CLEVELAND, Ohio – Find new tunes to spruce up your playlist and look no further than Cleveland.
Many local bands and musicians have released music since the start of 2022, providing releases across all genres. Below, you’ll find new albums, EPs, and singles from musicians spanning a variety of sounds, including indie, soul, pop, emo, and more.
Pull out a pair of headphones and enjoy a little slice of northeast Ohio music:
“Child’s Play” by Afi Scruggs
Afi Scruggs launched a new sound with a new single, referring to what she calls “digital funk”. To make his song “Child’s Play”, Scruggs used his skills playing bass and keyboard, as well as sampling unusual sources. This included decades-old interviews with children who lived in Washington and New York, recorded on the Library of Congress’ CitizenDJ project.
Release date: January 3
Learn more about Afi Scruggs
“Star Babies/Dead Tongues” by Brian Straw
After a 15-year hiatus from album releases, Brian Straw returned to the format with “Baby Stars/Dead Languages” in early 2022. The singer-songwriter and producer honed in on relationship themes past and its sobriety in the project of 12 titles. .
“I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little nervous about putting some of the raw emotion out there, naked, for everyone to analyze and pick it out,” Straw said. . “But, on the other hand, making the record was kind of therapy for me. The songs, at least the newer songs that were recorded mostly during the pandemic, were cathartic.
Release date: January 22
Learn more about Brian Straw
“Break Apart the Sun” by Idle Minds
Roommates Trevor Stout and Tom Stankiewicz had a lot of downtime while stuck at home in 2020 during the pandemic. The two musicians eventually formed the punk band Idle Minds towards the end of the year, as an outlet for new musical ideas. The group wrote and recorded five songs, making up Idle Minds’ debut EP – a heavier direction for Stout, who also makes indie music under the name Shelter Pup.
“I feel a big duality in my taste in music, where I listen to a lot of indie, emo, slower music,” Stout said. “Then I also listen to heavier bands like Dance Gavin Dance or Citizen or Teenage Wrist… It fills in both blanks, as far as my musical tastes and the music I like to make.”
Release date: January 21
Learn more about Idle Minds
“The State of Affairs” by Brian Alan Hager
On this singer-songwriter’s album, you’ll hear laid-back soft rock tunes with otherworldly synth bits coming into the mix. Songs like “Living In Today”, “Walk It Off” and the bluesy “Frightened We Fall” serve as mantras, promoting peace and self-acceptance. All parts were performed by Hager – vocals, guitar, bass and keyboard, plus programmed drums.
Although he handled all the musical layers of “The Condition of Things,” Hager is no stranger to being a member of a band. He fronted local rock band Vanity Crash for a decade from 2005 and was part of glam-rock band The Chromes. He is also a member of Infinite Twelve with Guy Vincent.
Release date: January 24
Learn more about Brian Alan Hager
“Joymaykr” by The Grievance Club
Harrison Mills and Kevin Cappy have said they’ve been playing together since high school in various bands, and Mills formed The Grievance Club in late 2013 or early 2014. In 2014, Cappy officially joined the band — and it seemed a bit different at the time. .
“They were going to be a cover band from Chiodos. That’s my favorite fun fact,” Cappy commented. “When that inevitably didn’t work out, that’s when Harrison started writing songs, and Harrison’s songwriting was the real fundamental driving force behind this whole band.”
The group released their debut album “Joymaykr” in February after several years of writing and producing work.
Release date: February 18
Learn more about the Grievance Club
“Must Be Love” by Wesley Bright
Wesley Bright and the Honeytones played their last live performance at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC in 2019. After that event, the Akron soul singer said he would be taking a break from live shows. For the next few years, Bright might not have been on stage, but he certainly kept busy. He focused on building his business, Akron Honeyand recorded and released a few singles here and there on Colemine, a label based in Loveland, Ohio.
He also started working with Chris Harris (aka DJ $crilla) and Dan Solovitz, the founders of the local music group chaotic music, which focuses on creating and releasing songs in commercials and other media. With Mike Murray (the bassist of Cleveland’s strained sugar), the team created a batch of songs featuring Bright’s vocal work. Twelve of those songs made it onto Bright’s new album “Must Be The Love” this year.
Release date: February 11
Learn more about Wesley Bright
“Nerve Ending” by Sela
Sela, also known as Local Musician and Mourner [A] BLKstar guitarist Pete Saudek released his debut project “Nerve Ending” in February. The nine-track album was recorded and produced in Saudek’s attic studio. The Vulnerable Project explores grief, chronic pain and societal issues.
Release date: February 22
Find out more about Sela
“Me” by Lady Bri
When Brianne Bryant becomes Lady Bri, she is focused on spreading all the positivity in life she can through music. His third album “Me” offers sonic sunshine, showcasing Bryant’s skillful vocals and boundless energy.
The Welshly Arms singer has also been active in her solo career. But Bryant is quick to say that Lady Bri is an avatar, not her real self.
“Brianne, my personal person, can look up to her as an example, just as I wish for anyone who hears the music,” Bryant explained. “Lady Bri is just this perfect person. She’s not Brianne at all – she’s the one we use to remind ourselves of life’s possibilities, if we just say and live what we desire.
Release date: February 24
Learn more about Lady Bri
“Good” by Taylor Lambor
After a decade of performing her music, this Cleveland singer-songwriter decided it was time to release a live album. Taylor Lambor is currently finishing the album, which has the working title “The 10 Years Project”. She said the project offers a more accurate idea of what her live, stripped-down, acoustic music sounds like. The album is also a celebration of Lamborn’s skills and work in Cleveland’s independent music scene.
“For so long in my career, especially in the studio, I felt like I had to hide behind other players. I didn’t really see myself as being on par with the caliber of the musicians I was playing with” , Lamborn said, “It was a huge moment for me to own my talent and my craft.”
Lamborn teased the album with a live version of his song “Fine”.
Release date: February 25
Learn more about Taylor Lambor
“Heavenly Bodies” by Deuil [A] BLKstar
During the pandemic, mourning [A] BLKstar has never stopped making music. The group has collaborated with various programs and organizations like Adult Swim, the Cleveland Museum of Art, and German dance opera artist Christoph Winkler. These collaborations constitute M[A]B’s latest album, “Celestial Bodies,” which arrived in early March.
The collective is also finishing their next album titled “Ancient Future”, which is also due out this year.
Release date: March 4
Learn more about grief [A] BLKstar
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