We’ve been inundated with top quality talent of late. Here are our top picks from today:
Fanfare please…we’re introducing a new feature!! Music is great, we all know that. But what’s music without character? We want to know the ins and outs and ups and downs of the musical pioneers we love to listen to. Cue our new interviews feature: Up Close & Personal.
First up is an Italian singer-songwriter who goes by the name of Aged Teen…
Welcome to Urban Antenna! Let’s kick things off by finding out a little bit about Aged Teen and exactly what makes you tick.
Hey guys! My real name’s Dario Guarino, aka Aged Teen, and I’m a singer/songwriter from the Class of 1980. I’m all about writing new, original music on my acoustic guitar! Aged Teen actually started as a band, but I thrive as a solo composer, author and performer.
I live in Naples, Italy, and when gigging locally I tend to play a mixture of crowd-pleasing acoustic covers and my own material. I’m writing new music all the time and I’m determined to get heard by a wider audience. As much as I love Italy, my dream would be to gain recognition abroad. I prefer to write and perform songs with English lyrics in English.
So what’s behind the name, Aged Teen?
Well, as my career developed and I matured as a songwriter, I realised that so much of my inspiration came from my teenage years. I also think some of the best tracks I’ve written were during that time. Unfortunately, a teenager I was no more, so Aged Teen it was! It’s also pretty hard to find decent names that are not already taken!
We love that you’re not afraid to cross boundaries and incorporate sounds from so many genres. How would you describe your sound and what influences you the most?
“Alternative Acoustic Rock” is how I describe the formula I generally use. I was definitely influenced by ’90s Grunge and Alternative Rock, ’70s Punk Rock, ’80s Hardcore Punk, some Heavy Metal and Hard Rock, ’80s New Wave and Industrial, Outlaw Country and ’50s Rock ‘N’ Roll…I don’t know how many of these different influences you can hear in my music, but people often pick out Depeche Mode and Nirvana in there!
We’ve been listening to your new album and it really brings something new to the table. Tell us a little bit about it.
It’s called Time is Not on my Side and it’s available to listen to on BandCamp, Spotify, SoundCloud, Itunes, Cdbaby, YouTube…all the usual suspects! I’m really proud of it but I’m a modest guy so don’t want to say too much…I’d urge people to listen to it themselves and see what they think!
So what does the future hold for Aged Teen?
At the moment I play two or three local shows each week to pay the bills. The show’s called Graceland, after the legendary home of the King. I mix it up, play everything from old country and blues, to ’50s & ’60s rock ‘n’ roll, to ’80s pop hits, ’90s alternative rock and my own songs. As much as I love playing local gigs, which musicians don’t want to spread their wings?! I’d love to tour more and have the opportunity to play more of my own music. But having said that, I really enjoy re-arranging classic covers, putting my own stamp on things using my acoustic guitar, voice and foot drums. I’m working on new material all the time and hopefully it won’t be long until I’m following up Time is Not on my Side with my next album!
It’s been a pleasure Dario! A genuine, top bloke who is well worth following on social media. Check out the links below and give him your support. The Aged Teen 1980s cover playlist on YouTube is also well worth checking out – you’ll be surprised just how good they are!
Dario Guarino (FB)
Rock music has always fought for the underdog. Real music for real people; graduates of the school of hard knocks. Overcoming adversity and proving the haters wrong has fuelled the creative fire burning within hundreds of memorable rock songs, giving listeners hope, motivation and the opportunity to mosh their socks off.
Blue Helix are the latest in a long line of rockers using their music to help good overpower evil. Their latest track, Anti-social Butterfly, is a hard-hitting anti-bullying anthem that delivers its message with style, energy and refinement. Some tracks with a moral focus can come across gimmicky and insincere. Not this one. It works. Blue Helix have delivered a track that has the potential to rival Shinedown’s unimaginatively titled 2012 anti-bullying smash, Bully. The reason Anti-social Butterfly works is simple. It’s not hollow. It’s based on lead singer Sami Chofhi’s very personal experiences as a victim of bullying. Who’s laughing now Sami?!
Blue Helix formed in 2008 and are based in Seattle but also have roots in South America. Drummer Marco is pure-bred Brazilian and Sami is half Brazilian, half American. The Seattle sound subtly resonates in the music the make, as do aspects of some of their major influences, such as Nine Inch Nails, Foo Fighters, Soundgarden and Alice in Chains. They’re polished but have an unmistakeable raw edge and originality that makes them stand out from the crowd.
Anti-social Butterfly is the perfect intro to a thumping grungy rock band that has huge worldwide potential. The track is vibrant and energetic from the outset, with tight percussion, fierce guitar licks and Sami’s standout vocals. Fans of their last hit, the melodic rock ballad Aliens, will be impressed by this upbeat offering that showcases their diversity.
