Sonicbids & the invasion of the indie divas
Here's some simple advice if you want to go through a large pile of hopeful bands just starting out and vying for attention: don't do it. There'll be some diamonds among the roughage but to get there, you'll get a big headache. On one hand, I have to give any kind of beginners credit- every band's got to start somewhere and many times, it takes a lot of time and effort to put together even a demo in this age of MySpace pages.
So after recently going through a bunch of hopefuls, I made a few nice discoveries. First of all, MySpace ain't the only place online where you go to hear music. Seems kind of obvious but the site is so damn ubiquitous now that it's easy to forget that there was music offered online before they came around. As you go through the Sonicbids site, you sometimes wonder why MySpace has kicked its butt in terms of popularity. SB started out two years before MySpace (which started in 2003) and has a nice DIY set-up where bands can post songs, pictures, videos, tour schedule, press clips and such. Ideally, this would be the best way to showcase your band but let's face it, MySpace has more juice- as of last year, they have over 100,000,000 accounts. The fact that it's also a social networking site for millions of non-musicians is a big draw no doubt. But Sonicbids still deserves kudos for being a band-friendly place where they can easily set up "electronic press kits" and where potential fans can check out new music.
So after sifting through a bunch of Dave Matthews and Coldplay wanna-be's, I was pleasantly surprised to find a trio of up-and-coming divas who caught my ear. Good strong vocals, catchy songs and good beats- you know, the kind of thing you can imagine thousands (not millions anymore in our fragmented pop world) bopping their heads to and singing along to. I'm not promising you that Sadiiyah Rock and Emily Jackson are going to be on your radio soon but they sure as hell sound like they'll be there soon. Good production will only get you so far of course but I think they have the right sound, attitude, etc. that make a difference. Maybe it's no surprise that they're on the same indie label (appropriately called Urban Melodic) or that they both happen to come from the Tri-State area. In any case, listen and enjoy them now and if they do take off, you can brag that you heard them early on when they were just coming up.