by Shabnam Ferdowsi

"I/O believes human experience can be too beautiful and grotesque, inspiring and abhorrent, heartwarming and traumatic, to put into words."

Who: Tyler Hicks , Mackenzie Tate , Teddy Murphy  , Chatchon Srisomburananont  , Sean Carmago

Where: Boston, MA

It was love at first sound when I took a listen to I/O this morning. They're a five-piece post-rock band and their music is very much in the same vain as Explosions in the Sky, Sigur Ros, Brand New, Hammock and El Ten Eleven. They came out with their first album Saudade back in February, but it's never too late to share great music!

Based in Boston, MA where the band met in college, each member hails from a different corner of the world brought together by their mutual feel for music.

"Mackenzie is from Australia, Chatchon is from Thailand, Teddy is from Ohio, Sean is from Maryland, and [I'm] from Utah. When we met each other it was mostly just us asking what music the other was into and then saying "We should jam sometime." As soon as we started playing together we became fast friends. "- Tyler Hicks

Each track of their debut album has its own feels, from hopeful to nostalgic to warm to gut-wrenchingly blue, and I can easily see I/O writing the soundtrack to my life.  Take a listen to their full album here and if you like what your hear, buy their music on Bandcamp!


DISCOVER: Lovelife- Nova

by Shabnam Ferdowsi

Lovelife calls their own music "Voluptuous heart wrenching pop that will leave you sobbing and clinging to your diary on the bathroom floor. " They couldn't have said it better.The band just released their newest single, "Nova",  showing hints of the same dark yet head bopping electropop flair. Press play below and read on.

How did you come up with the band name?

Lovelife was formed in the wake of two major relationships. Lee and Ally had just ended long term stints and the music reflected that.

If you could collaborate with any artists, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

We’ve been lucky enough to work with some really fantastic artists over the last few years, and I think we like to work with anyone that shares the same passion as us. Who knows who we’ll cross paths with in the future… David Bowie? Elton John? 

As a band, what’s on your bucket list?

We’ve played at a lot of festivals around the world, not necessarily together but in other bands, one of which none of us have done is Coachella. We’re really hoping to get over there some time soon. And I guess we want to play in space? Have Muse done that yet? Maybe we could open? 


Website // Facebook  // Tumblr

Where to Discover New Music

by Shabnam Ferdowsi

Tired of the radio? Stuck in a rut? Or just simply want more music to add to your library?

It’s so easy to find new music these days; it’s just a matter of knowing how.

As a music blogger and writer, I’m constantly searching for new music. Sometimes I spend hours dedicating my time to finding new tracks and artists. In the past year, I’ve come up with a pretty decent list of outlets I usually hit up during these Discover Sessons:


1.     Spotify Related Artists. Spotify has rocked my world.  Hopefully you’re familiar with the application by now, and hopefully you’re using it daily by now. Every artists has their own page, and on each page there’s a “Related Artists” tab that links you to list of other artists with similar sounds as the artist whose page you’re on. This feature has done me wonders.


2.     Film/ TV Soundtracks. Have you ever been watching a movie or TV show and, all of a sudden, a ridiculously wonderful song comes up in the background? This has happened to me a lot, especially for T.V. shows such as Grey’s Anatomy, The O.C. and Chuck.  The same music supervisor chose most of the soundtrack music for the three shows, which points to why their soundtracks have similar sounds.


3.    8Tracks. Most everyone is familiar with Pandora Radio Station by now. You plug in an artist and a station starts playing with similar artists and genres. 8Tracks runs on the same idea, except it’s run on fan-made playlists. Either type in an artist's name, a genre or a mood (i.e. "chill" or "sleep"), and you’ll be linked to dozens, and sometimes hundreds, of playlists made by other music enthusiasts. It’s like hearing about new bands rom friends you’ve never met before!


4.     Music Blogs. Blogs have become a huge outlet for newer bands to receive free promotion, so blogs have become one of the main sources to hear about the newest releases, the newest bands and the next big thing. My personal favorites are IndieShuffle and The Burning Ear; both are mp3 blogs, and focus on simply sharing new tracks and albums with fans., through a simple and straightforward layout. 


The digital world has created so many opportunities for musicians and fans alike. Getting heard and hearing new sounds are both much easier than it’s ever been before.  Sure, it takes time and a little bit of effort to discover new beats, but hey, it’s a pretty fun hobby if you ask me!

Unsigned Find: Shoos Off

by Dan Graham

I’ve been listening to Shoos Off since the release of their sophomore LP, Issues, in July 2013. My job last summer involved a lot of graveyard shifts where I’d work from 12 to 830AM to make sure that nothing went wrong late at night, which nothing ever did. I watched a lot of TV during those shifts but I’d usually look up music for a few hours as well. Most of the music I found didn’t sound quite as good in the morning, but Shoos Off is one of the groups that stuck with me.


The opening tracks of Issues are less memorable, minus “Anywhere,” one of my favorites from the album. It features an excellent sample of Louis CK in its bridge from an appearance on late night TV, where the comedian says “Everything is awesome right now,” a sentiment that the upbeat and positive lyrics of the following songs seem to agree with. “Anywhere” and the following “foodcoma” also feature rapper Dave Grantham, whose sound borrows heavily from Atmosphere’s Slug and Macklemore. I enjoyed the rap lines, but it seemed somewhat out of place being on only two songs. The final four songs on the album are all excellent, beginning with the slow and jazzy “Oh Sunny Days” which leads to the pop-y and unforgettable “Casanova.” Following those songs is the title track, an fast-paced song with shuffling drum patterns and a hook that I found myself singing randomly all last year, even though I couldn’t make out most of the words. The album closes with a piano-driven record titled “Corners,” a pop-based finish to a solid, if somewhat scattered, album.


This week, almost exactly a year after Issues, Shoos Off released a follow-up EP, Most Times. Where their previous work was more upbeat and pop-influenced, this EP takes that vibe into a slower R&B direction. Patrick Killeen’s vocals, supported by Scott Zschomler’s harmonies, are high and clear, but when paired with more mellow melodies they create a more soulful and relaxing sound, also on display in Issues’ “Oh Sunny Days”.  Some of the backing beats, especially on “Most Times,” sound like they could be taken from either a Wilco song circa Sky Blue Sky or a classic Al Green track. The absence of Dave Grantham’s raps, as well as the addition of more musicians and instruments, helps to define the band’s sound as more indie R&B/soul than a hip-hop/electronic/indie melting pot. I, for one, love this direction and can’t wait to hear more from Shoos Off in the future. Hopefully it’ll be less than a year before their next release.

HIGHLIGHTS: Casanova, Issues (Issues) East Coast Women, Most Times (Most Times)