Angelenos, let us never forget that we are among the most fortunate when it comes to our music scene. We are the home of the Doors and Kendrick Lamar, Weezer and Ozomatli, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Best Coast. So in 2017, why not make it a resolution to support the locals? Here are five acts coming up in the ranks that ought to make a huge impression in the new year:
A Reminder RIYL Failure, Smashing Pumpkins, Sigur Ros at their meatiest
We don’t need a reminder that the ’90s are back, with crushed velvet dresses adorning Forever 21 mannequins and Winona Ryder reclaiming her acting prestige. But with the Cure-covering, Hum-honoring A Reminder, it’s like the alternative decade never went away. “Fallen Angels” from their recently released self-titled cassette (yep! These guys go old school) has the spookiness of Radiohead and the crunch of the Mars Volta. They just rocked Molly Malone’s and are sure to build a bigger following into 2017.
Jacob Garcia is a Renaissance man for the millennial set: He’s a professional photographer, a regular around indie film sets and an electronic musician. His aural project, NIGHTSWIM, builds on his expertise in the horror field, minus the strings that too often give away the climax of a thriller. NIGHTSWIM works for a night drive, or a night of driving stakes through vampires’ hearts. Forefathers like Depeche Mode would be proud of Garcia’s work.
Rough around the edges and an all-around righteous babe, Ward slays with her sharp tongue and gutsy performances. Songs such as her breakout, “Make Love To Myself,” align her with the Alanis Morissettes of the world— self-made and ferocious. Yet her bark will also appeal to the T-Swift squad, with her confessional lyrics and earworm hooks. And any artist who grabs the attention of hit-makers like Linda Perry is worth a thorough listen. Bonus: She completely transformed Green Day’s “Brain Stew” and made it her own. (Thanks to Buzzbands LA for the recommendation!)
Even as the LGBT community has made tremendous progress under the Obama administration, queer lifestyles remain a tough subject in hip-hop. Kevin Abstract’s second record, American Boyfriend: A Suburban Love Story, stares the issue in the face. His pensive flows about crushing on football players, feeling in between races because of his penchant for indie rock and confronting less-than-supportive family members grab you by the heart. His rhymes have a mature c’est la vie philosophy, inviting us all to his primal therapy session. American Boyfriend is cathartic and eye-opening.
RIYL My Brightest Diamond, Nina Simone, Joanna Newsom
THAT VOICE. (Yes, it warrants all caps.) Bonet has her head in the heavens and has the gusto to rival Bowie and other starmen. Hers is an ethereal art unconfined by genre or gender, like ANOHNI gone Baroque. Harpsichords get jazzy lifts that the Beatles could have never imagined, that Tori Amos would salivate over. The Visitor suggests Bonet is only on our planet temporarily, so we need to celebrate her before she once again belongs to the cosmos. (Lead image courtesy Fat Possum.)
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