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Artist of the Month
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Honest Haloway's "Eyes On Me"

Honest Haloway’s recent synth-driven tune “Eyes on Me” is the first single off their soon to be released EP Perigee. It has been gaining the DC three piece quite some notice, leaving its fans excited for what is to come. Honest Haloway is pioneered by singer/songwriter Tim Kratzer, who composes all the songs in his studio and then brings them to fellow bassist, Jim Smalley, and drummer, Charlie Karim to be reworked for a live audience. Their new single perfectly summarizes the more electro-pop direction that Honest Haloway is moving towards, although there is still some reminiscent rock echoing through from their old EP, The Towns. The new EP was inspired by Kratzer’s recent trip to Iceland. The band hopes to catch the attention of synth-pop listeners throughout colleges on the east coast with their up coming tour. Look for the music video of “Eyes on Me” coming out July! --Rohan Khanna

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Wanted Man release "Live at DC9" plus extra goodies.

(photo by Nigel Lyons) DC's Wanted Man made a nice recording of their recent DC9 show (available on Bandcamp). The performance featured some amazing local guest performers, including Anthony Pirog (Janel and Anthony), Adam Orlando (Acme, RDGLDGRN) and Andrew Grossman (The North Country). The recording of the show is free, but a few dollars will get you a whole lot more. I'll let the band explain:

"This performance features brilliant guitar playing by Anthony Pirog and a tight rhythm section made up of Adam Orlando and Andrew Grossman. Pay what you like, or nothing at all, but $7 will get you the recording from our acoustic show and a $double-digit purchase will grant you access to a super secret site where you can hear some rough mixes of the forthcoming studio album."

You can catch Wanted Man at Rock and Roll Hotel on July 9th on an incredible bill with DC's Pree and Richmond's Avers. --Natan Press

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Irresponsible video for "Up and Up"

First things first, I love everything about Irresponsible. After I found them on Facebook about a year ago, I immediately got a message from their singer/guitarist, Ryan Paladino, thanking me for liking the page and supporting the band. Outgoing musicians who don’t take themselves too seriously make music scenes that people can be proud to become a part of. Once I got an email from my editor asking me if I’d be interested in covering their new music video for the song "Up and Up", I was thrilled to cover it. The video is witty and funny, just as self-deprecating as the band in itself. Babes, booze and the one-liner “Let’s get this motherfucker started,” combined with great music to rock out to make for a fantastic music video. Check out their video, and their music. They’ll appreciate it just as much as you will. Irresponsible are currently recording their 3rd album. --Hannah Brady

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Acme's new video "Girlfriend Tonight" & release show on June 21st

Acme is a smorgasbord of psychedelic music. They taste of soul and funk and indie-pop. “Their entire sound is ancient and futuristic…they got that good energy, that raw talent, and that good music….Acme is the future.” I believe it. Acme’s new single, “Girlfriend Tonight” is tight 80’s-style funk played at slow-jam speed. It could have been reminiscent of heavier 90’s R&B, but the live rhythm section and guitars give the song a classic sound, dressed up in shiny modern synths and bling. It’s like a candy shop of psychedelia: slick and sticky molasses covered in sparkling rock-candy, and everywhere you turn there’s another sweet effect. I haven’t yet mentioned Che’s vocals, which are no less classic, and strong, making this song an instant earworm. Don’t miss Acme’s free, all-ages, single release show at new outdoor showspace The Lot @ Atlantic Plumbing on June 21st (presented by Union Kitchen, DCDIT, and DCist). --Natan Press

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Opal Rose's Universal Soul

Opal Rose’s release Universal Soul, shows an entire universe of sound. Nice beats and Opal Rose’s beautifully ranged voice create a trance-filled album. Reggae, jazz, latin, hip hop and R&B influences mix into an intoxicating concoction. The album is appropriately named, since it can bring together worlds of sound into a cohesive and alluring universe that I , for one, would love to live in. Opal will perform at Tree House Lounge on June 25th. --Hannah Brady

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Finley Martin's Backtracks

Solo artist Finley Martin has spent the past two years creating his premiere album, Backtracks. Finley’s deep voice brings a rich flavor to hauntingly beautiful piano harmonies in the first song of the album, “The Empress of Ireland”. As the album continues, it becomes apparent that his voice is able to do much more than lay the melody for a classical melody, but also fit a variety of modern genres. His versatility creates an album which seems to explore each subgenre of modern rock. The vast majority of his album is acoustic guitar and voice, and the diversity of his sound makes Backtracks captivating. You can catch him this Thursday, June 12th, presented by the RLife Live Series at the Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel, or June 19th at William Jeffrey's Tavern    --Hannah Brady

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Cigarbox Planetarium

When you listen to the fresh pops of percussion from Cigarbox Planetarium you can’t help but be intrigued by the fresh sounds of their instrumentals. Comprised of members Andy Charneco and Deanna Pineda, Cigarbox Planetarium have been playing shows around the DC area since 2008. Creating both their own unique compositions as well as reviving old hits such as “My Funny Valentine” with their reminiscent tones, one can’t argue that Cigarbox Planetarium is something different. Often playing shows with Charneco on guitar and Pineda on keyboards, the two make for an intriguing combination that oftentimes makes one think of them as a more “jazzy” and “courageous” version of Daft Punk. You won’t want to miss out on experiencing Cigarbox Planetarium, their next show is at The Windup Space in Baltimore on June 22nd. --Rohan Khanna

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Rom (formerly The Dead Women) release new album Soda Christ.

DC’s post-punk trio The Dead Women have changed their name to Rom, and released a new record called Soda Christ. Recorded and mixed by Chris Freeland at Beat Babies in Woodstock, MD, Soda Christ has been anticipated by fans since a teaser demo EP was released earlier in the year. This is Rom's first full length, and second official release, following 2013’s Vier EP (as The Dead Women). Vier was a promising 4 song collection of tight post-punk, and Soda Christ delivers fully on that promise, and then some.

The album is tight and catchy from start to finish, sounds gorgeous, and will please both fans that have enjoyed their live shows, and interest new listeners. The sound owes a lot to bands like Joy Division and Wire, and Mark McInerney’s buttery smooth vocal melodies fall somewhere between Ian Curtis and Morrissey. This is not at all to say that the band is a one trick pony. Rom covers a lot of sonic ground on the album. The guitar tones are varied, rich and sweet, and Sean McCauley’s bass, and Mark Pry’s drums form foundations that range from melodic and dancey, compelling one to jiggle and sway, to simmering intesity. The band isn’t afraid to stray frequently from their more obvious influences, and do so without a hiccup, making fuzzy twee indie-pop on Micro, crispy pop-punk on Name, and anthemic (yet mellow) 90’s flavored indie-rock on Old Bull Lee (for which they are joined on vocals by Jenn Wasner, of Wye Oak--who also appears on opening track Jerry Princess Taste).

Soda Christ is solid, full of single-worthy tracks from start to finish. It's a fantastic opening statement for a skillful new band comfortably embracing a style (and name). Look for shows from Rom this summer and fall, and check out some of the new tracks below. --Natan Press

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