Welcome to the weekend! Kick back, relax, and choose MTV Iggy’s Artist of the Week!
This is a round-up of five of the best global bands we found this week. You have until Monday night at 11:59 p.m. USA Eastern Standard Time to vote for your favorite new artist on MTV Iggy, using the bottom poll!
On Tuesday morning, the band with the most votes will be featured on the MTV Iggy homepage marquee along with a tell-all interview.
Of Monsters and Men
Back in March of 2011 we noticed that a scrappy Icelandic folk rock band called Of Monsters and Men was getting warm reviews on the blog circuit based on only a few songs. They had lovable hooks and a vibrant spirit. You could picture them singing at the top of their lungs in a backyard with friends. The septet features male and female vocalists (guitarist Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir and guitarist Ragnar “Raggi” Þórhallsson) shouting out (in lovely harmony) lyrics that are often hippie daydreams, but are just as often moving and perceptive.You could compare Of Monsters and Men to Arcade Fire, sure, but they kind of make Arcade Fire sound like elevator jazz.
Laza Morgan makes the kind of reggae jams you could almost take home to meet your mom. Almost. His tracks like “Crank It Out” have the gleaming surfaces and clean, thumping beats required to seduce American airwaves and mainstream dance floors. The Jamaican-American DJ-style vocalist and rapper draws on hip hop, R&B, and pop, but his tracks retain enough Jamaican flavor to be at home on the reggae charts. They also pack enough heat to raise a few questioning parental eyebrows, but with that high-beam smile and those puppy eyes it shouldn’t be too much of a problem.
You won’t see Jiggy Drama rocking shiny chains and big jeans – he favors oversize glasses, sweaters over collared shirts, and even the occasional bow tie. But very little about Jiggy Drama is typical. The Colombian wordsmith has consistently avoided cliché approaches to hip-hop and reggaeton, forging instead an “urban alternative” path based on unconventional beats, humorous song concepts, a slick-as-butter flow, and witty wordplay.
Obedient Wives Club
Singapore’s The Obedient Wives Club model themselves after Best Coast and the Dum Dum Girls — female-led rock groups dosed with reverb. They even call their genre “Spectorgaze,” a tribute to the now-incarcerated innovator of wall of sound production, Phil Spector. Despite their conservative Islamic namesake, Obedient Wives Club doesn’t touch upon sexism or politics in their beach rock songs, but as a low-fi band in a tiny, pop-dominated nation, they’re certainly not obedient, either.
Last year W&Whale emerged from a two-year hiatus transformed – into slick, S&M fetishizers for 2011’s EP Circussss. W&Whale are jumping on the electronic dance bandwagon. But instead of Kpop’s sugary brand of house, they’re adding a rock edge, and daring the rest of the industry to challenge them. W&Whale tops the list of Korean acts in 2012 that are taking Kpop into new directions. Their glossy yet mature reinvention for Circussss makes us bet they know not just how to play the music game, but to win it too.