Kicking off this week’s Follow Friday is Boston-based indie rock trio Vundabar, fresh to the Ernie Ball artist family! They classify themselves as “sludgy jangly pop” with the songs to match. Their top tracks, like “Holy Toledo” and “Alien Blues,” effortlessly combine infectious verses with gritty guitar tones that bite; on top of that, they cake it all in an extra layer of dirt and soaking reverb.
Drew [McDonald] and I played in a funny high school punk/ska band together and live next door to each other. Junior year we started writing songs together as Vundabar. The first year or two was mostly just us figuring it out, we actually started touring two years ago. The name really comes from nowhere, there was no motivation behind it whatsoever. It’s just kind of a silly name.
Brandon Hagen, Vanyaland
Smell Smoke, their most recent album, contains 10 great tracks with their typical sound. Each track touches on its own unique take of the sludge jangle philosophy. Though the songs may dabble in the morbid, the band begs for listeners to have fun with it. You can have fun with them, too, in concert. Check their tour dates on their website.
Rock out with Vundabar‘s top tracks below.
Leon Bridges is bringing soul back. His era-emulating, Grammy-winning music is like what might have happened if 1960’s pop never fell out of the Top 40. But, comparisons can grow old; his most recent release, Good Thing, is an even more “modernized” version of that sound. With funky grooves, rich guitar tones, and a voice that cuts right through, Leon Bridges has got it.
I wanna shine. Of course the inspiration’s there, but you know, my music, my writing is nothing like Sam Cooke.
Leon Bridges, GQ
On his new album, Leon Bridges has bridged the (admittedly small) gap between soul and current day R&B. His style is irresistibly smooth — both in his sound and in his fashion. He’s a cool cat, and he knows it. His suave presence permeates the stage when he’s up there. No matter which you prefer, Bridges is a performance you won’t want to miss. Check out his tour dates on his official website to catch him live.
Kick back with the tunes of Leon Bridges down below.
Fit For A King
While we’re on the subject of Texas, this Dallas-based metalcore band is one too look out for. They’re not messing around, either; Fit For A King is so brutal they even had groups protesting their music.
Their latest album, Dark Skies, was a big one for the band. Following its release, the band began to gain serious traction, with nearly every track catching millions of plays.
I think this album contains some of the strongest choruses we’ve ever had. We’ve always been known as a heavy band, and choruses have always been an afterthought. On this album, we spent a lot more time on the choruses, and I think the choruses are just as important as any other aspect of the album. We wanted something catchy.
Ryan Kirby on Dark Skies
Fit For A King is currently on tour with fellow Ernie Ball bands, Chelsea Grin and Unearth. You can look at their tour dates on their official website to see the band rip up the stage in person.
Listen to Fit For A King‘s top tracks down below.
The Los Angeles-based psychedelic soul band, Chicano Batman, are smooth listening. Their sound is distinct; between their lead singer’s unique voice, their unmistakable organs, and their brass section, they deliver a full band experience. Their tunes are great for mellow listening with an upbeat timbre and a dash of chicano pride.
I think definitely, one of the inspirations for the sound of the group is what we would call ‘low-rider oldies’ music, and that’s a really Southwest thing… Just classic music that just doesn’t go out of style, ever.
Carlos Arévalo, NPR Music
Though their most recent full-length album is the epic Freedom Is Free coming from 2017, the band has released two separate EPs this year. Háblame / Corazón de Roca, as seen above, came first. Then, the more recent of the two, Black Lipstick, broke their own records for plays, quickly becoming their most popular track. Chicano Batman is pumping out sunshine-baked bangers, and their joy is contagious. Catch some rays with them live; their tour dates are listed on their official website.
Chicano Batman get down with Ernie Ball Regular Slinkys.
Explore your soul with the top Chicano Batman songs below.
My Enemies & I
Rolling out of the Virginia metalcore scene comes the quintet My Enemies & I. The band find a happy medium between melodic progressions and deep, growling riffs — often seamlessly blending between the two.
On their 2017 full-length debut, The Beast Inside, [My Enemies & I] encode provocative messages inside of throat-slashing guitars, eerie electronic touches, guttural grooves, and haunting, hypnotic, and heartfelt vocals.
My Enemies & I Official Bio
The goal of the band’s music, more specifically, their 2017 release, is to illuminate “the darkness that stalks around the corner and ‘the other half that no one sees.'” The band definitely accomplishes this with their aggressive sounds; almost like a punk song got distorted through an extremely dark lens, and it is hard to listen without banging your head.
My Enemies & I throw down with Ernie Ball Not Even Slinkys on electric guitar and Beefy Slinky bass strings for bass. They couldn’t do it without their Music Man Bongo 5 and their JP7 in their lineup, either.
Dive into the darkness with the top tracks from My Enemies & I down below.