Hi everyone! I’m Nathan, the producer for the B-Side Guys. If you’ve read any of our festival previews you’ve seen my writing, but this is something separate. I’m gonna try to post every couple of weeks about my favorite local bands from the Greenville area, and/or any other bands from South Carolina that I like (I usually work when shows happen, so these posts will be kind of sporadic). Whenever I do you can find it here in the Local Scene column.
Okay! Onto the music.
Last weekend I drove up to Columbia to hang out with my friends Brett and Jordyn (more on her later) and see my favorite punk band from that area: Smoke Detector. This little 3-piece throws some really fun house shows, and every time I take the time to go see them I always leave with a smile on my face (even when the cops show up and shut it down).
The lead singer, Keenan, has a brighter voice than what I’ve normally heard in their genre, but the way the music is tailored around his lamenting fits perfectly. You can expect the tried-and-true shouting that often accompanies punk music, but where his voice really shines is when all the music drops out and it’s the focal point. Despite being a rather quiet guy in person, he really manages to capture your attention when performing.
The drummer, Westley, also sings backups, which is still something I find impressive (as a bassist that can barely sing when playing single notes, I can hardly imagine what it’s like to be moving all four limbs of my body while singing), and Owen, the bassist, tastefully melds the low rhythm of bass with higher melodic notes to fill in space when Keenan’s guitar isn’t the focus.
They don’t have an album or an EP out yet (the tentative release date they’ve given me is just “April”), but they have a few videos on YouTube that you can check out here (I recorded the Girl Scout Cookies cover they posted there when I saw them in Clemson a few months back, so sorry if that one is a little shaky).
Next up is something completely different. Jordyn Zaino is a solo artist that goes by ZAINO on her music profile, and her style is not punk at all. Her music is very pop-like, with sweet synths and melodic vocal layering that settles into your ears so nicely. I’ve had her EP, same s***, different day, on repeat since I left Columbia. The way she processes her vocals gives her music an interesting vintage feel, with them being sort of compressed, flowing in and out of the music. If you like piano/vocal-driven pop, she’s definitely worth giving a listen.
She just released a single, “Surrender”, off of her upcoming, as-of-yet untitled album, and you can check that out on Spotify, along with her debut EP, “same s***, different day”
That’s it for this post, but I’ll be back in a couple of weeks (or whenever I leave my cave long enough to see another band play) to bring you some more bands from SC. If you wanna hear some more undiscovered bands, check out our podcast here. Thanks for reading!