by Rex

How To Start Your Own Indie Band

April 18, 2014 in independent bands, Indie by Rex

The indie genre is extremely diverse as it originated from a musical gestalt shift from grunge, punk revival, Britpop and alternative rock in the 1980s. The term is also used to refer to the bands that have underground perspective, whether they self-produce and self-release their own materials or if they are signed to independent record labels. This genre is very appealing to those who love music because it is direct, has various sub-genres which can be fun to explore, lets you control which direction you want to take, and work on your own time and terms.

Here are some steps to guide you through if you are into indie music and interested in starting your own band:

1. Find people who are into the same music as you

Finding people who enjoy and want to make the same music as you is very important. If you do not have a unified vision and goals and do not agree in what direction you want to take your music, it is not going to work. Look for people who are going to inspire you to become a better musician. Your future band mates should also be the people you like to be around with, since you will be spending so much time with them!

2. Get lessons from a professional

The next step is to decide which roles each member is going to play in the band. Assess the skills of your members and know what instruments they can play so you can determine the “sound” of your band. For instance, if your members can play guitar, bass, drums, keyboard and vocals, you can go into indie rock. If your members can play more complex instruments such as the mandolin, banjo, violin or accordion, you can look into indie folk. If your members do not quite have the right sound for the indie sub-genre you want to explore, you could take a few lessons from professionals such as the Soundlab.

3. Decide on a name and image you want for your band

There are lots of things to consider when you are picking a name for your band. First, it is important to make it memorable by choosing something interesting and catchy. Audience recall will bring you to places in the music industry, so it is important that the name you choose is not too complicated to pronounce or spell. Next, make sure that the name isn’t taken yet. A simple Google search will help you find out. Lastly, make sure that the name goes with your band’s style of music and image.

As for the image, it is important to be authentic at all times, so you just need to be yourself. Always be consistent in everything you do, whether it is for your band’s album cover, live show or even the things you post on the social media. In this way, you can create an identity that people will associate you with.

4. Get your name out there

You can do different things to make people listen to your music and eventually create hype and buzz on your band. You can record your own songs through your laptop and upload them on websites such as Bandcamp which will help you distribute your music digitally all over the globe.

Having an EP in hand that consists of solid songs will help you book local shows, get signed on independent record labels and have your own fan base. Take advantage of social media—create an official Facebook page and Twitter account for your band so you can reach out to more people.

Sharing your music and talents and bringing entertainment to people are rewarding experiences that you can achieve by starting your own indie band. It may seem overwhelming at first but with passion for music and the right set of tools, you’ll be on your way to becoming a rock star!

{Photo credit: Klaus Hiltscher}

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by Rex

Top 5 indie tracks of the week

April 17, 2014 in Blues, Experimental, House, independent bands, Indie, Psych Folk, Rock by Rex

Three Days Dark – “The Breaks” {Blues/Rock}

After listening to this release I can guaran-fucking-tee that this solo project is 100x better than Three Days Grace (actually scratch that, more like 100,000,000,000x better – not that I’m one to exaggerate or anything….). The project is led by Trent Halliday, and you can buy his new self-titled, debut album for as little as £6 here.

Language Of Shapes – “Stitches” {Psych Folk}

“Psych Fi Sci Folk from South Korea” did you say? Ummm…how do you say “yes please” in Korean? Apparently this band was formed back in 2010 “via a mutual love of mandolins and lying around on Korean beaches playing Leonard Cohen covers,” and if you like their work you can check out the rest of their tunes on Soundcloud here.

Soma – “Deceitful” {House}

Besides sharing the same name as one of the best Strokes songs known to mankind (and if you don’t believe me then click here), we fell in love with this artist as soon as we read he’s a mere 16-years-old and started his musical career in grungy abandoned warehouses. If you like this tune of his you can buy it for as little as £1.73 here.

