Jack and White

Purposefully, deceptively, and yet brilliantly  named Jack and White consists of former American Idol contestant Brooke White and songwriting partner Jack Mantranga. I remember really liking Brooke on AI but then her solo stuff didn't really do anything for me. Well what a difference a duo makes. Jack and White are the perfect blend. Their harmonies are effortless and their songs singable. On their new EP Gemini, they embody a 70s pop vibe, with a summery feel on every note. "Double Trouble" is a laid back affair about a couple of troublemakers who do something troubling. (The singers themselves don't really have a clear answer on that) Jack and White produce such catchy melodies that you can't help but put the repeat button on. A definite surprise for anyone looking for a soundtrack to their next beach party. 

Jack and White- Facebook
Double Trouble-


Jon Fratelli

His voice is unmistakable. It's that guy from those iPod commercials. But when Jon Fratelli isn't making music with his band The Fratellis, he is keeping the groove going on his solo album Psycho Juekbox. Jon's raspy vocals are the star here alongside some pretty great songs. "Santo Domingo" is a slinky jam filled with start/stop guitars and a catchy as hell melody. "Daddy Won't Pay Your Bill" is about just what you imagine. It's filled with pounding drums and is just plain fun. "Flathead" may have put them on the radar here in the US, but frontman Jon is keeping the lights on with his solo album. 

Jon Fratelli- Facebook
Santo Domingo-


Now The Rabbit Has The Gun

There hasn't been a new band that I have completely gone crazy for but the streak is over. The awkwardly named Now The Rabbit Has The Gun is that band. No clue how I came across these guys, but I am extremely glad I did. Where NTRHTG (whew!) really shine is in the the hook of each song, expertly delivered by lead singer Mike Seminari. An earnestness is prevalent in their songs; a vastness that often times is hard to keep on the rails but they manage to do. Especially in the rollicking "The World is Bigger Than You Think," where the chorus literally takes off and doesn't back down. They can switch gears on a dime, with the absolutely heartbreaking "Divide the Knives," which lyrically tells the story of a marriage gone south and the realization that it is ending. (with lines like I know you're just here to pack your things, your half of the memories) AND, they are giving away their music. You can download their album for free here

Now The Rabbit Has The Gun- Facebook
The World Is Bigger Than You Think-



Ben Howard

Summer is basically killing me but somehow Ben Howard is making it seem picturesque. With his edgy folk music reminiscent of Mumford & Sons, Howard's vocals effortlessly transports you to another time. His new album Every Kingdom comes out in October and lead single "Old Pine" basically sums up Ben nicely; sweet harmonies mixed with a down home feel. Lyrically the song is just as good as the music. Howard sings "And we stood as steady as the stars...we grow older still," remembering a time in youth when you feel invincible. Ben Howard has the songwriting goods as well as the musical chops to really find an audience.

Ben Howard- Facebook
Old Pine-(long musical intro)