The Carolina-based label Tiny Engines has been at it since 2008, becoming a go-to for DIY music while cultivating a community of like-minded artists. 2016 has been especially prolific, releasing over a dozen physical albums and singles with each one revealing a singular voice in crowded marketplace for independent music. In response to the disappointing election results with potentially catastrophic impact on many nationwide initiatives and programs, Tiny Engines is once again making a difference. Via Bandcamp as a “pay-what-you-want” scheme, they will be donating 100% of the digital proceeds to Planned Parenthood and the Southern Poverty Law Center. This offer is available for a finite amount of time, so support some important organizations while getting turned on to some great bands. Below are some recommendations from this year’s catalogue.
The Hotelier – Goodness
This is Tiny Engines highest profile asset and for good reason. The Worcester, Mass. band became a focal point for music writers based on their 2014 breakthrough Home, Like Noplace There Is. On their follow-up Goodness, there is some classic rock sincerity coupled with their spirited emo sound.
Faye – Faye EP
Finding common ground with new artists like Speedy Ortiz and alt-rock mainstays such as The Breeders, the first EP from this Charlotte band has that deadly combo of honeyed melodies and steely riffs.
Yeesh – Confirmation Bias
This Chicago trio breaks eardrums and rules on their sophomore LP. Broken rhythms, spittled phrases, and mangled chords run wild through Confirmation Bias, busting straight out of the garage and into a live music space near you.
Haybaby – Blood Harvest
Blood Harvest finds these Brooklyn babies working in a sparse arena of wailing guitars and whispered vocals, throwing the mess under a moody post-rock umbrella. The EP follows up Haybaby’s 2015 album, Sleepy Kids, also a definite must listen.
Mannequin Pussy – Romantic
Their latest album from Philadelphia-based Mannequin Pussy aims for punk antagonism with an immediacy, going beyond the trials of relationships for deeper, more fearful concerns. Loneliness, the need for acceptance, and the search for one’s self all get packaged into an eleven-track, seventeen minute assault. Read our full review of the album here.
Jouska – topiary
Straight out of Albany is this freeform quartet, making music that challenges as well as contemplates. Their debut wafts between lo-fi spaciousness and booming crescendos that leave a lasting imprint on all who indulge.