With a new generation of the blog, we need a new featured artist to match, and I couldn't think of anyone better than the eager pop-rock startup McAllister.
McAllister is a quintet of twenty-somethings hailing from Dallas, Texas. Ty McAllister is the founder and voice of the group. Starting out performing as a solo artist but yearning for something more, he brought on vocalist and keyboard master Kelsey Barker and drum machine Steven Baker. After playing a few sets and showing promise, Ty added lead guitarist Seth McClure and soon after rounded out the five-piece with bassist Jordan Green. And with that, in January of 2016, McAllister was complete.
For being just two years old, McAllister has already mastered their craft and refined their sound to a tee. Both their style and Ty McAllister's voice sound greatly like up-and-coming pop rockers Vinyl Theatre, with hints of Two Door Cinema Club and The Killers - both of which the band has referenced as influences. Very shortly into their tenure as a band, McAllister released their first 8-song album entitled "Oxygen," a collection of heartfelt tracks with lyrics that Ty greatly prides himself on. Fans of the band will tell you that the songwriting ability of McAllister is one of his greatest attributes. It is a rare opportunity to find an album to which just about anyone can relate.
Still buzzing from the release of "Oxygen," McAllister released two singles in 2017 that redefined and solidified the group. "Better Off," the first single released a year after "Oxygen," is a deeply emotional ballad that any broken heart can relate to. "You loved me just enough to let me go," sings Ty in a voice that's sure to bring those old feelings back. September brought "Born To Be Like This," another driving track that asks whether things ever truly change. Ty touches on themes of anxiety and other fears that hold back what we all really want. "I can't go back / I can't live like that," cries the bridge, breaking free like we all hope to do.
McAllister's most recent piece of art, "Stay," was released not even a week before publication of this post on January 26th. The most upbeat of the three most recent singles, Ty still chooses to focus on themes of insecurity and anxiety - themes that are more important now than ever. "It's hard for me to believe that you really want to stay" is something many of us have admitted out of fear of being insufficient, and it's something that McAllister has tackled head-on with this energetic song over a strong lead guitar hook. Ty and his band are a part of a special breed of songwriters who aren't afraid to take on both joyous and heartbreaking lyrics with the same willingness while simultaneously displaying their tremendous instrumental talent.
The Final Word
"We have begun to coin the phrase, 'a band for the people', & that's truly what we want to be," Ty told me while laying out for me his vision of the band's future. "We want to make music with our fans in mind. We want to interact with our fans on another level, always trying to be more & more involved in interactions with the people that are listening to our music."
And a band for the people they truly are. Not only do they make music that is deeply relatable to their growing fanbase and beyond, but they also truly make it a point to interact with said fanbase as much as possible. McAllister's ambition is clearly evident in every song they've written and never fail to find some way to relate. You can support McAllister by checking out their Bandcamp, the only place to listen to their debut album "Oxygen" as well as the single "Better Off." All three singles can be streamed on Spotify, and you can keep up with the band on their Twitter @wearemcallister.
"Making music for us is a euphoric experience. Expressing ourselves in a way that we wouldn't be able to otherwise, & we are passionate about bringing others into that same place." -Ty McAllister