Paste favorites old and new performed in our New York studios last month. From John Paul White, formerly of The Civil Wars, to actor Kevin Bacon of The Bacon Brothers, we welcomed in a range of diverse artists to play stripped down sets in our living room-like studio. Check out five of our top Paste Studio Sessions from July 2016 below.
1. John Paul White, “The Matryr”
For those of you who are fond of The Civil Wars or scrambled to look up the harrowing song that skyrocketed an epic Grey’s Anatomy montage, the name John Paul White isn’t unfamiliar. The duo parted ways in 2014 and White is now back with his first new album since The Civil Wars’ breakup, Beulah, which is due out on August 19. White was kind enough to stop by our studio to perform some of its tracks for us, as well as a cover of ELO’s “Can’t Get It Out of My Head.”
2. Arkells, “Private School”
Arkells, an alt-rock power-pop band from Ontario, are scheduled to release their fourth full- length album, entitled Morning Report, in August of this year. Many of their songs shout out their native Canada, where all five band members attended McMaster University. The band’s music is crafted on heavy pop hooks intertwined with large chord patterns. Their energy is ecstatic throughout their work, and the vocals of Max Kerman and Mike DeAngelis are powerful and memorable. Check out lead single “Private School” here.
3. The Bacon Brothers, “If I Needed Someone”
The Bacon Brothers are a rock band fronted by renowned actor Kevin Bacon and his brother, musician and composer Michael Bacon. The band first came together in 1995 and two years later released a debut album that covered the breadth of their eclectic Americana sound. In 2014, the brothers produced 36 Cents, a 12-track album full of humorously tender tunes that, at certain junctures, really make us think. The brother’s voices are delightfully gravelly and rustic, and along with their instrumental prowess on the guitar (with Kevin briefly rocking the harmonica), the two serve up roots-rock that is authentic to its core.
4. The Shelters, “Nothing in the World Can Stop Me Worrying ‘Bout That Girl”
In order to be able to garner the attention of a rock legend such as Tom Petty without a single album out, Los Angeles heartland rock band The Shelters must be doing something right. After a small performance in the band’s hometown, Petty was so impressed that he gave the band keys to his home studio. The result of these studio sessions is a heartland rock album with a feel-good Southern California vibe that has been missing from rock ‘n’ roll since the ‘70s. Check out album highlight “Nothing in the World Can Stop Me Worrying ‘Bout That Girl” below, which introduces a southern twang over finger-plucked guitars and humble drum brushes.
5. Civil Twilight, “Story of an Immigrant”
Originally hailing from Cape Town, South Africa, Civil Twilight is much more than a fad. Drawing influences from the likes of the Police, Oasis and Grizzly Bear, Civil Twilight make driving, soaring and bright indie rock perfect to soundtrack your summer nights. With the release of their last album, 2015’s Story of an Immigrant, Civil Twilight proved themselves as more than just hype, producing some of their most dynamic, uplifting music yet.