Featured Artist: Kaleo


Chicago – Earlier this month Americana inspired four-piece Kaleo released debut album A/B. The band’s first major label album arrived on June 10th, via Elektra/Atlantic.  The indie-folk band – comprised of JJ Julius Son (vocals, guitar), David Antonsson (drums, vocals), Daniel Kristjansson (bass), Rubin Pollock (lead guitar) – formed in Iceland, back in 2012. A few years later, Kaleo moved to Austin, Texas, where the band fit in quite perfectly given it draws inspiration from plenty of genres rooted in the history of Southern rock. Kaleo’s debut U.S. single, “All The Pretty Girls,” has been topping charts on radio outlets nationwide and has over 20 million Spotify streams. The music video has also garnered nearly 2.5 million YouTube views.

Kaleo’s latest single, “Way Down We Go,” is well its way to seeing the same success as “All The Pretty Girls.” The bluesy number first caught the attention of many, with the band recording and filming the song inside a volcano. Now the single is playing on alternative and Top 40 radio stations across the U.S. and has a new, official music video. Recently Kaleo performed “Way Down We Go” on Late Night With Seth Myers, and the song was also featured in the new promo for the sensational fourth season of the Netflix original series Orange Is The New Black.

A/B was primarily recorded in Nashville, with producer Jacquire King (Kings of Leon, James Bay). Additional contributions from Mike Crossey, Arnar Guðjónsson, and the band, are featured on A/B, which is filled with extraordinary tracks like “I Can’t Go On Without You” and “No Good.” Of course the singles “Way Down We Go” and “All The Pretty Girls” are also on the remarkable album, which exemplifies just how amazing Kaleo sounds live. Best New Bands was astounded to hear the Southern soiree Kaleo brought to the Bottom Lounge in Chicago: how the men of Kaleo “sing and play their instruments, you’d never know the four were from Iceland and not somewhere along the Bible Belt.”

In celebration of the release of A/B, Kaleo has been traveling the world on the A/B Tour, and this fall, the band will head out on its largest headline tour, to date: The Handprint Tour. The tour kicks off on September 26th in Atlanta, Georgia and will culminate on November 30th in Amsterdam, Holland. The North American leg of the fall tour will feature special guests Bishop Briggs and The Wind + The Wave. In speaking with Best New Bands about touring, JJ Julius Son happily said the band has been seeing more and more fans singing along at shows, which is definitely exciting for this impressive band on the rise. Given Kaleo’s immense talent, Best New Bands is confident JJ and the rest of the band will continue to see even more success in the months to come!

A/B is available for purchase via iTunes and Amazon. Kaleo is currently on tour. A full list of tour dates can be found on the Kaleo Facebook page. 

Be sure to follow Best New Bands on Facebook and Twitter.


Sarah Hess

Sarah Hess

At the age of six, Sarah Hess discovered True Blue by Madonna. This resulted in her spending hours in front of the bathroom mirror with a hairbrush microphone, belting out "La Isla Bonita" off key. Her love for music only intensified over the years thanks to her parents; her mother exposed Sarah to The Jackson Five and had her hustling to the Bee Gees, while her father would play her albums like 'Pet Sounds' and 'Some Girls' from start to finish, during which he'd lecture on and on about the history of rock & roll. Sarah would eventually stumble upon rap and hip-hop, then punk and alternative, and fall madly in love with Jeff Buckley and film photography.

After attending The School of the Art Institute in Chicago, Sarah went on to study education at Dominican University, earning a degree in history. When not teaching, writing, or taking in a show, she is most likely to be found with a camera to her eye or hanging out in a darkroom.

You can follow Sarah Hess on twitter at @Sarahhasanh and view her music photography on her website: smhimaging.com.
Sarah Hess

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