To call Jeremy Messersmith a musician is half-truth: He's also a storyteller, who has carefully crafted a trilogy of songs that narrate life. His first full-length release, The Alcatraz Kid, is a moving collection of acoustic-driven lullabies with titles like "Novocain" and "Beautiful Children" that innocently question the purpose of things to come. The integrity of these delicate songs immediately struck a chord with critics and fans alike, and captured the attention of Semisonic's Dan Wilson, who offered to produce Messersmith's follow-up album, The Silver City.
The Silver City was a natural progression in sound and reflection: the compositions grew fuller and more dynamic with a classic-pop feel inspired by the Beach Boys and Beatles, while the topics focused on midlife struggles with tracks like "Dead End Job" and "Miracles." Local and national attention soon followed with NPR and college stations around the country, followed by U.S. tours and sold-out shows in New York, Chicago, and Minneapolis.
Kaiser Cartel are the dynamic duo of Courtney Kaiser and Benjamin Cartel. Each previously leaders of their own indie bands, they met on March 4 four years ago and formed Kaiser Cartel when they joined forces to tour the country that summer. They self-released an EP (Double Standard) and toured throughout the U.S. and U.K. on their own before signing to bluhammock music late last year. March Forth, their debut album, was produced by Matt Hales (a.k.a. aqualung) and mixed by Matt and Ken Thomas (Sigur Ros), and is full of low-fi, harmony-heavy, bittersweet songs full of charm.
Vikesh Kapoor is based in the United States, has toured nationally, self-released a sold-out debut EP, and just released the Newspress Scare 7 (Good People) on February 9, 2010. Recently, he performed an original composition at Howard Zinn's memorial service, alongside speakers like Noam Chomsky. He is also currently nominated for the Boston Phoenix 2010 Best Music Awards in the Folk category.