Battle of the Bands

On April 15, The Loft will turn into a veritable battlefield, where musical notes will reign supreme. Read on to find out about these musicians’ weapons of choice.

UNCLE JESSE | Written by Emily Bender  A&E Editorial Assistant

After meeting in class and bonding over their love for music (and dislike of CHEM 11), vocalist Philip Nekai, drummer Nick Geozian, bassist Kyle Binford and guitarist Alan McCaffrey formed Uncle Jesse.

Defining their sound is difficult, as they draw inspiration from all musical genres. The soulful vocals echo retro R ‘n’ B, while the melodic guitar strumming and spidery bass lines evoke contemporary indie rock and acoustic pop. Despite this potpourri of styles, their sound is cohesive. Their enthusiasm for making music, as well as their ability to channel their influences, is evident. Having rehearsed at KSDT Radio, Uncle Jesse aims to energize their audience at the Battle.

“Whether you like or dislike our music, our main goal is to make you remember us,” they said.

Regarding the band name reference to the ‘90s sitcom “Full House,” they are unfortunately not in touch with any uncles named Jesse at this point in time.

EMAEL | Written by Jacqueline Kim  A&E Editor

The cello doesn’t get much representation in mainstream music. However, that doesn’t deter EMÆL from using cellos to make strides in indie rock that feels classy without being strictly classical. Featuring Emmanuel Ventura-Cruess’s guitar and cello, Mikko Pablo’s cello, Daniel Cristoff’s drums, Alyssa Belle Cantal’s background vocals and the occasional vibraphone, the group is eclecticism incarnate.

“Being able to take [a song] to these different instruments really opens up the different possibilities that are within the music,” frontman Ventura-Cruess said.

Eschewing comparisons to other artists, the innovative band instead seeks to take its listeners on a cinematic, explorative musical journey.

“I just want to get the listeners thinking,” Ventura-Cruess said. “I want them to think about why music is so mystical. … I want them to think about themselves inwardly and what [they] are doing with their lives.”

It’s an ambitious goal, but with EMÆL’s sonic inventiveness, it is well within their reach.

Madeline MannWritten by Jacqueline Kim  A&E Editor

The singer-songwriter genre is infamous for taking itself too seriously. But there’s only so much artsy wallowing even the most ironic hipster can take. Madeline Mann defies all preconceived notions of what indie music should be — and does so with plenty of cheek.

“I have notebooks full of songs I wrote as a child about getting in trouble, Anderson Cooper’s news reporting and trips to the grocery store — it was always total ridiculousness,” Mann told the Guardian.

Though Mann sonically takes from singer-songwriters like Mindy Gledhill and Taylor Swift, the vocalist, guitarist and ukuleleist stands out as a musical comic act all her own. Her signature wit even brought her a request from a geek dating site to make her tune, “Hot Guys with Four Eyes,” its theme song.

“I hope my music will leave listeners feeling cheerful, giddy and hopeful — basically the emotions you go through when you hear an ice cream truck,” Mann said.

CRAIG MARKERWritten by Ethan Fukuto  Staff Writer

Today’s folk rock runs the risk of rehashing the sounds pioneered by the likes of Bruce Springsteen. However, Craig Marker is not interested in repeating old ideas.

“My major musical influences are members of the folk music movement,” Marker said. “I try to listen to the best songwriters. That way, I can improve my own ability to write songs.”

Keeping an open ear towards a range of genres that shape his sound, Marker cites both Macklemore and Garth Brooks as favorites.

Marker keeps things fairly simple, with little more than a guitar and light percussion. This barebones approach strips away unnecessary or otherwise distracting sonic barriers, helping him reach his goal of striking a chord with the listener. With a focus on engaging melodies and personal lyrics, Marker exhibits the potential, as he puts it, to allow “music to make [an] important impact on people’s lives.”