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Artist of the Month
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July 2015
Overwatcher
"Metaphysics
"
mp3

Do some stretches, because Nashville-based Overwatcher are bringing the melodic hardcore madness, and some soft moshing is imminent.

Although a relatively new band, the guys have come out swinging with red-blooded live shows and a victory in our Band of the Month competition. The release of their debut EP "Metaphysics" will undoubtedly add fuel to their face-melting fire.
 
With the ample sound you'd expect from a six-piece, the guys are bringing a new vitality to the melocore scene. "Metaphysics" features the melodic exploration and merciless pulse of predecessors like Touche Amore, mewithoutyou and Defeater, with the brutal lyrical honesty and self-awareness of post-grad punk kids.
 
Overwatcher has created an engaging and discerning debut EP that is just as dynamic (if not more so) live. During their most recent performance at The East Room, lead vocalist Alex MacWilliam, performing through a head-wound he earned early in the set, filled up every ounce of space he could get his hands on. Often on tables and chairs, level with the crowd, even lying down, MacWilliam lead his crew through an intense, energetic set. Whether the audience is of five or 5,000, the performance remains wholehearted, and there is definitely something to be said for that.
 
Overwatcher is putting a refreshing spin on melodic hardcore, and "Metaphysics" is a testament to their musical prowess and clear passion for the genre. And, I can only assume this is just the beginning.  -Caroline Bowman

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DC electro-shoegazers RadaR release first single "GUN (Give Up On The Now)"

DCRadaR only has one single out so far, "GUN (Give Up On The Now)", and already you can pinpoint their interesting play on genres (listen below). Their self-proclaimed sound is "electro-shoegaze," but there's also hints of pop-punk, making it surprisingly easy to dance to. They've got more singles to come, and they're playing July 19th at Metropolitan in Annapolis.

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Baltimore label, Friends Records, releases split single for locals Sherman Whips and Little Leaguer

Friends Records is all about sharing, and have just released a split single from Baltimore bands Sherman Whips (photographed above) and Little Leaguers. Sherman Whips' sound is brighter and campier than Little Leaguer's, especially their play with pacing in the featured single, "Baby Go Home," going back and forth between speedy psych-rock and calmer surf music. On the other hand, Little Leaguer's single, "7", is more of a catchy, punk spirited noise-rock tune, beginning with a whisper and ending in a scream. The split single is available for streaming below.


Richmond folk duo Sleepy Brother are playing a release show for their new album, "Let in the Light", 7/18 at Sound of Music Recording Studios

Sleepy Brother, a folksy acoustic duo from Richmond, VA released a single called "Glimpse" last month featuring lulling plucks on guitar and smooth vocals explaining an upbringing inspired narrative. This month they are preparing for the full unveiling of their upcoming album "Let in the Light". They will be celebrating this achievment with a performance at Sound of Music Recording Studios on 7/18 accompanied by fellow Richmond based band Ocean Versus Daughter and NC's Bear Stevens. Heather Wiederholt's voice enters the sacharine, her lyrics encouraging nostalgia and optimism, while Nathan Burns brings the grounding keys, guitar, and percussion.

- Leora Mandel     

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A long distance music affair: Georgetown U/Oklahoma City bedroom band Husbands record and release their first album, "Golden Year"

Husbands is a dreamy bedroom-pop duo made up of two married guys (though not to each other) Wil Norton and Danny Davis. They met at undergrad in Oklahoma City while Norton was playing in instrumental prog-rock band "The Non" and Davis was recording songs with Beach Boys inspired vocal harmonies. The two started a project that would later succeed in transcending state boundaries when Norton moved to DC to attend Georgetown for an MA in Literature. Not only has the band's production survived, but flourished! On July 2nd they released their first full, 8 track album, "Golden Year". They've noted that this particular record was made with the intention of playing live shows, which for the duo meant less experimenting with Animal Collective reminesent sampling, but also gaining the discipline necessary for writing tighter, catchier tunes. We're excited to hear their future work, which will without doubt further perfect combining both of these songwriting methods. Golden Year melts seamlessly with warm and drowned guitars, sad surfy vocals, bright synths and samples, and hip shaking percussion. These songs derive strength from the duo's ability to add layer over layer (sent over dropbox) without overdoing it and washing out the core of the song. Give the lyrics a look-see when listening, there are some real gems. Husbands is proud, excited, and fast at work on their next two albums already. So go to Bandcamp, enjoy your new summer jams! We'll likely have some more good news from Husbands in time for fall or winter.

- Leora Mandel

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DC's punk/emo revival duo The Obsessives release a single and announce their upcoming debut LP

Some of us are starting to feel old, hearing genre names like "emo revival". Whatever happened to emo music after those side-bangs days of myspace yore? No matter the year, there will always be kids getting their hearts broken apart and making bold eyeliner decisions, and the music must follow. DC's two-piece The Obsessives have been pals since childhood, and channeled the final bits of their collective teenage angst into a debut LP entitled "Heck No, Nancy" (a direct quote from Slaughterhouse Five). The LP was written and recorded within their last few weeks of high school and will release this September. They put a single out just a few days ago - "Daisy"- that follows two people from the first time they meet and discuss books and solitude (love-at-first-sight seems to hit peak hour during study hall/detention) to the present where their friendship "has grown into a sad display". This may be their debut LP, but it will be the duo's fourth musical release within the past three years. The Obsessive's have got the spunk of The Front Bottoms paired with the proud fetal position perfected by Dashboard Confessional. "Heck No, Nancy" is available now for pre-order via local label Near Mint on vinyl and Bandcamp.

- Leora Mandel

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