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Joy Kills Sorrow releases 'Wide Awake' EP + tours extensively

Boston/Portland (ME)/Brooklyn based quintet Joy Kills Sorrow is that go to band every blogger speaks highly of, but they have yet to make the kind of splash they deserve. That may change with the pending release of new EP 'Wide Awake,' to be followed by a lengthy coast to coast tour. The five piece bluegrass/folk group has always found ways to extend themselves. Be it virtuoso string playing, huge lead vocals (Emma Beaton) or their penchant for re-configuring their classical backgrounds to carve out new worlds for pop jams (check out their fantastic cover of 'Such Great Heights,' streaming below), the band always comes across sounding new while staying firmly rooted in a classic American roots tradition. They're setting off across the country this summer, but be sure to catch them live when they come around later this year.

You won’t forget Forget, Forget

This seven-piece Portland-based indie rock ensemble known as Forget, Forget are known for their big sound and unorthodox lyrics. Their demo Do You Love Me?, released in March, is going to be the perfect playlist as you transition from spring to summer. With upbeat feel-good tunes, it’ll make you feel like you’re riding cross-country with your top down even if you’re just sitting in your bed at home. They’ve got those lyrics that don’t make sense on paper, but you can’t help but vibe to them and sing-along all day. And if you’re into them, check out Kickstarter and give them a hand in recording their debut album! - Sam Hill


Don’t you worry about Worried Well

Daniel James and Cam Jones are Worried Well. They’re about to release their new album Luck on May 7, and you definitely need to check them out. Playing a lot of pop-acoustic tracks, but being a rock n’ roll band at heart, Worried Well consistently delivers a quality song with thoughtful, poetic lyrics. You’ve got a variety of styles on this album, too, from the Death Cab for Cutie-esque “Find Your Own God” to “Lords of the Beach” where James finds his inner-Max Bemis. This album is a natural progression from their earlier work, so long time fans and newbies will be on the same page. - Sam Hill


Skosh release video for "Tall Grass"

 While Skösh is known around their hometown of Buckfield, Maine for their funky, high-energy cover sets, their original tracks might be better described as hipster-country. “Tall Grass” the first single off their upcoming self-titled debut, sounds best on a lonely dirt road as the upbeat twangin’ of that acoustic guitar entwined with a cheery whistle melody blends with the more somber lyrics of jack-of-all-trades bandmate Jedidiah Allen. The band recently won the Young & Free Maine 2013 Sound Off and will be taking the stage with some national acts at Kahbang this summer. Hopefully you can make it to one of their stellar shows up north before they take the region by storm with original material come this summer. - Samuel Hill 


Portland, ME: Singer/Songwriter Max García Conover to unloose folky tunes throughout NE in Spring

There are so many guys with guitars nowadays. They’re a dime a dozen. But Max García Conover is one that you wouldn’t stop if he brought his guitar to the campfire. His latest album, Burrow, was recorded in his attic studio during a long, cold Maine winter, and it shows. The music is stripped down to the bare minimum, just Conover, his raw vocals, poetic lyrics and a tricky folk-guitar melody. This is the kind of music you’ll want to turn up during those long, scenic car rides this spring. Check him out soon, as he’s playing shows throughout New England all season. - Sam Hill


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