Hello people of the internet!!! Do you love amazing bands with fun, energetic songs such as: Boys Like Girls, Fall Out Boy, Yellowcard, 5 Seconds of Summer, and The Vamps, then you’ll love today’s ‘YouTube Wednesday’ featured band. This band has spent the past few years steadily playing gigs, adding AMAZING songs to their repertoire, and building a fanbase that has given them 118,000 Twitter followers, 15,422 YouTube subscribers, and 21,158 Facebook likes. So if you aren’t already a fan of An Honest Year, then you’re behind on what’s soon to be your next big musical obsession. So please read on, and learn why YOU will soon become COMPLETELY obsessed with An Honest Year (you’re welcome in advance!).
An Honest Year is a Pop/Alternative band from Philadelphia, PA. The band consists of: Matt McKay (lead vocals), Stephen Morrell (lead guitarist), Jon Pfingsten (rhythm guitarist), Jordan Mitchell (bass/vocals), and Greg Pinney (drums). The band made a powerful debut on to the music scene, with their September 2012 self-titled EP. The EP helped the band begin to earn a loyal fanbase, and thus allowed them to sell out numerous local shows. An Honest Year has also had the privilege of sharing the stage with numerous popular bands such as: twenty one pilots, Switchfoot, New Politics, MS MR, Rookie of the Year, Sandlot Heroes, Dinner and a Suit, Phone Calls From Home, and more. The band further solidified their place in the hearts of their fans with the release of their latest EP ‘Moments’ in September of 2013.
An Honest Year uploaded its’ first YouTube cover video on February 5th, 2013. In the video, they covered Coldplay’s track ‘Sparks’ (Coldplay – Sparks Cover (An Honest Year)). The members of the band (that participated in the cover, the whole band was not in the video) do an amazing job of delivering the emotional intensity that this song requires, and in doing so, prove that An Honest Year are not just phenomenal musicians, but true artists. Coldplay can often be a hard band to cover, because their songs are not only beautifully performed, but also have a haunting affect that gives the band a unique sound. An Honest Year is able to take this song and put a new spin on it that makes their rendition equally haunting and alluring, in its’ own way. I personally love it when a band/artist is able to make a song their own, while also keeping the original version’s charm intact, luckily for us, An Honest Year is able to pull off this task like true pros. The next cover that we are going to discuss is An Honest Year’s take on the Boys Like Girls hit song ‘Thunder’, which was uploaded on September 16th, 2013 (Boys Like Girls – Thunder Cover (An Honest Year) – YouTube). I really loved this version of the song, because it was even more stripped down and raw than the original version was, which made the track even more amazing. Once again, the band members in the video were able to properly deliver the emotional content of the song, but do so in a way that felt totally unique to An Honest Year’s sound. I really felt that the members of the band connected with the song, and because of this were able to make me feel as if they meant every word and note that they were performing. Honestly if I didn’t know any better I would have thought that this cover was one of the band’s original songs. I definitely hope that they cover more Boys Like Girls songs in the future (hint hint!). The last cover song that we are going to discuss in this blog post is An Honest Year’s rendition of the hit single ‘She Looks So Perfect’ by 5 Seconds of Summer (which you know has become one of the BIGGEST songs of the summer of 2014). This cover was uploaded on February 10th, 2014 (5 Seconds Of Summer – She Looks So Perfect Cover (An Honest Year) 5SOS – YouTube). When I saw that they covered this song, I was a little worried because the original version of this song is so awesome. Luckily my fears were unfounded, because An Honest Year did an INCREDIBLE job of keeping the upbeat, energetic vibe of this song alive, but also breathing a fresh feel into the track. This is honestly one of my favorite covers that An Honest Year has posted, because I feel that it really shows that this band is the total package. I definitely suggest that you all check out this cover, because you will fall in love with it.
