Discover the Best New Songs of June

Blast these new songs of summer—along with the air conditioning. Take a listen to the Best Songs of June, a playlist compiled in conjunction with our friends at Future Chord

See what songs made the list and what we had to say about them below:

1. Small Reactions - “Sessions Street”

A blistering dose of post-punk adrenaline.

2. Roman GianArthur - “Real Love, No Shade”

Beat the heat with this soulful R&B banger.

3. Graham Patrick Ulciny - “big game”

Tropical pop bent by explosive mind-blowing syncopation.

4. Wieuca - “Snitches Get Stitches”

Dirty dance all night to this grungy, groovy track.

5. Chief Scout - “Dead End”

Sip on this guitar pop “cool aid” with a punch.

6. Kinder Than Wolves - “Good Luck”

Dreamy, wistful indie perfect for your summer road trip playlist.

7. Dot.s - “Palms”

Toe tapping, head bobbing, pool party tune.

8. Alarm Drum - “Whisper”

Modern day “Breakfast Club” soundtrack.

9. Devereaux - “Kapowski”

Cruise down memory lane on this 80’s inspired synth-pop jam.

10. Shasta Ray - “I Just Need My Records”

A smooth breakup song with a bit of twang for when your summer fling gets rocky.

Track descriptions by Jeremy Theall & Bailey Burns. Future Chord is an artist management and event production company in South Carolina and a regional partner with Forthright Records.

Q&A with HOTSALT

HOTSALT is an indie rock band from Greenwood, South Carolina. Their music is edgy, full, and very motivated.  I had a chance to sit down with with the band's co-founder, Eli Harrell, and chat about all things HOTSALT. 

Andrew: Tell me a little bit about HOTSALT, how the band started, and what the motivation is behind what you do.

HOTSALT:  Originally, our bassist Caleb Hall and I formed the band in Orlando, FL back in 2012. It was an extension of an old band we were playing with at the time. After moving to South Carolina I found myself performing solo for a while until we found our drummer, Ryan Doolittle. After that, things kind of took off. We’ve been playing a lot of shows, writing, and recording. Everything kind of fell into place. 

Andrew: What made you choose the name HOTSALT? 

HOTSALT: We had a bunch of ideas in mind at the time. But the idea of the name HOTSALT comes from, well, number one, it was hot in Florida. And number two, salt is something that preserves things. A lot of our music has religious undertones. Jesus claimed to be the salt of the earth. We liked that positive take. We wanted to be something positive in the music industry, something that actually has purpose. Not just music. A lot of our songs, especially now, are written to have a real impact on people. It’s also just a name (laughs).

“I try my best to take on topics that push buttons and make people think. I’ve never been someone to have a problem with anyone’s faith. But I think everyone should question what they believe.” - Eli Harrell, HOTSALT

Andrew: Let’s talk about KONCHO, a hard rocking, but diversely well-rounded collection of songs (and very well-produced at that). What were you guys trying to say to your listeners with this EP?

HOTSALT: The reason we picked those three songs was largely because they’re so varied in style. It helped us to decide which route to take moving forward. As far as the moral of each song and how they coincide together, I think it’s about being okay with things when things are not okay. Getting over stuff and moving on.

Andrew: Where did the name KONCHO come from?

HOTSALT: Honestly, we really liked the way it sounded and how it looked in ALL CAPS. But really, we chose the name because if you google it and read the definition, it’s pretty ridiculous…We thought it’d be funny if someone happened to look it up and got taken by surprise. It’s more of just an inside joke kind of thing I guess (laughs). Again, the album is kind of about how sometimes life sucks, just like how sometimes someone rams their fingers up your butt, but that’s life. You move on (laughs). 

Andrew: Is the government trying to bring you down? (Hence, your song “Government”)

HOTSALT: It’s more like they’re not out for my interests. They’re out for the big pockets. I actually wrote it before all the Trump stuff. Anyone who does their research knows that the people with the money call the shots. It’s not about us. It’s about the money. 

Andrew: What can you tell me about the track “That’s Life”? It had a sort of nostalgic Franz Ferdinand vibe to it, which I loved. 

HOTSALT: That song was actually something I wrote when I was going through a breakup with my fiancé—it was kind of a coming to grips for me. Music has always been my outlet. I wrote several songs during that time, but this one stood out. 

Andrew: What’s next for you guys? Any plans for a full-length record?

HOTSALT: We just started recording for a 10 track full-length record. We’re recording with Ken Lanyon in Atlanta (Shinedown, Need To Breathe, and more), which is always a great experience. We’re shooting for the release to be sometime this fall. 

Andrew: Any final thoughts?

HOTSALT: We’re playing at T.W. Boons in Greenwood, SC with Brother Oliver this Friday (6/23/17), which honestly, is going to be a great show for the scene here. We’re trying to build up a renewed appreciation for original music in Greenwood and this show will be another great step towards that goal. 

Andrew: Any final thoughts?

HOTSALT: I’m really excited for what we’ve got in the works. It feels like we’ve really come into ourselves as a band. Keep an eye out for our full-length record later this year. 

Andrew: Thanks for your time, Eli.

HOTSALT: Thanks for having us!

Follow HOTSALT: Facebook // Bandcamp // Website

Discover the Best New Songs of May

We're on our way into summer and we've got some fresh new tunes to get us there.  Take a listen to the Best Songs of May, a playlist compiled in conjunction with our friends at Future Chord

See what songs made the list and what we had to say about them below:

1. Spaceman Jones and The Motherships - “White Owl”

Free your mind atop this hip-hop penthouse with the perfect view.

