Saturday Beats

25 Oct

You’re either just now waking up, maybe a bit hungover, or you’ve been up for awhile and you’re planning your Saturday activities. It’s a gorgeous day here in Chicago and that means one thing: You’re in need of some great music to accompany you on this beautiful fall day. I’ve got just the thing.

Sounds That Matter does have a new calendar. No, I won’t typically be posting on Saturday’s, but I figured you might want some good tunes that help aid in your Saturday happiness.

Enjoy the playlist. Listen to it on the way to brunch. On the way to yoga. On the way to wherever the hell you’re going today.

This is a Spotify playlist. If you don’t have Spotify yet, get it. It’ll be the smartest decision you’ve ever made.


The STM Calendar

22 Oct

As promised, here is what each week will look like on Sounds That Matter.

STM Calendar Days

Some other exciting news – I’ll be welcoming a few new writers to the blog. Once everything is all set, I’ll formerly introduce them.

I can’t wait to begin the new setup, and I look forward to bringing you new music six days a week!

I’ll Follow You

21 Oct

I'll Follow You

Pretty soon, Sounds That Matter will be back in action, featuring tons of interviews, video performances, and one of my personal favorites, band questionnaires.

In the next few days, I’ll be debuting the new Sounds That Matter Calendar, which will feature what the site will have in-store each week.

Be sure to check back for that!

One last thing…Sounds That Matter has an Instagram! Follow to check out shows I attend, bands I’m interviewing, and songs I’m loving – @soundsthatmatter

In the meantime, I’m here today to highlight some of my favorite songs I’ve discovered in the last few days. Thanks to apps like Spotify, I’ve been able to find music I might not have been lucky enough to find elsewhere.

(If you love what you hear, click each band name for more information)


Nightmare and the Cat


Young Rising Sons

Mighty Oaks 

Recommended Artists

30 Sep

Keeping up on this blog has not been a strong suit of mine lately. Back in July, I announced that Sounds That Matter was moving to Chicago. Well, I’m here now, and I’ve been busy. Unfortunately, this has resulted in me not posting as much as I’d like to. Since I’m now settled in a place, I feel like I can fully give my best effort into making Sounds That Matter one of the best places to discover new music.

So, let’s get right down to it.

Living in the city means being exposed to so many different types of music. If you’ve been following Sounds That Matter for awhile, you know how much I love discovering new artists. Here are just a few of the standouts that have been recommended to me, and now I recommend them to you.

St. South

I discovered St. South a few days ago while browsing Spotify artists. Olivia Gavranich, the artist behind St. South, only has two songs on there right now, but both are solid. Her music is described as “easy chill” which is the best description. Her voice is like silk and the slow beats are enough to put you in a trance. Olivia has gotten a lot of recognition due to winning a spot on Bon Iver’s Stems Project with her single, We Washed Texas. If you’re a fan of compelling voices, I highly recommend St. South.


This band was recommended to me this morning by a good friend of mine, Eric. Whenever he suggests a song, I’m typically skeptical, only because he mostly suggests songs from The Spice Girls catalog. When he sent over this band, I was intrigued. Being the researcher that I am, I immediately looked up their stuff on Spotify. Not only is just one of their songs good, but the majority of the songs on their album, Dracula Is Only The Beginning, are solid. Hailing from Japan, they have yet to pick up a big following in the States, but I’m holding out hope that it won’t take long for these superstars to get picked up.

Young Liars

Have you heard of this band? If not, stop wasting time and click play. Their style is unique and the music has a very California feel to it – chill but also powerful. From start to finish, their brand new record, Tidal Wave, is a prize winner. Not only is it a perfect album to listen to while driving through the streets, but it’s also excellent for background music to cook dinner to. Keep your ears peeled for the name Young Liars. These Canadian boys will surely be noticed in no time.


A duo from New York, it didn’t take me long to get hooked on their music. We Fall Down, from their brand new EP, is one song I can’t stop replaying. It’s catchy, danceable, and full of great vibes. Their style and approach is a lot different than what I’m seeing right now, which makes their music stand out. I think once you hear the song, you’re going to want to hear more. Plus, they do a Drake cover on the EP and it’s much better than the original.

