Welcome to The MIC's Monthly Roundup, where you can see what we've had on repeat all month long!
Northern New Jersey singer-songwriter Jake Roggenkamp started off writing music for The Break Lights, an indie rock band. But now, Roggenkamp has started his solo venture beginning to release his own music just this year. Culling his inspiration from all of the greats from The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, Ray Charles, and Paul Simon, while also pulling from American jazz standards. Jake Roggenkamp's voice sets him apart; in 2017, NPR stated, "The sound of his voice is completely unexpected — it sounds almost like Janis Joplin's: high, reedy and powerful - pulling back and letting loose in all the right places." When you hear one of Jake's songs playing, you'll know exactly who it is. Read more about Jake Roggenkamp here! Listen to Jake Roggenkamp's Floral Derangements here:
Jay Wood's "oh well":
Jay Wood's story is much deeper than the average singer-songwriter's. Seven years ago, Jay was involved in a horrific car accident; faced with an arduous recovery, she was told she could never regain her abilities. Determined to defy the odds, Wood learned to walk and play music again.
But that was not the only challenge Jay Wood faced; she was also affected by the struggles of the LQBTQ+ community at a time when same-sex marriage was illegal in Australia. As a prelude to her EP coming out in September, Jay Wood just released her debut single,"oh well," a song outlining a heartbreaking story about love lost.
Read more about Jay Wood here. Listen to Jay Wood's "oh well" here!
Karen Harding's "Insane For A Moment":
Karen Harding's work as an Australian singer-songwriter and pop artist has spanned continents working with Argentinian P&M Records, the Cologne Chamber Orchestra, Canadian producer Landao, and Melbourne Hip Hop artist Serif. She has won awards for her talents, including the 2021 Bendigo Bank-sponsored Radio Eastern songwriter talent show and receiving nominations as a top 10 winner for the World Songwriting Awards and Best International Artist at the Crags Radio Independent Artist Awards in February 2022. Harding uses her music as a cathartic process of self-discovery and personal growth. Her latest and highly anticipated release, "Insane For A Moment," traverses the inside of the mind during moments of insecurity. Read more about "Insecure For A Moment" here.
Stream Karen Harding's "Bring Me Down" here:
Window Weather's "Out From Under":
Window Weather is an indie rock band based in the Jersey City/Brooklyn area founded in 2019 by the songwriting duo Evan Dibbs and Georgia Sebesky. Since then, the pair have expanded with fellow New Jersey native Samir Tawalare, rounding out the group. Together, the trio just released their debut album, Out From Under, in October '22. The band also just came off a nine-day tour promoting the record, and Stef from The MIC had the pleasure of sitting down with the band to chat about what they've been up to!
Read the Five Fast Facts here!
Listen to Window Weather's Out From Under here:
Gavin Bowles & The Distractions "Break My Heart":
Gavin Bowles has been playing music for years, playing in many groups throughout Australia. Through creating solo music with a string of singles and an album in 2020, Bowles ultimately formed what is now known as Gavin Bowlens & The Distractions. After playing many lives shows together and creating a distinguished reputation for energetic performances, the group is now gearing up to release their debut album, "Phoning It In." Scheduled to release later this year, including power pop tracks with indie rock influences, fans have already received a first bite into what the album will be like with their first two singles, "On The Telephone (I Used to Call You)" and the most recent, "Break My Heart." Let's dig into their latest track! Read more of our review here.
Listen to "Break My Heart" here.
Becky Crosby's "Love Like Medicine":
"Love Like Medicine is my favorite song that I have written so far. Lyrically, It’s a slightly darker take on a love song but musically it keeps up a funky upbeat feel. I am so happy with how this song came out and am so excited to share it with everyone!" -Becky Crosby
Read more about Becky Crosby here. Watch Becky Crosby's On the MIC episode here!
Maria Alexa's "Comfortable":
Maria Alexa began singing at age four after being inspired by her father's infatuation with music. Throughout her childhood, she used journaling and writing poetry as therapy as she attempted to process traumatic experiences. As a cathartic process, Maria Alexa's writing began to tell stories that allowed her to heal. She now resides in NYC and performs shows all over Manhattan. Her latest indie-pop release, "Comfortable," was co-written with producer Wayne Wilkins known for working with Beyonce, Natasha Bedingfield, and Leona Lewis. This week Stef caught up with Maria Alexa to chat about her songwriting process and her track, "Comfortable." Read our Five Fast Facts here.