Music video lovers will fall instantly in love with Blue Helix. This band understands the importance of providing a visual spectacular to accompany their music and the results are memorable. Aliens won a number of music video awards and was lauded for its lush camera work and spectacular CGI panoramas that fit the track perfectly. Anti-social Butterfly abandons the fantasy vistas, opting for gritty realism that complements the lyrics to a tee. It’s fantastic to see an up-coming group delivering the full package and it seems inevitable that more awards are on the horizon.
So hats off to Blue Helix, kicking sand back in the face of bullies, thugs and haters right across the world. What better way to get your message across than through a truly storming piece of rock music.
Track Blue Helix by subscribing to the Urban Antenna blog and checking them out on social media:
Countless young British musicians dream of making it in the USA. For most it’s a fantasy hindered by a fear of the unknown. Fortunately, for every thousand dreamers there’s one artist with the talent, drive and creativity to make their mark across the pond. Lissy Taylor is that one…and she’s making a big impression on both sides of the Atlantic.
Armed with an instantly recognisable voice and a gift for writing music and lyrics that hit home from the first bar, it’s hard to believe Lissy Taylor is only seventeen. Her talent belies her years and leaves us wondering just how far she can go. She’s classic yet contemporary. Take a pinch of Joan Baez, a splash of Bobbie Gentry and season with equal measures of Lana Del Ray and Norah Jones. Now you’re beginning to understand what Lissy’s all about.
Lissy’s ambition is clear. How many seventeen year olds can you name who have the talent, confidence and motivation to pack up there acoustic guitar and head out to take on the biggest musical stage in the world? Not many we bet. And she’s already finding success. Since landing in Lexington, KY, her unmistakable style and charming live performances have garnered plenty of attention. She’s already performed at a number of festivals, live shows and was one of the winning acts at the Eastern Kentucky Battle of the Bands, wooing the judges with a dazzling rendition of She, a fiery, self-penned track that oozes maturity. Back in Blighty, Lissy has also featured on the legendary BBC Introducing – an accolade in itself.
Reminds Me of You was Lissy’s debut EP, released in January 2017 at the age of sixteen. Recorded and produced at Broken Crow Studios, Lexington, she stuck to form and committed 100%, enlisting a selection of top-class session musicians to support her. It was a brave move and it paid off big time. The result is a high-quality snapshot of her talent as an emerging singer songwriter. The EP is polished and purposeful, delivering a captivating blend of chilled Americana, acoustic balladry and edgy country-rock. The emotionally charged Home was written when Lissy was just fourteen. We urge insecure and disillusioned musicians to avoid listening to this track at all costs – Lissy’s talent may well be the final nail in the coffin for your music career.
Lissy’s latest venture shows she’s not content to sit on her laurels and blend in with the crowd. Her new track, I Will Wait, sees her team up with another young artist, James Bell, to deliver something entirely different. It’s a pop song that will attract a different audience to Reminds Me of You, but there’s no denying the chemistry between these two. I Will Wait has received some impressive feedback across social media and it looks like whatever Lissy Taylor touches is set to turn to gold.
Like what you hear? Get in touch with Lissy Taylor via Urban Antenna, or check out her website:
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Nashville is synonymous with Country but scratch the surface and there’s so much more. Urban Antenna has been scouring the Tennessee back streets to see what alternative acts are lurking in the shadows. Our searching has paid off…we’ve unearthed a fantastically promising contemporary folk duo who are just waiting to be picked by a record label.
Haunted like Human are Cody Clark and Dale Chapman. Clark is an unassuming and highly talented guitarist. He’s a musical thoroughbred with a degree in composition; his understanding of musical form is evident in his delicate yet complex conceptions. Chapman is a folk-vocalist who delivers her lyrics with true emotion and depth. She writes from the heart and is an accomplished poet and lyricist. They combine to great effect and their song writing a joy to listen to, especially when you realise they have only been collaborating for ten months.
Haunted like Human’s debut LP, Ghost Stories, is a dreamy and uplifting twelve-track album that was recorded following a highly successful crowd funding campaign. The album is two parts folk and one part Americana, flavoured with a dash of The Civil Wars and Penny & Sparrow. It’s pure and uncluttered, focusing on guitar, cello and vocals. Less is more in this case and the apparent simplicity of the album is its main strength.
Ghost Stories begins its journey with the spellbinding First Light. Some may find it strange to open an album with an instrumental, especially when Chapman’s striking vocal is so prominent thereafter, but it represents just what it stands for: a glorious sunrise on a perfect summer morning. The title track, Ghost Stories, offers the first real taste of Haunted like Human. It’s a beautifully evocative song that’s full of meaning and is delivered with true emotion by both musicians.
From a UK perspective, the infectious River (Come Back Up) has the greatest potential for success. It’s the most mainstream track on the album but it’s also one of the strongest. With a toe-tapping beat and tons of romantic imagery, this track screams summer. Other standout tracks are the heart breaking Benjamin – a poignant story of lost love; the powerful Tides and the soulful In a Bad Way. Storyteller is a fantastic closing track and winds the album down to a perfect conclusion, an opposing bookend to First Light that provides a peaceful sunset to a wonderful album.
