Every Warped Tour band announcement this year has been met with: "Who?" and "When will they announce the good bands?" I was guilty of it as well. There were too many bands that I wasn't familiar with, and I didn't like that. I turned to the staff and we came up with 20 bands that you may have overlooked for a special two-part edition of AbsolutePlaylist. Personally, this process has almost doubled my list of bands to see. We're bringing you the first 10 bands today, so give them a shot! We've got both Spotify and Rdio links in the replies. If you like what you hear on the playlist, you can read a little bit more about the bands in the replies and check out another song via YouTube. Check back next week for part two!
Remember, if you'd like to submit your very own playlist, head over to our submission thread!
1. Rob Lynch - My Friends and I
2. Rob Lynch - Souls
3. Wind in Sails - Abandon
4. Wind in Sails - Breathe
5. Young Statues - Pretty Girls Make Raves
6. Young Statues - Ghost Passenger
7. Front Porch Step - Island of the Misfit Boy
8. Front Porch Step - Angels and Demons
9. Brian Marquis - '84 Rookie Card
10. Brian Marquis - From boston
11. Air Dubai - Restless Youth
12. Air Dubai - Soul & Body
13. Neck Deep - Crushing Grief (No Remedy)
14. Neck Deep - Staircase Wit
15. Real Friends - Dirty Water
16. Real Friends - Floorboards
17. Me Like Bees - Comet and the Snail
18. Me Like Bees - The Fifteenth Day
19. Echosmith - Talking Dreams
20. Echosmith - Tell Her You Love Her
Hometown: Stamford, United Kingdom Tour Dates: Entire Tour Stage: Acoustic Basement presented by Full Sail University
Rob Lynch had me hooked the second I heard "My Friends and I" off of his self titled 2011 EP. The song had the energy that you'd want to find in mid-July, but don't let its hooks fool you; "Souls," which is the second track off of said EP, is a somber, gripping tune with clever guitar work. His 2013 full-length debut, All These Nights in Bars Will Somehow Save My Soul was created with the help of Valencia's Shane Henderson, so fan's of Shane's work will enjoy Rob's tunes.
Wind in Sails
Hometown: Newport, RI Tour Dates: July 6th - July 13th Stage: Ernie Ball
There's certainly a resemblance in sound to City and Colour from Evan Pharmakis. You might know him from post-hardcore band, Vanna, but he's been setting out on his own as Wind In Sails since 2012. Evan's music is available in two flavors. If you prefer a more stripped down sound, check out October 2013 release, Dark Nights over on Bandcamp. I'd recommend "Heart to Focus." If you want check out a more full-band sound, check out Brighter Days on Spotify. I'd recommend "Set Adrift" off of that release. Considering Evan's playing the Ernie Ball stage, not the Acoustic Basement, expect him to show off his full-band sound.
Hometown: Philadelphia, PA Tour Dates: June 13th - July 6th Stage: Acoustic Basement presented by Full Sail University
Between 2013's Age Isn't Ours and 2011's self titled LP, Young Statues has released some of the most memorable music in the past 3 years. Don't believe me? Check out the humming harmonicas of "Ghost Passenger" or the melodic brilliance of "Spacism." If you think I won't skip Camden's date to hit up Young Statues' last stop at Holmdel, New Jersey, then you're dead wrong.
Front Porch Step
Hometown: Newark, OH Tour Dates: Entire Tour Stage: Acoustic Basement presented by Full Sail University
Jake Mcelfresh delivers up a chilling flavor of poetic melodies over his acoustic guitar. His 2013 album, Aware is one of the most captivating of last year. Here's one where I'd watch the video below before anything else. The passion that Jake drives home without missing a beat is remarkable. His live rendition of "Drown" will send chills down your spine.
Hometown: Boston, MA Tour Dates: Entire Tour Stage: Acoustic Basement presented by Full Sail University
Brian Marquis returns again to the Acoustic Basement, despite being struck by lightning last year during a fierce storm in Florida. He's armed this year with a host of new songs off of his new album, Blood and Spirits. Here's to hoping that Brian has a safe tour this year.
Hometown: Denver, Colorado Tour Dates: Entire Tour Stage: Journeys
I'd argue that Denver's Air Dubai will be one of the most enjoyable bands on the tour. They're a hip-hop band, but they don't only appeal to hip-hop listeners; they come fully equipped with guitars and drums. They signed to Hopeless in 2012, but they're definitely not what you'd expect from the Hopeless family. Their much anticipated album, Be Calm drops on July 1st, so expect to hear some brand new tunes this summer.
Hometown: Wrexham, United Kingdom Tour Dates: Entire Tour Stage: Hard Rock Kevin Says
Another more recent Hopeless acquisition, UK pop-punkers Neck Deep just re-released Rain in July/A History of Making Bad Decisions in June of this year. Along with their full-length label debut, Wishful Thinking, they've build up a solid discography and a solid fan-base through tours with The Wonder Years, and We Are the In Crowd, although both tours were in the UK. Hopefully, Warped can garner them a decent following in the US.
Hometown: Tinley Park, IL Tour Dates: Entire Tour Stage: Journeys
I discovered Real Friends very recently (April, 2014) and instantly fell in love. Are they reinventing the wheel? No, but just because there are hundreds of other bands that look the same, and at times, may sound the same on the surface, doesn't mean that aspiring bands should throw in the towel or stray from who they are. Will Yip said something when I interviewed him: "I don't give a fuck about the sound. I really don't. I care about how music makes me feel." I don't know what specifically about Real Friends made me put their last two EPs on repeat for the past month. It just happened, and I want to see what they can do on a stage.
Me Like Bees
Hometown: Joplin, Missouri Tour Dates: July 20th - July 31st Stage: Ernie Ball
I was surprised to see some push back on this band based on the band name alone. Believe it or not, I hear a little bit of The Format in their sound mixed with a lot of Modest Mouse. Luke Sheafer's voice has an uncanny resemblance to Modest Mouse's Isaac Brock at times. Listen to "Pneumonia" and you'll see what I mean. The sound they present on 2013 full length debut The Ides is actually quite impressive. I'll definitely be taking some more time with this album. Check out "Comet and the Snail" and I guarantee you'll be pleasantly surprised.
Hometown: Los Angeles, California Tour Dates: Entire Tour Stage: Journeys
There are many bands on this year's Warped Tour that I've never heard of. Until a few weeks ago ago, four piece LA group Echosmith was one of them. I pulled up Spotify and found Echosmith's 2013 debut Talking Dreams. Already, the album art had me interested. Call Echosmith emo, '80s dance-rock, alternative, indie, or whatever you want; to me, their music is an ice cold tropical cocktail on the furthest beach from anywhere and yet, it's not the sun soaked pop that you might expect. There are songs here that I think Mindy White and the Laurenson brothers could have written in another life. Considering the members of Echosmith, who are all siblings, are under the age of 21, I was very impressed. When you have Mike Elizondo (Switchfoot, Regina Spektor) and Warner Music working with you, I guess you can have some great results. Check out one-two punch "Let's Love" and "Cool Kids" if you're brand new to the band. If those two leave you thirsting for more, dive into "March Into the Sun" which is my personal favorite. Echosmith may be the young ones of the tour, but they're already steps ahead from where they need to be.