Stream Maria Alexa's "Comfortable" here:
The Eiffels have been all over, from the Vans' Warped Tour to opening for X Ambassadors and Plain White T's. Their debut album was the 15th most added record on US college radio the year it was released, being placed on alternative stations like KROQ, KLOS, and 91X. Their music also gained placement in TV, Film, and video games like Netflix's Kissing Booth 2, Rock Band 4, and MTV's Teen Mom 2. Together they've released multiple singles and an EP. Their last release was back in 2021 with their three-track single featuring their popular "Patient," a song lead singer Sean Ulbs describes as "...about someone giving you the feeling like you have everything you need." The Eiffels are currently cooking up some new tracks, with one being released today! Stef from The MIC sat down with The Eiffels and discussed their last release and what's next for the band in our Five Fast Facts.
Read our Five Fast Facts here
Stream "Patient" here:
TBT's (The Black Ties) "Violet":
Ahead of their upcoming EP release, TBT takes us into their living room to perform one of their currently unreleased tracks, "Violet" On The MIC!
Read more about TBT here.
Watch TBT's On the MIC episode here!
Indie pop-rock outfit Squares is led by multi-instrumentalist Chris Barrett. Based in Washington, D.C., Barrett creates tunes pulling from many of his musical influences and rock roots. Earlier this year, Squares released their debut album, Mountains, a record that Barrett aims to inspire the next generation of creators and musicians because music has been his saving grace through his struggles with mental health. This week the band released a music video for their track "Nostalgic," a song that Barrett explains has two meanings, "it describes a relationship, but it also speaks to [my] own relationship with music. There are a lot of ups and downs with this craft, but the amazing thing is that you can express yourself through this outlet to tell people how you're feeling and what you've been through, and we all get to experience it through these amazing sonic wavelengths." Let's dig into the music video.
Read more about "Nostalgic" here!
Watch "Nostalgic" here:
Meg Whalen's "Talking In My Sleep":
"Talking In My Sleep released in December of 2022. It’s an admission to the ways in which we find ourselves in states of overwhelm and in turn, saying things we simply don’t mean to those we love the most." - Meg Whalen
Read more about Meg Whalen here.
Watch Meg Whalen's On the MIC episode here!
tiger del flor's "shut up and kiss me!":
Inspired by bands like Nirvana and Hole and growing up on the Seattle grunge scene, tiger del flor began her musical journey fronting an all-girl grunge band in high school. Since she has graced our TV screens on Season 4 of Love Island and now lives in Hollywood, California, pursuing her solo music career. Stef from The MIC caught up with tiger del flor to discuss her latest single, "shut up and kiss me!" and how being on the show affected her mental health and songwriting.
Read the interview here!
Stream "shut up and kiss me!" here:
The Love Robot's "Parking Lot":
"Parking Lot" is one of our first crowd-favorites from our first album, Lost in Transmission, released in March. The song is a great example of everyone's creative contributions to our overall sound and is the overall direction our second album is heading in." - The Love Robots
Read more about The Love Robots here.
Watch The Love Robot's On the MIC episode here!
Jay Wood's "Initial Pulse":
After suffering a catastrophic car accident, Jay Wood was told she could never regain her abilities again. With determination and perseverance, Jay Wood learned how to walk and play music again. After painstakingly relearning how to play her instruments and gaining back her dexterity, Jay Wood wrote, "Initial Pulse." This track is the second release from Wood ahead of her September EP release. This song tackles the butterflies or 'initial pulse' of falling in love and rediscovering life.
Read about "Initial Pulse" here!
Stream "Initial Pulse!" here:
Other Fun Things The MIC Did In July:
The MIC's Monday Motivation
Every month we ask our Musicians of the Month, "What advice do you have for aspiring independent artists?"
They're always sharing such insightful responses, and we thought this week we'd share them you for a little ~Monday Motivation!~
New Genre Playlists
In our May Monthly Roundup, we mentioned that we've started new genre playlists. As July kicks off, the playlists continue to grow with some of our old favorites and new friends. Below we've listed all of our new playlists for you to listen to, so go give those a 'like' on Spotify! If you have any suggestions on new independent or emerging artists we should add to our playlists, let us know. We'll be more than happy to check 'em out! You can always send us a message here or contact us @themicnj on social media!
Read about the playlists here.
John Mayer - Walt Grace's Submarine Test, January 1967 Live at Newark NJ, 3/11/2023:
John Mayer plays his National Resonator 12-string on this ‘Born and Raised’ favorite.
Ed Sheeran - You Need Me, I Don't Need You Live in East Rutherford, NJ 6/10/2023
Saturday, June 10, 2023, Ed Sheeran turned MetLife Stadium into his playground, performing to a crowd of 80,000. He performed tracks from his newer records along with older material like this one, "You Need Me, I Don't Need You."