If you like music but you’re not yet familiar with the Daytrotter Sessions, here’s what you need to know. Daytrotter is your portal to unreleased tracks and alternate versions of old songs by your favorite artists–all recorded live in a studio in Illinois. Here you can stream high-quality audio and video by nearly 4000 performers, from big-name bands like Mumford & Sons and Wilco to local upstarts like The Kooks, HAIM, and Sharon Van Etten. For those looking to fuel their passion for fresh music from local musicians, signing up is a no-brainer. The archives include several decades worth of material and cover a range of genres, so there’s something for everyone.

Daytrotter does require users to register with the site, but the membership fee is reasonable and comes with extra perks like 25% off merchandise and vinyl in their online store. You can sign up for a free three-day trial, and while you’re at it, check out these live recordings from some of Boston’s best.


Betty Who: While Betty Who tracks generally feature lively dance beats and processed vocals typical of contemporary pop, these recordings experiment with a toned-down style that proves singer Jessica Newham’s delightful voice can also shine in its raw form.

Bearstronaut: This electro-pop quartet specializes in what has been dubbed feel-good “tank top pop” because of the warm, summertime vibes that seem to pervade every song.

Gentlemen Hall: Gentlemen Hall is comparable to fellow Boston-based band Magic Men, and is known for regularly incorporating the flute into its characteristically easygoing flow.


The Ballroom Thieves: This trio tends to keep their sound simple yet charming with soft, airy harmonies accompanied by mellow acoustic guitar riffs and occasional cello solos. Loose and soothing, this music is perfect to unwind to at the end of the day.

Tall Heights: Like The Ballroom Thieves, Tall Heights supplies listeners with emotional harmonies set against plucky acoustic sequences, but with a bit more gusto. Chances are, if you enjoy one of these bands, you will also appreciate the other, which is fitting considering the two groups appear to have taken a liking to one another’s music in real life.

Kingsley Flood: This band, which has been featured by Rolling Stone, NPR, and Esquire Magazine, achieves a lively sound with quick, bouncing baselines and plenty of hi-hat from the percussion section. The occasional trumpet solo also helps spice up the band’s timeless rock routine.

The Novel Ideas: The Novel Ideas is a country/folk group from Newton featuring three singers who describe their music as a “blend of pastoral, harmony driven, and plaintive Americana.” Each song is distinct and beautifully written, from the tender, contemplative lyrics to the perfectly balanced harmonies and seamless flow of verse and chorus.


Nick Hakim: The dreamy, tranquil quality of Hakim’s music is relaxing yet stimulating at the same time. Long instrumental intervals seem to invite the listener to tune out all distractions and simply enjoy being carried along by the tide of the music.


Gem Club: A large part of the emotion embedded in Gem Club’s tracks is conveyed through the piano. Rather than serving as background for the vocals, the piano melody is perhaps even more prominent than the singer’s voice, embodying the emotional heart of the music with full, sustained chords and playful refrains.

Hallelujah The Hills: With song titles like (You Better Hope You) Die Before Me, Hallelujah The Hills aims to intrigue the listener from the get-go. Most of their tracks kick off at a high level of energy that is sustained throughout, but you can enjoy a slightly more serene side of this band in their Daytrotter session, which includes some great acoustic interludes.

Lucius: Of the tracks Lucius recorded for this session, Turn it Around is a clear standout with an irresistibly catchy chorus marked by bubbly vocals and a steady, upbeat clap. Though the song may start off rather leisurely pace, it quickly erupts with energy and soon it becomes impossible not to tap your foot along.

Speedy Ortiz: Speedy Ortiz is a solid rock band with a charismatic female vocalist and a knack for perfectly interweaving their bass and lead guitars to create a dynamic mesh of music. Their style is comparable to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

Luxdeluxe: The upbeat tempo and overall cheeriness transmitted by Luxdeluxe’s tracks somewhat contrast the seriousness of the lyrics, which touch on the struggles of transitioning from teenage years to adulthood, including overcoming addiction and heartbreak. Each musician plays their part with such conviction that it will probably come as a surprise to learn that the oldest member is only 22 years old.

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