There may be seven weeks between now and when the first Steamtown Music Awards will strike the region’s most talked about musical acts with praise and credibility, but nominees are already feeling the love.
The recognition of being nominated is something Dan Rosler of Moosic finds flattering.
“If people respond in some way to the music I’m making then I feel like that’s a meaningful interaction,” Rosler said.
The 25-year-old musical powerhouse has an extra reason to be flattered. Rosler is not only nominated for participation in two bands, A Fire With Friends and Esta Coda, as well as for his solo achievements - he leads the pack with the five nominations this year.
“I’m very happy others have taken the time to listen to the multiple projects I’m involved in. That means a lot to me,” Rosler said of having the most nominations.
Rosler is nominated with band A Fire With Friends in two categories: Album of the Year for “Ghost House” and Indie Rock Act of the Year.
Though Rosler also plays solo acoustic sets from time to time, he doesn’t consider himself a solo performer. Fans felt otherwise when they voted him to earn the nomination for Male Vocalist of the Year, which served as the most surprising nomination to Rosler.
He’s also gaining attention for his more recent project, Esta Coda, with a nod in the Best New Artist category and acclaim for the band’s song “Kindness”, nominated for Song of the Year.
Even though Rosler is nominated for performing in two different bands, there is no competitiveness with either set of bandmates.
“I play with some of the best, most supportive friends ever,” Rosler said.
In fact, when it comes to competition, Rosler has a chill perspective.
“I’m not looking at it like it’s a competition,” Rosler said.
“It seems silly to me to think that way. I think it’s nice for all of us to be a part of the event because it’s a fun way to celebrate our local scene. Thinking of it as a competition would be damaging to the unity that we’ve been working hard at supporting, maining and sharing with the community,” Rosler said.
Win or lose, Rosler anticipates hanging out with friends that have been nominated when the Oct. 10 ceremony unfolds.
Indie Rock Act of the Year
The category of Indie Rock Act of the Year is “going to be a fierce competition” according to SMA organizer Joe Caviston, who admits it may be the hardest for the judges to critique because the definition of ‘indie rock’ is “so broad and encompassing.”
Joining five-time SMA nominee Dan Rosler and his group, A Fire with Friends, in this category are The Great Party, Eww Yaboo, Those Clever Foxes and Mock Sun.
“The Great Party are simply infectious,” Caviston said.
Caviston describes The Great Party as professional, with recordings of the highest quality and videos that have professional grade.
“When Summerstep Records puts their stamp of approval on a band, you know they’re doing something special,” said Caviston when talking about Eww Yahoo.
Caviston insists that any of their songs from the album “Keep Dreaming” could play on rotation on Fuzz 92.1 and listeners would “eat it up.”
As for nominees Those Celver Foxes, they’re more “in-your-face-rock-n-roll than most of the other nominees in the Indie Rock Act of the Year.”
Caviston describes the band’s pop punk influenced guitar rifts, raspy vocals, indie undertones and hang vocals as “something undeniably indie rock.”
Mock Sun, on the other hand, are “the new kids on the block with everyone’s attention.”
Caviston describes Mock Sun’s talent, the youngest nominees in the group, as being “on par with everyone else in the category.”
A Fire With Friends, featuring Dan Rosler, are “basically a shining example of everything NEPA,” according to Caviston.
“All of the members are veterans to the scene and have come together to create something magical,” Caviston said.
The magic will kick into full gear when the first Steamtown Music Awards rock Scranton like a musical hurricane on Friday, Oct. 10.
For more information on the nominees leading up to the event, read Weekender every Wednesday.