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Alternative Picks 2016

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Beyond Radio Alternative picks November 26, 2016

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HEARTRACER    Dream Girl

Richmond, Virginia brother duo that was born from the aftermath of the younger brother Chris’ friend’s suicide. He discovered his musical and songwriting ability while coping. Older brother Chip who was living in San Francisco and giving up on his own music career saw the potential and moved back home. The bright 80’s new wavey pop sound here and on songs like “Overboard” and “Hollow” seem to be the catharsis. “Ice On The Streets”, another highlight, is an unabashedly 80’s pop-rock throwback.



Fuzzy guitar, an insistent beat and a strong chorus highlight this latest single from the gritty Toronto four piece. Their 1st release was “The Heights” EP in 2014 featuring the song “Strange Love”. Earlier this year they put out another single, “I Love You All The Time”.


MORGXN    Home

Vocally this Nashville indie pop artist reminds me of Borns, sultry and androgynous. ‘Home’ has a more EDM feel than Borns. On “Love You With The Lights On” and the Duran Duran cover “Notorious” he exhibits his more haunting side, especially on the latter. These days there is an increasingly blurred line between alternative, EDM and pop.



Highly danceable alt-pop from this London trio who have put out 3 EP’s and 3 singles, including “Girl Like You” and “Wasted Days”, since 2015.


JUSTICE    Randy

This Parisian electronic duo has been making disco-infused alt-dance grooves, akin to bands like Hot Chip since 2007’s “D.A.N.C.E.”.The singles ‘Randy’ and “Safe And Sound” preceded last week’s album release “Woman”.


TEMPLES    Certainty

Neo-psychedelic UK outfit sounds more spacey on this new single than on older songs like “Shelter Song” and “Keep In The Dark” that evoke a more Byrds-esque oeuvre.


THE SHERLOCKS    Will You Be There?

Sheffield, UK foursome consisting of 2 sets of brothers. This is their 5th single release since 2014. “Live For The Moment” was the first. Pretty typical guitar driven Brit alt-rock, which not a bad thing. ‘There’ features a soaring anthemic chorus.


Beyond Radio Alternative picks November 4, 2016

Listen to/Watch all the songs featured on this pick list on


CRUISR    Take That
Trio from Philadelphia formed in 2012. It started as a solo project by vocalist Andy States.They specialize in bright, dancey indie-pop. This song employs a child mob device similar to Sia’s recent #1 song “Cheap Thrills”. 2 other singles they have released in the last few years are “Throw Shade” and “All Over”.



OF MONTREAL    It’s Different For Girls
Not of Montreal at all, this band from the home of R.E.M., Athens, Georgia, have been producing experimental indie rock since 1997. Their 14th album was released in August and features this single. In addition to the five current members, there are 16 former members over the last 20 years. Singer-songwriter Kevin Barnes is the only original member. He claims the band name came from a failed romance with a woman from Montreal.

They like to go with strange song names like “Wraith Pinned To The Mist And Other Games”, “Lysergic Bliss”, “Gratuitous Abysses” and “Gender Mutiny Tour”.


GATES    Habit
This New Brunswick, NJ 5 piece released their second album “Parallel Lives” in June which includes this single and “Empty Canvas”. They have an ethereal guitar driven sound. “Captive” is a non-album single also released this year. Their first album “Bloom And Breathe” was a decidedly harder-edged outing. You can hear the emo on “Bloom”.



L.A. based with roots in D.C. and North Carolina. They have released 3 singles in the last 2 years including “In The Shadows” and “Free Animal” (which got a positive review in Billboard last Nov.) and have bundled them into an EP “For The Light” including another new tune. The duo have been compared to Alt-J and Glass Animals (definitely see that on ‘Shadows’).



Another duo, this time a married couple, Jared and Bethany Salte from Alberta, Canada. Also like the former band they have released 3 singles recently including “Running Away” and “Start This Fire”. Their Facebook page calls their music Electro-Folk Pop.



