Hand Drawn Maps
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Hand Drawn Maps

Los Angeles, CA | Established. Jan 01, 2017

Los Angeles, CA
Established on Jan, 2017
Band Rock Indie

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This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos

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Press


"Hand Drawn Maps @ Jam in the Van"

like to play those scratch-off Lotto tickets at gas stations when we go on road trips. I very rarely win more than a free ticket, but I also very rarely learn my lesson, and I’m back again the next time scratching some grey crap off of a card with a picture of a cat in sunglasses hoping to match three numbers to win that big money, or five bucks, whatever it may be. At any rate, Jam in the Van used to be on the hunt for bands. We’d reach out to ones we thought were worthy of The Van and hoped they got back to us. Now we get anywhere from five to twenty five submissions a day. This means that, while it’s not quite the same odds as the Lottery that your band will land a session with us, it’s getting to the point where luck is playing a minor role in the selection process.

Hand Drawn Maps was in fact very lucky, as their submission happened to come across our desk at almost the exact same moment that two bands had to pull out from a session due to unforeseen circumstances (strep throat and a sudden death in the family). While our general process is to file submissions away for review at a later date, the circumstances before us dictated that we needed to find a band fast. Enter Hand Drawn Maps pleasant sound and Los Angeles location, and as luck would have it, we had a winner…

Don’t by any means let this discourage you from submitting. If we like what we hear, we will make it happen. It just might not be as quick a turn-around as these guys got, but that was just dumb luck - Jam in the Van


"Diamond Deposit on Tumbler"

A seamlessly cool tune from LA trio Hand Drawn Maps composed of Stewart James, Mercedes Cruz and Gregory Schwartz. Cast Away The Night is a slice of epic surf-pop heaven that you can listen to and download via their Soundcloud. - DiamondDeposits


"RRP Recommends Super Subs Week #2"

We are Hand Drawn Maps. We're a new, local, Los Angeles based band with a fire under our asses to make music that we, ourselves, would actually listen to.

It's music that you should listen to as well, dear reader. "Kites", the debut single by the three-piece, has some serious hookage and melodies so sharp I don't even feel the nicks. Hand Drawn Maps are: Greg Schwartz on bass, Mercedes Cruz on drums, and Stewart James on vox/guitar. - RRP Recommends


"Rockbanddom.com"

Fantastic indie rock band indeed and we mean fantastic. With superb vocals and cool mellow sounds youd be hard pushed not to like them, not only are they crisp and vibrant but also calming and uplifting. Vocally Superb, Lyrically Supreme and the music is awesome. - Scotty-D


"Essentially Pop - Hand Drawn Maps Stop Running and Fly ‘Kites’ with New EP"

LA-based indie rock band Hand Drawn Maps have really found their niche, bringing a distinct mix of indie-pop and surf rock to the LA scene.

Comprising Charles Gregory Schwartz (Greg) on Bass, Percussionist Mercedes Cruz, and Stewart James on Guitar and Vox (Stewart is also the songwriter) the trio come from a wide range of locations and musical influences.

Greg grew up playing worship music with his church band in his hometown of Texarkana, Texas; his heart however always resided in the spirit of Blues, Folk, and Rock’n’Roll, and his bass lines are so alluring and methodical they could stand alone as their own songs.

Mercedes meanwhile is a good old fashioned Midwest girl with big city dreams – hailing originally from Minnesota, she picked up a set of sticks as a young girl and started banging on stuff, and it wasn’t long before her school orchestra pointed her in the right direction, showing her that her true calling was not in notes and chords, but rather in beats and time signatures.

Stewart is the only native Los Angeleno, and was born and raised in Manhattan Beach. He first picked up a guitar at the tender age of 10, and immediately started writing and imitating his idols, John Lennon and Bob Dylan.In his earlier years, he fell victim to harsh life problems involving anxiety and depression. To this day the only thing that takes away the fear and anxiety, is writing and performing music. The themes of isolation and fear appear in his lyrics, only shadowed by lyrics of hope, love, and perseverance.

Meeting up in Los Angeles the three immediately started writing and recording their debut EP, ‘Kites’. They’ve been spending a lot of time honing their craft, playing live, filling up local clubs and bars around LA, as well as featuring in local blogs, and performing a live session for Jam in the Van, at their HQ in Downtown LA.

“We are just 3 people who found a common bond in the music, and I don’t think any of us would ever change that.”
‘Kites’ has a really grungy, yet upbeat 60s style pop feel to it: it’s Seattle married and settling down in the Westcoast; it’s Nirvana shacking up with The Doors with The Beach Boys living in the next block.

‘Kites’ reminds us of Irish band Penrose (who in turn remind us of fellow Dubs The Thrills), even though it’s highly unlikely Hand Drawn Maps have ever heard of either band. ‘Kites’ is a great debut EP, with every song a winner – our personal fave is the title track ‘Kites’, with ‘Cast Away The Night’ a close second. - Lisa Hafey - Essentially Pop


"Download of The Week 1.15.16 Hand Drawn Maps “Kites”"

With the new year here and half a month almost already over a lot of people are trying to find new music to get back in the groove with work, working out and heck evening studying. I was pleased to open my email to find a email from Hand Drawn Maps. I took a listen and I have to say I was hooked.