Pueblo People – “Phantom Ships” {Rock}

If you’re still bitter about Counting Crows/R.E.M. not making music anymore then at least you have this group to help with the 90s nostalgia. This track is off their brand spankin’ new record Sentiero di Guerra (meaning “Warpath”) and although the release is not technically a concept album, it is meant to be “a three-step journey including awakening, escape and drift.” You can buy the release and/or each individual track as a name-your-price download here.

ontopsych – “About Justice” {Experimental}

After going through a Tame Impala phase for the millionth time this year we welcomed this new track with open arms. This group is led by the 21-year-old Adam Klein who is based out of New Haven, CT, and you can buy his new Adventure EP as a name-your-price download via Bandcamp.

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by Rex

Top 5 indie tracks of the week

April 8, 2014 in Dream Pop, Folk, Free downloads, independent bands, Indie, Indie Folk, Pop, Psychedelic Rock, Roots, Synthpop by Rex

Who Are You Lutra Lutra?? – “The Memory Too” {Indie Folk}

I have no idea who Lutra Lutra is (OK I lied – I totally Googled that shit two seconds after hearing this track), but Who Are You Lutra Lutra?? are a Frenchy Berlin-based who self-produce their own albums and even organize their own tours. (This is about as indie as it gets, folks!) This track is off their second EP White On White which you can buy for €7 (or each track for €1.25) over at their Bandcamp page.

The Feel Bad Hit Of The Winter – “Lend A Hand” {Rock}

I wouldn’t be a true-blue Josh Homme stalker Queens Of The Stone Age fan without giving this track a good mention (“Feel Good Hit Of The Summer” anyone?) This group is based out of Kansas City, and you can buy their new self-titled album for $8 (or each individual track for $1) over at their Bandcamp page.

Roladex – “Anthem For The Micro-Age” {Synthpop}

With descriptions like “Italo-disco” “Kraut-rock” and “the love child of Pet Shop Boys and Kraftwerk” it was only a matter of time before we fell for this synthpoppy duo. The group is originally from Texas but now based in Seattle, and if you want to buy their latest release (Anthems For The Micro-Age) for as little as $8 click here.

Toui Manikhouth – “Flowers In Zara” {Folk/Pop} + Free downloads

Acoustic tracks can be a hit or miss with us (just because we’re snobs like that), but the amount of talent behind a tune like this one is undeniable. Toui is based out of Hamilton, Ontario and recorded his new three-track acoustic This Service EP in his basement. If you dig his work you can download the entire release for free (or as a name-your-price download) over at his Bandcamp page.

Feather Revs – “Utero” {Psych Rock/Dream Pop}

We’re slightly guilty of checking out this track just because of all this recent Nirvana-getting-inducted-into-the-Rock-And-Roll-Hall-Of-Fame-talk, but it didn’t take long for us to fall in love with its Coldplay-mixed-in-with-U2 vibes. The group is based out of Stockholm, and if you like their work you can stream a crapton of their tracks over at their Soundcloud page.

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by Rex

Top 5 indie tracks of the week

April 1, 2014 in Electronic, Experimental, Free downloads, Garage Rock, Gypsy, Gypsy Punk, independent bands, Instrumental, Metal, Pop, Punk, Rap by Rex

Call Me Greenhorn – “Simian Walk” {Experimental/Instrumental}

You know that feeling when you hear a song and instantly feel more badass even though you’re not remotely badass in any sense of the word? Well that’s how we felt after listening to this track. Call Me Greenhorn (but really his name is Magnus Sellergren) is based out of Sweden and he just completed his new album Space Kitty 2000 on March 24th. If you dig his work (as you should) you can buy the release for $7 over at his Bandcamp page.

Psycho Mad Sally – “Marion Sims” {Gypsy Punk/Metal}

And just when we were starting to think that Gogol Bordello was the only gypsy punk band that would ever blow our minds, this Toronto-based group went ahead and Eugene Hütz-ed us with this wicked tune. This track is off their most recent release How II Survive which you can buy as a name-your-price download here.

