Tuesday, 11 December 2018 13:46

Bands To Keep On Your Radar

Written by Nicole Mendes

Crane Technique

Crane Technique is an electronic rock artist from the streets of Ventura, CA. This is the solo project of musician Paul Wheatley. The music has a strong influence from indie rock, alternative rock and 80s pop. The latest single, 'Just 4 2Nite', is available now via digital stores including iTunes.

https://www.facebook.com/CraneTechnique/ - Crane Technique's Facebook profile is a well-maintained one with regular posts from the artist. Several videos are available, as well as photographs with live band photography and 'behind the scenes' images. What I enjoyed on this profile is the link to other social media apps using widgets, so I had instant access to Crane Technique's Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. I would recommend a link to a band profile to access a music playlist and tour dates.

https://www.instagram.com/crane.technique/ - the Instagram account is not as well-maintained as Facebook, but there are enjoyable promotional and personal images available. A nice balance exists between the different types of images making this an engaging account. I would recommend a link to Crane Technique's official website in the personal information section.

https://www.cranetechniquemusic.com/ - Crane Technique's emphasis on his releases is evident in his official website with playlists and merchandise available on the landing page. This is a good technique, particularly since links to photographs, tour dates and contact information can be easily found. I would recommend a biography section to promote the artist or an EPK link with press information.

The Royal Turns

Hailing from Atlanta, GA, The Royal Turns is a folk-rock five-piece set to take the world by storm. Since their formation on two years ago in 2016, this guitar-driven rock 'n' roller, bluesy, folksy, Fleetwood Mac-cy inspired band are something I'm happy to come across. While they were formed in 2016, the group only released their debut EP in 2018 to a positive reception. During their promotional shows, they continue to work on more material for a full-length album and experiment with new sounds to keep fans engaged.

The Royal Turns are:

Summer Grace on vocals and keys.
Celeena Corbin on drums, vocals and percussion.
Tim Perryman on guitar and vocals.
Kaleb Garrett on guitar and vocals.
Sean O'Keeffe Jr. on bass guitar.

https://www.facebook.com/theroyalturns/ - The Royal Turns' Facebook account is one of the more well-maintained and engaging accounts with which I have been presented. Seemingly more a personal account than a band, posts are made regularly with a good balance between promotional and 'fun'. Many photos are available with a plethora of live band images, as well as several videos to keep new and old fans engaged. Links to other social media accounts are available, as well as gig listings and contact details. My only recommendation is a band profile widget with access to a music playlist.

https://www.instagram.com/theroyalturns/ - Once again, a well-maintained social media account with a good balance between professional and personal images. A link to their official website is available in the details section with a biography, which is useful from a press perspective. I don't have any qualms regarding this account.

http://www.theroyalturns.com/ - A very well laid out website with a simple structure and menu on the top making it easy to navigate. The social media links are also immediately visible, so it is easy to follow these links if one would wish to do so. The new album is very prominently advertised on the landing page, which is beneficial for obvious reasons; plus, I love how there are Instagram and Spotify widgets further down on the home page. I don't see any problems with this website; it seems all the bases are covered.

Hambone Relay


Stepping out of Philadelphia, the gentlemen of Hambone Relay are redefining the modern organ trio using a unique combination of jazz, funk, rock and psychedelic grooviness. The band was founded by organist Mark Brown who originally performed with Baltimore's The Bridge as a keyboardist. Fortunately, he moved along to build Hambone Relay drawing inspiration from organists Billy Preston and Jimmy Smith resulting in an overwhelming musical brew. Hambone Relay released their latest album, American Hi-Fi, in 2018.

https://www.facebook.com/HamboneRelay/ - Hambone Relay's Facebook account is a relatively well-maintained one focusing on the professional side of things. The first item you will see when logging on is their shop with various merchandise, all rather amusing and affordable. My favourite is the 'Free Hugs Poster', so perhaps I could schmooze some free merch? In other news, the FB account has videos, playlists, gig dates, several photographs, and contact details. My only recommendation is listing other social media accounts in the 'about' section. Now, about that free merch...

https://www.instagram.com/hambonerelay/ - a combination of professional and 'behind the scenes' shots on a well-maintained Instagram account. I'll admit, I'm not an expert when it comes to Instagram, but I do know that a balance between these two styles is excellent for fan engagement. I also enjoy the combination of images and videos (what are those Instagram videos called?). I enjoy how the band's following gig is advertised in their personal information section - a handy marketing tactic.

https://www.hambonerelay.com/ - Hambone Relay's official website is a very well laid-out, and it's clear to note their emphasis on subscription and the latest album. An easy to navigate menu can be found at the top, along with an EPK which is beneficial for press purposes. Access to social media links are available; super if you want to engage more with the band. Finally, there is clear contact details information making it easy to get in touch with the band if needs be. I also like the background image which is entertaining and easy on the eyes.

