Category Archives: Featured Artist

Ourtunez Featured Artists.

Ourtunez Backstage Pass: Autumn Wolf

The Ourtunez Backstage Pass is a weekly series where we introduce an artist exclusive to Ourtunez. This week, we joined Autumn Wolf to talk about electronic music and Detroit dive bars. You can find them on the “Indie” station on Ourtunez.com.

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Prowling around the gritty streets of Detroit, Autumn Wolf has taken new approach to the way one can perceive electronic music. In ways not even himself, Alex Kaye mastermind behind Autumn Wolf, can define his own sound. “Actually I kind of want to be the one asking people that question more. Maybe I could get a better understanding of what the hell I’m actually making.” Kaye told me. If there was one genre to put your finger on this style, it would be described as “Indietronica,” which is a blend of electronica and indie rock.

The name comes from Kaye’s deep love of wild animals and inspiration he gets from the changing seasons we experience, especially in Michigan. “Seasonal changes always seem to bring out different emotions and feelings every year they come and go too, definitely inspirational.” And as far as musical influences, his repertoire can go anywhere from glam rock to electronic pop. “Music like Bowie, Pretty Lights, Ratatat, Billy Idol, RJD2, Prince, Hall and Oates come to mind first.”

Inspiration for creative material can come in the weirdest of ways, but at the end of the day some of the best stuff sprouts that way. It’s way cooler to when those crazy concoctions come together to create something rememberable. “It’s even weirder when you kick out a song in a day and you know that it’s the best thing you’ve done.”

Ourtunez Backstage Pass: Half Light Music

The Ourtunez Backstage Pass is a weekly series where we introduce an artist exclusive to Ourtunez. This week, we joined Half Light Music to talk about their new album coming next month. You can find them on the “Indie Rock” station on Ourtunez.com.

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Natives from parts of the suburbs of Detroit, Half Light Music is a group of likeminded musicians, making moves around the city. HLM began when Cheyenne Goff gathered some friends from a past band called Bliss 66. He soon found the rest of the pieces to the puzzle and they began to make music. “The name comes from the idea that we are only partially illuminated while we try and shine a light of our own.” Goff told me.

Over the last couple of months, HLM has been in the process of recording a new album titled, Creative Differences. Trying to reinvent yourself in someways, but staying true to what you love can be a sticky situation at times. “We all passionately wanted to try something new, and if not “new” exactly, at least different than that which we are comfortable doing.”

One new concept they wanted to and did incorporate on this new album was to do more electronic friendly tunes. They had previously fooled around with some tracks and enjoyed it so much that they wanted to make it part of their new material. “We received such positive reactions from some of the remixes we had done with previous material that we felt it would be cool to basically turn the process inside out; starting with some of these electronically oriented arrangements on the front end adding the more conventional “rock n’ roll” elements after.”

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After days of working in close quarters with each other, this can put tensions in the band at an all time high. “During the course of recording this record the band went through an extreme roller coaster of emotions. Quarrels, gripes and even some fisticuffs on one occasion.” Fortunately everyone made it out alive and the band feels that it is their best work to date.

The name of our game is to take indie artists to the main stage. And There is no better way to achieve that then becoming part of our team, if you’re looking to get into the ears of fellow music heads. “I greatly appreciate what Ourtuenz is doing to promote indie music in such a cool, user friendly, and worldwide format.” You can find Half Light Music on our indie rock station and to hear their new record head to the release party at the Hard Rock Cafe in Detroit on November 10th. Cheers!

Ourtunez Backstage Pass: Taddy Porters’ “Stay Golden”

This week for our Backstage Pass we threw a wrench into the gears of your dumb fixie, hopefully your american spirits don’t get crushed when you flip over your handlebars. We reviewed the album these southern gents Taddy Porter, “Stay Golden” They announced earlier this week that a grand tour of the Midwest is coming up, so stayed tuned for tour dates to come.