Stacey – “Calling Me” (YDID Mix) {Electronic/Pop} + Free downloads

“Stark minimalism turns to grand, ethereal atmosphere” and “lush combinations of effervescent synths” are some of the many elaborate descriptions Stacey sent us in her submission e-mail, but all you have to do is listen to this track for two seconds to understand what she’s talking about. This tune is a remix of a track off her debut EP, and if you like her on Facebook you can download the release for free.

Daisy Victoria – “Macbeth To My Lady” {Garage Rock} + Free download

It’s a rare find to come across a female-fronted garage rock group, let alone a good female-fronted garage rock group, so obviously we’re going to give Miss Daisy a shout-out. This track is off her debut EP Heart Full Of Beef which you can buy as a name-your-price download over at her Bandcamp page or download the track for free in the player below.

Sunny Gang – “1:35″ {Punk/Rap}

Speaking of rare finds…this here is the first punky-rap band we’ve ever covered at RMD which makes Sunny Gangs extra, extra special in our eyes. The group is based out of Newark, and this is the first single off their forthcoming EP (which also happens to be the first music video they’ve ever released as well). If you like their work make sure you follow them on Facebook to stay up to date on their future releases.

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by Rex

Top 5 indie tracks of the week

March 24, 2014 in Alternative, Chamber Pop, Electronic, Experimental, independent bands, Indie, Rock, Tribal Rock by Rex

Kippi’s – “Lady” {Alternative/Tribal Rock}

Oh Kippi’s, I love how you’re singing to me all sexy and Italian-like. Anyways, Kippi’s (which means “cheers” in Finnish) is a trio based out of Italy consisting of a Chinese teacher, a funeral home owner and a gravedigger, so to say we’re intrigued by this group is an understatement. They’ll be releasing their new record via Sick Room Records tomorrow, and for more info you can check out their Facebook page.

TucA – “Canção Ao Ceará” {Experimental Rock/Electronic}

In case you haven’t figured it out already, we like things weird over here at RMD; so maybe that’s why we weren’t creeped out by the grunt-like vocals and the tattooed dude with a staring problem in this music video? TucA is based out of Brazil, and if you dig their work be sure to check out their blog as well as the rest of their tracks on their Soundcloud page.

Sports Bar – “I Want To Waste Away With You” {Garage Pop}

The 90s child/Canadian in me can’t help but dig any Sum 41-sounding group (but this group had me within the first two lines of the song anyways…) They’re based out of Richmond, Virginia, and this track of theirs is off their brand spankin’ new EP of the same title which you can buy as a name-your-price download via Bandcamp.

Harley Alexander – “Memory Mobile” {Psych Pop}

If it wasn’t for my fellow Vancouver Islander Mac DeMarco expanding my psychedelic pop brain cells I might not have given this tune a chance; but seeing that 2014 has certainly been DeMarco’s year thus far maybe it’s time for all of us to give psyched out experimental pop a chance. This track is off Alexander’s February release Universal Love which you can buy as a name-your-price download here.

AK – “Circles” {Chamber Pop}

It always seems like something musically magical happens whenever female vocals are intertwined with elaborate piano chords (think: Tori Amos/Chantal Kreviazuk), and although I dug the hell out of a lot of elements in this track (and believe me, there are many) the psychedelic outro is what really sold me on the tune. Her new album How Not To Be Alone is hitting the pavement tomorrow, but if you can’t wait that long you can pre-order it for $5 here.

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by Rex

Top new tracks: Friendly Fires, Mac DeMarco, Fucked Up, Say Lou Lou + the return of Pepper Keenan

March 19, 2014 in Dream Pop, Electronic, Free downloads, Hardcore, independent bands, Indie, Metal, Psych Pop, Psychedelic Rock, Punk, Rock by Rex

Say Lou Lou – “Everything We Touch” {Dream Pop} + Free download

Admit it, you just said “Lou Lou” out loud. But confusing band names aside this track is nothing short of amazing, and mirrors other dream pop masters like Empress Of and Fear Of Men (only with a tad of cheese on the side). If you like the track you can download it for free over at the band’s website.

