7 Tracks We Didn't Miss

Of all the email submissions I get, the ones directly from bands are the best. They're usually short and right to the point, no fluff at all. This is who we are, if you have time, please listen, and share our work if you like it, thank you. Mind you, there's no problem at all with having a publicist to do those things for you as an artist, it certainly simplifies things, but that's an expense many cannot afford. Out of necessity, they've learned the art of self promotion. So, yeah, I love that DIY spirit when a band or artist promotes their own work, and here are 7 that did just that.  

Madison, Wisconsin's The Great Duck War claims they are three good boys playing music, however they're known for breaking strings, starting fires, and watching listeners cry while they dance. They also appear to be masters of the best band photo, ever.  It would only be better if I saw the tight gold script of Olan Mills in the corner. Rock on, dudes. Those three good boys are Reid Kurkerewicz, and Noah and Justin Huber. They've just released their debut eponymous EP of space-punk-garage tracks, listen to 'St. Thorlack' below.

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Charlie Gray of Bishop's Stortford in Hertfordshire, UK submitted what he called a collection of hopeful songs. He found himself without a band in late 2013 after they weren't all on the same page it seems. While wondering which direction he wanted to go, he started making music at home, and what came out was unfettered honesty. That's the best kind of art, he's sharing it with us now. Check our "New Year's Day 'below. 

Lo-fi dream pop band BOYS from West London submitted their new track, 'Nice Guys', a few weeks back. The band consists of Ross Pearce, Mike Stothard, Daniel Heffernon, and Kane Butler. Their email was one of the shortest I've received but, it contained all I needed to know -- link to music, Facebook page, and a few live dates. They let their work do all the talking, it reminds me of the beach, and makes me long for the burgeoning flowers of spring. Will you look at that, I've got sand in my shoes. Listen to 'Nice Guys' below.   

When I mentioned short emails, Tom Herman's email about his work with his project Old Smile takes the prize for shortest. I've been sitting on his email for a while now, mainly to give it all a long long listen. Tom wrote, performed, recorded, and mixed everything. That's an accomplishment in itself, but, the results bear the fruit of all that work. 'Carried Away' is a dream filled track worthy of multiple plays, check it out below.

The American Southwest does things to people. The wide open spaces either give life or loneliness, depending on your viewpoint. A nice deep breath with not a soul in sight always sounds good to me, there's peace in that kind of living, but it wears on some. Simon Mantooth (Spencer Auten) of Asheville, North Carolina recorded his latest EP Days of Light and Silence after visiting the area, deciding the main theme of the EP would be abandonment. Something you could feel with all that geography and big sky in front of you. It's a place of new beginnings. Listen to "Man's Best Friend" below.

Phoenix based The Ricardos call themselves garage rats of the valley. The band consists of two Matt's, one on bass, one on drums, Isaac on vocals, and Tim and Genesis on guitars. They submitted their latest EP, cleverly titled #2, and after 10 seconds in, I swore it was recorded in New York City 14-15 years ago. I can't explain about last night, if you catch my drift. And yet, something about it sounds fresh, and of today. Give the lead track, 'I Won't Wait' a spin or two below.     

David from Low Cut High Tops submitted his band's latest EP, The Cuts, for review a few days back. 99% of the emails I receive are succinct, and polite. And that's fine, but I do need some levity now and again to keep this from feeling like, well, work. And it shouldn't feel like that because I like music, and I'm doing this on my own accord, without any pay or benefits. But, I love what I am doing, as do all of the artists who submit their work here. Anyway, David's submission detailed a life of womanizing, fraught with the perils of social anxiety and therapists. It all seemed a bit sketchy, and unreliable narrators are always a fun lot. However, levity and self-deprecation is often the best remedy for such things, I also have a bit of history with social anxiety, and have mastered the art. David pushed me towards the band's excellent track 'Come My Way', but after several listens, we think 'Bread Crumbs' is the track you must hear. Don't be anxious, listen now, it's quite good.