THE COURTEENERS    No One Will Ever Replace Us
While this Manchester UK band has been compared to previous Manchester bands The Smiths, The Stone Roses and Oasis, on this second single from the new album, they sound very Kaiser Chiefs. The Oasis influence is clear on the 2013 song “Van Der Graff”. The dance rock “Lose Control” from the same album showcases the haunting vocal a=of lead singer Liam Fray. All 5 of their albums since 2008 have reached the UK top 10 while they have failed to go higher than #19 on the singles chart. Ironically with the song “Not Nineteen Forever”.

My introduction to the band was the 2010 “You Overdid It Doll” which reached #5 on my personal chart in 2011. There is a nice driving build up on “The 17th” from the current album


Alternative Picks October 13


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Three singles in, this British indie band do shimmer on this current single. One review calls them “towering, flamboyant and inspirational”.

Shoot Me (Baby)/Freedom

The first two singles show a bit of diversity, ‘Shoot Me’ a bit harder and ‘Freedom’ a bit funky with cool horn flourishes.



As far as British indie rock goes, this band is all over the map. Clearly baroque pop is in their blood but so are the Stone Roses, 60’s rock and quirky French girl group pop.

The Snowfalls/La Couleur Originelle

Here’s evidence to the formerly spoken of styles.


HUNCK All Dressed Up

Another new Brit band who released their first EP “Never Had A Dream” at the beginning of the year. This single followed, sounding oh so Kinks-y.

I’ll Wait/Something Missing

More late 60’s vibe-ing on “I’ll Wait” and then the melancholy of “Something Missing”.



New duo from Long Island invoke a British sensibility on this song. One website said this about them “Fusing tightly constructed pop, sophisticated orchestration, and British invasion melodies into a ten-song masterpiece, the D’Addario brothers—Brian (19) and Michael (17)—are whipping fans and critics alike into an utter frenzy.”

I Wanna Prove To You

Another song that borrows from 50’s/60’s era pop.



This indie band from Brisbane, Australia trades male/female vocals and brings to mind 80’s Replacements era music. This has the stripped down guitar style of the original “modern rock” scene.

Can’t Stop/Do Rite With Me Tonite

Overall the band has a bright outlook, infusing their sound with a party feel.



This Nashville trio is currently on tour supporting ZZ Top!?. This song does not bring to mind that band.

Man Of The Moment/Oh No

The rest of their current EP “Danger In The Morning” definitely does, especially early Top, expanding on a classic rock 70’s sound. These two are raucous songs, while 2 others “Darlin’” (bluesy) and the title track, a southern rock ballad round out their sound. “Daisy” seems to be the anomaly. And this band is a total juxtaposition to the rest of the list.

Alternative Picks September 16


RAG’N’BONE MAN          Human

This hefty 24 year old guy from the UK has the voice to match his appearance. Raspy and bluesy, this his first official single after 2 EP’s in 2014 & 2015 he started out as a rapper in his mid-teens. This song is currently charting in Germany, Switzerland & Belgium.

Perfume/Hard Came The Rain

“Perfume” showcases the upper reaches of his range and “Rain” the opposite. It starts out deep and throaty and explodes into a big chorus. He fits into that Hozier model but definitely has his own voice.


BEAR MOUNTAIN            Give It Up

The band name belies the sound of this Vancouver electronic indie band. Started as a solo project of front man Ian Bevis, he was joined by his twin brother (I’ve run into a lot of this by doing these lists).


From their debut album in 2013, the video is a nice juxtaposition to the song.


DEAF HAVANA  Cassiopeia

This UK band is likened to the band Young Guns, whom I featured in the most recent rock picks list, as being among a group of bands flying the flag for the heavier side of British alt-rock. Formed in 2005 they self-produced 6 records before their official first album in 2008.


This current single will make a quick ascent up my personal chart. Interestingly they have a song from 2013 called “Speeding Cars”, same title as a featured song in yesterday’s Adult pop pick list.



This Manchester UK trio mixes the power of grunge and punk but this is a more straight ahead alt-rock ballad. Like Deaf Havana they formed in the mid-aughts.

Motherless Land/Dead Man’s Shoes

These 2 songs, their most and first single showcase the above mentioned styles.


