I debated whether or not I wanted to post music I thought you guys might actually like for a pretty long time. I went from Choir Vandals to Drug Church, but I decided to go for something you all wouldn't actively be as averse to as hardcore-influenced emo music. So here's Kevin Devine:
I'm a little late to the wealth of good times Kevin Devine is (he's been making music solo since 2002, and since before that with a band called Miracle of '86), but I'm glad I've finally found him. If I were to try and describe him, I might be tempted to list him as a folk artist, but he sort of disobeys genre a lot—he has faster, punk-ish songs, then he has songs like the one above, then he has straight pop songs—so he inevitably just gets lumped as "indie," even though that classification is entirely meaningless. He does whatever the hell he wants, and I like all of it. His voice can go from amazing levels of soft and calm to some really hard, gut-wrenching stuff. He knows how to hold a vocal melody (which is incredibly difficult, if I can just throw that out there), and he know how and when to break it. His most accomplished song, in my opinion, is Brother's Blood:
That song has some of the most fantastic song-writing I've ever heard, both instrumentally and lyrically. And that swell in the middle? Damn. His voice holds power.
If you like what you've listened to here, he has 8 albums and all of them have their merits, as well as the incredible collaboration-band he's in with Manchester Orchestra's Andy Hull, Bad Books, which wrote this song about the six-word short story Hemingway wrote, wherein the child is resurrected in a pact with the devil and, well, yeah, that's about all I can say there.
There's more to be said, but I don't feel the need. I think his music can speak for itself and I hope you'll agree. If nothing else, dude has range.