Next, let’s move on to An Honest Year’s original material, because we all know that the mark of a truly great band is whether or not they can produce their own amazing original material. I really loved the band’s debut self-titled EP, because the sound was really different than a lot of the Pop/Alternative rock that you hear on the radio today. The whole EP felt like a trip back to the mid 2000’s, and definitely showed the influence that popular bands during that time had on An Honest Year. The EP contains themes of love, loss, and basic confusion about the world. I really loved how honest the songs felt, which resulted in a very relatable EP that I would certainly find myself listening to on repeat (trust me you will too). The band released an acoustic version of their next track ‘Your Forgiveness’, which was released on YouTube and SoundCloud on December 2nd, 2012. This track stayed with the sound that An Honest Year has cultivated, and proves that this amazing band has the passion and talent to handle an acoustic performance without losing a step. On May 12th, 2013, the band released the official music video for their song ‘Liars & a Thief’ (An Honest Year – Liar & a Thief (Official Music Video) – YouTube) off of their Moments EP. The video follows the lead singer (Matt), as he falls for a really pretty girl, who continuously uses and abuses him, and he is “powerless” to stop. At the end of the video, the band members begin to approach the girl in the video and her group of pretty friends, and the girls attack the guys. It is a really funny video, which adds to the high energy of the track, and makes it even more amazing. The Moments EP also contains a non acoustic version of ‘Your Forgiveness’, which is fun, upbeat, and honestly makes me conflicted about which version I like the best (it’s a serious problem you guys). Although I honestly love the entire EP, some tracks that I feel deserve a special shout out, include: ‘Don’t Leave Me’, (which has moments where the vibe of the song ventures into a harder alternative rock sound. A bit into the realm of the band Breaking Benjamin, definitely a change of pace for An Honest Year, but they pull it off nicely), the inspirational ‘Live Your Life’ (which I can’t stop playing on repeat), and of course the title track ‘Moments’ (which is about not letting those precious moments/important pass you by. Although I picked these particular tracks out, I would honestly suggest that you listen to the whole record, because you WILL love it). I also really loved this EP, because An Honest Year experimented with their sound a little bit, but did not lose the essence of who they are (which is really easy for an artist/band to do). Also, you can certainly see how much hard, meticulous work went into making this EP (which I appreciate because hard work equals passion, and I love to listen to artists/bands that are passionate about what they do). . These two projects, along with the band’s cover videos certainly make me excited for the next project that the An Honest Year will release.
With infectious hooks, and powerhouse instrumental and vocal skills on their side, it is easy to see that An Honest Year will very soon become a staple on all of your music playlists. I have no doubt that this band is on its’ way to having a long career in the music industry, and will certainly make a lasting legacy for themselves. It’s not very often that a band is able to make such an immediate and powerful impact on fans, so the fact that An Honest Year is on such a steady rise definitely speaks volumes about the band’s advanced level of artistry, and their future in the industry. They are truly on a roller coaster that only goes up (sorry I had to throw a little ‘The Fault In Our Stars’ reference). I am so excited to see what is next for this limitless band! So if you haven’t listened to their music yet, what are you waiting for!?! I highly suggest that you check out An Honest Year’s music, I promise that you will become completely addicted to every one of their tracks. Have I ever lied to you before people of the internet? Then go on and meet the band that you will become obsessed with for the rest of the year (and many more years to come after that).
Keep up to date with An Honest Year!!!:
Band Twitter: http://twitter.com/anhonestyear
Band Instagram: http://instagram.com/anhonestyear
Merch Store: http://merch.anhonestyear.com/
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’, we are going to discuss a band that is quickly taking the music industry by storm. This band has already toured and worked with some big names in the music industry, and they are on their way to quickly becoming a HUGE name in the industry. I’ve been listening to this band’s music for years now, and their growth throughout that time is amazing. Now who is this band you say? Honestly you’ve probably already heard of them, but if for some insane reason you haven’t (drum roll please) it’s…Action Item (cool name right?). So if you’ve been a fan of this band for years, or you’ve never heard of them but want to , then keep reading…go on you know you want to!
Action item is a 4 piece band from New Jersey that consists of Brian Cag, Anthony Li, Dan Brozek, and David Buczkowski. They originally began as a 5 piece band with vocalist Joe Politz, and began posting songs on Myspace. They eventually parted ways with Joe, and Brian and Anthony began lending their vocals to the songs. In early 2008, they recorded the tracks for their 1st EP ‘The World And I’ (y’all can read more about that in the next paragraph). In the past few years, Action Item has opened for acts such as: Hot Chelle Rae, Andy Grammer, Allstar Weekend, Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez & Boys Like Girls. Action Item toured extensively on the east coast, and played the New Jersey date of the ‘Warped Tour’. In October of 2011, Action Item went on their ‘The Stronger The Love’ tour with fellow pop/rock bands Burnham, Hollywood Ending, and opening acts Days Difference and Katelyn Tarver. On January 4th, 2013 they toured in support of their latest EP ‘Resolution’, which charted at #9 on the Billboard Independent chart and #72 on the Billboard Top 200 chart. The tour included Pop/Rock band Before You Exit and Hello Highway, with special guests Max Schneider, Deleasa, and GOLDHOUSE. Action Item’s music video for “Last Day of Summer” reached #1 on MTV.com, and their latest collaboration with YouTube superstar Kurt Schneider (“Brave” – Action Item), which featured a new rendition of their song for their most recent single ‘Brave’. In late 2013, Action Item supported Hip Hop/Pop artist Jake Miller on his first nationwide sold out headlining tour.
