With an average age of 19, the members of Weathers — lead singer/rhythm guitarist Cameron Boyer, guitarist Cameron Olsen, bassist Brennen Bates, and drummer Cole Carson — are part of the post-Millennial Generation Z: Social media-saturated kids who grew up in an insecure post-9/11 world and raised by financially stressed parents affected by the economic downturn. It’s no wonder that a skeptical, unsettled mood permeates the songs that the Los Angeles-based band has written since they officially became Weathers in October 2015. The track “Happy Pills” was introduced via an exclusive Neon Gold premiere.
The darkly tinged, guitar-driven alt-rock song is about taking physical or metaphysical “Happy Pills” for a an easy fix, which stems from the idea that our culture has become too quick to prescribe pills to settle whatever ailments people of all ages may have, but these prescriptions may not actually be solving anyone’s problems. Weathers have played Webster Hall in New York City, The Troubadour in Los Angeles, performed at this year’s SXSW, Lollapalooza, and have currently joined the Saint Motel U.S. Tour. In April, they signed with RCA Records and are hard at work on their debut album. “When people listen to our music, we want them to feel like they’ve been heard,” Boyer says. “We want them to reflect on themselves and to have a good time doing it.”
Excitement has been brewing for Nashville-based band COIN—Chase Lawrence (vocals/keys), Joe Memmel (guitar/vocals), Ryan Winnen (drums) and Zach Dyke (bass)— since their 2015 single, “Run.” Their debut self-titled album, produced by Grammy winning producer Jay Joyce (Cage the Elephant, Sleeper Agent), was released in the summer of last year and established COIN as a band bred for widespread pop acceptance. Chase and Joe first crossed paths at Nashville’s Belmont University. Soon after the two decided to try writing music together, Ryan and Zach were introduced to them through mutual friends. When they started playing local shows around Nashville, COIN quickly attracted a highly enthusiastic and loyal live following.
The group has since toured non-stop with acts such as Walk The Moon, Passion Pit, Young the Giant, Neon Trees and others, perfecting their sound and energetic live performance. Billboard hailed them as ‘new wave crash-course survivors,’ destined to ‘break the Nashville mold,’ while SPIN, NYLON, and Stereogum praised them as up-and-comers to watch. Snapchat included them in their ‘Best Of The Year’ artists’ list and The Atlantic cited them as one of their 21 bands to check out. The band has also played memorable showcase slots at summer music festivals such as Lollapalooza, Shaky Knees, and Firefly that have created unrelenting anticipation for their sophomore album. http://thisiscoin.com/
The whole story is almost unbelievable until you hear Stanaj sing. Before ever touting a proper single, the 22-year-old New York-born singer garnered glowing social media endorsements from Kim Kardashian West, Chris Brown, NBA star Brandon Jennings, and many more, he also performed at Coachella prior to releasing any original music,” sang on Dancing with the Stars, famously played Drake’s piano at the YOLO Estate, and landed a record deal with LAVA/REPUBLIC “My family says I’m the luckiest person ever,” he laughs. “Like Forrest Gump, I’m always in the right place at the right time. I’ve been on a hot streak lately, but my father always told me and my siblings growing up the harder you work somehow the luckier you will become!”
In actuality, luck has nothing to do with it. Born to Albanian immigrants and raised in the Big Apple, Stanaj started singing almost as soon as he could speak, and he hasn’t stopped. By 8-years-old, he appeared in his first Albanian music video before going on to perform at festivals in Europe and the U.S. As a senior in high school, he tinkered with “Fall For Your Type” by Jamie Foxx and Drake on the family piano and made the switch to singing in English. Inspired by Maxwell, Justin Timberlake, and more, the budding artist spent nearly a year performing at every karaoke bar, lounge, and open mic that he could before coming to a realization. “My brother/manager Mark and I decided to drive to California and just figure it out in late December of 2014,” he recalls. “We packed up our bags, hopped in our car, and drove west with no plan. When we got there, I sang everywhere.
Since I wasn’t 21 it was hard to get into a lot of these venues, I would try and become friendly with owners/promoters/bartenders even sing for them outside of the bar or club in hopes of convincing them to just give me an opportunity to perform!” Brandon Jennings would catch one of those performances and upload a clip online. In the aftermath, Stanaj quickly gained 15,000 followers on Instagram. As his name spread, that number would exceed 293K by only a year later. Soon, the likes of Complex were writing about him, and LAVA would offer him a recording contract in early 2016. He’d jet across the pond with his other brother/manager David to work on new music in England with the likes of Fraser T. Smith [Adele, Sam Smith, Ellie Goulding], Michael Angelo [Sam Smith, Snoop Dogg], Two Inch Punch [Brian Eno, Jessie Ware], and more. Now, his singular sound adds an edge to pop soul punctuated by a delightful nod to nineties R&B. Songs like “Romantic” see his voice instantly seduce over stirring sparse production. “It’s going to get some people pregnant,” he laughs. “Musically, it’s got these minor chords, but the lyrics are very positive and genuine. It recounts all of these great things this girl makes me want to do.” Even if you don’t get pregnant, Stanaj’s voice will make you believe in him. “Singing live is my favorite thing ever,” he leaves off. “I love to transfer that emotion. You can make someone laugh or cry. It’s like a superpower.”
When the LA-based trio LANY first came together in 2014 their only aim was to work on a couple of tracks together, demo them, and have some fun in the process. Living on the West Coast, singer Paul was putting together a scratch band and played a handful of shows. But by the end of 2013, he says, he knew that something had to give. Which is where Les and Jake enter the picture. Paul conceived the idea of enlisting his friends’ help on that brief trip to visit college friends. What none of them knew was that the step they were about to take would turn out to be so significant. In the space of four days, the trio recorded two songs – songs that would lead, in what they say seemed like the blink of an eye, to the formation of LANY and, not long afterwards, to the band signing to a major record label. Six days after putting the tracks online the band found themselves fielding emails from major-label suitors. “The first question was always: ‘What else do you have? We want to hear more’,” says Paul. “And we went off and wrote ILYSB, and said: ‘This.’”