Oliver Wilde – “Play & Be Saved” {Psych Rock/Pop}

We’ve been going through a mad Mac DeMarco phase as of late, so anything that sounds like our fellow Vancouver Islander gets a nod from RMD. Oliver Wilde (or Oscar Wilde reincarnated for lazy readers like my dumb ass) is based out of Bristol, and is currently prepping for the release of his new album Red Tide Opal In The Loose End Womb which is out on May 5th.

Mac DeMarco – “Brother” {Psych Pop/Rock}

Well speak of the devil…our favourite fellow Vancouver Islander is back with a brand new single which is off his highly-anticipated Salad Days release, so I guess it’s time to stop listening to “Passing Out Pieces” on repeat now. DeMarco has certainly achieved a cult-like following over these past few years, but 2014 has proven to be a very magical Mac DeMarco year indeed thus far.

Friendly Fires & The Asphodells – “Before Your Eyes” {Indie Rock/Electronic}

We’re pretty familiar with Friendly Fires (because, duh) but this is the first we’ve heard of The Asphodells (AKA Andrew Weatherall and Timothy J Fairplay). Either way this collaboration between the two groups is pretty mindblowing; but with trancey psychedelic harmonies, danceable, synth-happy beats and a tribal backbone how could it not be?

Down – “We Knew Him Well” {Metal}

In case you didn’t already know, Down is the sludge metal supergroup consisting of Phil Anselmo of Pantera and Pepper Keenan of Corrosion Of Conformity; so if that didn’t already win you over I don’t know what will. This track is off their forthcoming EP Down IV – Part Two which is due out on May 13th via ADA.

Fucked Up – “Paper The House” {Punk/Hardcore}

Well colour me surprised: Fucked Up are back with a brand new record called Glass Boys which is being released on June 3rd via Matador (in the U.S.) as well as Arts & Crafts (in Canada). The news has already had a trickle effect in the Canadian musicverse, so if the rest of the album sounds anything like this tune you best be expecting the release to pop up on every end-of-year-list imaginable.

To listen to the track click here.

The Folk – “In Silence” {Alternative Rock} + Free download

The Folk’s “Rules Of Youth” was one of our favourite submissions of 2012 and we still find ourselves returning to it from time to time; so we were pretty stoked to see that the Ontario-based group is releasing new material. This new track of theirs has some mean-clean early Smashing Pumpkins/Tegan and Sara vibes to it, and if you digs it you can download it for free here.

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by Rex

Top 5 indie tracks of the week

March 17, 2014 in Electronic, Electropop, Experimental, Folk, Free downloads, Fuzz Rock, Garage Rock, independent bands, Indie, Instrumental, Pop, Post-Punk by Rex

Janitors- “Homecoming Queer (Ain’t That A Man)” {Fuzz/Garage Rock}

We’ve always had a soft spot for Janitors (exhibit A and exhibit B), but this is quite possibly the most badass tune we’ve heard from the Toronto-based group yet. (But what do you expect from a bunch of guys who perform in lone ranger masks?) If you like this tune you can buy it for as little as $1 here.

The Amount Of Light We Give Off – “Relationships” {Post-Punk/Electronic}

Seeing that the word “relationship” scares the living bejesus out of me, this dark, mysterious and gloomy-as-hell track pretty much sums up how I feel about relationships in general. The group is based out of Germany, and if you dig the Bono-like vocals/experimental U2 vibes in the tune make sure you buy it for $1 here.

Sarah Koon – “Pretty Simple” {Experimental Pop}

This track is anything but “pretty simple” and unlike anything we’ve ever covered here at RMD. Sarah’s unique sound can only be described as a cross between Tori Amos and Vampire Weekend, and there’s a lot of hidden classic elements in the track as well (diggin’ the harp yo!) If you like this song you can buy it as a name-your-price download over at her Bandcamp page.

