Interview: Shapes and Colors Talks Tour Life and Inspiration


Photo by Daniel Isley, courtesy of Shapes and Colors’ Facebook page.

Shapes and Colors are one of the best unsigned bands out of the Detroit area and the sonic sheen and infectious catchiness of the recently released EP, “On Display” produced by Aaron Sprinkle (Relient K/Anberlin) makes it one of the best alternative records of the year.

Lead vocalist Travis Bobier talked with us recently in the middle of their first tour, a 18-city trek with Get At Me. He took time to talk with me about their Ten Dollar Campaign, tour life, his inspiration and more!

Can you talk to us about the Ten Dollar Campaign?

The Ten Dollar Campaign was an Indiegogo project that we created to help fund the production of our new EP, On Display. We had a lot of really cool donation incentives that were available exclusively to the contributors, and with their help, we were able to make the trip down to Nashville last summer.

You’re about to finish your first U.S. tour. How was the experience? Any new favorite cities?

It was phenomenal. I think we all learned a lot about ourselves as friends and as musicians, and now we’re back with a better perspective on the touring life. Seeing all those new places and faces was really refreshing and inspiring. St. Louis knows how to have a good time.

How did you come up with the name?

We came up with the name when we started over from scratch as a band. There was a clean slate, and we were learning how to create a new sound and mentality for ourselves. When you think about the basic elements of art, shapes and colors are fundamental in everything. That train of thought stuck with us, and thus influenced the name.

You recently recorded a cover of Taking Back Sunday’s “One Eighty Summer” for a compilation cd from Pacific Ridge Records, coming out April 14th. I was able to score an interview with Shaun Cooper, bassist of TBS, last summer and he’s an extremely humble and awesome guy. Have they had an impact on your band, and what other bands have also been inspirations for you guys?

Absolutely. Taking Back Sunday has always been a huge influence on our writing thus far as S&C. It was a real treat to have the opportunity to cover one of their songs and have our way with it. Along with those guys, bands like U2, Anberlin, My Chemical Romance, Paramore, and others similar inspire us. We all come from really diverse musical backgrounds, and draw from just about every genre.

What band (s) would you most want to tour with?

Paramore, Foo Fighters, Genesis, The 1975, and U2, but the list is honestly endless.

Listen to “On Display” in its entirety at and if you’re in the Detroit area check Shapes and Colors out live May 16th at Hatchy’s in Utica, Michigan at the Free In Detroit 2!

 For more information on Shapes and Colors, visit:

HEAR IT NOW: Corey Lewin Shows Less is More in “Passenger Side”

With only his voice, an acoustic guitar and a looping pedal, Corey Lewin seduces audiences with his solo act to create a fully dimensional experience. His catchy melodies and lyrical storytelling are evident in his musical debut, an EP titled Simple Love, to be released May 5 of this year. One of Lewin’s older songs, “Passenger Side,” tells a story in tribute to a long-time friend who proudly served as a helicopter pilot in Afghanistan and brings forth Lewin’s stripped down yet very full, captivating sound that is extremely enjoyable to listen to.

Growing up in Ridgefield, Connecticut, Lewin became heavily involved with music, taking drum and guitar lessons, performing in his high school’s musical theater productions and choir as well as with various local bands. Upon graduating, he put music on hold, packed his bags and moved south to Washington, DC and enrolled at The George Washington University to study political communication. Like most musicians, he returned to pursuing his craft full-time, first moving back to Connecticut and then to New York City.

“Passenger Side” is reminiscent of late 90s and early 2000s with its catchy guitar licks and rhythmic tapping on. Suddenly, the vocals kick in, in a semi-falsetto that becomes layered with his voice. Lewin’s lyrics are deep and meaningful, taking you to a time when innocence was still an excuse to be carefree and happy, but then reality is faced with the truth of growing up.

Lewin self-mixed and produced this song alone, and it’s not exactly noticeable because its good production, but the volume on both melody and vocals seems to be the same volume, which makes it a tad difficult to listen to at times.

Other than the small blending and balance issues of this single, it’s great. Take a listen below!

You can follow Corey Lewin on his many social outlets. He’s an artist with great potential, so it’ll be exciting to hear Simple Love in its entirety early next month.







