The video has been out for about a month and half. That is a lot of traction in a short amount of time.

In any case, listen to and get Nilu’s music. On Dichtomy, she was able to blend the brashness of Fiona Apple with the musical complexity of the Beatles tied in with relative and honest themes of heartbreak and introspection. Run on sentences aside, it is a great album that deserves a listen. Her haunting vocal melodies tied with the unique and powerful musical artistry of her band makes Nilu a strong force to be reckoned with.

2. Hicks Canyon Band
The Hicks Canyon Band have come into their own. Their Debut Album, which was released at the end of last year struck a very powerful chord with not only us here at the hub, but for a large part of Orange County as well.

“But this list if for January, so why in the world then, would they be on it?!”

For this reason:

Upon releasing the album, the men of The Hicks Canyon band were determined to take their mellow, melody driven, earthy sound to the live stage and it was a slow and staggering process. With this said however, the band hit stride in all facets when they were able to perfect their live show after playing, what seemed like, 2-3 shows a week for 2 months straight.

As of January 2014, The Hicks Canyon Band have become a triple threat as they add “Great Live Band,” to their already plentiful high praises.

If you haven’t had a chance to listen to their material, do it. The music is honest, poignant, and sarcastic, all the while being VERY approachable. Spencer Hannemann is a great songwriter and the rest of the band does a great job of breathing life into his creations in truly unique and creative ways.

3. The Lonely Wild
This group of personified-spaghetti-westerns had an incredibly busy month. They nailed down 2 residences in 2 different markets in 2 consecutive days last month. They played in San Diego on Tuesday and Costa Mesa’s Detroit Bar on Wednesday. It was a huge undertaking and they brought their game face to the stage EVERY night no matter where they were playing.

The Lonely Wild has grown to become a beloved favorite here among the local scene and they have only just begun to tap into the thriving OC market. Although the resident nights @ Detroit Bar were never as well attended as they SHOULD have, the band definitely left a mark.

We look forward to welcoming the band back within our walls with what we are sure will be only increasingly strong reception and following. This hard working and dedicated band deserves your time and you are stupid if you haven’t taken the time to listen to these guys and gal. They are stupendous in every way; now watch this video, reflect on your life and start crying, Dammit!

4. King Washington
Simply put, the music of King Washington is mesmerizing. They possess an acute attention to detail that not a lot of bands have the time, ability, and patience for; but, King Washington make their complex song structures sound easy.  This reflects the theme of true artistry as King Washington has been able to craft some of the most well thought out music to come out of underground scene. They have a deep sound drenched in intelligence and coherence. Like we said… mesmerizing.

The band was able to mix the acid-washed dreamy side of the Beatles with the complexity and layers of bands like Muse and Rush. This is unusual in a time where blues is the front runner of classic influences over any other ‘alternative’ classic sound.

Possessing 4 players and 3 enormously competent singers, the band is able to replicate the deep and rich sounds of their recordings live on the stage as well. This alone is what sets the band a part as a steam engine to be reckoned with.

Truly impressive to watch and listen to. Buy their albums. You won’t be disappointed.

5. The Janks
We were introduced to the Janks 3 weeks ago. It didn’t take long to understand the force they held with every aspect of their music. They became an immediate favorite upon first listen to their record.

But then… we saw them live.

They went from a favorite to all out legendary act that needs no introduction and that few can tangle with. Their music is ENORMOUS with high influences in blues and folk in the form of Led Zepplin and the Everly Brothers, accordingly. The Janks are bringing so much to the table within the scope of the rock genre and they wield the potential to break boundaries and take the sound to astronomical heights.

We had the pleasure of meeting these dudes while they were on a national tour. Along with playing shows multiple times a week, The Janks have been releasing media like it is their freaking job. Teaming up with companies to produce video, podcasts, live sessions, articles; these guys are on top of their sh*t when it comes to touring and making an impact within the targeted market.

Yeah, we jumped on the band wagon and have a video coming out as well. Listen to them. They are astronomically important whether you like HUGE rock n’ roll or thought provoking acoustics.

The Janks, are one of the strongest acts the unEARTH Music Hub has seen in a very long time and on top of it; they are good people. Buy their albums and watch them play, you won’t be disappointed.

Thanks for the Music, all. Congrats on having an excellent start to 2014. Keep up the great work!