If you’re sick of the same circulation of songs on your radio or mp3 player, it may be time to add some new music to your playlists. Check out these five Pittsburgh bands that have proven to be the city’s best up-and-coming bands of 2014. From country to rock, these bands are helping put Pittsburgh’s music scene on the map. Download their songs, buy their albums or attend a live performance at a local venue; just don’t miss out on some of the most memorable and biggest bands of the year.
The six musicians behind Pittsburgh’s Grand Piano produce quite possibly the city’s most unique and creative sound that combines everything from guitars and horns to pedal steel and percussion. Influences of jazz, blues, rock, honky-tonk and roots are evident in their songs that the band explains “transcends a variety of genres” for a sound that has been long in the making since the fall of 2011. In June of 2014, Grand Piano released its debut album “Leap Year” that features several perfect examples of the band’s unusual sound, including “The Rain,” “Horse” and “Native.” Pick up their debut EP and be sure to catch them at an upcoming concert throughout the region.
Justin Fabus Band
For the perfect stocking stuffer, pick up tickets to a Justin Fabus Band concert or the group’s debut album “Save Me,” which features plenty of country with a kick of rock n’ roll. After years of hard work and plugging away at local shows, the band gained a huge regional following as opening acts for national artists Dierks Bentley, Randy Houser and Chris Cagle and it wasn’t long before the release of several singles, including “Kiss of a Gypsy” and “Leavin’ Kind,” became concert crowd favorites. 2014 brought even more fame with Justin Fabus Band’s video for “Save Me” and the recognition that comes with being named among TouchTunes’ Breakout Bands of 2014. Since August, the band’s “Kiss of a Gypsy” has been added to more than 60,000 TouchTunes jukeboxes internationally and throughout North America.
If you’re a fan of the NBC show “The Voice,” surely you’ve heard Pittsburgh’s Chris Jamison. Picked by Adam Levine for Team Adam, Jamison was praised by all four of the show’s judges for his superstar performances and incredible stage presence. But while he may be a solo act on “The Voice” stage, Jamison hasn’t forgotten about his band, comprised of Jordan Millisor on guitar, drummer Matthiessen Nisch Quan, Will Strickler on bass and keyboardist Andrew Willard. Hear Jamison and his band on their single “Feel The Love,” a chill track with a John Mayer-like sound.
Soulful, smooth and sophisticated describe the sound of Pittsburgh’s own Velvet Heat. Its influences of pop, jazz and funk have shaped the music of this jazz-fusion band that formed more than two years ago via the passions of Jessica Zamiska and Arianna Powell. These two ladies have spent much of 2014 alongside One Republic’s Ryan Tedder and finalizing the tracks for their debut album set to be released by the end of the year. Velvet Heat frequently plays shows throughout Pittsburgh and its surrounding communities, so if you have the chance to catch a live show, don’t miss out!
When a band describes itself as a “post-modern Renaissance rock spaceship band” you can bet they’ve got a sound worth listening to. If you haven’t turned up the first professionally recorded songs from Misaligned Mind recorded over this summer, what are you waiting for? Fun and catchy tracks like “I Wanna Date Taylor Swift” and “Moist” are sure to leave you hitting repeat on your iPod. Misaligned Mind is best experienced at one of its live shows held throughout Pittsburgh.
Jessica Wasik is a graduate of Robert Morris University with a degree in English Studies. She is also a contributing writer for AXS.com and Examiner.com. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.