New Glitzy Glow Album Announcement!

All you lovers of Glitzy Glow this is the announcement you’ve been waiting for!!


Starting tomorrow 8/26 through 9/8 the new album from the Swedish Glam – Metal Rockers will be available on the Independent Ear Bandcamp page for only $3 before it goes live on every other digital media outlet starting on 9/9/2014.

The Hallway Sessions | Pre-Order

Starting today August 19th, Pre-orders begin for the debut LP from Keri Lancaster “The Hallway Sessions” This album will be officially released on Sept. 23rd, 2014. Pre-Order yours Today!



When you pre-order the album you will receive a special secret Single off the upcoming album! Get your Pre-Order form here!

Christopher D. Sims Joins Independent Ear

We are starting off this week with yet another historical announcement!

We are honored to welcome to the Independent Ear Family

Christopher D. Sims

Christopher D. Sims


Christopher D. Sims a.k.a. UniverSouLove is an internationally known poet, spoken word artist, performer, and recording artist. Born and raised in Rockford, IL, Christopher has become a seasoned writer and artist since he delved into the poetry and spoken word realm in the late 90s.

Sidewalk Cafe, formerly of Memphis, TN is where he first recited as a spoken word poet. Christopher later came on board as a regular at Precious Cargo where he began to hone his speaking gift. Since then he made an appearance in Tennessee to perform at the Memphis Black Writers Conference & Film Festival.

Christopher D. Sims has been featured as a spoken word artist in Washington, DC, Toronto, Canada, ON, Memphis, TN, Chicago, IL, New York City, Louisville, KY, De Kalb, IL, Chicago, IL, and other places. Christopher is one of the country’s top premier poets and spoken word artists, which has led him to become an extraordinary community organizer, activist, educator, and positive role model for the youth.

Most recently, he was accepted to represent the international website for independent artists Sound Cloud as their Rockford, IL area SoundCloud Hero (Leader and Ambassador) and has a new book of poetry released in 2013  entitled Universal Citizen.

Christopher has been known in the Independent Ear family since the beginning of the company back in 2011. Christopher’s work alongside North & Vortex in Ladder To The Sun and their 2012 release titled “The Naturals”  is what inspired our Founder Phillip Ryan Block to create Independent Ear all those years ago. Christopher & Phillip have been chatting about working together on his spoken word since those days. Fast forward to this summer… Christopher & Phillip ran into eachother at a local HipHop event that was being hosted in their hometown of Rockford, IL. The discussion began again about not only working in the studio but also in working on developing Christopher as an artist & helping him acheive his goals for his music & poetry.

Christopher has always been a great friend since meeting back in 2011 & I’m honored now to be producing his debut solo album. Working with Christopher is not only an incredible honor but it is also a great opportunity for us (Independent Ear) to dive into Spoken Word which is a genre we haven’t yet fully worked in. Christopher is an inspiration to many around the country for his work as a poet & an activist. I am one of those that is inspired by him.. Welcome to the family Christopher, I am proud to call you my brother!  – Phillip Ryan Block, Founder & CEO of Independent Ear

As of August 12th we will be hitting the studio to work on the new album from Christopher, so stay tuned for more on the album that has been titled  “Serious Fun”. For updates & more make sure to follow Christopher on Facebook & Twitter!

First Turn Joins Independent Ear

All week long we’ve been building up to this…

 Ladies & Gentlemen, Independent Ear proudly welcomes…

First Turn 


First Turn is a post-hardcore quartet formed in Jacksboro, Texas. Their music draws influences from bands such as Thrice, Saosin, Finch, Brand New, and many more. Even though, they are characterized as being post-hardcore, First Turn can be assigned many genres. Their music contains a strong punk influence while maintaining a pop/alternative element, a vocal-centric aesthetic over strong electric guitar riffs, and driving solos. Their hard rock roots are definitely evident, but their melodies will leave you singing their songs time and time again.

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In All Honesty Joins Independent Ear

We are proud to be announcing this the 2nd of our 3 big announcements coming your way this week!

We are incredibly pleased to welcome

In All Honesty 


Photo Credit Kevin Panacchia and Kyle Wilson of ThreeTwoFive Studio

We Are an acoustic storytelling Trio from the Rockford, IL area. We believe that music is one of the most effective ways of connecting to a person’s soul, helping them understand the emotion behind the story. Our stories cover love, loss, joy, sorrow, life, death, and everything in between. Music has the power to change the world, and we want to change the world for the better, making it a more loving, peaceful place. We hope you will join us on our journey in search of beautiful stories to share with the people of the world. -

In All Honesty

We began our musical journey in 2011, as just a guitar and voice duo in a coffee shop singing some Beatles tunes. This spurred the creation of MichaelandNaomi, the genesis of song creation, and the displaying of some of our favorite songs growing up. We began playing in cafes around Rockford, developing our performing skills, growing our showmanship and our comfort in front of an audience, striving to connect with people through the music we performed.

