7 Artists You Should Absolutely Hear Now

Glad to be back after a long time away from TATJ. I got a lot of excellent submissions and had a blast listening to them. Keep them coming! The more I get, the more I post. I’ve got seven great artists who have been generous enough to share their music with me. Got a bonus award for “Most early 2000s Rap Video” and a special treat (and exercise in vain self-promotion) from yours truly. As always, send your music to thesearethejams@gmail.com!

Let’s get it started.

Camille Michelle Gray – “Baby Better Run”

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From The Artist – Camille received buzz for her 2011 feature on Logic’s (Def Jam) “Mind of Logic” and continues to make waves on YouTube for her acoustic covers of famous hip hop songs (www.youtube.com/sbucks555). All of this has culminated in almost three million views, thousands of loyal fans, attention from indie and major labels alike (Atlantic), and an air of mystique around what she will do next.

From Me – I’m always happy to support fellow DC musicians, and Camille is a great one. Powerful voice and a seldom-heard (these days) raw guitar sound. Great music video, also.

Website, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter


Mutant Vinyl – “Lavender”

From The Artist – Tipped by Radio 1’s Huw Stephens, Grammy winner Simon GogerlyTricky & the Fun Lovin’ Criminals, Edwin Pope’s creation ‘Mutant Vinyl’ travels a path of heavy dub, cosmic funk, & dreamy trip-hop via his black saxophone. Edwin has supported the likes of RudimentalThe NoisettesRita OraMystery JetsKids In Glass HousesScouting For GirlsElectric SixSway & Wolf Alice. Mr. Pope is a 22 year old student at Paul McCartney’s performance school in Liverpool.

From Me – Jazzy, electronic, funky, all around awesome. Great horn break. Like Peter Gabriel for the 2010s.

Website, Facebook

Logic – “Green (feat Benjas)”

From The Artist –  He has pressed a few thousand physical copies of CD’s in the last 5 years, that have never been released on iTunes, but none had any social media sites or even an email address printed on them to keep in contact with or follow. So basically there’s an underground California Community and National iTunes Community that are hearing this music, liking it, and buying it, but I truly believe it has the potential to capture a much larger audience than it currently is.

From Me – Rap in french sounds AWESOME. And Logic’s pretty good too.


June Ballentyne – “HYLYF (Prod. Cloudx9)”

From The Artist – My name is June Ballentyne. I’m a 22 yr old Alternative Hip-hop musican from Toronto, Canada. I’ve been making music since I was 11 yrs old but I never improved until I got into high school. I’m an introvert and I love manga, anime and comics. I think that’s what makes my music different. I never speak about the same thing but I make a lot of references to pop culture. I released a mixtape on soundcloud last year that got a little bit of attention, but not as much as I was hoping for. I’m just hoping I can get my foot in the door one day and be able to perform across the world doing what I love. Thanks for reading this and thanks for giving amateur musicians such as myself a chance!

From Me – Excellent sample of Beach House – “Myth”. One of the best produced and recorded rap tracks submitted so far.

Doomsquad – “Ovoo”

From The Artist – Dark new agers DOOMSQUAD re-code the electronic music narrative with a more worldly and cosmological presence than the genre would normally dictate. Their songs are rich in variance and full of vividness, spanning across their entire debut LP Kalaboogie . Drawing in guitar, flute, percussion and synth, the Montreal and Toronto-based siblings Allie, Jaclyn and Trevor Blumas act as aural anthropologists, teaming relics of cross cultural traditions like chanting and repetition over seismic ripples of deep bass. Doomsquad’s mixing of influences leaves you feeling awakened.

From me – A really interesting industrial, yet melodic sound. Excellent vocal harmonies. Hope for some interpretations of the music video in the comments section!


Gorgeous Bully – “Sinking Feeling”

From The Artist – Gorgeous Bully, the moniker of Thomas Crang, (named so after a trading of an insult and compliment between Crang and his girlfriend) began life as a bedroom project in 2011. Consisting initially of a stolen microphone, battered guitar and cheap organ; beneath the grey skies of Plymouth (a place described by Crang as “an eye sore for most, a canvas for others.”) Crang laid down the foundations of his bitter sweet, kitchen sink-mined, fuzz laden guitar pop.

From Me – I just keep listening to this – reminds me of a lo-fi Teenage Fanclub (one of my favorite bands). The Manchester scene is alive!

Cameron McLain – “I’m No Echo”

From The Artist – Cameron McLain, formerly aka MANDALA, is  a Londoner who writes songs. He combines jazz and folk with a tight groove  and sharp lyrics to create  songs that penetrate hips, heart and mind.  He currently resides in Los Angeles and is recording his second full album.

From Me –  I’ll give props to anything featuring a slide dobro. Like a British Dave Matthews, before Dave Matthews became intolerable. Also, the choreography in the music video is excellent!

Website, Soundcloud

Award for Most Early 2000s Rap Video


From Me – This is extraordinary. Let’s go over the checklist. Rented Rolls Royce? Yup. Excessive promotion of Ciroc? It’s there. Close-ups of cleavage? Right on. There’s some very clever filming going on to make the eight people in the video look like they’re occupying a packed nightclub. In reality, it was probably filmed at 10:15 am on a Tuesday.

Vain Self Promotion: Double Fault – “Until Charlie Calls”

From The Artist/Me (Because It’s the Same Person!) – I’m so interested in hearing from aspiring/working musicians because I am one myself (entirely aspirant, actually). Double Fault is my recording name and everything under it is my own work/playing/recording/whatever else. This particular song is a reflection on being around people trying to by cocaine at 3 AM. Hope you enjoy!

This has been a great edition of These Are Your Jams. Looking forward to some more. Hope you enjoyed. Keep them coming to thesearethejams@gmail.comTC Mark

image – michael_nissenbaum

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