CCM's Guide to Independent Artists - Part 1
- Tuesday, October 09, 2007
The simple folk tendencies of Alli Rogers first appeared on 2005’s Eden, but it wasn’t until The Day of Small Things that critics started to take notice. Outlets from Radiant Magazine to Christianity Today praised the album, with the Dallas Morning News commenting, “Simple, powerful and lovely, The Day of Small Things is a joyful jewel.” Comparisons to Jonatha Brooke and Patty Griffin ring true on her new live disc, Alli Rogers: At Sea.
This husband/wife duo from Chicago crafts stunning sound-scapes with minimal instru-mentation, and their five song EP, The Search for Where to Go, haunts from beginning to end. The largely acoustic-driven work evokes comparison to early Sufjan Stevens with its quirky folk tendencies.
A finalist for this year’s New Artist Showcase at Cornerstone ///seizethemoment. combines screamo and hardcore elements on Scars Are Reminders (We Know The Killer). The EP landed the Chicago quintet on the map in 2003 and was recently reissued preceding new material to be released later this year. Ultimately, vocalist Steve Bliss says their hope is that the music “can lead us to a path where we have the ability to speak to people by the masses and make a difference in something.”
The Upstairs Divine
The addition of vocalist Bethany Raybourn to the already beautiful melancholy of The Upstairs Divine only makes this Louisana soothe-rock band that much better. Chosen by mtvU as one of the best college bands in America, TUD sounds like a serious version of Eisley on its new self-titled EP. After playing alongside bands like Cool Hand Luke and The Polyphonic Spree, The Upstairs Divine headlined its own tour this summer.
When you’ve only been at your craft for a few years and you’ve already collaborated with the likes of Mindy Smith and Matthew Ryan, something is going right. Kate York has been featured in Esquire and Paste as an artist to watch for, and rightly so. Sadly Love’s haunting melodies and York’s penchant for the poetic separate her from the rest of the singer/songwriter pack. It’s hard to stand out in Nashville, but York has managed to do just that.
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