Graham The Empire – “It’s What You Do:” Astronomical banger? It’s what they do. Countless bands have bolstered their guitar-driven sound with spacey electronics and cinematic effects (perhaps most notably Muse), but no one has done it quite like this Indy-based trio does here. Yes, the Muse influence certainly bleeds through, but the trance-inducing drumbeats bear more of a resemblance to LCD Soundsystem, and there’s just enough of an industrial undertone to give the song a vicious bite. Meanwhile, frontman Graham Zebrasky’s powerhouse vocals are the driving force at the forefront of the repetitive melody. Mixed by legendary producer Mark Needham, “It’s What You Do” is living proof that Graham The Empire is the future of alternative rock, not just in Indianapolis, but everywhere.
Jeremiah Stokes – “Truth:” I can always count on Jeremiah Stokes to deliver with his smooth-as-butter, almost-hypnotic flow, and his first new single in almost a year is no exception. The overall vibe of “Truth” is that of a jazzy, lounge-type chart that is equally smooth as Stokes’ signature delivery. The subtle bass groove will have you subconsciously bobbing your head to the beat while the introspective lyrics will make you think.
Jason Barrows – “Prove My Love:” Jason Barrows just released the second installment in his Electric Infinity series, and though the entire 3-song set embodies a dreamy earthiness (or perhaps an earthy dreaminess—you decide which one sounds cooler), this is particularly true on “Prove My Love.” Barrows’ gruff vocals seem like an odd pairing with the instrumentation, but the more I hear them together, the more they make sense.
Ali Buckets – “Ego Trip, Part 2:” Speaking of 3-song sets that released this month, Ali Buckets made his own return in February with Why Not., and on its second track, “Ego Trip, Part 2,” he enlists the talents of Naptown peers, the aforementioned Jeremiah Stokes as well as James Otha. Stokes and Otha have collaborated before, and the end result was stellar (Tray Watkins’ “Darwin’s Theory”), so it makes perfect sense that they would link up again, this time for a track that hits hard, not only in terms of the beat but also with regards to the convicting lyrics.
You can find all of my Hoosier picks in one place, whether you use SoundCloud or Spotify, each with its own set of exclusives.