Los Árboles - “How To Rebuild Myself” {Indie Folk/Instrumental} + Free download

This here is one of the best instrumental submissions we’ve received so far in 2014, but the fact that this artist is a 19-year-old Argentinian makes this song extra, extra special. You can download the track for free in the player below, but if you do make sure you give the dude some “Like” love on Facebook while you’re at it too.

Canopies – “Miss You Now” {Electropop} + Free download

As soon as we read about the Cut Copy/Tame Impala comparisons we just knew this group would be packing the punches, but this track exceeded all of our expectations. The five-piece are based out of Milwaukee, and if you like this song you can download it for free over at their Soundcloud page.

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by Rex

Top new videos: Coldplay, Kings Of Leon, HAIM, Owen Pallett + Pacman as a sad, heartbroken alcoholic

March 6, 2014 in Ambient, Electronic, Garage Rock, independent bands, Indie, Pop, Rap, Rock by Rex

Coldplay – “Midnight” {Ambient/Electronic}

Coldplay’s video for their brand spankin’ new and surprisingly electronic single “Midnight” is shot in negative exposure-style, but that’s what happens when you marry a Negative Nancy like GOOPY Gwenyth Paltrow…The video was directed by Mary Wigmore, who is also the godmother of Chris Martin’s daughter Apple.

Owen Pallett – “The Riverbed” {Alternative Rock}

If you’ve ever thought to yourself “hmmmm I’m in the mood to watch a video of an old man doing a strange Rocky-like workout in his boxers,” well now you can. The video stars Pallett’s real-life uncle Jim Pallett as he goes on a date with an older woman wearing a tacky fur coat and red nail polish (if this is what being an old man is like then I’m so happy to not be one right now…)

Liz Lawrence – “Health & Safety” {Pop/Rock}

Now remember kids: Always remember to speed when driving on the highway, kiss dudes with ridiculously large moustaches, take more drugs than a 60s hippie, and dance like your feet are on fire. At least I think that’s what this video is trying to teach me about health and safety…

Drunken Draculas – “Some Of My Best Friends Are Vampire Hunters” {Indie/Garage Rock}

I was in a pretty shitty mood until I feasted my eyes on this highlariously horrible video, which features boogying cats, cute men sitting in bathtubs, Elvis wigs and soooo much more. This track is off the group’s new EP which was released on February 28th via Totally Wired Records.

Thick As Thieves – “Ghosts” {Pop/Rap}

After having a night of doing the horizontal tango with a hot blonde, Pacman wakes up reminiscing of happier times with the woman who broke his heart AKA Pacwoman. Pacman then tries to distract himself by going on a drinking binge and playing a game of shit baseball with his buddies, until he sees Pacwoman canoodling with some human in the park. Poor Pacman…

Kings Of Leon – “Temple” {Rock}

Off the album of the same title of what I imagine myself doing to the lead singer on a daily basis, this new single of Kings Of Leon comes with a video comprised of shots of America’s country music capital AKA Nashville (or Nashvegas to all you hipsters out there…) Plus we get a glimpse of Anthony’s new beybeh that he created with his supermodel wife. Cuteness all around.

HAIM – “If I Could Change Your Mind” {Pop}

I’m still trying to get my head around the fact that according to a new study, at least four U.S. states hate HAIM more than R. Kelly and Chris Brown, but not everyone in the world can be fans of sweet and delicious cheesy music videos like this one I suppose…

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by Rex

Top 5 indie tracks of the week

March 3, 2014 in Alt-Folk, Alternative, Americana, Disco, Electronic, Experimental, Free downloads, Funk, independent bands, Indie by Rex

The Two Koreas – “Can Explain” {Alternative Rock}

The fact that I’m sitting in a pile of my own piss might have already given it away that our numero uno favourite Canadian band has FINALLY released the EP they were hinting at when we interviewed them a couple of years back, and to say we’re excited is an understatement. To buy their LP Winner EP for as little as $4 (or each track for $1) click here.

