Ever wonder who those bands are on the bottom of the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival? The ones in the 5-point type that is hard to read at the bottom of the listing of acts to perform in 2018. The Manchester Times is reaching out to some of the lesser-known bands to find out their stories.
Brothers, friend form Chicago band Fletcher
Jeff Steers, editor
“I heard there was an unusual chord one would play for more appeal,” Oscar Baker sings in his opening line for “Open Arms.”
And while the 23-year-old front man of Fletcher might not realize it that line rings true for the alternative rock band.
Oscar Baker, alongside brother and bassist Harvey, 20, and childhood friend and drummer Tom Fry, 23, formed Fletcher as a basement project in 2012.
In just under two years, the three-piece Brit-rock-driven trifecta left a ricochet effect in the Chicago music scene and across the Midwest. From playing sold out shows at Lincoln Hall and House of Blues, to snagging a spot on JBTV to gaining notable attention from BBC Radio, Fletcher has embarked on a path to self-preservation.
To describe Fletcher’s sound – to say the least is uncanny.
Striking similar appealing chords, Fletcher has been compared to Artic Monkeys, The Kooks, Kings of Leon, The Strokes—and even (a bit of stretch and definitely an off comparison, Harvey said, the epitome of Brit-rock, The Rolling Stones).
But there’s something about Fletcher that stands apart from all those notable mentions. They’re personal. Fletcher brings forth a history – a band of brotherhood – unbreakable to the commerciality of mainstream rock ‘n’ roll.
The essence of lyrical naivety masked by their mature sincerity makes them relatable, attractive. Their melodic illustrations portray a collective coyness married to the concept of casualness.
Among Oscar, Harvey and Tom, Fletcher’s effortlessly harmonic collaboration constructs sweet lullabies of reality. Fletcher’s songs are the type of songs that brings an individual back to a significant, isolated time in his or her life, which unearths a Pandora’s Box of emotions.
And while subtle wordplay, humor and sarcasm lie beneath lyrics like: “a fickle common pickle” (“More Than You Can Chew”) or “because the road I take / is the one you fake” (The Road I Take) or “I was looking at a paperback / that showed a contest for a meal / and it consisted of a cheesecake sweepstake” (Cheesecake), Fletcher knows of no boundary when understanding the depths of merely growing up, of merely coming to grips with life.
Fletcher’s brutal honesty and lust for complexities of normalcy isn’t unusual. It’s a guide to just being – to living in the present.
To hear their music, go to: https://soundcloud.com/fletchertheband.
Cities shape the sounds inside them, whether intentionally or not. For Nashville future-rhythm and blues outfit Biyo, the boundaries set by Music City have been blown to pieces. In the span of a handful of songs, the duo has become both the enigmatic face and soundtrack of the scene exploding out of Nashville, Tennessee. What started as an anonymous experiment for members Sam English and Grayson Proctor has become a fully visualized project, selling out shows in warehouses and spaces where these sounds hadn’t existed. Their sonic palette has been refined through other artists’ lenses, too; they can be heard in James Droll’s ooze, Daniella Mason’s ultralight beams, and countless others in their world. They’ve also done stellar remix work for pop ascendants Ashe and LINES, proving their sound can explore other avenues outside of their hometown. While many artists switch their style to keep up with trends in Music City, the future could not be brighter for this boundary-less team.
Listen to their music at: https://soundcloud.com/biyobiyo.
Born of a Polish father and a Quebecer mother, Matt Holubowski grew up in a bilingual household in Hudson, QC and has always lived at the crossroads of the French and English languages. This notion of isolation of two cultures within a single territory fascinates this globe-trotter; lover of his planet and its infinite cultures. With this second album, Solitudes, the self-taught musician, poet and composer offers eleven titles that in many ways evoke isolation, estrangement, and exile, but also delves into the forms of solitudes we seek and often at times need.
Holubowski’s unmistakable voice and steadfast personality was revealed to some through his appearance as a finalist on the super-popular television show La Voix. He has since worked tirelessly, surrounding himself with invaluable musical collaborators, with Stéphane Bergeron (Karkwa) on drums, Marc-André Landry on bass, Simon Angell (Patrick Watson) on guitar and Marianne Houle on cello. Connor Seidel produced the record, and co-mixed it with Warren Spicer (Plants and Animals).
The resulting Solitudes sold over 35,000 units in Canada since its release in September 2016 and was nominated for Album of the Year (English-language) at the 2017 ADISQ Gala.
Its following tour took him from Montreal to Hamburg, New York, Paris, Los Angeles, Toronto, Vancouver, Ottawa, and many other cities in Canada and abroad with over 130 shows booked. He will be opening for Ben Folds’ European tour in 15 cities across the continent, followed by performances at Bonnaroo Festival in Tennessee, Lafayette Festival in New Orleans, Printemps de Bourges, Festival d’été de Québec, The Great Escape in Brighton, Winnipeg Folk Fest and still more to be announced.
Sample his music at: www.facebook.com/mattholubowski.
Hundred Handed’s sound is the product of the fun-seeking, crazy minds of its two members Jordan McGraw (vocals/guitar/keys) and Drew Langan (drums). The friends set out to recapture the excitement of being in your first band with the experience they captured touring the world on the road that led them to Hundred Handed.
They had a blast finding their sound and making this music. The band hails from Los Angeles and will play at the Cannery Ballroom Wednesday, Feb. 21, in Nashville.
Listen to their music at https://tinyurl.com/yajsofrc.
ROCNATION describes Victory’s music as a fusion between soul and folk music. Some say Victory is in the lane of Tracy Chapman, Robert Flack and Nina Simone.
Sample her music at: www.facebook.com/victoryboyd.
The singer of romantic songs lives in Los Angeles. Not much is published about the artist. Listen to his music at: https://soundcloud.com/onlysaro.