10 More Artists to Watch Out for in 2018




I have no idea which new artist will be the next [Insert popular artist from an earlier time period here]. I can only tell you what I think sounds good and that there are more than 10 artists to pay attention to in 2018. This time, we have a lot more of New York’s underground and a few international acts that I’m sure you’ll be proud to boast your awareness of if they gain more mainstream attention. Happy discovery!

1) A Place To Bury Strangers

Veteran Brooklyn based noise rockers A Place to Bury Strangers have returned from their tour of Asia to announce a new album and, you guest it, another world tour! The new album Penned is coming to us in April with a massive release show planned for Bushwhick’s brand new venue, Elsewhere. This album marks the debut of the energetic drummer Lia Simone Braswell, whom I have affectionately called “maniac” because of her incredible job matching the on stage fire and fury of front man Oliver Ackermann and bassist Dion Lunadon. The first offering for Penned, “Never Coming Back” tells me that 2018 is theirs for the taking.


2) Hockey Dad

Australian born childhood friends, Zach Stephenson and Billy Fleming aka Hockey Dad, are looking to siege 2018 with their sophomore effort, Blend Inn out February 9th. Although this album has yet to see the light of day, that hasn’t stopped them from selling out a number of dates in their native continent. Their latest single “I Wanna Be Everybody” shows off a maturation in their songwriting and arranging that delivers an interesting approach to the all too familiar surf rock sound. Whenever Hockey Dad comes around your way, go see them because its all party.  


3) Foxy Dads

Long Island based duo (sometimes trio) Foxy Dads have graced us with a late 2017 album Songs from the LIRR. Ilana Hope and Marissa Carroll do a great job of bringing hope to sadness with their beautiful lo-fi pop tunes. You may have seen them on bills on various DIY spots on Long Island and Brooklyn. Their emotionally aware sound is charming and I’m sure they’ll win you over in 2018. They are also featured on Vol. 4 of my Watchout Playlist series on TIDAL. You can check it out here!


4) Crumb

New York via Tufts University trio Crumb bring a smooth, mysterious, psychedelic take on rock that’s so eclectic that I can see Common rap over their arrangements. Their music is a result of singer/guitarist Lila Ramini’s creating a foundation that bassist Jesse Brotter, multi-instrumentalist Brian Aronow and drummer Jonathan Gilad fostered into something complete. With two EPs under their belt and a nationwide tour booked for March and April, who knows what this group has in store for the rest of 2018? 


5) Seafang

This St. Petersburg, Florida quintet have been sprinkling a couple of 7” singles for about two years and they have yet to disappoint. I was first introduced to them through the “Motorcycle Song” single and was drawn in by the shoegaze inspired washed out guitars and the beautiful, ethereal vocal style of Heidi Richards. Fans of Honeyrider might appreciate this because their alum Gary Strickland serves as the Seafang bassist. 2017 saw them playing some local Florida shows,  the release of the fantastic “Solid Gold” single as well as an original Christmas tune “Happy When It Snows”. Seafang see no end in sight as they plan on touring and releasing more music so keep a close eye on them this year.


6) Nervous Dater

Brooklyn based quartet Nervous Dater have been putting out a string of EPs since 2015 and last year we saw the release of their debut full length, Don’t Be a Stranger. Since then, they have been playing numerous shows throughout New York City, Chicago, Massachusetts  and even Long Island; a territory that some Brooklyn bands almost never touch. Their raw, melodic, take on punk will make you reevaluate any preconceptions you might have of “Pop-Punk”. Maybe it’s not all whiny suburban boys crying the blues about a breakup.


7) The Royal They

Brooklyn punks The Royal They first stepped on the scene with their 2016 self-titled debut and followed up two years later with Foreign Being. This offering brings a combination of cathartic mantras from vocalist Michelle Hutt on the album opener “C.N.T.” and beautiful slow burners like “Veritas”. They do an excellent job with re-arranging familiar sounds of punk and grunge and putting a modern twist to it. If you recently moved to Brooklyn and are looking for bands to get into, keep The Royal They on your radar this year. 


8) Superorganism

Superorganism are a musical hive-mind; a summation of eight musicians from all over the world slowly spreading its presence in the music world. With their debut album slated for a March release, they’re already grabbing some attention with singles ”Something for your M.I.N.D.” and “Everybody Wants To Be Famous”. When you have so many artists contributing to a project, everything feels like a big production. Superorganism take a community approach to their music to build a connection that’ll only improve their chemistry. I am very curious to see how this will play out in a live performance setting.


9) The Spook School

For the past five years, Scottish indie poppers The Spook School have been vocal about the battles consistently faced by the LGBTQ community. In January, they arrived with their latest full length, Could It Be Different? and it’s a quick burst of fiery, fuzzy, pop tunes. They first caught my eye on the spectacular Slumberland/Fortuna POP! compilation, Continental Drift released back in 2016. I really dug their explosive delivery of their sweet, tender, harmonic sounds. I admire how In a world plagued with bigotry, The Spook School make resiliency sound so alluring.


