Manic Bloom Announced as Stereofame.com's July 2010 Artist of the Month

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Nashville-based quintet sets funk and R&B grooves behind heavy rock-inspired guitars and are carving out their own genre of melodic alternative rock.

More and more these days, it seems that popular music is slipping into a homogenized smear of carbon-copied bands, echoing the efforts of past masters until their product is reduced to what feels like a mere hum of static nonsense. Almost every time you turn on the television, from regurgitated scripted dramas to car commercials, there’s a vaguely pleasing, unobtrusive piece of mood-setting music that sounds like just about anything else you’ve ever heard.

To combat this dumbing down of music, bands nowadays must strive to achieve a sound that can only be described with the most overused, and often misused, word in rock literature: originality. Because the struggle to be unique has become the litmus test by which all bands seem to judge themselves, it usually leaves them with something that is either sterile imitation or, even worse, unlistenable.

Neither of these pitfalls has befallen Manic Bloom, voted as Stereofame.com’s July 2010 Artist of the Month. The Nashville-based quintet serves as an example of how a band should carve out their own identity in a business where false ones are being manufactured daily. Manic Bloom seems to understand that the true secret to originality (there, I said it) is in the careful combination of styles and influences that previously remained separate.

“The five of us all come from very, very different musical backgrounds,” lead singer David Stevenson said. “I grew up in country and gospel…while Matt (Lawrence, guitarist) is into bands like Rage Against the Machine with heavier sounds and funk-style parts.”

From the tight, snappy R&B-inspired musicianship made popular by Maroon 5 to the swirling, dark and fuzzed-out guitar lines reminiscent of Muse, Manic Bloom is certainly on to something. To say that they sound like either of these bands would be inaccurate, just as it would be inaccurate to say that they sound like both. What’s really at work here is the ability to create something that includes elements of already familiar music, while leaving the listener unable to put their finger on exactly why it’s so familiar.

Above all else, though, Manic Bloom hopes to create a reason for music fans to become invested in the music they listen to again.

“We want people to experience music,” Stevenson said. “But you have to make a conscious decision to seek out something that you can really connect with and not just passively absorb the bubblegum stuff over and over.”

The listeners on Stereofame.com have done just that, a fact that Stevenson said he doesn’t take lightly.

“Stereofame is a true community,” he said. “It’s obvious that the people on the site really pay attention to music and are passionate just from the feedback you get.”

To find out more about Manic Bloom and the release of their upcoming EP "In Loving Memory," visit http://www.manicbloom.com

As Stereofame’s July 2010 Artist of the Month, Manic Bloom will get valuable exposure to an international audience in addition to a $1,000 prize. Stereofame is a one-of-a-kind community where artists are judged objectively by the listening audience. Artists gather more points as they rise in rank and refer their fans from other sites. Plus, artists can sell their music here, too, so they’re getting serious points while making money, something iTunes doesn’t offer!

Listeners are also rewarded for their input, as they can earn points for listening to a song and giving it a “thumbs up or down,” and writing thoughtful reviews. They can help talented artists get the attention they deserve by signing artists to their virtual record label and then promoting their signed artists to their friends. Of course, fans get tons of points for buying music and bringing people to the site, too.

All these points can be cashed in for various prizes such as iPods, musical equipment, gift cards and more.

Think you’ve got what it takes to be Stereofame’s next Artist of the Month? Then go to Stereofame.com and upload three songs to http://www.Stereofame.com/contest/artist-of-the-month.html. And if you’re a fan, log on to Stereofame.com today to help some of tomorrow’s biggest and brightest stars get heard and earn some sweet prizes at the same time!

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Collin Elliott
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