The Good Old Days

31 Jul

Recently, I’ve been nostalgic with some of my old school favorite bands. Have you ever had those days where all you want to listen to is the music you loved during your adolescence? I thought it would be fun to post some of my favorite bands from back in the day, but not their old stuff. Some of these bands are still making new music…and it’s incredible. Here are five bands from my past that I still adore today. Be sure to check out their new stuff. I promise, it doesn’t disappoint.

Anberlin – Stranger Ways

Taking Back Sunday – Flicker, Fade

Saves the Day – In the In Between

Relient K – Collapsible Lung

Hellogoodbye – (Everything Is) Debatable

Changes, Music Fests, and More

17 Jul

Sounds That Matter is moving to Chicago! 

What does this mean for the blog? It means there will be way more reviews of live shows, because Chicago’s music scene is incredible. It means I’ll be able to interview more local bands. Most of all, it means that this place will be filled with much more fantastic music!

Now, let’s talk about music festivals. With summer nearly over, I’m sure most of you have attended at least one, but there are still two really big ones coming up: Riot Fest & Lollapalooza. 

Are you going to either of these? Which acts are you looking forward to?

Lollapalooza is sold out, unless you’re a major baller and can purchase the platinum package for $3,600. The good news is that there are still tickets for Riot Fest, and why wouldn’t you want to go to that one? Look at this lineup!

Riot Fest

You totally want to go now, don’t you? Don’t make not living in Chicago an excuse!

Here are a few of the bands I’m looking forward to seeing:

From Indian Lakes, Weezer (duh), The Cure (duh again), Tegan and Sara, City and Colour, New Found Glory, Say Anything, The Front Bottoms, Laura Stevenson… basically my list could go on and on.

Check out a few of the videos below, and if they don’t convince you to attend this year, then you have problems that music can’t cure.

7 Tracks You Need To Hear

13 Jul


Since my return to blogging last week, I’ve been on the hunt for some recently released songs I could bring to your guys’ attention. Well, I found seven that I can’t stop listening to. Some of these bands I’ve known of for awhile, and some of them are brand new to my ears. If you are in need of some new tunes to start your Sunday, look no further. You’re welcome.

Amber Run – Spark

Hudson Taylor – Battles

I’d also like to bring to your attention this song as well. I’m crushing on their music big time.

Saint Raymond – Everything She Wants

Morain – Alive

Foxing – The Medic

Ivory Hours – Young Blood

Phox – Kingfisher

Dinosaur Pile-Up

10 Jul

It’s been over seven months since I last posted on Sounds That Matter. This means, for seven months I’ve been listening to a ton of incredible music and not writing about it.

And I’ve missed it.

So, I’m back. I’m back to write about new artists that I can’t stop playing on my car rides. New bands that make my work day better. Music that gets me through the tough times. I’m back to write about all of that, in hopes that it somehow inspires you to check out my recommendations. After all, that’s the point of music blogging, isn’t it?

Let’s get started.

Dinosaur Pile-Up

This past Sunday, I was invited to check out English rockers, Dinosaur Pile-Up. They were openers for Brand New, who I’m sure you’ve heard of. I didn’t know much about the band, but was eager to learn as much as I could before the interview took place. I immediately went on Spotify to check them out. The moment I clicked play, I knew I had to make them my “welcome back” post.

Their music is energetic. Their talent is ginormous. These three men have a knack for holding an entire room’s attention. 

Prior to their soundcheck, I had the opportunity to chat with the guys, giving me and you more insight into who exactly Dinosaur Pile-Up is. Before you read the interview, make sure to play one of their songs in the background. It will make for a much more enjoyable read, I promise.

Q. What kind of fan interactions have you encountered on this tour so far? What was the most memorable one?

A. We got to meet a lot of  the people at the show yesterday, after Brand New played. It’s all very positive. Everyone is really lovely. There was a girl last night, Kendra, that had that crazy energy. She was so nice and interesting to talk to. Really funny. We always hang out at the merch stand, after the shows, and people come up and talk to us. It’s nice for us because it’s weird for us. Like, we are in America, so it’s nice to engage with people and make it real and everything.

