Shows We're Stoked For: The Walking Sticks at the Black Cat, 1/18

Synth-Pop and soul are rarely grouped together; in fact the pairing comes off almost as an oxymoron. Soul is a readily organic sound whereas Synth Pop lies on the fringes of electronic music, sharing lineage with the likes of Depeche Mode and Daft Punk. It is perhaps a feat that local D.C. band, The Walking Sticks, have bridged the gap between the natural and electronic, marking a spot between the end of dream pop and the beginning of soul. The keystone of their sound lies in the minimalistic approach of brothers Max and Spencer Ernst who, against all popular trends, opt out of over styling their music into glittery confusion. The brothers, like all good artists, preserve only what needs to be, and manage to create an unwavering and full-bodied ambience.

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Home Grown: Typhoon

With the release of his first mixtape, The Lonely Traveler rapper Typhoon, AKA Tyler Fearn, has burst onto the scene. A GW student from Dayton, Ohio, Typhoon uses his past experiences and advice given to create a multi-faceted musical experience. He even highlights this wide appeal in his song “Dreamers,” in which he mentions how he raps for everyone, not just others like him. And, in an essence, he raps for GW students as a whole.

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Bristol pop-rockers Neotropics are making waves on the charts recently, and for good reason. Stating that their self-described “nostalgic blend of Sonic 80’s Synth Pop & Modern Anthemic Rock” is catchy is an understatement to the inherently danceable characteristics of their music. Here is a band that sounds like the keyboards of M83 with a tip of the hat to The 1975 (whom they recently opened for at two sell out shows) and pop-punk all conveniently available in one package undoubtedly destined for greatness in the coming months. The three person outfit’s most recent single “Closer(available on Soundcloud) will likely become your iPod’s guilty pleasure in the coming weeks, like any decent alternative-pop song, but it’s ok to admit that there are some pop performers with a lot of talent. Besides “Closer”, make sure to also listen to “Reflections” for a more downbeat but just as catchy break from all the dancing you’ll be doing.

Review by Conner McInerney

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Dawes with Shovels and Rope: The Crowd Connection with Taylor Goldsmith. More Pictures and Video from the front row to follow shortly.

When you go and see Dawes live in concert (which I suggest ALL of you do), you’re getting “A Little Bit of Everything.” With the release of their third album, Stories Don’t End, the band is continuing to produce the best music I’ve heard from a modern band (this coming from a radio DJ who’s seen a dozen concerts this summer thus far). There are amazing songs, there are amazing bands, there are amazing bands that put on amazing shows, and then there is Dawes. They truly are a category all their own, with a humble talent and energy that is so wonderful to see and is rarely experienced (The Lone Bellow is another band that comes to mind with this endearing quality).

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