THE TEMPER TRAP           Alive

This song from the Melbourne Australia band looks poised to be my next #1 song. They had 2 songs place in my top 100 of the year in 2010, “Fader” (#12) and “Sweet Disposition” #71.

So Much Sky/Lost

All of these songs are from the band’s #1 Australian album “Thick As Thieves”. Lead singer Dougy Mandagi has a lilting, almost ethereal voice, most evident on “Lost”.


TWO DOOR CINEMA CLUB           Bad Decisions

Staying in the falsetto range is this current single from this Northern Ireland band, here sounding like alt-BeeGees. Currently in the alternative radio top 50.


ZIPPER CLUB      Going The Distance

Another song starting to climb the alternative radio top 50. This band is produced by Smashing Pumpkins James Iha and has a Psychedelic Furs meets the Go Go’s , pure 80’s.


Beyond Radio bonus picks, My Orion Experience


YouTube playlist featuring all the songs and artists featured here:


“The Orion Experience is an explosion of high-energy disco pop.

Brothers of the Scissor Sisters, sons of the B-52’s and second cousins once removed of the Bee Gee’s” (that was from their Kickstarter page). Following is a little story about my discovery of this band.


THE ORION EXPERIENCE                NYC Girl

This fun loving NYC based indie pop band had their music appear on MTV’s Laguna Beach and Zoey 101: Chasing Zoey. This 2011 track which I just discovered was described by USA Today as reminiscent of 70’s era ELO. Now there is a long-ish story here. I just sent out the AC playlist and it featured new ELO, only because another featured artist, Frankmusik, cited them as an influence. Sidenote: When I returning home from my road trip in July ELO’s “All Over the World” came on the radio as I was thinking about how to promote Beyond Radio and it seemed awfully appropriate lyrically. Who knows , could be the theme song. Of course this makes me think of Xanadu, which I actually have never seen but the music was fun. Besides this song, especially the Olivia Newton-John/Tubes collaboration “Dancin’” The Tubes seem like a precursor to the Scissor Sisters in many ways but now I’ve really gotten off track.


Now that’s not necessarily the weird part. I started having “Orion experiences” a couple of weeks when I actually put a song by someone named Orion (who now I know is the front man of this group) on this pick list with a song called “No One Owns The Sky” That lead to a strange guy named Jimmy Ellis Orion from the 60’s & 70’s that sounded just like Elvis and wore a mask (I featured a song of his as well)  After that I was in my mother-in-law’s room at her assisted living and her TV’s brand was Orion in big letters. Then word came up in something I was reading. It started getting me wondering what the correlation could be. Now of course it made me think of the constellation Orion. A few days later I was staying at a friend’s house (yes you Kate) and woke up at 4am, went to get some water, walked outside and the constellation was perfectly placed in the sky when I looked up.


Upon returning home I was up early again. I typically get up between 5 and 6 but this day about 4:30. I looked out my kitchen door, again there it was, perfectly placed between 2 large trees. If I had gotten up any other time it would not have been there. I kept trying to figure out what this was all about and then yesterday I came across this band as a related artist on Spotify for another band I was listening to.


Win It All

Of course I started listening to other songs by the band and this stood out. It’s kind of Abba & the Partridge Family (Orion looks atlittle like an older David Cassidy) meet Queen in a late 60’s broadway musical. Awesome!!!! After listening to this I dug deeper and the 2013 album “Children Of The Stars” seemed like a rock opera. Indeed they launched a Kickstarter campaign in 2012 for an immersive concert going experience in conjunction with this album which they call an intergalactic rock odyssey.


The Queen Of White Lies

Obsessed With You

Their first single from 2007 that Perez Hilton became obsessed with. Now I think I’m obsessed too.


Thus I’m assuming my Orion Experience was meant for me to find this band. But who knows?


Alternative Picks September 2


APRIL TOWERS  Silent Fever

Nottingham’s April Towers are described as “a remarkably independent pop phenomenon” and “The Pet Shop Boys on speed”. There is definitely an 80’s vibe here.

Losing Youth

Two other selections on the Alt picks playlist are “Arcadia” and “Modern Psyche” evoking  an Information Society vibe.