Q. What does success mean to you guys?

A. This. Being able to do what we love, every day. Being able to come on wicked tours in America. 

Q. What are the main themes or topics for most of your songs?

A. Self doubt. Often I feel like a lot of the songs we have is quite introspective. Sort of biographical. I feel like it’s a lot like internalizing thoughts. Writing for me is quite cathartic, and playing with the boys, us bringing a song together is also cathartic. I really like when I have four days or even a day, where I don’t have to see anybody or do anything, and I have shit that I’m thinking of and I can just kind of churn that out into a tune, which I know eventually we’ll be playing as a three. That’s kind of a nice feeling. 

Q. Do you feel it’s been a challenge crossing over and getting recognition in the U.S.?

A. Haven’t really thought of it like that before. It’s just been like coming over and focusing on the tour, and seeing what happens. We’ve played three times before in the U.S. Our songs have gone to radio, which is cool for us because America is so big and has so many markets. It blows our minds and never gets old.

Q. Tell me about some of the places you’ve played so far. What has been one of the best spots?

A. San Diego. That’s nice. New York. Everywhere is cool. Each show has a cool individual memory. The rock in Tucson, Arizona. That was amazing. 

Q. How do you prepare for a live show?

A. Get really nervous. Drink loads of whiskey. Go on stage. A three step process. I get super nervous before every show still. 

Q. Your latest album, Nature Nurture, has some really great songs on it. My favorite is “Derail.” Tell me the idea behind that song?

A. I never really like saying exactly what a song is about for me, because it could be different for someone else, but I guess it’s about kinda being unstable in yourself and kinda falling off the tracks a little bit. Just going through that shitty journey and deciding what you need to keep in your life, and what you don’t need to keep. 

Q. If you were stranded on a desert island, and could only bring one of your songs to listen to, which would it be and why?

A. Probably Melanin, from the EP. It’s got so many different parts and it would be hard to get sick of. 

Currently, the band is on tour with Brand New, so if you have tickets for an upcoming show, be sure to arrive early and check them out. They’re put on an incredible live set, that you don’t want to miss.

Here’s the video for my favorite song, Derail, off of their current album, Nature Nurture.


18 Nov

Last week I came across this wonderful YouTube channel called, The Mahogany Sessions. If you’ve never heard of this channel, you must check it out. Basically, they get a ton of different artists (well known- new on the scene) to perform one of their songs acoustically and film it. Simple idea, but extremely beautiful. The way they film each artist is incredibly stunning, and judging from the 20 or so videos I’ve watched, they seem to know a good talent when they hear one.

For more information about Mahogany Sessions, click here.

I’ve put together a few of my favorite Mahogany Sessions in hopes that, like I was able to, you’ll discover new music to love.

PS. I’ve reached out to a few of these artists in hopes to possibly interview them for Sounds That Matter. Keep your fingers crossed.

Gavin James – Remember Me

Amber Run – Noah

Luke Sital-Singh – Nothing Stays the Same

David’s Lyre – This Time

James Bay – When We Were On Fire

Leagues – Radio Radio Indianapolis

11 Nov

Photo taken by: Monica Moehring

Last week, I had the privilege of seeing Leagues play at Radio Radio, one of my favorite venues. I’m going to admit something. Before the show, I had only listened to Leagues album, You Belong Here, maybe two times. I went to the show, watched them perform their set, and immediately went home and listened to the album before going to bed. How many times have I done that in my past? Probably none. I was so incredibly blown away by Leagues performance. Their stage presence was enjoyable, the vocals were on point, and even the crowd was fun to be apart of.

My favorite song of theirs, Spotlight, had me and the entire crowd literally jumping for joy.

Have you ever been asked or asked someone else what a specific band’s music makes you wish you were doing each time their song came on? Well, every Leagues song makes me wish I was at the beach, sipping on a margarita. Their formula inspires something inside of you to want to sit in the sun and bask in the warmth.

I thoroughly enjoyed seeing this band perform live and wouldn’t hesitate to see them again when they come to town, which hopefully they do. If you have a chance to check them out, be sure to wear comfy shoes because their music will make you want to dance around.

This video isn’t from the show, but I love this performance.