Lately, there’s a trend in the music world of bringing back the vintage sound that so many of us love.
This newer generation of talented artists might remind you of Led Zeppelin, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and even jazz classics. They have that great oldie sound, and some are even bringing back the vintage look!
Who are these new groups, and where do they pull their inspiration from?
Let’s find out!
Why Are New Musicians Playing a Vintage Sound?
Nostalgia often drives a new musician to create sounds with a vintage feel. Whether they grew up in a musical household or simply listened to their parents’ vinyl records, many contemporary musicians find their style by listening to the music of the past.
Thanks to thrift shops and online platforms, it has become increasingly easy to obtain vintage equipment. Greta Van Fleet’s guitarist Jake Kiszka loves his 1961 Les Paul SG and primarily plays it over any other instrument.
If vintage equipment isn’t available, software that can imitate the sounds of vintage equipment certainly is.
These musicians have a common thread – a rebellion against the modern pop sounds flooding the airwaves today.
About the Band: Dorothy Martin’s cousin introduced her to guitarist Mark Jackson in 2013. After hearing her sing, Mark realized they could go old school with her vocals, a guitar, bass, and drums. Pulling from the likes of Black Sabbath and AC/DC, he hoped to make music they thought “Beavis and Butthead would like.”
Forming in Los Angeles in 2014, the band released their first extended play (EP) album with their label Claray.
Rolling Stone named them Artists You Need to Know in November 2014. Since then, under Roc Nation, they have released three albums and a second EP. Many of their songs have been featured in ad campaigns and soundtracks.
They Sound Like: With their first album, there was a metal sound to the music. Their second album had more of a Rolling Stones vibe, less metal with a brighter and more upbeat feel. Martin’s voice has been likened to Adele’s but with more grit.
Greta Van Fleet
About the Band: Raised on their parent’s vinyl records, brothers Josh, Jake, and Sam Kiszka found their love of music together. In 2012, with Kyle Hauck on drums, they formed Greta Van Fleet. Kyle left the band in October 2013, and their friend Danny stepped in as the new drummer.
The group signed to Lava Records in 2017, releasing two EPs, Black Smoke Rising and From the Fires.
2018 saw the release of Anthem of the Peaceful Army. From the Fires won the Grammy in 2019 for Best Rock Album. They were also nominated for Best Rock Song, Best Rock Performance, and Best New Artist in 2019.
Their collective goal is to have fans walk out of their shows energized and invigorated and to take that with them. Most recently released in 2021 was The Battle at Garden’s Gate.
They Sound Like: They have a vintage sound likened to Led Zepplin. However, they aren’t a cover band. Drawing from The Doors, The Rolling Stones, and Eric Clapton, they offer a blues and hard rock sound all their own.
The Lemon Twigs
About the Band: Brothers from Long Island, New York, Brian and Michael D’Addario are singer-songwriters who play multiple instruments. Whichever brother composes a song, that brother then sings lead vocals on the track.
Both brothers have acted on stage and television. They take inspiration from 1970s power pop, with one of their favorite icons being Todd Rundgren. The duo often records with 70s instruments and equipment, lending an authentic 70s sound to their music.
Released in 2016, their first album, Do Hollywood, was made when they were 15 and 17. Their second album is a self-produced musical. In 2020, Songs for the General Public saw four singles released within less than four months. There’s no word as to if or when a fourth album is in the works.
They Sound Like: The Twigs are often categorized as Baroque rock, which combines rock and classical music. But wherever they fall on the charts and within the categories, The Lemon Twigs have an old soul vibe that’ll allow them to continue to create genuine and authentic sounds.
About the Band: Thanks to a Jazz class at the University of Washington, three horn players, a bassist, and a percussionist came together to form The Dip in 2012. Shortly after, the group of five became a group of seven with the addition of a lead vocalist and guitar player.
Influenced by the sounds of Sharon Jones, they’ve covered her album Naturally during live performances. The writing process they use is a collective collaboration. One member will start a groove, and the others will join in, adding their own flair to it.
They’ve recorded in their own studio from the beginning, so they don’t have to worry about the clock. The first EP, Premium Northwest Soul, was self-recorded and released in 2013. Since then, two additional EPs and three LPs have been released.
They Sound Like: Amongst the members is a love for numerous vintage sounds, such as doo-wop, jazz, and R&B. They bring that 1960s sound into the 21st century with their production quality and theme for the songs.
About the Band: After walking away from other bands, guitarist John Notto and vocalist Marc Labelle snagged Justin Smolian on bass and Corey Coverstone on the drums to form Dirty Honey in 2017. Playing originals and covers in the clubs on Sunset Strip, the group found their groove.
They pull influence from Guns ‘n Roses, Led Zeppelin, and The Black Crowes, giving them a vibe all their own.
In 2019, they released their first EP produced by rock legend Nick DiDia and without a label. They are the first unsigned band to ever reach #1 on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Chart.
DiDia also produced their first LP, Dirty Honey, which was released in 2021, again, without a label. Even if they’re singing about the darker sides of Los Angeles, the music is upbeat and unapologetic.
They Sound Like: If you’re a fan of Led Zeppelin and Aerosmith, Dirty Honey’s vintage sound might be up your alley. They have a 70s sound and look in their blues-infused rock and roll.
Hoping to bring back the classic sounds of rock and roll, Dirty Honey is here to stay.
About the Band: Coming out of Louisville, Kentucky, is a garage punk band known as White Reaper. Tony Esposito and Nick Wilkerson formed the group while in high school. Nick’s twin brother Sam and Esposito’s childhood friend Ryan Hater joined shortly after.
The group signed with Polyvinyl Records in early 2014, shortly after releasing their first group EP White Reaper. Under Polyvinyl, White Reaper released two additional albums in 2015 and 2017.
The release of The World’s Best American Band caught the attention of mainstream recording label Elektra after reaching #7 on Billboard’s Heatseekers chart. Elektra released You Deserve Love in 2019.
They Sound Like: The vintage sound of White Reaper has an 80s rock swagger to it. White Reaper’s music ages like they do, becoming more rock then punk as time goes on.
Black Top Mojo
About the Band: Inspired by Soundgarden, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and country music, this band from Texas is a close-knit family.
Blacktop Mojo came together in 2012, a vision led by vocalist Matt James and drummer Nathan Gillis. Matt Curtis joined as bassist in 2015 and Chuck Wepfer in 2018 as their drummer.
They self-released their first album, I Am, in 2014. Then, in 2016, they moved in together in 2016 to focus on their music and take it to the next level.
2017 saw the release of Burn the Ships, also self-released. From that album, the single, Where the Wind Blows, reached #27 on Billboard’s Mainstream chart. Two more self-released albums followed, Under the Sun in 2019 and Blacktop Mojo in 2021.
They Sound Like: Black Top Mojo has a southern rock Lynyrd Skynyrd sound with a Soundgarden intensity.
Which of These Bands With a Vintage Sound is Your Favorite?
Whether you’re a fan of baroque rock, jazz, doo-wop, or metal, one of these modern rock bands will certainly fulfill the need for that vintage sound.
Which of these bands are new to you? Will you give them a listen or check out their next live show?