Joywave is an eclectic group specializing in alternative pop hailing from Rochester, NY. After the success of 2013's 88888 mixtape, they established their Hollywood Records imprint Cultco Music, through which they released this debut EP How Do You Feel?. With a catalog that deftly jumps between genre, Joywave's How Do You Feel? EP demonstrates the band's pointed talent for blending influences. The Joywave sound is grounded in classic songwriting, often injected with house music's energy, disco's layfulness and an overarching hip-hop spirit. Where any other band might lose its identity in the quest to experiment with so many different sounds, Joywave's all-embracing approach and ineffable knack for making music that feels good puts their distinct personality front and center.

The three main elements defining Los Angeles trio DREAMERS are almost irreconcilable.

First, DREAMERS’ aesthetic embodies psychedelia. It hearkens back to simpler times on the internet, when pixilated 8-bit imagery of starry nights looked like HD. The group flaunts its self-made exploding rainbow gifs like a unicorn in heat.

Second, contrary to what these psychedelic visions may musically imply, DREAMERS plays smart pop. The 12 tracks on the trio’s debut LP This Album Does Not Exist sizzle and spark with three-minute tunes to perk you up and make you shake.

Third, according to DREAMERS, there’s a point to this.

When DREAMERS—Nick Wold (vocals/guitar), Nelson (bass/vocals), and Jacob Wick (drums)—talk about This Album Does Not Exist, they assume a collective tone of considerate existentialism. They seek to counter the crassness of pop, the snobbery of jazz, and the pretention of indie that zaps the fun out of music with meaning. Yet, they want to draw you in, indiscriminate of taste, style, or ideology.

“Nothing exists by itself,” muses Wold. “Everything in your mind is created in your mind and you see the world through that lens. Everything has a subjective reality in addition to an objective one, especially with music and art. So on this record, we’re toying with that idea of existence and nonexistence.”

Yet, these songs of playfulness come from a place of less—homelessness, joblessness, borderline hopelessness. In 2014, Wold simultaneously vacated a relationship and an apartment and began living in his Brooklyn practice space. The brick warehouse used to be a brewery, he recalls, with rats as ubiquitous as the graffiti crawling the walls.

“It was just a cinderblock room with no windows, no bathrooms, ” begins Wold before Nelson chimes in, “Musical prison!”

Recalls Wold, “I showered with this $20 a month gym membership I had.” When he returned to the studio, “I just tried to make it look like I was coming in for a night session.”

During the two years of living in this “musical prison,” Wold reduced his bartending gig to just once per week. It freed up his schedule to write more than 100 songs, many of which ended up on This Album Does Not Exist.

Meanwhile, both Nelson and Wick bottomed out on the musician lifestyle and returned to office jobs in New York and Los Angeles, respectively. As Nelson says, “We found ourselves in ‘normal’ situations and quickly decided to yank ourselves out of it.”

So now, after bouts of vagrancy, nomadism, and vigilant attempts at normalcy, DREAMERS is now committed to its collective vision of artistry, inclusion, and idealism.

“The role of the artist in society is to be the dreamer, the one who thinks ahead,” considers Wold.

“We’re trying to pull people in. It’s a way of trying to coax people into our world, continues Nelson. “We want to bring people in to listen to our music and enjoy themselves....and then hopefully it’ll lead to a deeper connection.”

That’s the dreamer MO, after all—to find the joy in living and to chase it.

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After more than two years of nomadism and cross-country touring, as well as two EPs, Los Angeles’ DREAMERS released its debut full-length LP This Album Does Not Exist on August 26, 2016. The smart alt pop trio, comprised of Nick Wold (vocals/guitar), Nelson (bass/vocals), and Jacob Wick (drums), wrote much for the album in Brooklyn before moving to L.A. and tracking at Fairfax Recordings (formerly Sound City Studios). Led by singles like “Drugs” and “Sweet Disaster,” DREAMERS pits the party and the paranoia of escapism in seemingly effortlessly tight, three-minute tunes. Album tracks like “Pain Killer” and “Lucky Dog” follow in this vein, swinging with handclaps and driving with sing-along choruses. Throughout This Album Does Not Exist, DREAMERS toys with themes of existence and existentialism, but it’s easy enough to get sucked into their world and dance the big questions away.