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HEAR IT NOW: Let Idyll Put You in a Trance with “Trouble”

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The ladies of Idyll have been making major waves recently. Idyll, a Chicago-based duo, is comprised of DJ Jojo Yang and vocalist Angelina Lucero. The duo has an incredibly distinct sound, which they categorize as a blend of modern electronic and trip hop.

Though they officially started just recently, these ladies are no strangers to the music world. Yang, who was fond of music from an early age, attended the Manhattan School of Music. She then spent several years DJing the hottest tracks in Chicago. Like Yang, Lucero had a similar passion for music. She started singing at the age of four, and she wrote songs and worked with producers in her late teens. After being introduced by a mutual friend, Yang and Lucero realized their musical compatibility and formed Idyll in 2013.

Idyll released their first single “Trouble” last year. Already “Trouble” has seen a tremendous amount of success with over 65,000 plays on SoundCloud and continued media attention from major outlets such as The Fader, Hilly Dilly, Complex and CMJ.

“Trouble” is a beautifully haunting piece with Lucero’s sultry vocals and Yang’s elegant, intense beats. The song’s trance-like beats allow the listener to sink deeper into the song and capture the full nature of the duo’s sound. Lucero’s voice is mellow, but powerful enough to draw in the listener. Overall, the track is beautifully put together and defines the duo’s unique sound in the modern electronic and trip hop genres.

To stay tuned throughout 2015, follow them using the links below!





EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Dean Danger of The City Sound Talks Reforming the Band, Songwriting


The City Sound, made up of Dean Danger, Kris Ross, Chris Reyes and Chris Ellis are ambitiously planning on releasing three albums this year, the first of which will drop on May 19. The City Sound was formerly known as The Artillery for twelve years, but due to the departure of a member and the entrance of member Kris Ross last year, The Artillery decided to re-brand themselves in order to represent their current sound.

The band describes their upcoming album, called Volume One,  as, “This album is all about the trial by fire nature of the music industry. The lyrics contain everything from hopes and dreams of where we want to be to what writing a song is like to me, and the struggle we have seen as a band throughout our years.” With a lot of experience under their belts, along with new line-up and a new name, The City Sound plans to make a splash into the music scene this year.

I got the chance to interview The City Sound’s vocalist Dean Danger about the band, highlights of his musical career and songwriting.

When did you decide that you wanted to pursue a career in music? Was there a specific incident that really impacted you?

Dean: Back in high school, bands would rent out this duck pond pavilion and play free shows. The first show we ever played there, was absolutely packed. I say “packed,” meaning 300 plus fellow high school students. That was the moment I decided that it’s what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I guess you could say that seeing the audience gave me a high, and now I’m addicted. I think I always knew that there wasn’t much money in pursuing a career as a musician, but that has never deterred me from trying to make it.

What does your family think of your decision to pursue a career in the music industry? Were they supportive?

Dean:  My family has been behind me every step of the way. They all believe that someday I will make enough money to buy them all new cars, well, at least my mother does. Whether that is true or not, they all have been incredibly supportive. I might say I was spoiled as a child with instruments, but only due to my parents’ belief that I could really do something with music in my life. My parents still to this day try to make it out to every local performance.

When did you start learning how to play an instrument?

Dean: I learned how to play my first instrument around age eight when I started playing the drums. I actually wasn’t too bad. If it wasn’t for me not being able to find a band to play with, I would probably still be a drummer today. Toward the end of middle school, I began to pick up the guitar. I never really took guitar lessons, I just played along to Lenny Kravitz’s greatest hits album over and over again. During that time I was in a short-lived punk band called The Autumn System, but we broke up when middle school was over. Then in high school, in search of a band, Chris Ellis asked me if I could sing. I said yes, even though I knew I couldn’t. I was determined to be in a band enough that I would learn. 13 years later I’m still with that band, and I still have no idea why they didn’t kick me out at our first practice.

How did all of you meet and decide to form a band together?

Dean:  13 years ago, I started high school and literally knew no one at my school. Chris Ellis and Chris Reyes asked me to sing in their band, Next Friday (no relation to the movie, although it would make a better story). After a few years, we decided to change the name to The Artillery. Three albums and 10 years later an original member, Jonathan Macias, left to pursue his dreams of traveling, we then gained Kris Ross, and changed our name to The City Sound. If you kept count there are now three Chris/Krises in the band.

