Seattle based rock band Vespera are currently working on their full-length debut album, The Thoughts That Plague You, that will be out later this year. You can get a taste of the Taylor Larson-produced (Periphery, Darkest Hour) album via the video from “Bloom” that was released last month. You can also get a taste of what the band sounds via some of the bands that influenced vocalist Jonathan Wolfe when he was an adolescent. Wolfe, who’s logged time in Slaves, Falling In Reverse and Dayshell, shared his top ten artists, along with album and song suggestions. To listen, scroll down to the second page for an embedded Spotify list, or just go here.

10) Glassjaw 

Recommended songs: “Ape Dos Mil,” “Two Tabs of Mescaline,” “Siberian Kiss,” “Tip Your Bartender,” “Stuck Pig,” “Black Nurse,” “Natural Born Farmer”

Recommended albums: Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Silence (2000),  Worship & Tribute (2002)

When I think of raw, genuine emotion portrayed through music, I think of Glassjaw. There is so much to be said about this band and I am very glad that they’re still around. Even after their hiatus, they came back with some amazing EPs. I’ll never forget the first time I listened to “Siberian Kiss”, I had never heard something like that and “Pretty Lush” before, I was instantly hooked. As my tastes subconsciously evolved, it seems as if Glassjaw was headed in the same direction, even after their hiatus the “Coloring Book” and “The Color Green” had my absolute respect and attention. This is a required band to know about if you’re in the underground music scene.


9) Cursive 

Recommended songs: “The Recluse,” “The Great Decay,” “Driftwood: A Fairy Tale,” “Sierra,” “Fairytales Tell Tales,” “A Red So Deep,” “The Game of Who Needs Who The Worst,” “The Radiator Hums”

Recommended albums: Domestica (2000), Burst and Bloom EP – (2001), The Ugly Organ (2003)

Folks, this was a band I’ve held very close to my heart for a very long. One of my random after-school meanderings through the internet ended up with me discovering one of my all-time favorite bands: Cursive. I consider The Ugly Organ a very unique masterpiece. Just listen to the whole album in order and see for yourself. It is by far one of the most ambitious records I’ve ever heard.


8) Alexisonfire 

Recommended songs: “Pulmonary Archery,” “Accidents,” “This Could Be Anywhere In The World”

Recommended albums: Self Titled (2002), Watch Out! (2004), Crisis (2006)

I’ll never forget the first time I listened to “Pulmonary Archery” off their self-titled record. I don’t even remember how I discovered Alexisonfire, but I do recall that I could not stop listening to them. I would sneak one little ear bud through my shirt, hide it under my long mane of hair and just listen to their music on repeat while I was at school. I put the self-titled record on today and immediately got hit by a wave of nostalgia. The records that followed were just as amazing, Crisis being one of my absolute all-time favorites.


7) Cave In

Recommended songs: “Stained Silver,” “Magnified,” “Jupiter,” “Big Riff,” “Inspire,” “Breath of Water,” “Youth Overrided,” “Anchor,” “Innuendo and Out the Other,” “Requiem,” “Come Into Your Own”

Recommended albums: Creative Eclipses (1999) Jupiter (2000), Tides of Tomorrow (2002), Antenna (2003)

This is a band that I have not stopped listening to since I first discovered them through a random post on LiveJournal. Cave In, alongside some of the other bands mentioned on this list truly ended up having a profound influence on my songwriting. To this day, I think they are absolutely amazing and influenced many artists in the underground scene. Musicians, do yourself a favor, throw on a decent pair of headphones, and dive into these four albums. You’ll be glad you did.


6) Q And Not U

Recommended songs: “Soft Pyramids,” “Hooray For Humans,” “End The Washington Monument (Blinks) Goodnight,” “No Damage Nocturne,” “The More I Get, The More I Want”

Recommended albums: No Kill No Beep Beep (2000), Different Damage (2002)

This band was different, but holy shit do I love them. I was really bummed to find out about them towards the end of their seven year career, but I still love showing them to my friends and colleagues just to see how they’ll react. The same gal who introduced me to The Shins back in 2004 also recommended Q and Not U’s “Soft Pyramids,” followed by some wild songs like “Black Plastic Bag” and “Hooray For Humans.” Nearly two decades later, and I still listen to this band quite frequently. They are by far one of the most unique artists I’ve ever listened to.