On the breakout single “Legendary,” lead singer and guitarist Sam Getz belts, “Cuz we’re gonna be legends, gonna get their attention.” Breathing life into those words, this anthem captured the globe’s “attention” in 2017. Initially igniting Germany after its independent release, the song quietly spread like wildfire across countless influential Spotify playlists, cracking 24 million streams and 950K Shazam’s in under six months. Earning their first watershed moment, “Legendary” resulted from years of tireless work by the six-piece—Getz, Brett Lindemann [keyboard, vocals], Jimmy Weaver [bass, vocals], Mikey Gould [drums], Bri Bryant [vocals], and Jon Bryant [vocals].

“It’s about how there’s a payoff to all of that effort,” admits Getz. “In the beginning, it was inspired by Lebron James. He’s from the Cleveland area, and he ended up on our team. He always goes hard. That idea extends to music. The six of us leave everything on the court. We ignore the doubters, naysayers, and obstacles and just keep fighting.”

That fighting spirit came to life at a Sunday barbecue back in 2013. The frontman had taken a break from the road and invited his future bandmates over for some beers and burgers. Sooner rather than later, they found themselves jamming in the basement. A regular Sunday jam morphed into a band whose sound blends Soul, Blues, Rock, and Gospel. They recorded the Welcome EP in 2013 followed by the Covers EP a year later and 2015’s full-length Welshly Arms. Their music would soundtrack commercials and trailers for Miller Lite, Indian Motorcycles, The Hateful Eight, and NETFLIX’s Sense8 in addition to a campaign for some other hometown heroes: the Cleveland Indians.

Along the way, they scorched stages at SXSW, Austin City Limits, Laurel Live, Red Rocks, and Summerfest and toured with the likes of NEEDTOBREATHE. Simultaneously, Welshly Arms honed a signature style by writing and producing every note themselves in their hometown HQ.

“We always try to keep a gritty soul edge with everything we do,” adds Getz. “The vocals stick out, and the music is deep and raw. We take pride in producing all of the recordings ourselves. It’s important to the sound.”

Now, that sound comes to life on their Legendary EP [Republic Records]. A mosaic of influences, it translates Welshly Arms on stage energy into a collection of rousing, raucous, and real rock anthems.

“I hope people notice what we put into this,” Getz leaves off. “With every gig, we want to put on a show and have fun with the audience. On the records, I hope you can hear our enjoyment in making music. I want everybody to share that when they hear it.”

“I always knew I wanted to perform somehow,” says Barns Courtney. “There are photos of me at three years old, with my teddy bears all lined up, singing into a plastic microphone. Music is just an inherent part of me, and it was something I couldn’t help but pursue.”

Suddenly, that pursuit has exploded into one of the most exciting music stories of recent times. The young artist went from working part-time jobs and sleeping in his car to scoring hits on both sides of the Atlantic.
“Fire,” Barns Courtney’s first U.S. single, took off at SiriusXM’s Spectrum channel and ultimately charted in the Top 5 at Triple A radio and within the Top 15 at the Alternative format. Bradley Cooper and Harvey Weinstein personally tapped it for use in the film Burnt. “Fire” was subsequently heard in advertising campaigns for the Showtime network, the Volkswagen Golf Alltrack and BOSE Soundsport Wireless Headphones.

Meanwhile, “Glitter & Gold” went to No. 1 on the Spotify UK Viral Chart. Soon Barns Courtney found himself opening for The Who at London’s Wembley Stadium and also supporting such artists as Ed Sheeran, Elle King and Blur.
Growing up in Seattle, Barns Courtney’s passion for music was apparent early on. “I’ve always written songs, for as long as I can remember,” he says. “I wrote songs before I could play an instrument, just little poems or whatever, as young as six or seven years old.

“I liked to make the other kids laugh, making up silly songs or doing comedy, but my school was so serious that it didn’t even have a drama department, so I couldn’t see any outlet for who I was.”

The first album that really captured his imagination was Nirvana’s Nevermind, which he listened to every day for a year while walking to school. Courtney wasn’t aware, though, that the band shared his hometown, or the importance of Seattle as a musical hub. When he was 14, an aunt gave him a guitar, which proved to be a pivotal event.

