Talking Is Hard; Instagram is Easy.

Ohio natives Walk The Moon (stylized WALK THE MOON) have just had their first Billboard hit with “Shut Up and Dance”, the first single off their 2014 sophomore major label release, Talking Is Hard (RCA Records). Although the foursome of Nicholas Petricca, Eli Maiman, Kevin Ray, and Sean Waugaman have had a large cult following since their independent release of I Want! I Want! in 2010, their first Billboard track has truly propelled them forward. The alt-pop band is taking advantage of their surge of success by updating their social media regularly with, you guessed it, cover songs.

Keeping a keen eye on their demographic—their fans range from 16-30 years old, generally—they keep their fifteen second, Instagram appropriate covers a clever mix of new jams and old favorites that their main fan base will recognize. Just take a look at their most recent covers and you’ll see what I mean:

The covers began in July of 2014, when Walk The Moon was on tour supporting Panic! At The Disco. Still going strong, Walk The Moon has posted over twenty covers to date and show no signs of stopping while on their own headlining tour. From A-ha’s iconic “Take On Me” to the somewhat less iconic, but still quite notable “Graduation (Friends Forever)” by Vitamin C, Walk The Moon has found a dynamic way to mix their musicality with their often hilarious and always energetic personalities to capitalize on what they do best: make the listener happy.

Their “note to listeners” in the album booklet of Talking Is Hard explains their philosophy best:

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The songs on this album achieve what they set out to do, but perhaps even more impressive is that each of their cover songs do the same. The gents in Walk The Moon put as much energy, humor, and heart into their covers as they do anything else. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that they’re covering some well-known songs, and using hashtags to identify them. Have a sudden desire to explore Kelly Clarkson’s greatest hits? If you look up her name on any of the social media sites Walk The Moon uses, their fifteen second cover of “Since You’ve Been Gone” will appear in the results, allowing for new fans to not only see the musical abilities of the band, but their carefree spirits that make them so fun to watch live. The personality of a band is often the biggest draw to a fan, aside from the music the band produces, of course. These videos combine both into easy to watch—but easy to keep watching—segments that are a perfect way to introduce a potential fan to a group.

Clever as it may seem marketing-wise, you get the feeling that many of the covers aren’t exactly planned out far ahead of time. Some involve empty rooms with good acoustics the band seems to have just stumbled upon. Others are inspired by wherever the guys may be at the moment. Is the venue near the woods? Why not cover Bon Iver’s “Woods”? Do you suddenly find yourself on a boat? Time to cover “Come Sail Away” by Styx! It really does seem as simple and authentic as that. And if that ain’t some Midwest charm, then I don’t know what is.

Artist Match Up of the Week: Cristallin Vs. Adam French

So both of this weeks artists come from a blog I follow called Hey Indie, a blog dedicated to promoting indie talent check it out by clicking here.

First Up…

Name: Cristallin

Sounds Like:  The XX , Bon Iver

Label: Independent

Website: http://briomusic.bandcamp.com/

cristallin

 Cristallin is a Switzerland-based producer and filmmaker seeking to capture his visual imaginations in a way that allows its nostalgic appeal to stay intact throughout the creative process of his EP.  Cristallin is part of a Record Label/Collective called The Brio Life which aims to create  memorable musical experiences through the power of visuals.  They want the listener to think of their music “visually, to translate each sonic element into that of visual auroras and nostalgia” and  “believe that people can find the deeper sounds in music and appreciate it for its full intention and value”.

Check out one of their projects with Google+

As for Cristallin, drawing upon his name that is French for reflection he described his sound as being influenced and inspired by visuals.  In relation to his first EP release Eon Cristallin said in an interview with Hey Indie “Rather than re-creating my emotions through forms of music videos after the EP is finished, the visuals were captured first, in which the four songs then acted as soundtracks during the second part of the project. By reversing the process of sonic and visual interaction, nostalgia can radiate in abundance. It’s an attempt for music to become permanently memorable, timeless, and last eons…”

Check out an example below with the single Lights.

You can definitely see how the visuals match the music, I think it a very interesting approach to creating music.   Cristallin reminds me of a more electronic and synth version of Bon Iver which is a great thing since Bon Iver is one of my favorite artists.

Listen to some of his other stuff on his Soundcloud here.

Next Up…

Name: Adam French

Age: 21

Label: Unsigned

Sounds Like: Ed Sheeran, James Arthur, Mumford & Sons

Website: http://www.adamfrench.co.uk/

adam

A Native to Northwestern England, Adam French classifies himself as a singer/songwriter and is currently on a local tour supporting his 6 song EP Like Everybody Does and new lead single Shivers.   Based on his facebook and various social media outlets French really keeps all his fans in the loop about everything occurring in his career which important when creating/developing a fan base.  He is the beginning stage of his career working hard to breakthrough and make an impact in the industry.  Check out his latest release below.

shiver

For more music also check out his Sound Cloud here, you won’t be disappointed.

He reminds me of Ed Sheeran but with a much more harder sound, which is definitely a good thing.  He is a good writer and knows how to emote while still producing a catchy song.

Conclusion

To be honest, at this point I really like both of the artists.  Once I heard they’re music I immediately added both of them to my spotify playlist. Both have clear directions and sounds, on one side you have a Cristallin with a cool sound and vision but maybe a little less commercially viable and on the other you have a very commercial artist who has struggled to make an impact.  I’m stuck on this one because the music is so good… can I just sing both?

What do you all think?

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