Archie Powell is the son of a violin prodigy who played in the Chicago Symphany Orchestra before landing as a permanent member of Milwaukee’s orchestra. He started playing guitar at 11 and writing “awful” songs at around 15. Immediately following college, he and keyboardist Ryan started the Exports, bassist Adam joined after they recorded their first EP and they rounded out the permanent line-up with drummer RJ. The band’s first recorded effort was a digital freebie called the Loose Change EP that expanded their audience to a national level. It was followed by Skip Work, their debut full length, which drew praise from Boston Phoenix, Powerpopaholic, Radio Free Chicago and My Old Kentucky Blog among others.
The band began touring nationally in support of Skip Work, leaving a trail of empty bottles, broken hearts and hilarious tour videos in their wake. Great Ideas in Action is a group effort but as the songwriter and frontman of the band, it’s inevitable that it be a strong reflection on Powell. “I guess the duality between a pop rock aesthetic and the darker lyrical content kind of speaks to how I carry myself socially. I’m a pretty upbeat individual if you give me a quick once-over, but there are a few poor souls out there who have clearance cards to the super classified bad parts of my brain. They exist, you just gotta dig deeper, I guess.”
Since 2009 Molehill has had over 150 performances throughout the Midwest and East Coast and along the way has opened for major and indie label acts Bret Michaels, Blind Melon, Royal Bliss, The Elms, and Jesse Malin. In 2010-12 Molehill showcased at the Millennium Music Conference in Harrisburg, PA and was featured twice in the Red Eye (Chicago Tribune Pop Publication) along with features in numerous local print and online publications. 2011 continued with tours throughout the midwest and east coast and an invitation to perform at CBS Studio Chicago where they received high praise from a celebrity panel including owner of the Metro (Chicago) Joe Shanahan, US99 Morning Show Host Lisa Dent and Chicago R&B stalwart Frayne Lewis.On March 6th, 2012 Molehill’s new album ‘Equinox’ was released. The release was coupled with a sold out show in Chicago. ‘Equinox’ was produced by Manny Sanchez and Molehill.
Matt Sheen & The New Hat Static is Indianapolis’ new up-and-coming band. They have a unique style that is somewhat hard to define by todays standards. A collective sound that incorporates styles from rockabilly, folk-rock, indie-rock, and alternative is definitely something that is worth giving a listen. If the music isn’t enough to catch your attention the bands leader/manager will absolutely get the job done. Matt Sheen is the brains behind the band. The mysterious man born from mechanical parts and magic, has a head like an old dial TV and the body of a business man. The other members of the band are as follows: Maxwell Holden, Jerryme Shoup, Jess Felmy, and Gregory Bacon.
From State Song’s website:
“Started in November 2008 by cousins Scot Torres and Matt Hemingway along with good friend George Jesse. All bandless at the time came together to turn their shared passion for music into a fruitful outlet. January 30th 2010 marked the last live performance with Jesse. Soon after came the first performance with new drummer Justine Sheldon. An album/cd/digital was released with 10 swimmingly beautiful songs of music and voice. Now new songs are being written and Saturday hats are sometimes being worn on Wednesdays. 2011 has the new line-up of Steve Wethington on bass and Matthew returning to his drum roots. The follow up to 2010′s ‘Dear Hearts and Gentle People’ is currently under way.”
From the band’s website:
“We aren’t pigeon holed, we don’t have a scene, we’re not trying to be anyone or anything, we weren’t those kids who were in cliques at school. We were everyone’s friends. We were curious and lonely and desperately trying to see the world beyond the manicured lawns and paved parking lots of Wal-Marts in the suburbs of Chicago. We just want to share our music with you, with love!”