He began performing, bouncing between various bands, and also expanded his musical palette. “My music is based in Americana,” he says, “but I was definitely into the Libertines, the Fratellis, Arctic Monkeys, all those British indie bands.”

Barns Courtney dedicated himself to his songwriting. “I knew that what I was writing was terrible,” he says, “but I thought that if I kept working, by the time I was 20, I might be alright.” He signed a recording contract straight out of high school, but when that deal fell apart, he went through several years of struggle.

“I had no qualifications, and I was the guy who had kind of forgotten to grow up,” says Barns Courtney. “For three or four years, I was working in clubs and at a computer store. It got really scary. But I never thought about giving up—it’s important to put all your chips on one number or how do you rise above the competition? When I was being honest with myself, I realized the importance of pursuing the thing that you love.”

His frustration fueled the songs he was writing. “They were all about aspects of the same feeling, a desperation to get back in touch with the burning passion I had when I started out,” he says. “That huge, defiant feeling—‘I’ll show them, I’ll get there somehow,’ a sense that burns in your gut.”

Over time, Barns Courtney cobbled together a demo tape and sent it around as best he could. It turned out that a friend of his was also a friend of a booking agent, who fell in love with the songs. And miraculously, once they started circulating within the music industry, the floodgates opened. The producers of Burnt put in their offer for the anthemic, propulsive “Fire” at the same time that the BBC started to play “Glitter & Gold.” More television offers followed. “After so long with nothing happening,” he says, still expressing his disbelief, “everything erupted at once.”

Released in February 2017, his debut EP, The Dull Drums, contained “Fire”—which has more than 16 million streams globally, with half of those in the U.S.—and “Glitter & Gold”—which has more than 13 million streams worldwide—plus three brand new songs. Paste Magazine hailed him as “The Best of What’s Next” and noted, “There’s confidence. And then there’s the swaggering self-assurance displayed by raspy-throated…blues rocker Barns Courtney on his recent single ‘Fire,’ a swampy, Gospel-steeped stomper.” Baeble Music highlighted the track “ “Hands” as one of its “Songs We Loved This Week” and observed, “Courtney has that something that you just don’t get to hear enough of anymore.”

Barns Courtney learned from the reaction from live audiences, as he introduced to them to material they had never heard. “The feedback has been so good, it really gives me a new perspective on the tunes,” he said. “I’m realizing that it may be important not to compartmentalize or define my songwriting—that my voice can really be the unifying component for this set of songs.”

Now, Barns Courtney has released his full-length debut, The Attractions of Youth. “I wanted to make an Americana, blues-inspired record,” he said of the sessions he co-produced, “but I also love Kanye West and the way he’s taking old blues influences and bringing them into modern age.” After the September 2017 release, Rolling Stone featured him as one of the “10 Artists You Need To Know” for October 2017.

For Barns Courtney, an overnight sensation who was years in the making, the greatest pay-off for his work comes when he takes the stage each night. “It’s nice to have people like my music, but that’s fleeting,” he says. “The real reward is that exchange of energy when the singer and the crowd are both on the same level—when there’s an equal playing ground and we’re all in it together.”

Brother Sundance began playing the drums at the age of two — teaching himself the ins and outs of his favorite songs day in and day out. His Mother often quipped that he was born playing the drums and hadn’t stopped since. As a teenager, he picked up the guitar and began to sing, two efforts that eventually culminated in his fronting of punk-blues outfit Wallace. Wallace worked the South Florida underground circuit for a year before dissolving and giving way to Brother Sundance and his solo efforts. As a solo performer, he writes and records all of his own music, often playing every instrument on each song, and produces it all as well. He is joined on stage by an incredible group of South Florida natives, his best friends, and has worked hard to put together an exhilarating set. “It’s a battle, really, between past and present — past being the album, the recorded instance of each song, and present being the show, the moment at hand. The way those two things collide, the way songs take on new forms each night — it’s incredible. I live for that.”, Sundance says of his group’s show. His debut single, Blind, is coming soon, with an EP, HONEY, right behind it.

The Academic are indie rock band from Westmeath, Ireland.

The band consists of:

Craig Fitzgerald (Lead vocals + Guitar)
Matt Murtagh (Guitar)
Stephen Murtagh (Bass)
Dean Gavin (Drums)

$5.00 - $15.00

Tickets

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The Bakersfield Fox Theater