“Kites” is a song just has the vibe that puts you in a good mood and ready for the weekend. Since the holidays are over and we are all looking for the best music to use our iTunes gift card on this is it.

With hearing this song I do believe they will be soon on the top 40 chart. You will be hearing big things from Hand Drawn Maps and if you’re a fan of them now you can say you found them first.

You can take a listen to their song on Soundcloud. And don’t forget to buy it on iTunes. - Lisa Christensen - Catch My Ear


"February 16 Singles : Acoustic"

Hand Drawn Maps. An early-’00s sense of full-band indie-pop melancholy permeates this track–it makes perfect sense that they’re from LA, the home of Phantom Planet and inspiration of Death Cab’s “Why You’d Want to Live Here.” - Stephen Carradini of Independent Clauses


"Listen : Hand Drawn Maps, Kites, on Indie Minded"

Los Angeles-based indie pop-rock-surf-Cali blues band, Hand Drawn Maps, recently released a new track called “Kites,” which we’ve got for you to check out here today.
A bit about Hand Drawn Maps:

These musical artists have really found their niche, bringing a distinct mix of indie-pop and surf rock to the local scene. Bassist Greg Schwartz, is from a far off distant land called Texarkana. Percussionist Mercedes Cruz is from Minnesota, where they actually have seasons and not just summer all year long. Guitarist/Vocalist/Songwriter Stewart James was born and raised in Manhattan Beach in the suburbs of L.A. This is where the “Beach Music” influence comes from. It’s hard not to be inspired when you grow up a few blocks from the beautiful ocean. As soon as they met in Los Angeles and stepped into that rehearsal space, they never left. “We are just 3 people who found a common bond in the music, and I don’t think any of us would ever change that,” said guitarist Stewart James. Please connect with Hand Drawn Maps and keep an eye out for their new EP coming soon. - Kelly Murphy


"EP: Hand Drawn Maps’ Kites review"

LA based three-piece Hand Drawn Maps’ latest EP Kites brings listeners a taste of the beach with a spritz of playful indie-pop. Like a well-garnished appetizer, Kites is a perfect taste of Hand Drawn Maps’ playful indie-pop-rock. Each track has a slightly different flavor, but what ties them together are the rock-solid vocals, poignant lyrics, and consistent instrumentation.

“Answer in Your Eyes” opens the album with a beachy guitar and subtle percussion. After a few measures, lead singer Stewart James enters in. The first thing I thought of when I heard James’ voice was Ben Gibbard from Death Cab for Cutie and The Postal Service. James’ voice is very similar to Gibbard’s in tonal qualities and range. If you are a fan of Death Cab, you will find particular enjoyment in Hand Drawn Maps.

The second track, “Diamond,” is a cutesy love song with lyrics like, “When I’m with you/ you make my heart an ocean.” The beachy electric guitar makes another dreamy appearance anchoring this track. Towards the end of the song, the instrumentation virtually goes away so that the listener focuses on James and his harmonic background vocal accompaniment.

“Follow the Sun” is probably my favorite track off the EP. It’s somber and darker than the other tracks. Hand Drawn Maps does a really great job matching the lyrics with the instrumentation. For this one, the chorus is basically a percussive/electric guitar build that tries three times to meet its climax, but instead keeps fizzling out. With lyrics like, “I know that I’m gone like a star that disappears at the first light of dawn,” you can see how the instrumentation matches the lyrics: they both are unable to reach their mountain-top experiences. It is not until the last attempt that the instruments reach their climax, paired with the repeated lyric “Gonna let the sunlight in,” the most hopeful lyric of the song. Eventually, that also fades away, and the track ends sounding exactly how it began, showing the cyclical nature of hopelessness. Sometimes, even glimmers of hope can’t take the emptiness away.

“Kites” opens with a playful combination of the electric guitar and bass. This song sounds like one big self-pep talk, as seen in the title lyric: “Relax and let the breeze/ take control and carry me/ just like a kite.” The final track, “Cast Away the Night,” begins with the use of chimes, which echoes the more meditative route the track takes. This softer track is a nice way to close an otherwise adventurous EP. —Krisann Janowitz - Krisann Janowitz


"Artist to Watch : Hand Drawn Maps"

Artist to Watch: Hand Drawn Maps

Hand Drawn Maps is an indie pop/alternative trio from highland park. Take a listen to a track they released a few months back called “Follow the Sun”. A straightforward tune that is easy to listen to, the kind of track that makes you wanna sway slowly back and forth. Hope to hear new tunes soon! - Tumbling Music LA


"Introducing : Hand Drawn Maps"

Let me introduce you to Hand Drawn Maps, Los Angeles based indie pop three-piece who fuse together indie-pop elements with surf rock to create something cool yet completely relaxing. Their music is fresh and catchy - much like their band name.

