The DIY Feature: 05.31.12

Bedroom artists, do-it-yourself musicians, whatever they want to call themselves; there are plenty of people out there writing and recording music. Not all have aspirations to become working musicians, but many of these folks put together great music. So, we’re starting a special regular feature on DIY artists from everywhere and anywhere.

If you are a DIY music artist, feel free to submit your stuff to with “DIY” in the subject line. We encourage our fellow North Carolinians to participate. You’ll see we have a NC artist featured below in today’s post.

Feel free to send mp3s, SoundCloud links, and Bandcamp addresses for your material.  A word of advice, if you want maximum exposure, SoundCloud or mp3s are the way to go (we recommend SoundCloud, because you have more control of your artistic work). It would be great if you could provide your recording set up, instruments, and any other information about your production process as well. The music is important, but as DIY types ourselves, we would also like to know about what you do and how you do it. Whatever you can provide in terms of information and links is appreciated.

The Joys of Sleeping

photo credit: Theo Williams

The Joys of Sleeping is a one man act out of Winchester, New York. He writes and records everything out of his bedroom. He lists Brian Eno and Explosions in the Sky as influences. Dude York Part 1 is an excellent dream pop track with synth, glockenspiel, guitar, and layers of vocal harmonies.

“Dude York Pt. 1”


October Surprise

Despite their youthful appearance, Connor Garrison and John Fricchione have been recording music together for many years. The duo from Massachusetts currently have seven digital albums posted to Bandcamp page, and you can name your price to purchase each one. The two are accomplished multi-instrumentalists, sharing vocal duties and alternating between guitar, drums, keyboards, laptops and pedals to create studio quality recordings.

The Swedish blog, Skogsgospel, described their sound, “As if Radiohead and Devendra Barnhart would have grown up together in a draughty shed near Boston. Fateful folktronica in flannel shirt and a feeble beard.” That’s an interesting description. Their latest album, “Comma,” is not really folktronica. It’s more like modern rock drawing off classic influences from the 50s through the current decade. They forge a truly original sound.

Check out:

“There’s No Grace In It”

“Honesty Trick”

“Born Into It”


Be sure to visit October Surprise for more music on Bandcamp.

North Carolina DIY Artist:
Michael Barrett Dixon

Michael Barrett Dixon is a solo recording artist out of Greenville, NC. Michael  started writing music at age 11, and  like many musicians of that era he began his journey into music with a tiny Casiotone keyboard his grandparents bought him. Michael earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music composition, and he’s written and composed hundreds of songs within a variety of genres. He is currently working on an electro-pop album.

Michael shared two songs with us this week. The holiday instrumental, “Elven After Party,” is a happy rhythmic track with a strong electronic groove. “Summer Vacation” was inspired by his daughter’s desire to be through with school for the year. It’s a light hearted song that shows off Barrett’s  sampling prowess with clips from a gospel choir and what sounds like a hip hop song. The funky bass sound from his keyboard really drives the rhythm on this track.

Check out:

“Elven After Party”

“Summer Vacation”

Cheers… and send us your material!


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