Friendly Savages

We may have lost our way, but do not count us lost

This quartet from Austin caught my attention during the summer of 2014, and have remained a constant in my music rotation ever since. Their mix of harmonious vocals, crafted lyrics, and quality musicianship make them a band worth taking note of. O, Joshua, their debut album is a solid effort from start to finish, a rarity in an age of pop singles. These guys, for me, are that group that you can’t help but tell anyone and everyone about.

Homepage: Friendly Savages

Deeper cut: I Have Your Ghost

Lake Street Dive

After 25 years I should be good at something,
gone are the days of me being so reticent

I didn’t know too much about Lake Street Dive before seeing them at WXPN Xponential Music Festival last summer. I honestly can’t get enough of the smooth powerful vocals of lead singer Rachael Price. A group that can be upbeat and fun, yet brainy enough to use words like reticent adeptly in their lyrics are my kind of musicians.

Homepage: Lake Street Dive

Deeper cut: You Go Down Smooth

The Stray Birds

Shine my light,
Shine my light down the dark holes, the tunnels, and the nights
Can you reach me?
Will you try?

Ok so I have loved The Stray Birds for a couple years now, ever since seeing them at the World Cafe in Philly; however, they released a new album entitled Best Medicine this year and therefore deserve a spot on this list. The entire group is musically superb on multiple instruments, which lends each track of the album a fresh dynamic feel.

Homepage: The Stray Birds

Deeper cut: Best Medicine

The Head and the Heart

Wish I was a slave to an age old trade,
Lord have mercy on my rough and rowdy ways

I don’t know why but this line always resonates every time I hear it. Maybe it is the naive romance of the ‘old’ days when things were simple or maybe it is merely the longing for doing something with my hands for a living that results in a tangible product. Whatever it is, it feels good. I know this song isn’t on their new album released in 2014 Let’s Be Still but I couldn’t resist. I have been a fan for sometime but it wasn’t until I saw them at Union Transfer last winter that I really fell in love with this group.

Homepage: The Head and the Heart

Deeper cut: 10,000 Weight in Gold

Run River North

This mended heart was made for so much more…

For me there is always something about young talent finding their way. Run River North’s music is vital and engaging, capable of grabbing you emotionally in a way you wouldn’t expect from such youthful song writers.

Homepage: Run River North

Deeper cut: Monsters calling Home


Lift up the sun with your love
I’ve been laying low
so long, so long

I just recently started listening to this group, but from the start they have catapulted to the head of my music rotation. The vocals of lead singer Justin Miner are memorable and infectious. Hopefully, Miner will come to the east coast sometime next summer because I would love to see their energy live.

Homepage: Miner

Deeper cut: Carousel