2480 artists submitted from all genres. Originally, I only wanted to review heavy rock stuff, you know, Ripple Music record label kinda stuff, but wouldn't you know it, I simply fell in love with some of the voices, songs, craft and melodies of some very surprising (to me) submissions. I don't really lean towards Country/Americana, yet the Tennessee Stiffs grabbed my ears and refused to let go. I've been bored with too many emo-ish pop bands and intended to skip the whole scene, but a talented young signer/songwriter named Danielle H was way, way too talented to ignore. Not looking for any indie, folk or alternative yet you'll find amazing songwriters/performers like Lauren Marsh, Gentlemen and Scholars and NMBR11 on the list. That's not even to mention some of the amazing bands that crossed my computer, like StoneCoats, Ophelliah, and Axis/Orbit. Way too many to name here. And despite the fact that ReverbNation ranks submissions by how many fans, facebook/followers they have, etc, I intentionally ignored those rankings and often started at the bottom of the list where the funky as all get-out, bluesy hip hop of PR Stunt was just waiting to be found.
Its a very mixed, eclectic playlist for all kinds of moods. In other words, it's what the Ripple Effect is all about.
My apologies to all the others who submitted. Some of these cuts were brutal for me. It was a brutal process, listening to each and every one of the 2480 submissions and trimming it down. Once I got the list down to about 100 the process trudged to a snail's pace. I wanted to keep them all, but simply couldn't. Often it wasn't that a submission wasn't worthy, it just may have been not what I wanted to write about at this point in time. Case in point, The Black Marbles, who I passed over the last time I did this, but jumped out at me this go around.
So, without further ado, the Ripple Music ReverbNation playlist, part 2. Part 1 played (find it here) a bit back, Part 3 plays next week.
Tenessee Stiffs - Waiting to Collide
Ok, I'm taking this right off the band's webpage, because it's just damn perfect. "They seamlessly blend Americana, blues, rock, folk, alternative country, and a myriad of other influences into a powerful and provocative product they call "Death Folk." Late night writing sessions soaked in whiskey gave the group a sound all their own. Cara’s melodies range from hauntingly beautiful to wildly soulful. Blended with Lee’s foot-stomping rhythms and gravelly vocals, the two take the “Beauty and the Beast” standard to heart." I don't know about the whole "Beauty and the Beast" part, because I think both of their voices are simply damn perfect, but man, when they harmonize, and overlap each other . . . unreal. The term "achingly beautiful" was coined just to describe this band. Yes, it's country, or Americana, or acoustic indie, or . . .Death Folk. It's all of the above and it is simply a perfect, and perfectly beautiful song. Haunting. Gritty. Powerful. Moving. Infinitely listenable.
I think the band is pressing up their first album. That will definitely be one to look out for.
The Black Marbles - Free Your Mind
Moving on from the Americana end of things, but keeping it gritty, we got the Black Marbles and their roughed up, garage pop of "Free Your Mind." Keeping it moving and soulful in the style of groovy 70's rock, inspired by bands such as Bad Company, Free, Humble Pie and the Faces. I know Sweden is capable of cranking out just about any music dreamed of, but nothing about this band sounds like it comes from Gothenburg. It just bleeds dirty garage rock with soul and verve of the south. A taste of the bayou. A shot of whiskey. Bar Band for the next major fist fight. "Free Your Mind," is a rocking, groovin' burst of a good time and not to be missed.