BIG BLACK DELTA             It’s OK

Moniker for Los Angeles based artist Jonathan Bates, a side project after his band Mellowdrone took a hiatus in 2010 after 10 years of recording. Keeps with the 80’s influenced new wave sound.


As if the 80’s influence was not big enough, Deborah assists on the synth-y dance song.

MELLOWDRONE               Fashionably Uninvited

Bates was born in Venezuela, grew up in Miami and went to Berklee College of Music in Boston. Here he is in a more somber alt mood.


GAREK  Goddamn Dizzy Kids

Wisconsin raised, NY based artist heavily influenced by 90’s era industrial & alt rock (a la Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson and Garbage), this latest single adds a bit more pop to the mix.


The video lead to this song which is a fun disco pop ditty. I had featured Maclean’s “Hugs, Not Drugs (Or Both)” back in May. I discovered both these artists from an Australian guy Matt, who posts his personal top 100 on various music boards.

Save The Queen

Garek’s first single, the video is a little too racy to post.


GRISWOLDS       Out Of My Head

Staying in Australia for a moment, this Sydney based band saw big airplay in 2014 and 2015 on Sirius/XM’s Alt Nation with “Beware The Dog” (the channel’s  #4 song of the year) and “If You Wanna Stay”. This is their current single.

Heart Of A Lion

This was their first single in 2012.


COLONY HOUSE               You & I

Tennessee based 4 piece band lead by self-described frontman Caleb Stevenson Chapman along with his brother Will Franklin on drums. They are the sons of Christian artist Steven Curtis Chapman, one of the mist prolific Christian artists of the last 30 years.

Second Guessing Game

Their first single from 2014. They claim influences ranging from U2 to the more contemporary band Cold War Kids.


HOLY PISTOL CLUB          Bye Bye Baby

You can hear the influences of Oasis and the Arctic Monkeys on this tune from the Scottish band.

So Long



Another dancey alt band from Manchester, UK



Alternative Picks August 20



The first 2 artists on this week’s picks are my favorite 2 alt artists of the last couple of years. This UK band started releasing singles in Europe in 2014 and their debut single in the States was “Trip Switch”, which reached #1 on the Alternative chart.

Wake Up Call

This is their current U.S. single and just entered the Alternative top 20. This was the first song that I heard by them in January 2015, found through Ralph Schmeets personal chart. It impacted me instantly and reached #5 on my chart. It will see a resurgence on my chart.


I featured this on the June  6 pick list. Another top 10 on my personal chart.



Australian band led by brothers Keith and Michael Jeffery. They released their first single “Trojans” in Sept. 2011 in their homeland. The song reached #4 in the U.s. in 2013 and they have had 2 subsequent top 10’s, “If So” and “Molecules”, my #2 song of 2015. Their sound is synth and beat heavy rock which has always been a fav sound of mine.

A Perfect End

After debuting on my personal chart in Nov. of last year, this finally hit #1 on my chart in May, a very lengthy ascent to the top for me. With that it has a good shot of making my top 5 of 2016 which would make it 3 tyears in a row. The song “Electric” was my #5 of 2014.


Recently discovered from a personal chart called Fresh Planet. aThis one slows down the tempo. An interesting animated video.


DON BROCO       Everybody

This UK band formed in 2008 has released 2 CD’s, it’s most recent, “Automatic” from August 2015 reached #6 in the UK. They straddle the sound of the 2 previous bands, this song in the Nothing But Thieves wheelhouse.


Here they sport the dancey alt style of Atlas Genius.


This was my introduction to the band earlier this year, currently in my top 40, showing yet another style. Lead singer Rob Damiani has a falsetto similar to the lead singer off Nothing But Thieves.


NINE LASHES      Galaxy

In sticking with this theme ( 2 distinct sides of alt rock, another unplanned one at that), this Christian rock band from Alabama self released their first CD in 2009. They have gone on to have 6 #1’s on the Christian rock chart, this being one of them. Their latest CD “Ascend” goes in a more dance alternative direction than their previous efforts.

Never Back Down

Another of their #1 songs from 2014 with a bit of a harder edge.


