With the weekends come my routine quest for great indie bands. Because weekends are all about cutting loose, relaxing, and doing what you’ve wanted to all week but haven’t had time for.Welcome to my Indie-end. My time to explore and find great new music to add to my soundtrack to make it through another week with my sanity intact.
This weekend, my indie band of focus is Awolnation formed and fronted by Aaron Bruno. Unlike many other indie bands out there, Aaron Bruno is no newbie to the music industry. He has formed and fronted three other bands previously: Under the Influence of Giants, Home Town Hero, and Insurgence.
All of Aaron Bruno’s bands till now have had a cult following, but none ever made as big a splash as Awolnation. Starting out in 2009, Bruno was approached by Red Bull Records and was offered free use of their recording studios. The band later signed with Red Bull, but Bruno views it more as “partnership” as he is given free reign to make recordings as he wanted.
On a side note, the reason behind the name of the band is quite interesting and appropriate. It is derived from Aaron Bruno’s high school nickname “Awol”. In an interview back in 2010 with Kristin Houser of the LA Music Blog, Aaron Bruno stated that he “would leave without saying goodbye because it was just easier, so that’s where the name Awol came from.” Ironically he has formed and disband several bands before forming Awolnation, showing a possible pun toward his history in the music industry.
However, with practice comes perfection. Of all the bands Bruno has formed thus far in his career, Awolnation has had both the greatest success and most compelling and strikingly different sound. The band’s first single, “Sail” debuted at #30 on the U.S. Billboard, and many of their other songs from the debut album Megalithic Symphony have been featured in ad campaigns and TV shows. For a new band with only one full length album, this is an impressive success.
The actual sound that Awolnation has in their music is hard to define, let alone categorize. It is all over the place.
“Soul Wars” has a catchy melody torn across by Bruno’s compelling vocals and unpredictable outbursts that fuel and form the song’s appeal.
“Jump On My Shoulders” has a distinctly modern Robin Hood message, and falsetto melodies over a mechanical beat.
The more popular “Sail” has a mellow feel and toys with innovations of pop music while humorously telling the story of an alien abduction.
My personal favorite? “Not Your Fault” It has a catchy melody much like “Soul Wars” but Bruno’s vocals are far more striking… comparable to a screaming angel.
Addicted? Then like me, you’ll be very interested to see Awolmation’s upcoming release of the music video/short film for their song “Knights of Shame,” which will be released later this year. Below is the trailer.
What do you think? Leave me a comment below.
Want more? Check out Awolnation’s website.
(Note: To clear up confusion, although “Indie” is used to describe a subgenre of Alternative, it is actually an abbreviation of the word “Independent” and is used to describe record labels. The latter is the context in which I will be using the term.)