There are bands, and then there are brotherhoods. The former does not the latter make, but the five members of Nightbox grew up in the same town, went to the same school and fell in love with the same sounds. Then three years ago they moved to Toronto together, shacked up in an old Kensington Market red-brick and got down to business making sounds of their own.

Their bond is uncommonly deep and so is their musicality. Attend a Nightbox show and you’ll be struck by just how many ideas are expressed in tandem, all constructed to fit together like some bizarre Techno-color pop puzzle. You’ll marvel at their music’s ability to gyrate your body and brain at the same time, and you'll experience a sort of synesthesia where you can’t tell which instrument is keeping time and which is sounding a melody; bass lines, guitar licks and tom fills all ducking and weaving around each other in a helix of awesome. You will no doubt, begin to get a sense of the glorious noise these five young Irish lads are creating.

And the world is starting to take notice. After releasing their debut EP in 2011, critical and commercial reaction was noteworthy on a world scale. The music video for single "Pyramid" earned heavy rotation on Canadian music television stations, and the track was selected to appear on the prestigious French label Kitsune's Maison Compilation 11. It was chosen by NME as a Top-10 download, stating it takes on “a fresh sound of its own”, while UK’s Dazed & Confused magazine raved it “takes a hedonistic approach with high energy results on a new breed of dance." The EP's release in Japan on Rallye Label, sold out 1,000 copies on its initial offering.

Nightbox proceeded to tear up festival tent stages on both sides of the Atlantic, most notably during their barnstorming sets for packed houses at Reading & Leeds and Ireland's Electric Picnic Festival, where BBC exclaimed "The glitchy synths and the guitars sound delightful... and by jove do they know how to write a hook", ranking Nightbox's performance Top-10 of the entire festival. Chops were honed, experience was gained, and bonds were formed with thousands of new fans.

Nightbox have retreated to the studio for the last six months to record their first full-length album with MSTRKRFT production wiz Al-P. An ardent, burgeoning fan base and a raft of industry power brokers are all eager to get their ear-mitts on the results. Recent direct support slots for Ellie Goulding, Cults, Death From Above 1979, and Canadian & UK tours with Juno Award winner Lights, have confirmed that this band’s positioned to make some serious waves in 2013. Dance floors will be soaked. Bring a mop.

It wasn’t a spiritual journey as many musicians claim bring their songs to life, but for SHMNS - pronounced Sha-Mans - it all fell into place as if destiny were packing a suitcase for a trip not quite yet planned; casually and with equal parts fate and faith.

Philadelphia’s electro/indie-pop SHMNS intend to make a bold statement with their debut EP, Somewhere Between Here and There (released May 14). “Here and there is where we are and where we essentially want to be, musically and conceptually,” reflects guitarist Isaac Louis. “It has become our mantra,” adds vocalist and conceptualist Justin P. Romanos.

Comprised of four music industry students (vocalist Justin P. Romanos, guitarist Issac Louis, bassist Mike Morrongiello, and drummer Richie Straub) who have experienced the ins and outs of the DIY Philadelphia music culture since 2010, SHMNS aims to add a sense of polished validity to the scene while still remaining true to their roots. Influenced by such artists as Local Natives, Tama Pala, and Minus the Bear, the quartet have created a unique sound that is rooted in the various members’ frustration with the electronic scene as well as their ambition to create fresh mix of live instruments with electronic elements.

Everything that vocalist and founder Justin P. Romanos has done musically has lead to this album. “Going into a studio and working with a producer has shown me how different it really is than doing it all yourself,” notes Romanos. Initially writing all the songs that comprise Somewhere Between Here and There with a combination of core guitar tracks and midi instruments, Romanos’ main focus was how to translate these compositions to a full band once it came time to record.

Working with Philadelphia based producer/engineer Brandon Bost, SHMNS were able to develop a unique mix of the electronic elements that dominated their youth with a fresh combination of live musical arrangements. “Recording Somewhere Between Here and There, was an interesting process in regards to figuring out how far I could push the band as musicians and getting to know them as people,” reflects Bost. “It was pretty obvious that even though they have a sort of hi-fi electronic exterior, SHMNS is very much so a band looking for vintage tones—cohesively melding their electronic influence with their vintage sound.“

There is an unregistered hominess in SHMNS’s debut EP that is softened by wistful hypnotics, gradient slopes that marry harmony and lyrics, and an abundance of beauty and balance in Romanos’ voice as he lingers sentiments on the tip of his tongue. Like a summer night so crisp, warm, and humbling, SHMNS cannot effectively run from the mysticism that has been, in ways, naturally selected for their songs; both bold, innovative, yet with a warm touch like that of long drive home with no cars blocking your way.

Los Angeles based of Verona, whose members hail originally from Toronto and New York, is fronted by a charismatic female lead singer, Mandi and two other uber talented 21 year olds, Dillon and Jeff. The band recently released their debut album, The White Apple, in partnership with Hype Music. The album was written, produced and mixed by the band at their Hollywood studio and is a collection of songs about realizing what is real and what is an illusion and learning to tell the difference; It's about letting go of the things that cannot change. The name of Verona comes from Shakespeare’s earliest known play, Two Gentlemen of Verona, which has the smallest cast of any of the Shakespeare plays. The band imagined it as the underdog of sorts, surviving on the sheer virtue of its story.

of Verona's sound can best be described as a blend of futuristic/indie rock with an electro heartbeat. MTV Buzzworthy featured them as a 'Band to Know' stating, "If you like melodic rock and roll with great female vocals like Florence & The Machine, you'll definitely dig of Verona." Their song Dark In My Imagination has received considerable play on specialty stations such as KCRW and reached the top 10 on the Hype Machine online, while their song Castles has been featured on more mainstream stations such as KROQ, where it was championed by Kat Corbett.

The band also puts on an epic live show with a hypnotic visual element. They have played a number of notable events including Filter Magazine’s Culture Collide Festival, the Summerfest Music Festival, MTV’s Woodies Festival and SXSW. They regularly tour North America and just finished a well-received headlining tour in the UK. Regarding their live show, the Examiner recently stated: “It has been said in the past that some bands create a wall of sound; of Verona creates a tsunami of sound that crashes down all around the venue, sweeping the audience away in the pure pleasure of the moment.”

of Verona recently signed a publishing deal with BMG and completed work on a new EP, The Is What It Sounds Like, set for release on August 20, 2013.


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