GROUPLOVE      Do You Love Someone

Finally quirky L.A. based indie rock band Grouplove, like Atlas Genius and Nothing But Thieves got their early U.S. push on Sirius/XM’s Alt Nation, a great place for the nurturing of new alt rock. Their debut single in 2011, “Colours” was #1 song on that station but probably best known for their “1 alternative song “Tongue Tied”.


Alternative Picks July 31


LONELY THE BRAVE         Rattlesnakes

British band with an anthemic, stadium size sound. Since 2008 they have  released a number of EP’s and 2 full length cd’s.


SUNDARA KARMA           Loveblood

Another UK band who have released a string of singles since 2014. Sundara means beautiful or noble in Sanskrit. They do have a big sound, anthemic as well, but with a definite difference from Lonely The Brave, who owe more to U2’s more somber side . This four piece radiates the dancier side of U2’s product.



DREAMERS         Shooting Shadows

From their Facebook page: “The band from Brooklyn infuses elements of psychedelia and smart pop to create their Cosmic Rock sound.” says they have a unique sound of 70’s punk meets power pop. They had a hit on Sirius/XM’s Alt Nation last year with the song “Wolves”.


LEMON DEMON               Cabinet Man

The musical moniker for multi-dimensional entertainer from Boston, Neil Cicierega. His music is in a similar vein to They Might Be Giants. On wikipedia he is credited as an acotor, comedian, animator, internet artist, filmmaker, puppeteer, musician and singer. He’s realsed 9 cd’s as lemon Demon since 2003 and a number more under his own name and Deporitaz.

Word Disassociation


BLAQK AUDIO   Waiting To Be Told

This song should take you right back to the late 80’s. This is the side project for 2 members of the band AFI (a more hardore punk/emo band that has been around since the mid-90’s). This is from their 3rd cd release since 2007 and owes much to Depeche Mode, Camouflage, Love & Rockets and other like bands of the time (they actually do a cover of Love & Rockets “No New Tale to Tell”.)



Beyond Radio Tim YouTube Alt Picks Playlist, July 24

ARKELLS               A Little Rain (A Song For Pete)

ALEX LAHEY        You Don’t Think You Like People Like Me

DRAEMINGS      Area 51

THE NAKED AND FAMOUS           Higher

MONOPOL          Somebody That I’ll Never Be

THE RUNAWAY CLUB      We’re Gonna Be Alright

AIRBAG                Killer

DIANE & THE GENTLE MEN          Motorcycle

FIDLAR  Why Generation


Alternative Picks July 11


VANT    Karma Seeker

New British band who have released 5 singles in the latest year, this being their latest.


ASYLUMS            Necessary Appliances

Another new Brit band who have released 6 singles in a similar time span and will be releasing the debut cd this summer. A little harder with a  driving beat.


BAD SOUNDS     Avalanche

It’s so easy to stay in a British mode. This new band reminds me of the Kooks.




With a late 80’s sound reminiscent of The Cure and My Bloody Valentine, atmospheric is the best way to describe these 2 songs. One review calls there sound “Disintegration” big. That’s the huge 1989 Cure cd featuring “Lovesong” and “Pictures Of You”.

Green Lady

THE CURE            Plainsong

I remember buying this cd, along with Simple Minds “Street Fighting Years” and listening to both in the dark in my bedroom with my headphones on. It was an incredible experience.

SIMPLE MINDS  This Is Your Land


Untapped Resources Alternative top 10, July 4

1              GARBAGE            Empty

2              RADIOHEAD       Burn The Witch

3              CHVRCHES f/ HAYLEY WILLIAMS              Bury It

4              THE STONE ROSES           Beautiful Thing

5              THE TEMPER TRAP           Fall Together

6              BROODS               Free

7              METRONOMY   Old Skool

8              CHVRCHES          Warning Call

9              BRAND NEW      I Am A Nightmare

9              TWENTY ONE PILOTS     Heathens

10           THE STONE ROSES           All For One


Beyond Radio Tim YouTube Alternative Playlist July 3


WHITE LIES         Take It Out On Me

ROOSEVELT        Colours



PORT NOIR         Earth

HANDSOME GHOST       Graduate


MOTHER MOTHER          Modern Love

HIGHASAKITE    Since Last Wednesday


Alternative Picks June 27


SHEARWATER    Quiet Americans

Austin, Texas band founded in 1999. Touted as psych folk, the band’s name refers to a type of bird and often uses nature based imagery in its music. This recently hit #2 on my chart.