What was your happiest/worst moment in your career thus far?

Dean: We were playing a show in Austin with Jonny Craig in October 2013. My grandmother had passed away the day before my performance, and I chose to stay for the performance and fly out for her funeral immediately after. It was a very tough decision to make, but I believe that it was a decision she would’ve approved of. We were playing our song, “Just Like Everyone,” for the first time ever, and in the last few lines of the song, I got this overwhelming feeling of peace and it truly felt like my grandmother was watching over me proudly.

Those lyrics impacted me even more than when I wrote them: “After all this effort you would think we’d catch a break. Eleven years and all the names on the walls have changed. I can only speak for us when I say to you that holding out was the only option that we knew. My father told me don’t you ever give up son, because if you do you’ll be just like everyone.”

What is your favorite part of a concert? Do you have a particular show that you really enjoyed for a specific reason?

Dean: My absolute favorite moment during a show is the instant you finish your first song. That’s the moment where the crowd lets you know that it’s real. You play the last note into a brief silence that’s interrupted by the loudest cheer the audience can manage, and you know the night is going to go well. Every show is like a dream to me. When I wake up the morning of a show, I wake up anticipating how the night will play out. It’s on my mind all day as it nears, and once it begins, it’s gone in a flash. Because of that, every performance means so much to me.

What are some of your favorite activities/hobbies aside from music?

Dean: It might make me less interesting, but music honestly consumes everything I do. If I’m not performing, I’m writing. If I’m not writing, I’m recording. If I’m not recording, I’m sleeping. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Does the band have a main songwriter?

Dean: We all bring a lot to the table when it comes to shaping and molding new songs, but I am the weird one that gets melodies and music stuck in my head, which I present to the guys. From there we jam and write together. Jamming for us usually ends in a funk or blues song, but we can be productive from time to time. Lyrics are the tough part for me, only because I don’t consider myself a lyricist, which makes me second guess everything I write. The one thing that helps me write lyrics is feeling as if the lyrics are already written, I just have to find them, if that isn’t weird. What I mean is that I only feel comfortable with a lyric when I feel it is meant to be.

How does your music affect your lyrics, and vice versa?

Dean:  I always write lyrics last, because I want to hear my boundaries first, and then try to tie the emotion of the music into the lyrics. That is not to say I haven’t woken up with a melody on loop in my head, which I wrote a full song around. Either way, when a song is written everything must correlate or else you leave everyone confused.

Do you attend a lot of concerts by other bands? Which concert has been your favorite so far?

Dean: Oddly enough, I don’t attend as many concerts as I should. The ones I go to are for the bands I idolize: Manchester Orchestra, Thrice, Envy on the Coast. My favorite show so far would be Thrice’s Farewell Tour in 2013.

You can check out a review of The City Sound’s Volume One here.

Listen to their song, “Keeping Me From Me” below!

For more information on The City Sound, please visit:






HEAR IT NOW: “The Noise” by RABYT Has Us Rocking


When you think of Ohio, your first thought is probably not “what a great music scene.” However, you would be surprised at the sheer number of awesome bands that hail from the Buckeye state – Cloud Nothings, Walk the Moon, John Legend, Marilyn Manson and RABYT, to name a few. The latter artist is an LA rock n’ roll transplant, with an impressive musical resume.

The 27-year-old rocker has experience performing with the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Choir, as a back-up singer for The All-American Rejects, and has written and performed songs that have been featured in major motion pictures. However, what we should really care about is the fact that 2015 will welcome her debut solo EP, featuring her new single “The Noise.”

It is evident on the track that rock n’ roll has been a great influence. She explains that the song “came from a personal struggle to discover and express myself musically.” Being raised on rock n’ roll, she keeps true to her roots on this track, with an almost Joan Jett-esque aggressiveness. A hearty dose of loud guitars seem to emphasize the forceful tone. The rhetorical repetition of “Do you want the noise?” captures the heart of rock n’ roll. Of course we do, RABYT, where’s the next track to head bang to?

For more information on RABYT, visit:




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