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Artist Spotlight

Artist Spotlight: The 502s

I always thought that Mumford and Sons dominated the genre of infectious folk songs – then I heard The 502s, and boy was I wrong.

While the world seems to be imploding around us all lately, the need for some cheering up has really become a must. That’s where The 502s come in. While on a voyage of discovery on YouTube I stumbled across a video of a band packed into a laundry room – ‘what the hell, I’ll have a look!” That video turned out to be the rowdy tune What To Do by The 502s. Formed in 2015 in Florida by the bands banjoist, charismatic vocalist and writer Ed Isola, The 502s are determined to blow away any unwanted sadness in the world. Their debut EP, named after the band, contains the infectious Olivia and the astonishing The Sea Song. The embers of a great band were beginning to ignite, something evident with Alcatraz, the final song on the EP, a lesson in making your own way in life.

Two years later in 2018 the band released its first album, Because We Had To. Amazingly It was recorded in just 36 hours, a technique pioneered by The Beatles in the early days and what is really the best way to capture a bands raw energy and emotion. Perhaps the best way to describe this album is if Mumford and Sons recorded Sigh No More in the midst of a sugar rush Because We Had To would probably be the result. My personal favourite track from the album is toe tapping According To Me, with its lyrics urging the listener to take the path of self determination and to simply be happy with who you are. The strong vocals are accompanied by the distinctive trumpet which appears on many of the band’s tracks. The stampeding outro to the song is sure to get your feet moving.

The final track on the album, Hold My Love, displays the bands excellent lyrical ability and has a unique vibe and energy lacking from today’s junk food music industry. So, if you are in need of a good get up and go listening session, The 502s are certainly the band to boom out over your speakers as you start the day. With their second album on the way, which is sure to be packed with wall to wall fun, The 502s are one of the best placed bands to blow the roof off venues across the U.S and Europe once all this madness has gone away. You can also join the bands mailing list or pick up an ultra-rare Because We Had To gold vinyl here.

– Thomas O’Callaghan

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