The Tweed


Initially intended to be a quintet, The Tweed is a Moscow/Los Angeles rock duo in the style of Coldplay and Maroon 5. Working together, singer and guitarist Greg Pekk and drummer Matt Shepard started building a group that would take on the unsigned world. By April 2016, the band had sifted through their mass of material to release a single, 'Someone I Know', which was well-acclaimed and received airtime on stations across the globe. In September 2016, The Tweed won the Unsigned Only 2016 competition competing with over 6000 entries. In December 2017, they released their single 'You Better Know My Name!'

The Tweed is:

Greg Pekk on vocals, guitar and keys.
Matt Shepard on drums and percussion.

https://www.facebook.com/Tweed.Is/ - The Tweed's Facebook account is not one of the busiest with few posts, but that doesn't mean it isn't engaging with the content it has. The wording of the posts are conversational, the photos aren't all promotional with some live images, and the band has a band profile available for playlist access. Remaining professional, the gentlemen have contact details and a biography; however, I wonder if they have any other social media accounts to link?

https://www.reverbnation.com/tweedis - Always a good option, The Tweed have chosen to use their Reverbnation profile as an official website. Their featured songs, videos and gallery are available on the landing page; as well as reviews in a separate block. An access to their Facebook and Vimeo is available, so the only thing I would recommend is a contact email. Contact boxes are useful, but they are not always the most reliable.


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Described as 'ethereal electronic pop' by an influential UK music critic, Ooberfuse is an electronica act hailing from London. Well-crafted songs are delivered by this dynamic do providing emotional and powerful vocals over electronic (I know I've said electronic a few times) music. Most well known for their live performances, Ooberfuse has graced the stages of Bush Hall, Trafalgar Square and the Leicester Square Theatre.

Ooberfuse is:

Hal St John on guitar, vocals and synths.
Cherrie Anderson on vocals and keys.

https://www.facebook.com/Ooberfuse/ - Ooberfuse's Facebook account is relatively well-maintained with engaging posts from the duo on a regular basis. I enjoy the daily videos campaign they are currently running, as well as the plethora of live videos the group has on the account. Various photographs are available, but they are primarily promotional. The band focuses greatly on promotion and there is even an email signup section. I am pleased to see contact details and a link to their official website, but I would recommend placing links to other social media accounts for further online engagement. It might also be beneficial to place access to a playlist on the account.

https://www.instagram.com/ooberfuse/ - Ooberfuse's Instagram account is a relatively well-maintained account with a well spread out set of photographs. There are promotional images and many of them focus on live performances, but then there are also fan images with 'behind the scenes' pictures. One element I found particularly amusing was the way Ooberfuse crafted several images to create a single image when looking at the page as a whole - you'll see what I mean when you view the page. It's an incentive!

https://www.ooberfuse.com/home - the official website has a single landing page with a main header, menu, email signup and rotating design. I love this design because it doesn't bombard you with information and focuses on one element before allowing you 'inside'. The colour is scheme is well thought out, and the items on each page are well laid out. The biography could use some work and discuss background of the band, but the press quotes are a smart addition. Moreover, there is no information under 'daily vids', so this should be considered.

Judd Hoos


When you think of an American rock band, Judd Hoos is a group that should come to mind. Based in South Dakota, the band has only on the charts since 2017, but man have they charted the charts! In 2017, Judd Hoos released the iTunes charting album, Music In The Dark, and in 2018 (that's this year for anyone who's a couple of months ahead), they released their single 'Dirty Work' produced by J. Hall in Nashville. Sharing the stage with names like Third Eye Blind and Trapt, the band is set to be a name you'll get to know rather quickly.