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Oklahoma boys, Taddy Porter, take pride in their hometown. They stay true to their roots, so when coming up with a name for the last album, Stay Golden, they decided to pay homage to the city that has giving them so many good times and memories.

Coming in hot, “Changes,” the first song on the album is a foot-stomping, deep echo chorus bag of havoc. Lead singer, Andrew Brewer, wails “Coming at cha like a freight train, Coming at cha like a hurricane,” literally as if a hurricane has started somewhere in the album, about to unleash itself via your ear buds.

As you make your way through the album, you can tell that these dudes come from an array of musical backgrounds. Venturing through pop, garage rock, blues, and even a little bit of soul, this album has it all. This is especially relevant on songs like “Evil” and “Stay Golden”. On “Evil” you get a crazy concoction of some surfer/blues rock that adds in catchy poppy hooks and “Stay Golden” is a solid rock anthem with a breakdown that will have crowds swaying, chanting “Stay Golden” in unison.

On their last track of Stay Golden, Taddy Porter leave you with romping, organ friendly good time on the song “You Can Count on Me.” This is their most soulful song on the album and showcases their talent as being a band that can blend a spectrum of jubilant genres into one fun filled mix. The only thing missing from Stay Golden is the flecks of sweat Taddy drops on you as you’re rocking out front row at one of their shows. You can bang this album on the Indie Rock station at Ourtunez.com, and find tour dates to come right here on our blog, Facebook, and Twitter.

Ourtunez Backstage Pass: That Noise

The Ourtunez Backstage Pass is a weekly series where we introduce an artist exclusive to Ourtunez. This week, we joined That Noise to talk about their rigorous touring schedule and challenges of breaking through as a three piece band. You can find them on the “Indie Rock” station on Ourtunez.com.

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Romping around Los Angeles like a buncha bats outta hell, That Noise have been blasting their way to the top for the past six years. Going through a couple different line ups before settling on a solid crew, Kenny on drums, Jay wailing on guitar and Jawnee taking the lead, these guys are something to look out for.

The name comes from a rather interesting experience. “That Noise has a funny story that I had with a girl when I was a teenager,” lead singer Jawnee told me in an interview. His lady friend and him were knockin’ boots at his parents house, which was under construction at the time, when the name came to him. “We were interrupted by the wind blowing some of the stuff off the planks creating a unique sound that startled my girl friend. Her sudden response was, What’s that noise? Needless to say, the moment stuck with me.”

Creating new music is a two step process for the band. “The bulk of them either starts on an acoustic guitar from em or some strange sound that we morph into a chord change. Then I pass it to Jay and Ken,” Jawnee explained. The song seed then starts to plant it’s roots, verses are sprouted and out comes a song. “Long, anger, and idiocracy, all play a part in motivating us to write lyrics and music.”

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With new bands around every corner, sometimes its hard to standout from the rest, but sticking to your guns day in and day out with a do or die mentality helps keep you above the water. “We do our thing and hope people resonate with it. We hold a certain standard for our songwriting and video productions.” Artistic values also come into play in ever aspect when making a name for yourself. “We enjoy a good challenge, so the current state of music culture inspires us to be more creative and boundary pushing.”

Weekend Goodie Bag: Darlingside

It looks like a bit of a hiatus for most of our featured artists this weekend with them resting up their livers and power stances, so we give you this little bundle of joy. From our buddies Darlingside, this is their video for  “The Ancestor.” It was givin’ the thumps up from the dudes over at Vimeo and it’s easy to see why as you watch this melodic intertwining story of death and new beginnings. Cheers!

Ourtunez Backstage Pass: Independence Drive

The Ourtunez Backstage Pass is a weekly series where we introduce an artist exclusive to Ourtunez. This week, we joined Independence Drive to talk about their rigorous touring schedule and challenges of breaking through as a three piece band. You can find them on the “Indie Alternative” station on Ourtunez.com.