Sam Sniper – “Something To Say” {Americana/Rock}

This vocalist sounds just like Adam Duritz from Counting Crows (minus the nasty dreadlocks/singing about how he wants to be Bob Dylan and buy himself a grey guitar, of course) and his voice swooned us within seconds of pressing that play button. The band is currently running a Kickstarter to fund the release of their album on vinyl this summer, so if you want to help some brothers out click here.

Ang Low – “Voodoo Woman” {Experimental/Electronic}

This Afrobeat/world music-ish song is as trippy as Ween’s “Voodoo Lady,” and that’s saying a lot. Low is based out of Brooklyn, New York, and this wicked song is off his brand spankin’ new and debut EP (which hits the pavement on March 31st via Luv Luv Luv Records).

Uaxyacac - ”Double Seeker” {Experimental/Electronic}

A tribal, belly-dancing kind of beat, a Liars/Grimes vibe and enough layers and textures to make you feel as if you’ve floated onto another planet for a few minutes…have I given it away that this group is Quebecois yet? This track is off their Double Seeker album which was released in December, and you can buy it for $5 here.

Few Friends – “You I’m Moving To” {Disco/Funk} + Free downloads

Who needs “a few friends” when you can listen to funkalicious tunes like this? This is actually only the second song the band has released to date, so if that impressed you as much as it impressed me you can download the song for free in the player below and give the group some “Like” love on Facebook here.

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by Rex

Top 5 indie tracks of the week

February 25, 2014 in Alternative, Chillwave, Electronic, Free downloads, Hardcore, independent bands, Indie, Pop, Punk, R&B, Rock, Shoegaze, Synthpop by Rex

M.S.A. – “Waste Of Life” {Punk/Hardcore} + Free download

Any Canadian music nerd will tell you that the hardcore music scene in the Prairies is pretty badass, so as soon as we read that this punk group was based out of Edmonton we had to prepare ourselves for a whole lotta whoop ass before we hit the play button (and we highly suggest you do too). And if their badassery didn’t make you piddle in your panties and run and hide into the nearest corner from embarrassment, you can check out the rest of their tracks here.

Neeco Delaf – “Odyssey” {Chillwave/Pop}

We’re not a huge fan of the good ol’ autotune, but Neeco Delaf knows how to pull it off just right (or maybe we’re biased because we’ve already covered one of their tracks here?). Either way any electronic geek will appreciate the chilled-out R&B vibe of this tune. Make sure you check out the rest of their tunes on their Bandcamp page and give them some “Like” love on Facebook.

Soonar – “All Made Of Parts” {Alternative Rock/Shoegaze}

With a riff that could get you hooked in seconds, these “dinosaurs of Dutch indie rock” managed to pull together a vibe that sounds like all of my favourite rock ‘n roll songs put together into one; so for that reason alone they deserve a good shout-out. You can check out the highlarious music video for the track below, but if you like this song you can buy it as a name-your-price download here.

Stereodyssey – “Deep Space” {Synthpop} + Free downloads

This music-making machine of a project has released not one, but two new EPs in this month alone (Memory Bank EP and Memory Bank Vol. II Moon Songs EP), so clearly this dude means business. “Deep Space” has been our guilty pleasure this past week, but we recommend you listen to his other tracks on his Soundcloud and Bandcamp pages (where all his tunes are available as free and/or name-your-price downloads).

Family Photo – “Eureka” {Alternative Pop}

This song is more like a stir fry of a variety of different sounds ranging from alt-folk, indie, even a dash of electronic and classical elements, which is fitting seeing that the five-piece hails from all corners of the U.S. like Oregon, Ohio and Boston (although they’re now based in Sacramento). This track is off their latest release All We Ever Do which was released via Stereocure.

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