10) Sloppy Jane

This group is more of an interchangeable, evolving, openly collaborative process with a revolving door of musicians. New York City native Haley Dahl is the conductor of Sloppy Jane and invites up to 11 other musicians on stage at a time. They are one of those groups that offer more than a musical experience when you see them live. Dahl utilizes the entire venue as her stage almost to keep your attention from wandering into your phones. Sonically, they have an experimental rock approach that rooted in punk aggression and unpredictable melodic moments. They have a new album Willow coming soon that should be exciting given the overwhelmingly expressive nature of their live show.


10 Artists to Watch Out for in 2018

TOP 10 ARTISTS 2018The beginning of the year is always interesting because that’s when everyone is miserable to return to their regular routine that was blocked out by the madness of the holiday season. More importantly, the usual drought of shows during the holidays ends, tours get announced, and the conversation of new music begins! Below are 10 artists that are worth paying attention to in 2018. Happy listening!

1.  Astronauto

For the last 2 years my least favorite month of the year saw the release of some of my favorite albums of the year. Since 2016, Long Island one man band John Velsor has been consistent with some of the most inventive projects to ever come out of Nassau County. His Astronauto project has seen its third iteration this year in the form of The Flourescent Album. Having played over 80 shows in 2017, who knows what 2018 has in store for this psychedelic folk one man machine?


2. Starbenders

I first saw this Atlanta based Glam Punk outfit play the now defunct Brooklyn venue, The Rock Shop in August 2015 before the release of their debut album Heavy Petting. Two years later, they returned to Manhattan to play Bowery Electric and I saw a completely different band. This time, I saw a matured stage presence and a deeper connection with the crowd. This new found confident energy has bled into their music because through out 2017, Starbenders have been releasing a series of singles, the most notable being “Julian”; easily the most melodic the band has ever been with beautiful ghostly harmonies throughout. Whether a new album or another single is in their plans, I’ll be paying attention.


3. Smol Data

Smol Data is a new Long Island based quartet formed by guitarist/vocalist Karah Goldstein (formerly of Catlike). They have spent the last year going on mini-tours and working tirelessly on a new EP. They’ve been keeping us up to date on their progress by sharing some demos on bandcamp and an interesting lo-fi take on Charly Bliss’ “Westermark”. I would also give them the award for best twitter of 2017. They don’t even try to be funny, just brutally honest. The future is Smol, get used to it.


4. Palm

This Philadelphia quartet sure have a way with sounds. Palm possess this gorgeous, inventive, and unpredictable approach to rock music that would leave you confused but curious. Last year’s Shadow Expert EP is well organized in its chaos and a great way to hold us over until their new full length ‘Rock Island’ comes out on February 9th.


5.  QTY

Native New Yorkers Dan Lardner & Alex Niemetz spent the last few years working tirelessly on their long awaited debut album that finally saw daylight this past December. For most of 2017, they have been touring across the US, releasing single after single all culminating into a beautifully humble and lyrically driven self titled project. In 2018, they  hope their emotions expressed in their music and live show relate to you. That sounds corny, but its so true.


6.  Miss Eaves

Brooklyn based rapper, Miss Eaves is one of the most charming artists I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. Her shows are deeply intimate and attempts to make a connection to whomever is closest to her at the moment. She caught some attention with her “Thunder Thighs” video and even got her track “Hump Day” on Issa Rae’s brilliant show Insecure on HBO. I’m sure last year’s Feminasty EP is merely scratching the surface to what the gold tooth chain wearing rapper has in store in 2018.


7. Wildhoney

Baltimore’s lovable pedal pop outfit Wildhoney have been hibernating working on their follow up to 2015’s  Sleep Through It. They recently released their two offerings from the fantastic Slumberland Records/Fortuna POP! compilation Continental Drift. “Horror Movie” & “TL Reprisal” are set to be remixed and remastered for a limited edition cassette release this month.


8. MJT

The Central Islip trio of brothers, MJT have released two EPs in 2017; The World Is A Broken Toy & Home. The latter being their best work so far. They are gifted musicians, but its one thing to be good at playing instruments and another if you can get the crowd to care about said talent. They received an uncanny response at a recent Knitting Factory show. It was the first time I had ever seen a band get their named chanted at that space. Having such an overly dedicated fan base made up of close friends is dangerous in the best way possible.


9.  Screaming Females

Writing this on a frigid day in January brought back memories of this past summer when I found a sealed copy of ‘Baby Teeth’, the first album from veteran New Jersey punk outfit Screaming Females at a flea market. When I put this album on, it was never more clear to me that Scremales have come so far in their decade long existence.  Their latest single, “Glass House” is the shape of punk to come as Refused said in 1998. Its going to be a hot winter when their forthcoming album All At Once comes out on February 23rd.


10. Sunflower Bean

New York rising stars Sunflower Bean exploded seemingly out of nowhere in 2016 with their debut album Human Ceremony. Being signed to an indie giant like Fat Possum can serve as the beginning of life as a headlining act. They have spent the last 2 years playing festival after festival, and somehow finding the time to record new music. Their latest gift to us “I Was A Fool” released on another indie behemoth, Mom + Pop, is a tender, collected tune that shows us the other side of their energetic psychedelic-dream rock style.