The Quebe Sisters Band (“So Long To The Red River Valley”) – Who cares if they’re award-winning fiddlers? Like Alison Krauss, these sisters’ voices and not their fiddle playing attract my attention. The girls’ three-part harmony likens back to the days of the 1940s. You think you’re listening to the Andrews Sisters on an old radio show.
Socratic (“Just Turn”) – Kerrang! describes themselves as Jimmy Eat World overdosed on Meatloaf. I hear more Gin Blossoms, but, well, okay.
Stephanie Dosen (“Vinalhaven Harbor”) – Oh wow. Her voice is angelic, the harmonies are ethereal, and the strings with acoustic guitar are heavenly. Yes, Stephanie Dosen might well be a messenger from God.
The Subjects (“The Hounds of War“) – Composed of a few former high-school students with their teacher, this group surprises you. The opening of “The Hounds of War” is slow, with a lone electric guitar and one slightly off-tune vocal. Then all hell breaks loose, and with some nice chord progression, the song turns out right nicely, thank you.
The Submarines (“You, Me and the Bourgeoisie”) – The Submarines are actually a duo, and lead singer Blake Hazard (a female) sounds like Nina Persson from the Cardigans. Go to their site and you’ll be greeted with this song, which is a good thing.
The Western Civilization (“Love Struck Angel”) – Another band fronted by a female, this song sounds a lot like Camera Obscura – heavy drums that sounds like trash cans, but lots of bells. Who doesn’t like bells? Their MySpace page pegs them as electroacoustic – interesting term. I’ve never heard of it, but they may be on to something.