5 North Georgia Artists You Might Be Missing Out On
The Georgia local music scene is vibrant, diverse, and boasts some of the most exciting talent in the country. In every corner of the state, there's great art being made by fantastic local musicians, and it's our privilege at GLS to get to share some of that art with you, and introduce you to the amazing people who make it. For this list, we're focusing on 5 bands/artists located in the North Georgia area that you might be missing out on.
With influences such as Pink Floyd, Stevie Ray Vaughn, and Eric Clapton, Hughes Taylor (currently located in Dahlonega, Georgia) combines elements of jazz, old school rock & roll, and blues to create a sound that is both refreshing and timeless. In 2014, Taylor released his debut EP, Stuff, which featured both straight-ahead rockers such as "Know My Name" and "Same Old", as well as smooth, groovy numbers like "I Gotta' Feeling" (featuring saxophonist Sam Nelson). In 2016, Taylor’s first full length album, Hear My Melody, earned the local songwriter a whole new level of acclaim. Any listener can get lost in the seductive riffs of “Hold You Tight,” and the psychedelic tones of “The Artist”. Taylor's newest release, "The Restless Sampler" gives listeners a taste of what’s to come with the arrival of his next LP, Restless, on May 14th – and it tastes sweet.
Deadly Lo-Fi, North Georgia's own one-man spooky rock & roll experience, puts a twisted spin on the idea of what a solo artist can be. Frequently making appearances in both Athens and Atlanta, Travis Burdick, currently Deadly Lo-Fi’s sole player, performs a sort of juggling act on stage; with a guitar in hand, a bass drum and snare (along with various cymbals and tambourines) at his feet, and two strategically placed microphones, Burdick fills the room with sound in a way that some full bands aren’t even capable of. His project's 2015 self-titled debut album boasts a wide range of sounds and styles, but maintains a consistently dark undercurrent that evokes images of an eerie, carnivalesque road show that one might stumble upon in the back woods of Appalachia. With his second release from the same year, Bless Their Hearts, Burdick embraced the lo-fi indie stylings of current bands like Ty Segall and Bass Drum of Death on tracks such as “The Stalker Love Song”, while still paying homage to the rock and punk masters of the past. On Deadly Lo-Fi's latest LP, Home Sweet Homicide, Burdick’s authenticity shines through, as none of the record's tracks seem like an attempt to convince the listener of their merit as oddities, instead standing as a testament to the artist's unique style and outlook on modern rock & roll.
Rayd, a three-piece rock band from the Northeast side of Atlanta, came onto the local scene in 2016, and they came out throwing punches. Although the youngest band on this list, Rayd’s heavy, guitar-driven sound is more reminiscent of classic grunge and alt-rock bands such as Pearl Jam and Soundgarden than anything heard on the radio today. Far from a soundalike (or worse, a parody) of such iconic acts, however, Rayd draws inspiration from their 90's heroes without ever sacrificing authenticity or originality. Their 2017 debut EP, Behind The Light, offered listeners an emotional, lo-fi look into just what these young men (then high schoolers) could bring to the local music scene. Their first full length album, a self-titled effort which the trio released in February, sees them return to the same raw, driving sound that made "Behind the Light" such a hit, and update it. The result is a record that's polished and refined, but never lacks Rayd's trademark aggressive energy.
The members of Twin Tides, a pop trio originating "in the Foothills of the Smokies", are not newcomers to the Georgia music scene, despite the band’s emergence being as recent as 2017. Tyler Brantley and Joel Cox, Twin Tides' founding members, began making music locally in 2011 with piano based alt-pop band The Crash Years, and Mark Stokes has been creating music with various Georgia-based projects since 2010. Twin Tides' latest release All These Songs, All About Her boasts new electronic elements that call to mind artists like Andrew Huang, while maintaining a unique balance of powerful 80's synth hooks and organic, down to earth singer/songwriter vibes.
Hymnal Moths is an ambient indie-folk rock duo from Dawsonville, Georgia. Clayton Dean (ex-Of the Vine) and James Merritt (ex-Sombered) formed Hymnal Moths in 2014 and released their first album No Spirit in 2015. No Spirit’s incorporation of bluegrass elements such as vibraphone, acoustic guitar, and banjo, as well a raw harmonies and vocals enraptures the listener, calling to mind the comforts of mountain life, all the while never relenting in the conveyance of the macabre undertones which define the Southern Gothic genre. Hymnal Moth’s latest album Be Felt, released April 30th, features a maturation of their sound, weaving new elements into the tapestry of vulnerable, deep-rooted folk blended with blissful synth layers that made its predecessor so widely beloved. It has the magical ability to paint your entire world, and when it’s over it feels as though you’re leaving a place, not just finishing an album.