Every year is a good one for music, but 2016 will be crucial for these eight bands to watch. Don’t let them slip under your radar, and start listening now to stay one step ahead of the mainstream.
This Cleveland five-piece has attracted growing attention for their unique combination of indie rock, new wave and blues that produces catchy riffs, arresting vocals and beefy bass lines. Their debut EP, “Random Lights,” will leave you wanting more, and you’ll get it this year. The band is currently working on their first full-length album, which will debut this summer.
Jess Wolf and Holly Laessig front this Brooklyn quintet, and their matching modern look and other-worldly voices make Lucius a force with the potential to take over the music scene this year. Pristine harmonies, indie pop riffs and the right amount of funk make their second release, “Good Grief,” one of the most anticipated albums of the year. Paul Krugman of the New York Times called the first single “especially gorgeous,” and he wasn’t wrong.
Wet’s first LP dropped in January, and “Don’t You” is a heartbreaking tribute to lost love propelled by singer Kelly Zutrau’s sultry, sensual vocals that go from rhythm-and-blues to aching country from one song to the next.
This UK-based band is post-punk at its finest, and “Adore Life” is a triumphant LP with swirling beats, visceral lyrics and direct vocals that will propel their fame across the pond this year.
Hailing from small town Pennsylvania, The Districts excel at starting off with unassuming melodies and rhythms before perfectly building to a sweet, swelling climax. See them live now if you can, before they start selling out venues across the country.
Bully’s debut LP “Feels Like” is spectacular from start to finish. Those with a nostalgia for 90s alt-rock will hear the clear influence of the era, but Bully manages to make the sound fresh again.
Wonderfully raucous, chugging and high-energy, Royal Headache has gained an intense following in their native Australia, where shows have been stopped by police due to fans crashing the stage, singing as hard as they can. Keep an eye on them this year for more cleaned-up, well-produced tunes, hooks that inspire joyful singing and melodic, upbeat songs about love, loneliness and soul.
Jean-Philip Grobler’s follow-up to 2013’s “When the Night” takes his music from good to great. Check out “Physical” to indulge your ears in a celebration of millennial positivity that you can’t help but bust a move to and play on repeat.