Now we are a working trio, playing shows all across Northern Illinois. From cafes to bars, houses to benefits, our musical style is a living room style storytelling, where we reminisce on love gained, lost, and fought for. All around us, people have stories they want the world to know, stories they want to know are understood. We want to share these stories with you.


  • Michael Allen is the guitarist for the group. He has studied music in college, plays in many different bands and musical ventures (including local musicals), and believes that music is the most powerful tool for peace we have. He desires to bring music to all who want to experience the soul-stirring effect of melody, harmony, and rhythm dancing together, weaving stories and emotions.
  • Anna Smith is the keys player. Classically trained, with a degree in music education and piano performance, she brings a unique perspective to the sonic field that we are striving to create. She desires in every performance to share her joy of music with those listening.
  • Naomi Allen is the vocalist and the main melodic force of the band. She has her degree in music education, performs with a professional vocal ensemble from Rockford (Elysian Voices), and sings in other endeavors as well. With a love of jazz (especially current artist Esperanza Spalding), Naomi creates melodies that are as catchy as they are diverse. She loves performing live because music was meant to be experienced as a community, and she feels there is a power in live music that doesn’t come through listening to a recording.


In All Honesty members first (officially) met, Ryan our Founder & CEO as well as our Intern Zac on June 5th of 2014 at a local event in their hometown coffee-shop put on by a friend, fellow musician & coffee-shop manager James B. Rawson. Shortly after that event In All Honesty met with the staff & operations of Independent Ear at the Independent Ear Studio. It is what took place in those meetings that solidified what is now a musical match made in Heaven.

In All Honesty has that perfect fusion of pop, indie, musical brilliance that will make them a household name for generations to come. This being the first official band from our hometown area to sign on the line with us we expect great things from them & cannot wait to see what the future holds for In All Honesty  – Ryan Block, Founder & CEO of Independent Ear

Be on the lookout for a new single to début in early September & their brand new album to début in November! In the meantime make sure to Like In All Honesty on Facebook & follow them on Twitter for all the up to minute news!

The Obelisk Joins Independent Ear

We are so very proud to announce this first of 3 HUGE announcements that are coming your way this week!

What better a way to start off the week than introducing you all to….

The Obelisk 

Obelisk facebook cover

Formed in Late 2011, The Obelisk is a five piece Progressive Death Metal from Chicago, Illinois. Since then, The Obelisk has Independently released two EP’s, The Great Aerial Wanderer (2012), and Microcosm (2013). Their most recent release, Microcosm, was met with universal acclaim from listeners and various reviewers. Microcosm was co-produced and engineered by Andrew Mikhail (Ex-Oceano/Serpents/Defiler).

                Behind the microphone, Josh Stephens brings forth aggressive vocals ranging from gutteral low, to fast piercing highs inspired by Death and Black metal styles. Guitarists Pierre worth and Nick Daniels utilize 8 strings to compose Crushing and Technical Riffs, as well as Haunting melodies. Bassist Franco Caballero holds together the rhythm section with precise technicality and proficiency. Drummer Steven Tison brings forth fast death metal style drumming as well as an emphasis on heavy grooves.

The Obelisk is currently hard at work on their debut (as of yet) untitled full length album, to be released by record label Independent Ear Inc. expected to be out in early 2015.

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(All photos shot & edited by Natalie Abel, except for the logos those were designed by Christopher Horst.)

Independent Ear, Founder & CEO Phillip Ryan Block was first introduced to the music of The Obelisk in June of 2014 during a road-trip with Producer, Emcee & fellow Independent Ear artist Clifton Derrell. Clifton & The Obelisk Frontman/Vocalist Josh Stephens had known each other for several years due to working at the same job. So after a long conversation with Clifton as well as many hours of listening to the two EP’s mentioned above Independent Ear reached out the guys & were even more impressed when we got to learn about the musicians behind the music. All these guys are true artists & are dedicated to their craft in a way that few metal bands can claim.

For Independent Ear’s first foray into the Death Metal Scene they definitely chose one of the best in the scene today! Welcome all the guys of The Obelisk to the Independent Ear Musical Family! We are damn proud to have you join us & are looking forward to seeing you guys melt faces off all over the world!! -Ryan, Founder & CEO Independent Ear

                “Chicago Metal should be proud to be represented by great bands like Veil of Maya, Oceano and Born of Osiris. But Chicagoans have another name to flaunt…The Obelisk. They are very progressive and very death metal to the fullest meaning of the terms.” -

Danny Fox | Live At Toad Hall EP

A few weeks ago we spent time with Danny Fox inside Toad Hall books & records, while we were there we recorded a live 6 track EP.


This incredible experience captured a moment of history for Toad Hall, this is the first ever live audio recording done inside the now 40 year history of the store.


This EP will soon be available via digital download & physical digipak CD. Stay tuned for the official release information coming soon!

In the meantime make sure to check out Danny Fox & Toad Hall on Facebook.