There is something comforting about an easily categorizable artist. We all know that Katy Perry is pop, Vampire Weekend is alternative, and Jay-Z is rap. However, the ability to seamlessly combine two genres is a bit more rare and underrated. Many bands can pull this off, but the two that I have been particularly obsessed with recently are La Dispute and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.
1) La Dispute.
La Dispute is a band that has married hardcore and spoken word vocals with delicate poetry. For the last decade, La Dispute has gone fairly unrecognized; their current tour prices don’t exceed twenty five dollars (you can catch them in San Francisco on March 29th.) Apart from their current tour, they will be joining the Warped Tour crew over the summer.
La Dispute has a unique sound; their vocals are torn between desperation and desire, which leads to some of their songs being mellower (like A Broken Jar or Andria) and others more aggressive (like A Poem or King Park). In general, their lyrics are unlike any I’ve heard before. One of my favorite lines is from the song ‘The Caste Builders’: We are not our failures/We are love.
2) Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.
Though slightly more generic than La Dispute, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. is a prime example of Indie-Pop. This band is an interesting mix; my initial reaction to them was that they were a combination of Vampire Weekend, MGMT, The Postal Service, Passion Pit and Death Cab For Cutie. If any of those bands interest you, I’d suggest giving them a try.
What differentiates DEJJ from other indie bands is that each of their songs is distinct: ‘Skeletons’ features an echoey sound and a tambourine, while the opening seconds of ‘Run’ is akin to a vintage video game, while ‘If You Didn’t See Me [Then You Weren’t on the Dancefloor]’ reminds me of a princess movie with a twist.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. has only been around since late 2009, but they’ve released three EP’s and two full albums. They’re also on tour at the moment, and they’ll be at the Fillmore in San Francisco on March 1st.