During Cincinnati Entertainment Awards-time every year, my forced mantra is, “Every artist in Cincinnati can’t be nominated.” For 17 years now, the queries of “Why didn’t so-and-so get nominated?” come hard and fast once the nominees are announced. And most of the artists that are asked about certainly were in the running and deserved a nomination. It’s a good problem to have. Greater Cincinnati’s music scene is so strong, we could extend the CEA categories to 20 nominees each and still miss a few deserved acts.
That’s especially true in the New Artist of the Year category. Dozens of new artists just missed being nominated. We asked four of them to participate in Saturday’s Best New Bands showcase at Bogart’s and they graciously accepted.
Here is a look at the rest of the Best New Bands lineup:
Eclectic, theatrical rockers Injecting Strangers formed out of the creative partnership of Dylan Oseas (formerly of Automagik) and Peter Foley. They joined forces with Richard Ringer, a singer/songwriter who spent some time playing in New York’s underground music scene. While Oseas and Foley came from a “bombastic” Rock background, Ringer’s material across several releases was more of the off-kilter Indie/Anti-Folk variety.
The duo’s chocolate combined with Ringer’s peanut butter resulted in Injecting Strangers’ engaging brand of dynamic, boundless Indie Rock, which combines huge hooks with dynamic twists and turns and a conceptual approach to songwriting. Fleshed out by Aaron Disney and Chase Leonard, Injecting Strangers released its first recording late last year, the EP Nightmare Nancy. In just three short tracks, the introductory release tells the tale of murder, meds and a sketchy doctor.
Injecting Strangers’ debut is available as a free download at injectingstrangers.bandcamp.com.
Local music fans who go to a lot of shows are likely familiar with singer/songwriter Molly Sullivan. She was a member of No No Knots and has also sung back-up in Brian Olive’s band and with Athens, Ohio Indie Chamber Folk crew The Ridges.
But Sullivan is more than just a great singer; she’s also a fascinating songwriter and performer. She has been doing solo work for the past several years, but in 2013 she resurfaced on the local club front and seemed to have found her voice with a compelling, experimental style reminiscent of tUnE-yArDs and Cheyenne Mize. Live, Sullivan performs to sparse backing tracks, over which she loops her hazy yet passionate vocals to create a magnetic, uniquely layered sound.
So far Sullivan has only released a handful of demo recordings, but you can also find some great clips of her riveting live performances online (including a video shot at last year’s MidPoint Music Festival and produced by The Queen City Project). To sample some of Sullivan’s recorded works, visit mollysullivan.bandcamp.com and soundcloud.com/prim-4.
Some talented musicians work their whole lives trying to form/be in one great band, yet never quite make it. And then there are some talented musicians who manage to be in not just one great band, but two, simultaneously. Two of the members of nationally buzzed about Cincinnati trio Tweens, for example, also make up two-thirds of the excellent Vacation, which has earned similar buzz across the nation.
Dream Pop trio Little Lights has a pair of members who do time in two other excellent Cincinnati bands. The trio’s guitarist/programmer Gabriel Molnar performs with the group Sometimes, while Scot Torres, Little Lights keyboardist, fronts the amazing State Song.
For Little Lights, Torres and Molnar teamed with mesmerizing vocalist Emmie Bishop to create gauzy, haunting Indie Pop, tastefully fleshed out with minimalistic beats. Without much promotion, the engaging group has been making noise in local clubs and online, with the blog beardedgentlemenmusic.com recently calling Little Lights’ official recorded debut (slated for release soon) one of the most anticipated releases of 2014.
For now, you can check out and/or purchase a four-song collection of lovely demos from Little Lights at littlelights.bandcamp.com.
The name ADM stands for “a delicate motor” and is also a play on the name of the project’s mastermind, multi-instrumentalist Adam Petersen. A part of local arts collaborative The Marburg Collective and one of the founders/operators of Over-the-Rhine shop Rock Paper Scissors (which offers art supplies as well as an array of local music and local band merchandise), Petersen conceived ADM while studying piano at the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music. He released his debut, a captivating 10-track, self-titled album on which he played and sang every note, in June of last year.
Though a trained musician, Petersen takes an avant-garde approach to ADM, utilizing technology to create his ambient, strangely melodic dreamscapes. Though he has performed with a full band, an ADM show is usually just Petersen (who was nominated in the Electronic category for this year’s Cincinnati Entertainment Awards) surrounded by keys and percussion. The musician creates loops of the rhythms (and other sounds) as he performs, seamlessly juggling percussion, keyboard and vocal duties simultaneously.
Listen to and purchase ADM’s debut full-length at adelicatemotor.bandcamp.com.