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Philly boys, Independence Drive, have been in the game for quite sometime. Loosely forming back in 1997, friends through the love of playing music and travel soccer, picked up their instruments and began making dreams. “We really hit our stride around 2000 and started playing our friends’ parties, but we always wrote originals even when we were in middle school.”

The art of writing music varies from artist to artist and thats no different for Independence Drive. While most bands write some words before tackling a new song, these guys have a different approach. “Sometimes the song goes in a different direction, but lyrics almost always come last oddly enough.” They also like creating layers to new songs, adding and creating textures to help bind them together melodically. “It’s gotta have a catchy melody for sure!”

For only having three members, Independence Drive looks upon their heroes to provide them with huge sound. Bands like 311, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Incubus, and Bob Marley are a few of their idols. “I think we all relate to that sentiment of creating space with a three piece band…We’d like to aspire to sound like a huge band with only three members.” With each member being able to create their own sonic space within the music, which allows individuality.

Ourtunez Backstage Pass: Darlingside

On this week’s installment of the Ourtunez Backstage Pass series we are featuring East coast up-and-comers, Darlingside. Boogie on over to Ourtunez.com to check them out along with the rest of our featured artists!

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Darlingside consists of a unique group of five friends who met in college in a songwriting class. They went on to create a special sound, with roots intertwined in rock, classical and folk music. Natives of New England, Darlingside utilizes an array of instruments and talent ranging from mandolins, a cello, and astonishing songwriters. Don Mitchell, lead guitarist, vocalist, and Interweb Outreach Coordinator, gave me the deets about the whole gang.

“Darlingside is our nod to the expression “kill your darlings,” which refers to the willingness to ditch your favorite, cleverest aspect of a work of art in order that the whole thing can move forward,” Mitchell said. Bringing together like-minded musical souls, makes the songwriting process for this group a bit of an adventure. “Since all of us are songwriters, it’s exciting to see how a given song gets pushed toward completion. And there is always an enormous supply of ideas floating around there.”

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Don’t characterize their sound as folk, Darlingside believes that their blend of music flows naturally from their particular instrumentation and artistic sensibilities which defines their sound. “We don’t really worry about genre as we’re putting together our music,” Mitchell said. This explains their complex melodies and fascinating harmonization which helps set them apart from similar groups.

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Ourtunez Backstage Pass: Dawn and Hawkes

The Ourtunez Backstage Pass is a weekly series where we introduce an artist exclusive to Ourtunez. This week, we sat down with Texas folk duo Dawn and Hawkes to talk about songwriting, independent music, and dancing in bars with strangers. You can find them on the “Soft and Folk Rock” station on Ourtunez.com.

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Update: Dawn and Hawkes recently made a memorable appearance on NBC’s The Voice Season 6 Blind Audition. Adam Levine described it as his favorite performance ever on the show. They sang a cover of the Beatles “I’ve Just Seen a Face”. It quickly became the number one single on the iTunes Rock charts. Shakira emphasized how their love for each other captivates audiences.


Dawn and Hawkes are a high-powered, energetic Folk duo from Austin, Texas. Miranda Dawn and Chris Hawkes have been making music for little over a year now, and have been keeping the wheels moving with a rigorous touring schedule that seems  to be doing anything, but settle down. “We’ve been touring regularly with nearly 200 shows over the year,” Hawkes said. “We joke that it’s the “date that never ends” and cheesy as that sounds, it feels great to know what you love, to get to do it everyday,” Dawn explained.

The first time these two met was like a scene out of the movie Dirty Dancing. “We met dancing to the blues at TC’s, an old juke joint way out on the east side of Austin. I was with my friends, when all of a sudden this big grinnin’ red headed guy walks up and asks me to dance.” Dawn said. She is usually hesitant to dance with strangers, but there was something confident and sweet about this guy. “After we danced I think I wanted to remember that encounter as a perfect beginning and nothing more so we politely exchanged names.” Six months later they reconnected and started a very special connection.

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