It's easy to forget how young some of our favorite performers are when they enter the music world. From Michael Jackson's Jack 5 debut at the age of 11, to Lorde's chart-topping single "Royals" at the age of 16, it doesn't take much life experience to make a splash in the music industry. Tuesdays Under 21 is a Music Times feature dedicated to bringing attention to talented musicians and performers under the age of 21. Who knows? They just might be the next big thing. This week we introduce you to...
WHO: The Strypes
WHERE: Cavan, Ireland
WHY: The members of this four-piece blues band are all old enough to still be in high school. Formed in 2008 by Ross Farrelly (lead vocals/harmonica), Josh McClorey (lead guitar/vocals), Pete O'Hanlon (bass/harmonica) and Evan Walsh (drums), they band has made a name for itself over the past 18-or-so months.
Although the music they are making isn't anything innovative, per se — they have modeled their sound on Dr Feelgood, the Yardbirds, Chuck Berry and the Animals and sound similar to a younger Arctic Monkeys — their sound is rare for a group that young. Both The Guardian and The Telegraph have called these guys the saviors of rock 'n' roll. Even music snob Noel Gallagher has been seen at their gigs as well as Jeff Beck, Dave Grohl, Paul Weller, Roger Daltrey and Miles Kane. NME has named them the No. 1 band to watch, Zane Lowe has shortlisted them for Hottest Record of the Year, and Elton John has called them "a breath of fresh air" with a "knowledge of R&B and blues at 16 years of age that I have only amassed in my 65 years." So, yeah, we'd say the Strypes should probably be on your radar.
The band began by play a mix of original material and classic blues covers at shows around their hometown. In April 2012, they released a self-produced EP of four blues covers titled Young, Gifted & Blue, which ended up reaching No. 1 on iTunes Blues charts just one day after its release and remained there for another six weeks. This success attracted record label interest, and the band ended up signing with Mercury Records that December. Elton John's Rocket Music Management became their management team.
They released their debut single "Blue Collar Jane" in March of 2013 and hit the road for a tour with the Arctic Monkeys. In September, they released their debut album, Snapshot, which was produced by Chris Thomas (The Beatles, Sex Pistols). In 2014, the band will head stateside for shows in Toronto, New York City, San Francisco, and West Hollywood.
Check out the track "What A Shame" here, and let us know what you think in the comments section below!