When I write about musicians or bands on my blog, I often try and compare them to mainstream artists that I think you'll have heard of so that you know what to expect before you press that all important play button. I normally don't struggle in doing this, however, in this particular instance, I'm finding it hard to liken them to anything besides themselves. It's either because my knowledge of music is failing me or - and I think this is the case - they are channeling such a unique sound that they simply cannot be likened to anyone. Maybe except the Beach Boys, but that's just because they have the same beach/surfer vibe thing going on.

The band compromises of Charles Gregory Schwartz on bass, Mercedes Cruz on Drums and Stewart James on Vox and Guitar who come together to create the music of your indie dreams. If you can't place the indie-ness sneaking out of your speakers, then let the below photo just speak for itself. So. Cool.

Also want to take a minute/sentence/few sentences/maybe paragraph/however you want to measure it (probably paragraph knowing me) to just touch on how much I am fully LOVING the girl power that is not only oozing out of the below photo through Mercedes's clothing and position but in the fact that she fully kicks it as the band's drummer.

I have been told by the band that they are working on new music (pauses to celebratory dance around bedroom), but the band released their new EP, Kites, in the April of this year and I can't stop replaying. I know I seem to say that in every blog post ever written, but I am always passionate about whoever I put out to you and, as my one cardinal rule, have to love them.


Friday, 9 September 2016
INTRODUCING: HAND DRAWN MAPS


Let me introduce you to Hand Drawn Maps, Los Angeles based indie pop three-piece who fuse together indie-pop elements with surf rock to create something cool yet completely relaxing. Their music is fresh and catchy - much like their band name.

When I write about musicians or bands on my blog, I often try and compare them to mainstream artists that I think you'll have heard of so that you know what to expect before you press that all important play button. I normally don't struggle in doing this, however, in this particular instance, I'm finding it hard to liken them to anything besides themselves. It's either because my knowledge of music is failing me or - and I think this is the case - they are channeling such a unique sound that they simply cannot be likened to anyone. Maybe except the Beach Boys, but that's just because they have the same beach/surfer vibe thing going on.

The band compromises of Charles Gregory Schwartz on bass, Mercedes Cruz on Drums and Stewart James on Vox and Guitar who come together to create the music of your indie dreams. If you can't place the indie-ness sneaking out of your speakers, then let the below photo just speak for itself. So. Cool.

Also want to take a minute/sentence/few sentences/maybe paragraph/however you want to measure it (probably paragraph knowing me) to just touch on how much I am fully LOVING the girl power that is not only oozing out of the below photo through Mercedes's clothing and position but in the fact that she fully kicks it as the band's drummer.

I have been told by the band that they are working on new music (pauses to celebratory dance around bedroom), but the band released their new EP, Kites, in the April of this year and I can't stop replaying. I know I seem to say that in every blog post ever written, but I am always passionate about whoever I put out to you and, as my one cardinal rule, have to love them.

When I finally get round to doing my American Road Trip, all of their music will be featured on my playlist. I get that summer feeling (maybe that's because we're now en route to Winter and they're a beach-y band...) but it's the best kind of feeling. - Rosanna Parish


Discography

Kites EP 2016

1. Answer in your Eyes

2. Diamond

3. Follow the Sun

4. Kites

5. Cast Away the Night

Photos

Bio

"Fantastic indie rock band indeed and we mean fantastic. With superb vocals and cool mellow sounds you'd be hard pushed not to like them" -Scotty-D, Rockbandom Magazine

Hand Drawn Maps is a local, LA-based, indie rock band. These musical artists have really found their niche, bringing a distinct mix of Indie-Pop and "surf sounds" to the LA scene.  

Upon the release of their debut single, the band has been frequenting various venues in LA such as The Silverlake Lounge, El Cid, and The Study in Hollywood. They have also caught the attention of indie radio shows and blogs such as Indie Minded, Catch My Ear, Essentially Pop, Independent Clauses and were also featured in a Youtube live session by LA's own, Jam in the Van. 

Guitarist/Vocalist/Songwriter Stewart James was born and raised in Manhattan Beach in the suburbs of LA. This is where the "Beach Music" influence comes from. It's hard not to be inspired when you grow up a few blocks from the beautiful ocean. As soon as they met in Los Angeles and stepped into that rehearsal space, they never left. "We are just people who found a common bond in the music, and I don't think any of us would ever change that" said guitarist Stewart James. 

Percussionist Mercedes Cruz is from Minnesota, where they actually have seasons and not just summer all year long.  When she's not making music, she's spending time with her cartoon-esque Chiwow-wows.

Blake is an LA bred multi-instrumentalist, producer, and songwriter. Growing up on SoCal punk and metal, Blake has since begun writing and playing many different styles of music all over California. Currently listening to The Growlers on repeat.  

"With the new year here and half a month almost already over a lot of people are trying to find new music to get back in the groove with work, working out and evening studying,  I was pleased to open my email to find an email from Hand Drawn Maps.  I took a listen and I have to say I was hooked." -Lisa Christensen, Catch My Ear. 

Band Members