Maria Mar’s Local Radar: Giffords Lane

It’s once again time to chat music, my favorite time of the week. I recently became friends with a group that may be the youngest to ever have appeared on my show. Most musicians I encounter say they started playing their instruments at an extremely young age. However, when I was in my youth, I don’t remember having a band that was so solid and defined in my age bracket. Maybe I was consumed with what was popular and around me, such as the boy bands and pop superstars era.

Anyway, let me provide you with a brief backstory. It was late May at Encore Events Center in Freehold, NJ, and I was in attendance for the Break Contest finals. I kept hearing buzz about this young group that had such a powerful stage presence and dominant vocals, which also played music beyond their time. I also saw a swarm of people walking in with the same band t-shirt on, along with stickers, CDs and pretty much as many cameras as you could think of. How could this be? It seemed too good to be true. A group this young had so many fans already? Well, upon the first note hit, they had me sucked in. I immediately turned into some kind of crazed fan girl who ran up to the front to take video and pictures. Am I embarrassed? No way. Kids who play Led Zeppelin? Who could ask for anything better? Ladies and gentleman, please allow me to embark on the fantastic journey that is Giffords Lane.

Giffords Lane consists of Serena Chierchia, Salvatore Grande, Dylan Kahan and Nicky Stixx Taormina. These four musicians prove that age is nothing but a number. After telling people all about their YouTube videos—some of which consist of Zeppelin and Adele mashups—I decided I needed to learn more about them. I invited them into the studio to be a featured guest on my radio show, Jersey Rock, and if it was possible, I fell in love even more. These kids are wise beyond their years. They admitted a lot of kids in their school weren’t too familiar with rock and roll, which is truly understandable at their age. However, when I asked them what kind music they like, their influences shocked me beyond belief. They aren’t just a young group making noise and singing along; they have true talent that is just waiting to be discovered by the world. They genuinely enjoy making music, for it’s not just a hobby for them; it’s a lifestyle.

We got to chat about their experience at the Skate And Surf Festival, and I could truly tell how honored they were to have been a part of such a big festival with so much national talent. They worked their butts off to get there and totally deserved it. I was also thoroughly impressed by their original songs, which are completely catchy with hit-like quality. Serena is a fun frontwoman who understands her role completely. Not that you would want to, but if you look beyond her adorable funky style with her signature bandana and crazy-funky pants, you will also realize that she has a very unique voice. It’s soothing, clear, and she is able to hit any note thrown at her. Her personality and spunk alone will get her places, but when you combine that with talent, it’s a no-brainer. Whichever persona she is portraying—rock star, normal teenage girl, etc.—she is just plain fun! I was also so impressed with the fact that their drummer plays with a click track, which is something I usually only see in veteran drummers. The bass and guitar blend together perfectly, forming a complete powerhouse. I could watch them play for hours!

Their recorded tracks are phenomenal and can be enjoyed by listeners of all ages. Each song, especially “Beautiful And Crazy,” is energetic and forward moving compiled with power rock. I can definitely predict in the future as they record more material that they will continue to be imaginative and pump out fun, thought-provoking music. If you really want a full idea of how good these kids are, check out their glorified catalogue of YouTube videos; I promise this will make you buy a ticket to their next show. I think Giffords Lane are great role models for young musicians who aren’t afraid to showcase who they are. Nothing about them shows “copy-catting” or “mimicking,” what is popular on the radio today. They play music that we like, that our parents like, and that they like. It is so incredible that I honestly think that every fan of music in general—from the age of five to infinity—should have this in their collection. You WILL sing along and you WILL dance when their music is on. Overall, these kids have the momentum packed with vibrant music, imagination, variety and direction that leads the listener into a world of uplifting spin.

If you haven’t already checked out Giffords Lane, I highly recommend that you add it to your priority list. They are a gifted group with young talent and have a bright future ahead. As long as they stay focused and keep practicing, playing shows and recording, there is absolutely nothing stopping them on their road to glory. I also look forward to hearing how their sound will grow and change as they mature, both physically and musically. Check out their Facebook page and socials to find out where they are playing next and see how cool they truly are. You can also find all of their music online, so be sure to start turning up your speaker volume! I am honored to think that I have had them in the studio in the times “before they were huge.”

I will be back next week with another local band that makes my head spin, but in the meantime, get off your butts and get to a show. There is so much good music out there just waiting to be seen. Put down the Radar—when finished, of course—and discover some new talent!