2. Quiet Hollers - “Medicine”

Smoother than silk and finer than wine.

3. Blank Range - “No Aim”

Rollicking roots rock with a twangy flavor to boot.

4. KONVOI - “MATADOR”

A galloping post-punk odyssey to the center of the earth.

5. Marker - “Now I Know What You Really Think”

Gloom and doom shoegaze nearly frozen in time.

6. Art School Jocks - “Nina”

Whimsical rhythms ingrained with a poised punk ethos.

7. Sweet Bronco - “New Friend”

Drop the needle on this quirky garage act.

8. Jake McMullen - “Falling”

A shiny pop anthem that shoots for the stars.

9. Trophy Club - “In His Image”

Hang ten with these summery slacker vibes.

10. Bendigo Fletcher - “Sleeping Pad”

Inspiring folk with a light at the end of the tunnel.

Track descriptions by Jeremy Theall. Future Chord is an artist management and event production company in South Carolina and a regional partner with Forthright Records.

Q&A with Matthew Logan Vasquez

Matthew Logan Vasquez is rock n' roll artist on Dine Alone Records with a lofty musical resumé (including Delta Spirit, Middle Brother, to name a couple).  His solo record, Solicitor Returns, was one of my favorite records of 2016 and with a new record soon on the way, I thought it'd be a good time to have a chat. 

13902707_1728343014098759_137493641631458171_n.png

Andrew: I understand Solicitor Returns was almost entirely a solo effort—with you playing nearly all the instruments on the record. What were some of the ups and downs working like that? 

MLV: Absolutely! I've had a totally blast making Solicitor Returns! The only down side was not having any feedback, but I knew what I wanted going into it. 

Andrew: You recorded and mixed the record yourself — and truly knocked it out of the park. From my own experiences, I know it can be hard to keep an objective vision of a project when you’re the one writing, recording, mixing, etc. Were there any moments of self-doubt along the way on the production side of things? 

MLV: I think you have you have an inner belief to finish anything. There were a few moments where I had doubt about the project but I just stuck with it. I'm very proud of the result.

Andrew: I was laid out on my coach, sick with the flu when I listened to Solicitor Returns for the first time. The first song “Maria” (after the intro) really jumped out at me. What can you tell me about that track?

MLV: Maria is a song about the occult. I actually wrote it on an airplane on those little napkins you get with your drink.

Andrew: I can’t do an MLV interview without asking about “Everything I Do Is Out” — one of the purest pieces of rock n’ roll one could possibly find. Can you tell us about this song and where your head might’ve been when you wrote it? 

MLV: Well thanks for saying that! EIDIO was a song that wrote itself. I was in a place where I needed to reaffirm my belief in that style of music. 

Andrew: You put out a single called "Caveman" a few months back with a killer pre-historic themed video. You kept it pretty low-key as far as the buzz surrounding it online. What the story behind that video?

MLV: The video is sort of illegal considering I didn't get permission to use the footage. That's why I didn't reach out for press on it. I just wanted to make it! I thought it'd be fun.

Andrew: I see a lot of posts on your Facebook page involving your family. It’s nice to see a family man killing the game. What’s it like managing that with the work you do as a seasoned musician often on the road? 

MLV: It's a balancing act for sure. If I'm not on tour in not providing for my family. It can certainly beat you down on both sides of the relationship. I'm lucky I married such a kind and patient person.  

Andrew: I saw you teased on Facebook about a new record for 2017. Anything you can share with us about that?

MLV: On 4/21 my new album DOES WHAT HE WANTS will be released. There's a new single on Spotify right now called SAME featuring Kam Franklin. 

Andrew: Finally, if Matthew Logan Vasquez had a gospel message, what would it be? 

MLV: We're all gonna die and eventually what we do is forgotten so make life good for yourself and others. 

Andrew: Preach.

Follow Matthew Logan Vasquez: Facebook // Instagram // Website

Discover the best new songs of April

April showers grew a garden of new Southeast tunes. Take a listen to the Best Songs of April, a playlist compiled in conjunction with our friends at Future Chord

See what songs made the list and what we had to say about them below:

1. Nick Hakim - “Green Twins”

Drowsy soulful pop that’s the perfect late night companion.

2. Thad Kopec - “Half Moon / Distant Shore”

A larger than life art rocker staying three steps ahead of the field.

3. Son & Thief - “I’ll Be Okay”

Crawling out of the gorilla manor unscathed, it has all the elements of a dream folk masterpiece.

4. HotBed - “Oh My My”

Feel good southern indie rock to revamp your summer road trip playlist.

5. Oak House - “Reticence”

Otherworldly psychedelic tones traverse throughout the peaks and valleys of this soundscape.

6. HOTSALT - “Change”

Boyish indie vibes gushing with wistful sentiments.

7. Sealions - “Climbers”

Get whisked away by the fast-flowing dream pop waterfalls.

8. Daddy Issues - “Locked Out”

A buzzy college rock hangover cure for the freshmen.

9. Stay Safe - “Weathervane”

Bashful and true with an emo bent.

10. Nathan Oliver - “Clean Sheets”

Smart and dressed up, like the perfect mate to bring around mom and dad.

Track descriptions by Jeremy Theall. Future Chord is an artist management and event production company in South Carolina and a regional partner with Forthright Records.