In this piece, enjoy a look at some up-and-coming acts that caught Rock Cellar’s attention lately …
Wargirl – “Mess Around”
Take a mix of 70’s funk music, reggae, post-punk, adding in the musical understanding of guitarist Matt Wignall (ex-Havalina Rail Co and Cold War Kids contributor) and you get multi-cultural Long Beach group Wargirl.
The six-piece band released their new single and music video, “Mess Around,” a groovy get-up-and-dance track inspired by the political wave. In a press release, the band speaks on their single, “the idea for ‘Mess Around’ came during a political election. Looking at the candidates groveling and speaking manipulative words, brought to mind the picture of an abusive or cheating boyfriend. Someone who tries to talk you into staying with them after lying and behaving badly. It really is quite laughable so we wrote a song to remind us all to laugh at horrible people rather than suffering fools.”
Wanting to capture the diverse sound of his hometown Long Beach, Wignall formed Wargirl in 2016, along with singer Samantha Park, Tamara Raye on bass, Enya Preston on keyboards, Eric Diego Nieto and Jeff Suri on percussion and Wignall on guitar. Through playing different gigs the band created a strong following, touring around Europe and playing Germany’s Clouds Hill Festival.
As a collective, Wargirl adopts different genres in their music, adding to the uniqueness of the band. Through the band’s discography, their debut EP Arbolita and singles “Start a Fire” and “Poison”, the band establishes a strong foundation in their beat using the bass and keyboard to add to the 70’s funk and garage rock they take inspiration from but also guided by Parks sensual vocals.
“Mess Around” will appear on the band’s self titled debut album that is set for its North America release April 19 via Cloud Hill Records. To accompany the release the band has announced plans to play an album release show April 20 at the House of Machines in Los Angeles.
TV Coma – “Have a Party”
UK band TV Coma brands itself as a self-hating millennial rock band that makes music for fans of Weezer, Jeff Rosenstock and Blur — but it’s clear the band is pulling in fans of its own with the new catchy new single, “Have a Party.”
The four-piece band made up of Leo troy (lead vocals, guitar), Max Troy (guitar, led vocals), Robert Dukes (drums, backing vocals) and Jamie Rider (bass, backing vocals) recently signed to Wire Tap Records this month and are now preparing for the release of their debut EP, Body Negativity, out May 31. Before “Having a Party” the band released “Trudy” and “I Don’t Like Football,” two other singles off their forthcoming EP.
The music video for “Have a Party” shows the band celebrating a birthday party but juxtapose it with less than exciting lyrics toward the end of the song. Front man Max Troy says in a press release, “It’s a plaintive yet celebratory singalong about how we might look happy on the outside but on the inside we are all so dead.”
Body Negativity Track List
1. “Have a Party”
2. “Digital Girl”
5. “I Don’t Like Football”
6. “Grow Up”
Sarah Potenza – Road to Rome
Being a woman in music can be difficult, but rather than admitting defeat Sarah Potenza put her effort into Road to Rome, a self-empowering album that reflects the stories of women in the music industry.
The independent Nashville-based singer-songwriter released her album last week in celebration of International Women’s Day, with tracks containing strong messages of self-worth and determination. Road to Rome is a happy mix of R&B. soul and blues. In an album that reflects her own experiences, Potenza took musical and thematic inspiration from legendary artists such as Whitney Houston, Lauryn Hill and Bette Midler.
Known as the semi-finalist on season 8 of The Voice, Potenza’s musical career took off with the release of her debut solo LP, Monster, in 2016. Before that she had multiple albums under her belt as the front-woman of Sarah and the Tall Boys.
Road to Rome was co-written by friend and piano player Justin Wiseman and Ian Crossman, Potenza’s husband. The couple wrote songs together but Road To Rome allowed Potenza to take her own musical influences and rediscover her voice which is shown successfully through the bold and passionate vocals in her album.
1. “I Work For Me”
2. “Dickerson and Queen”
3. “Who Do I Think I Am”
7. “I Believe”
8. “Keep on Holdin'” (feat Alanna Royale, Lenesha Randolph, Tonya Boyd-Cannon and Elizabeth Cook)
10. “Road to Rome”