It’s set to be a busy year for Haunted like Human as they continue gaining exposure on the Nashville circuit, writing new material and preparing for a booked-out summer touring the States. They’re set to be firm favourites on the festival scene, starting this March in Austin at the Red Gorilla Music Fest followed by Dirty Fest. If you’re in the area, get along and show them some support!
Like what you hear? Get in touch with Haunted like Human via Urban Antenna, or follow them on social media:
Want a dose of blood-pumping contemporary rock? If so, you need to check out Normal Suits. Already blasting the Baltimore indie rock scene to pieces, this experienced trio of musicians have come together to deliver a refined and intelligent debut album: Our New Happy Life. It’s edgy, powerful and packs a punch, but it remains well-structured and draws on a range of influences to ensure it keeps you on your toes.
Brad (bass & vocals), Shawn (guitar, piano & vocals) and Mike (drums) are Normal Suits. They combine fantastically and know what they want to achieve. They’re seriously experienced musicians who are equally happy on stage as they are in the studio or behind the mixing desk. Of course they write their music but they also record, produce, mix and master everything themselves, ensuring their sound is exactly as intended. So many rock bands choose the easy option and imitate others. Normal Suits don’t. They have vision and it shows.
The 1990s Washington DC music scene is the most noticeable influence on Normal Suits. Baltimore is only a stones-throw away from DC, where Brad, Shawn and Mike cut their teeth listening to legendary post-hardcore bands such as Fugazi and Jawbox. The DIY ethos and cultured aggression of the post-hardcore scene is recognisable in both the approach Normal Suits take and the music they make. But they don’t dwell in the past. They add a forward-thinking slant to their classic foundations, ensuring they aren’t mistaken for wannabes.
Our New Happy Life opens with the catchy and accessible Babble Cadabra before kicking forward with the no-nonsense stormer Thing One – one of our favourites on the album. 19 Times slows things down and shows just how diverse Normal Suits are, and this continues with All We Want – a layered, down-tempo number that maintains the dark and brooding vibe that underpins the entire album. Possibility of Arcing showcases their confidence and Evacuation Special leads with a hint of Asian exotica that I for one didn’t expect. It’s creative and stands out. The hypnotic Eye See Are delivers a guitar-heavy wall of sound and the album wraps up with Green Lemons, which lifts the listener out of the turmoil and back to reality.
So what next for Normal Suits? They’re already writing and recording new material and are set to follow up their debut album later in the year. Subscribe to Urban Antenna and we’ll keep you up-to-date on what’s to come. In the meantime, download Our New Happy Life and get excited about what’s still to come from this promising Baltimore three-piece.
Every once in a while we stumble across a track that blows us away. You know the sort. A track that screams pure class. Atmospheric, meaningful and lyrically perfect. Haunting and emotional. The kind of track that leaves you with a bemused smile. Hand-crafted musical greatness that so few people have had the pleasure to hear. On one level you’re ecstatic; you’ve beaten the masses to a hidden gem. On another level, you can’t fight the disappointment; a song this good needs to be heard.
Crumble and Crawl is one of those tracks. The moment it hit the speakers at Urban Antenna HQ, we stopped and listened from start to finish. How has this track gone so relatively unnoticed?!
Stop what you’re doing and listen to this right now!!
18th & Addison are the band behind this moreish slice of rock heaven. Sharing vocals and guitar to wonderful effect, Tom Kunzman and Kait DiBenedetto just click. The group formed in New Jersey in 2013 and we suspect their talent has been pissing off envious local bands ever since.
Little Parasites was 18th & Addison’s 2015 debut EP and it delivered a raw blend of high energy pop-punk that shows why they forged a reputation as a must-see live act. The release of their first full length album, Makeshift Monster, in 2016 saw a more refined approach rise to the surface. The fast-paced guitar and upbeat lyrics are still there but everything is more purposeful and professional. It’s clear Tom and Kait were growing in confidence and it shows. Support grew in the aftermath of Makeshift Monsters and increased opportunities for studio time fuelled their ambition even further, as Crumble and Crawl proves so well.
Crumble and Crawl marks a huge coming of age. It’s classy, mature, well produced and memorable. Their early tracks were made for partying; this one’s made for listening. Judging by this, 18th & Addison are one of the most exciting upcoming bands on the horizon and we’ll be watching them all the way.
Like what you hear? Get in touch with 18th & Addison via Urban Antenna, direct via social media or check out their website:
Nothing captures the rawness of an electrifying musical performance like black and white photography. Here are some of our favourites:
Love, laughter and heartbreak…sometimes we all need a little Americana in our lives. Check out our pick of the talent that is yet to break through to the big time.