Judd Hoos are:

Tyler Bills
Shane Funk
Chris Hornick
Andy Young

Judd Hoos are currently working on a follow-up five-song EP to be released in 2019.

https://www.facebook.com/juddhoos/ - Judd Hoos' Facebook account is quite a well-maintained one focusing with the posts focusing primarily on gigs and other promotional elements. There are numerous images and videos, particularly of live events, which are particularly enjoyable for fans (new and old) as it seems these boys put on one hell of a show. I always love a store because, well, I'm a woman with a credit card. Some fantastic items on sale, and I'm seriously wondering if I could schmooze one of those beanies. The contact details are intact, links to other social media accounts are fine; however, I have one major issue with this account - the header has flashing lights! I'm all for a gif header, but flashing images makes it difficult for people with photosensitivity to view a profile. If I weren't obliged to view this site, I would have closed my tab without looking beyond the homepage.

https://www.instagram.com/juddhoos/ - Judd Hoos' Instagram is a well-maintained account with an even balance between promotional, live performance images, and some personal pictures. In fact, there are some photos of a barbeque and a stuffed unicorn (or the band's spirit animal). It's a fun account to peruse and shows how carefree the guys can be, while still remaining professional.

https://juddhoos.com/ - I think this time I will mention my reservation about the website first instead of last. When landing on the group's official website, I am faced with strobes flashing in my face. I have photosensitive epilepsy, so this is not a pleasant experience and I am so glad the landing page is a scroll down option instead of having to find a tab on a menu. Once you scroll down, you will come across merchandise, links to music streaming sites, and an Instagram widget. Fortunately, you do not need to return to the top to find a link to the main menu with all the headings available in a drop down tab. My only concern, once again, is once you head to the page of choice you will face a strobe gif at the top of the page. I implore the band or the band's web designer to reconsider this feature!

Dark Rouge Park


Dark Rouge Park is a synthpop trio hailing from the city of Los Angeles, CA. Described as a 'pulsating melodic dream', this band combines unique, thought-providing lyrics with an original electronic melody. The band is influenced by established acts such as Peter Gabriel, Abba Pink Floyd, Depeche Mode, and The Cure.

https://www.facebook.com/darkrougepark/ - Dark Rouge Park's Facebook account is not a well-maintained or relatively well-maintained account with posts only being made when an album is released. Only a few videos are available, but they are fun to watch being 'behind the scenes' options. The photographs are mostly press-related and could require updating. The only benefit of Dark Rouge Park's FB account is that they have contact details and social media links available. I would recommend an update of all information, including some more regarding a biography. Then again, that's just me.

https://www.instagram.com/darkrougepark/ - Dark Rouge Park's Instagram account is as poorly maintained as their Facebook. During the past year, only four or five images have been added; however, they are not all promotional with some personal images as well. This is one positive aspect - the balance between press images, live performance images and some backstage shots. I would recommend paying more attention to the account, even if it were to post promotional images of gigs or new releases.

http://www.darkrougepark.net/ - I am not sure why people enjoy flashing images in their videos, but it is not fun for others who are tired or have photosensitive conditions. Once again, the landing page of an official website opens with a video header using strobes. Fortunately, you can scroll down to find information on the band, links to social media accounts and contact details. The menu is easy to find and can be accessed without having to return to the top of the page, so thank you for little mercies. Different pages are neatly laid out and the colour scheme is a clean one. My only complaint is the opening header.



An indie pop threesome hailing from Los Angeles, CA and inspired by the likes of Troye Sivan, Twenty One Pilots and Halsey.

https://www.facebook.com/illbemusic/ - I am unsure when Illbe opened their Facebook account, but I am assuming it was in June based on the first image being uploaded at the end of the month. Based on that, Illbe tend to post on a regular basis, primarily with images and some videos. The images are promotional in nature with only two videos on the video, one being a rather brilliant cover of Troye Sivan's 'My My My'. I am a little disappointed with Illbe's 'about' section where they have no biographical information and minimal social media links. If I were to use FB exclusively for a biography, I would not know anything about them. In fact, I pretty much don't. I do know they have released a debut single called 'Memoirs'.

https://www.instagram.com/illbemusic/ - Illbe's Instagram may be more well-maintained than their Facebook account with live band images, press shots and some videos. They have a decent balance between images, and I don't see any problems nor do I have any concerns regarding this account.

https://band.link/illbe - The group has chosen to use their Bandlink website as an official website. This site focuses primarily on Illbe's debut single, 'Memoirs', exclusively. Contact details are available, with a single line biography on the band. This can be ideal if you are looking for music exclusively, but if you want gig details or videos then you'll need a different website. May I recommend using the Reverbnation option?

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Written by Nicole Mendes / Germany - Norden

My name is Nicole and I am a South African-born music writer currently based in Norden, Germany. For several years I have worked with award-winning indie music blogs conducting reviews, reported on breaking festival news, but my specialism is interviewing.  I currently work as editor-in-chief for an indie music blog I founded where I specialise in interviews with independent artists.

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