22nd Annual Makin Waves Awards
For 22 years, the Makin Waves Awards have honored the best and brightest unsigned and indie music acts of the Jersey scene. While this year was weird, wacky, and heart wrenching, 2020 was as rich ‘n’ fertile with homegrown Garden State music talent as ever. This year’s multiple winners were Candy Cavity and The Foes of Fern, who each won two Makin Waves Awards. Here’s to all the winners, and to you for supporting the New Jersey music scene when it needs you more than ever.
Makin Waves with The Outcrops: Band of the Year
Northwest Jersey jam ‘n’ groove band The Outcrops are the 22nd annual Makin Waves Band of the Year. Makin Waves premieres their new video for “Isolation Blues” at NewJerseyStage.com.
Makin Waves Dirty Jersey Dozen 2020
This very odd and evil year plagued the world with deadly and crippling challenges against which the New Jersey music scene illustrated the Garden State’s legendary resilience. In honor of that resilience, the annual Makin Waves Dirty Jersey Dozen is not so much about the acts who made the most waves this year but those who progressed the most despite the widespread panic and pandemonium of the pandemic and the resulting restrictions and consequent constrictions, especially within the music scene.
Makin Waves Song of the Week: "Not for Sale" by Blaise
“Not for Sale” is a new single by Blaise co-written with and produced by former Deal Casino frontman Joe Parella and video directed by sought-after videographer Kris Khunachak. Makin Waves premieres the clip at New Jersey Stage having done the same with the single earlier in the week on “Radio Jersey” at The Penguin Rocks.
Makin Waves Record of the Week: "Simple Times" by MattyPasq
Since 2014, Jersey Shore rapper MattyPasq has kept busy releasing dozens of singles, EPs, and LPs as a solo artist and a member of the trio TrapBang. This summer, he released his latest solo EP, “Simple Times,” and I’m glad I finally got to catch up with it. Fans of the great Jersey City trip-hop duo P.M. Dawn will dig the four-song rap-adelic collection, which was expertly produced by Fresno beat master Kasino Kam.
Makin Waves Song of the Week: “Invisible” by Ian Bamberger
Brooklyn-based, Jersey-raised singer-songwriter-guitarist Ian Bamberger has released a new single, “Invisible,” which was written during and inspired by the pandemic.
Makin Waves Record of the Week: "In Kayfabe” by Tony Appleseed
Jersey Shore studio wizard Tony Appleseed’s latest LP, “In Kayfabe” is a dancedelic dream.
Makin Waves Song of the Week: "Miss Take" by Tom Kanach
Veteran Jersey Shore rocker Tom Kanach has released “Miss Take,” the second single from his forthcoming EP, “Change,” and Makin Waves premieres the video for the clip at New Jersey Stage.
Makin Waves Record of the Week: "It's real (I knew it)" by Foxanne
New Jersey-raised, Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter Foxanne has been doing both scenes proud for some time with her emotional mix of alt-rock, acoustic tunes, and Bowiesque drama. Her full-length debut album, “It’s real (I knew it),” raises the bar, especially in regard to her dynamic, enthralling vocals. A followup to the 2018 debut EP, “Halfling,” the plantively passionate 13-song LP opens and closes with an “Intro” and an “Outro.” Let’s start with “Intro,” a brief but spooky ‘n’ spacey exploration of trying to breathe within the darkest depths of emotion. Like a Bowie track, the opener’s warbling organ sound gets slammed by the ramped-up second track, “Doing It All,” a bass heavy tune that features one of hte best elements of the tour de force gymnastics Foxanned expresses throughout the album.
Makin Waves Top NJ Indie Albums of the Year
Here’s a look at the 10 best independent New Jersey LPs & EPs to cross my desk in what surprisingly was a great year for recorded music from the Garden State. There’s also 10 honorable mentions of additional great releases. All are self-released unless indicated by an indie label.