As a music blogger, I feel that it is my duty to keep all of you aware of the up-and-coming artists in the industry. The list of rising stars, the up-at-bats, the talent on deck, if you will. So started the monthly feature on Sunset in the Rearview called Artists on the Dashboard, which shines light on three artists to keep on your radar; artists who have shown the talent, the drive, and the willpower to be a star. Keep your eye out for these features, and next thing you know, your friend will be telling you about this amazing new artist, and you’ll be able to say, ‘Dude…I knew about them almost a year ago.’ No more worrying about having to take the time to seem cool, we’ll do all of the work for you. Just be sure to check back every month to see which three artists made the cut.
Another month, and a lot of talent to sort through. Here are the three deserving of the title ‘Artists On The Dashboard’ for this month: Fitz & The Tantrums, Thee Tom Hardy, and The Tallest Man on Earth.
Continue reading for more information on the artists and free MP3 samples
Fitz & The Tantrums
Fitz & the Tantrums do for me what Mayer Hawthorne attempted and got close to doing, but didn’t quite get perfectly: they dug through the archival collection of classic music, got their hands on the greatest soul records, and dusted off and recreated the lost movement of 60’s soul. It feels vintage yet fresh, and the energy is contagious. They mastered the art of sing-along melodies and choruses that get even the kings and queens of introverts singing along. Their style of music can get you swinging your hips, reminiscing on the history of America, and ready to party all at the same time. They are the perfect blend of pop, soul, and classic Motown greatness.
Song: “Don’t Gotta Work It Out” – Fitz & The Tantrums
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Thee Tom Hardy
Thee Tom Hardy snuck up on me like no other. The most embarrassing part of it being that he is from Durham. If you weren’t aware, I live in Durham. Tom is part of 9th Wonder’s crew of rappers, singers, and producers who tend to be the most promising hip hop artists in the Raleigh-Durham area. Thee Tom Hardy is indeed incredibly promising. A white kid who’s younger than I am, he isn’t much like the other white rappers out there right now. He’s not the type to use indie samples like many others are trying to do. But he’s also not quite like Asher Roth, who shot himself in the leg with the hit song “I Love College” (Roth was then tagged as a college-only white rapper). Tom Hardy is an incredibly transparent rapper who shows honesty through his pronunciation and flow, albeit egotistical. On tracks that don’t dote on his self-esteem, Tom Hardy shows his ability to tell stories in rhyme, to create fun hits, and to tackle the more serious topics. His talents are multifold, and he doesn’t seem to be going anywhere but up. Welcome to the Dashboard series, Tom!
Song: “One 4 The Money” (ft. Donnis) – Thee Tom Hardy
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The Tallest Man On Earth
Kristian Maatson of Dalarna, Sweden is better known as The Tallest Man On Earth. His folk music is easy to pick out with its soft banjo picking, sweet guitar strumming, and sometimes piano playing, all accompanied by his recognizable, nasal voice that seems to have the power to soothe souls. His music is gentle, his lyrics able to make the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. Even as he gains popularity, Maatson is able to use his mellow music to maintain a level of sincerity toward his growing group of fans. Young though he is, I already envision The Tallest Man On Earth as a grandfather teaching a sweet pack of grandchildren how to play instruments on a back porch out in the farmland. If you’re not yet a fan, I suggest you become one. Though he is just a normal-sized man, The Tallest Man On Earth is growing higher in the ranks of artists making a difference these days.
Song: “Like The Wheel” – The Tallest Man On Earth
Check back next month for the next Artists On The Dashboard session.