Every year, I listen to thousands of new artists. Most are good, but I wouldn’t call them memorable. Some new acts are truly atrocious. But let’s not waste any time talking about them.
Let’s focus on 10 artists who are about to change the musical landscape as we know it. Want an example? Think Hozier in 2014. As you scour the festival line-ups this summer, keep an eye out for these artists. They will give you hope for the future of music. Here are names you need to know:
1) Tobias Jesso Jr.
The shaggy-headed indie folk pianist hails from Canada, but don’t hold that against him. He’s great. His album Goon is one of the most underrated of the year.
2) James Bay
The British singer-songwriter is the artist that inspired this post. After seeing him at Austin City Limits last year and watching him open for Hozier at Irving Plaza, I made sure to catch his headlining gig at the Bowery Ballroom a few weeks ago. I was so impressed that I’ve been listening to his first full-length album Chaos and the Calm non-stop for weeks.
PS: check out his cover of Alicia Keys’ classic “If I Ain’t Got You” – powerful stuff.
3) Leon Bridges
If you close your eyes while listening to Leon Bridges, your mind will conjure up an image of Sam Cooke or Otis Redding singing in an old school bar. Do I need to say any more?
The Seattle-based rock band is going to be huge. Listen to the tracks in the playlist, and you’ll understand why. What a voice. What a sound. So much passion.
Good news – they’re awesome.
Bad news – you’re late to the game. The New York Times wrote about them last week and they’re performing on The Late Show with David Letterman tonight.
Final Verdict: Shut up and listen.
6) Josiah Leming
As a 17 year old, Josiah dropped out of high school to travel the country to play shows while living out of his car (which obviously reminds me of the SNL “Living in a van down by the river” Chris Farley sketch). A few years later, it seems to be paying off. He has the make-up of a raw Bob Dylan (I hate to throw that comparison out but it’s undeniable). Here’s to you, Mr. Leming.
I know what you’re thinking. What is that band name? I had the same question. Then I listened to some of his tracks and the rest was history.
8) Hyde & Beast
Comprised of two drummers, H&B create a sound that is simply undeniable. I’ve listened to their track “Keep Moving” about 20 times this week. And it’s only Tuesday.
9) Curtis Harding
Soul music at it’s best. In 2015. Who would have thought?
His album is one of the best of 2015. Better yet, one of the best albums in recent memory. You’ll be listening to this guy for weeks.
10) Benjamin Booker
Watching BB perform, I couldn’t help myself but envision shades of Gary Clark, Jr. Not too shabby.