Action Item release their debut EP ‘The World And I’ on May 20th, 2008. I really love this EP, because it the songs are full of energy and fun to listen to. ‘The World And I’ is definitely a great introduction to Action Item as a band. I really like their sound on this EP, because it is definitely reminiscent of early Fallout Boy infused with Papa Roach. I definitely suggest that you all pick up ‘The World And I’ (I mean it’s only $4.95 so c’mon…your favorite playlists will thank you trust me). On April 27th, 2009, released a 3 track acoustic album entitled ‘Acoustic’, which featured stripped down versions of ‘Dressed for the Weather’ and ‘Loved and Looked After’ from their ‘The World and I’ EP. ‘Acoustic’ also featured a demo track of the song ‘A Way With Words’. On June 26, 2009 Action Item released their ‘Boy With The Microphone’ EP. The EP consisted of three versions of the track ‘Boy With The Microphone’, including the demo version of the song. The EP also contained the demo version of the track Atlantic
After two years of carefully crafting their songs, Action Item came back stronger than ever with the release of their first full album ‘The Stronger The Love’ on August 17th, 2010. I really loved that they experimented with their sound within the pop/rock genre for this album, resulting in a great and diverse record. One of my favorite tracks on the album is ‘Without You’, which has a very jazzy meets pop feel that is a fun addition to the overall record. Although most of the songs have a different feel to them, I really like that they’ve incorporated their original sound in tracks such as ‘Some Days’, which has a very throwback sound to their ‘The World And I’ EP. Action Item re-released their track ‘When Everything Falls Back Down’ (Action Item ft. Chelsea Kane – “When Everything Falls Back Down” – YouTube) on February 8th, 2011 as a duet featuring Chelsea Kane (formally Chelsea Staub who is also an actress and has starred on shows such as ABC Family’s hit show ‘Baby Daddy’ and Disney Channel’s popular show ‘Jonas’, etc.). I really love the themes of love, friendship, and the importance of being there for the ones you love that are present in this track. Also, I like the way that the two voices on the track blend perfectly with one another and produce a very cohesive track.
In 2011 Action Item released their ‘Learn To Fly’ EP with the lead single ‘Learn To Fly’ (Action Item – Learn to Fly – YouTube which was co-written and produced by Nick Jonas), which was released on August 4th, 2011. The single ‘Learn To Fly’ shows that the band is continuously cultivating their sound, and exploring the musical spectrum of genres (unfortunately I couldn’t find the rest of the EP on iTunes, but I really loved this single). They released a single entitled ‘Winter Rolls Around’ (Action Item – Winter Rolls Around [OFFICIAL VIDEO] – YouTube) on December 16th, 2011, which is the perfect for hanging out by a fire during the winter time with your favorite person and/or cup of hot chocolate.
On April 3rd, 2012 they released their love song ‘Marching Band’, which is the perfect track for the spring, because you know they say that love is in air and all that (it’s also a fun song to listen to if you’re in the “forever alone club”…it’s ok…be strong). On August 9th, 2012 Action Item released their next single ‘Last Day of Summer’, to accompany their EP of the same name (I couldn’t find this EP on iTunes either). ‘Last Day of Summer’ is definitely one of my favorite Action Item songs, because the track is high energy, fun, and the perfect song for summer (not just the last day!). The band’s latest EP ‘Resolution’ was released on January 1st, 2013, with the lead single ‘Brave’. I really enjoyed this album, because the tracks were diverse, making the album enjoyable and relatable from beginning to end. From the emotionally driven songs (Where We Left Off’, ‘Good or Bad’ Action Item – GOOD OR BAD [Official Music Video] – YouTube), to the high energy fun songs (‘Better Than Perfect’, ‘Lucky’, ‘Bad for You’), and the inspirational tracks (Brave’ and ‘Moments’), this album just gets better and stronger as it continues. Action Item’s latest single ‘The Start of Something’ was released on December 10th, 2013. This upbeat track has a much more alternative vibe to it than anything Action Item has released, but the track is a PERFECT addition to any spring/summer playlists you have.
If you haven’t already, I definitely suggest that you check them out. Currently, they are on a 4 date mini-tour in select cities, as part of their ‘An Intimate Night With Action Item’ tour, so if you are able to make it out to one of the remaining dates; I definitely suggest that you invest in tickets! If you love fun, energetic music that will make you laugh, inspire you too be great, and keep you entertained then Action Item is the band for you. Whether or not you’re a fan of Pop or Rock music, you will certainly become a fan of this band once you listen to them. I promise y’all that Action Item will quickly become your favorite new band.
Here are some links so you can stay in touch with Action Item:
Facebook: Action Item | Facebook
Website: Action Item
Instagram: actionitem on Instagram