Pale Kings


THE FAINT           Young & Realistic

This song from Omaha, Nebraska indie band channels 1982 new wave dance to great effect. This one could have you bopping your head. The band formed in 1995.


THE STROKES     Drag Queen

Speaking of channeling 80’s new wave, the return of the Strokes sounding very gothic, a la Bauhaus & The Smiths. As with the previous 2 bands, this NY band formed in the 90’s.


MASS GOTHIC   Every Night You’ve Got To Save Me

Staying gothic, at least in name, is the debut of Massachusetts via NY singer songwriter Noel Heroux new moniker. He had spent 10 years in the band Hooray For Earth.



MIDDLE KIDS      Edge Of Town

Emerging indie-pop band from Sydney Australia fronted by Hannah Joy. This is their debut single.


Alternative Picks June 20


WILDLIFE             Dead Century

Toronto indie rock band’s 1st single from 2nd cd. Defintely an atmospheric anthem.

From Exclaim! Website:

“‘Dead Century’ is a song about moving forward through lost time,” the band tell Exclaim! “What it feels like to have one foot in an age that no longer exists, and coming to terms with having the other in a world you may never understand.”

That sentiment gets explored to the tune of sparkly synths, melodic guitar lines and soaring vocals.”


BASTILLE              Good Grief

Long awaited new single from the UK band that brought us Pompeii, 2014’s #1 Tim & John’s music party song.


MANIC BLOOM One More Chance

My favorite indie band from Nashville. 2 epic songs from their latest cd. If you like them send them some love and buy their music.



WASHED OUT   Amor Fati

The moniker for singer-songwriter Ernest Greene. This chillwave track from 2011 was recently #1 on a Beyond Radio participant’s personal chart.

I love the breezy easy going feel of this track.



Synth pop band from the Netherlands who definitely evoke an 80’s new wave vibe on this track.


Beyond Radio Tim Alternative picks June 13

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JESSY LANZA      It Means I Love You


LEMON DEMON               As Your Father I Expressly Forbid It

CHVRCHES f/ HAYLEY WILLIAMS              Bury It


PARQUET COURTS           Dust

THE AVALANCHES f/ DANNY BROWN & MF DOOM         Frankie Sinatra

RAG’N’BONE MAN          Hard Came The Rain

CLASSIXX             Just Let Go


Alternative Picks June 13



Australian singer-songwriter who was the lead singer of Silverchair. This is 180 degrees from that band.


SONS OF THE SEA             Come Together

That of course lead me to this side project of the lead singer of Incubus. Not as much of a departure, but still on a different plane.

This was my #6 song of 2013 and I thought it sounded great on the radio.



Indie alt-pop band from Sweden. New discovery of mine with a hook that gets under your skin. Destined for my top 5.

Another one called Fashion that is even a little more poppy.



Icelandic band that formed in 2008. This has a bit of a 70’s art-rock vibe but still very current.


HYDROGEN CHILD            I Know

Kind of a alt-ballad from a Shreveport Louisiana band described as shimmer pop on a music website.

This one, Sirens, is more electro-pop


Alternative Picks June 6


NOTHING BUT THIEVES                Itch

From UK band’s debut record, IMO best new band of the last year


ROOSEVELT        Colours

German alt/dance artist


ARKELLS               Private School

Alt rock from Canada who formed in 2006 and have yet to achieve success out of their homeland.

Currently in the top 10 on Canadian alternative radio.


BRENDAN MACLEAN      Hugs Not Drugs (Or Both)

Australian singer & actor who appeared in Baz Luhrman’s Great Gatsby remake. He’s been putting out music since 2010.

This has an early 80’s new wave vibe.



UK “supergroup” featuring Alex Turner of Arctic Monkeys


BeyondRadioTim YouTube alt picks May 29