While Ann Arbor’s signature music events, such as the Ann Arbor Summer Festival and Sonic Lunch, have been canceled, there are still plenty of ways to listen to artists from the area. These artists range in age and genre but there is something for everyone’s tastes. All of these artists have released content, such as original songs or covers, in the last two years and originate from Southeast Michigan.
Now based in Atlanta, the sibling duo dubbed Ayo and Teo have amassed over one million listeners since the start of their career in 2016. Born as Ayleo and Mateo Bowles in Ypsilanti, their first hit single “Rolex” introduced them into the rap scene. Since then, they have performed with Usher and have been featured in music videos by Gucci Mane, Usher, and Chris Brown. Their latest two singles, “Fly N Ghetto” and “Last Forever” released in 2019, depict their experiences with relationships and being famous. While I’m not the biggest rap fan, their lyrics are catchy and they layer vocals and beats very intentionally to further the listener’s experience. Their music is explicit but is definitely worth a listen.
Cold Tone Harvest is a quartet that has performed all over Washtenaw County. The band uses a lot of dominant bass and drums in their songs partnered with warm vocals to create a dynamic sound. Their album, “After You,” is a mix of upbeat and calmer songs leaving overall a very robust set. Cold Tone Harvest pulls from many different genres of music making their music enjoyable for everyone.
In the past three months, Kaye Hoff has uploaded two covers and an original song to her YouTube channel. Hoff is a singer and songwriter from Ann Arbor who has performed at the Ann Arbor Summer Festival and the Neutral Zone. She released her debut album “The Stuff in My Head” in 2017, and has since been releasing covers and singles. “Summertime” and “Sabishisa,” are done completely in Japanese. The songs are very light and fun to listen to even if you don’t understand the language. The covers are very silky and her vocal layering and guitar accompaniment enhances the simple nature of the songs. Her original song “I’m Not Gonna Get a TikTok” relays being bored at home and the impact of getting a social media platform like TikTok on her lifestyle. Hoff’s songs are perfect for anyone who loves indie pop and wants something new!
For 21-year-old hip-hop and R&B singer MYNA, July 21, 2020, marks the release of her second album “I Don’t Wanna Be Here.” Her first album, “ROY G BIV,” released in 2018 now has over 20,000 streams on SoundCloud. While “ROY G BIV” seems to focus on her growth as a young musician and transitioning into adulthood, “I Don’t Wanna Be Here” explores the results of having a platform and staying true to her values. The album explores her journey working with feelings of loneliness and not being good enough. These sentiments are found throughout the album but most noticeably in “Peaches” and “Rdy or Not.” MYNA’s music is honest and will cater to a variety of listeners.
Comprising four teens from Ann Arbor, The Left Lanes has been making an impact in the youth music scene for years. The band has performed at Live on Washington, Ann Arbor Summer Fest, and the Neutral Zone’s Battle of the Bands. Their newest single “Close to Home” has a fast indie pop-rock vibe and uses alternative background sounds to accompany the smooth vocals.
The Ragbirds first came into the music scene in 2005 when Erin Zindle, the leader, started the band. While their music has undergone changes with vocalists and playing with different sounds, they have kept their base as a folk-rock band. Their latest single “Curious,” released in 2019, is a very upbeat coming-of-age song. Most of their music is buoyant, and “Curious” is no different. It’s a song that will make you want to stand up and dance for hours.