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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Cool bands you’ve probably never heard of


    Courtesy of Ralph Arvesen

    Father John Misty performs at UTOPiAfest in Utopia, Texas, on Sept. 5, 2014. Father John Misty is one of several lesser-known artists to check out.

    After presenting you the best newcomers from the UK in last week’s Wildcat Weekend, it only seems right to deliver the North American equivalents. This year seems heavily singer-songwriter influenced; however, great hip-hop, electronic and garage rock acts spice up the mix.

    Tobias Jesso Jr

    What it sounds like: Hyper-romanticized yet cool ’70s singer-songwriter tunes with an interesting voice to match. 

    Why it’s cool: Jimmy Fallon personally invited Vancouver-native Jesso after seeing one of his videos on the Internet. And, in the words of the singer’s recent tour campaign, “You can’t miss Tobias Jesso Jr. He’s 6-foot-7.”

    Essential Listening: “How Could You Babe”


    What it sounds like: Witty bedroom-produced hip-hop with high aspirations and club appeal.

    Why it’s cool: Makonnen and Drake got the club going up on a Tuesday. 

    Essential Listening: “I Don’t Sell Molly No More”

    Father John Misty

    What it sounds like: Blunt singer-songwriter music that combines traditional instruments and curse words.

    Why it’s cool: Drummer-in-a-band-turned-idol. Ex-Fleet Foxes drummer J. Tillman played the single “Bored In The USA” from his second album on Fallon and delivered a weird comedic performance that had the audience at a loss for words. He openly calls himself a “creepy middle-aged man” on Instagram.

    Essential Listening: “I Love You, Honeybear”


    What it sounds like: Vulnerable, acoustic female vocalist.

    Why it’s cool: The Alabama-born singer recently signed to cult-label Merge records for her highly anticipated third album, Ivy Tripp, which will be released on April 7. Last year, she went on tour with Jenny Lewis.

    Essential Listening: “Swan Dive”


    What it sounds like: Hot Chip meets tUnE-yArDs on speed.

    Why it’s cool: The 20-year-old Nevada native went from being completely unknown to No. 11 on the “Tracks-of-the-Year” list on Pitchfork. His funk/R&B crossover and androgynous voice make for heavily danceable hits.

    Essential Listening: “If It Wasn’t True”

    Public Access T.V.

    What it sounds like: Upbeat indie-rock, The Beatles-y harmonies and melodious electric guitars.

    Why it’s cool: The NYC band was the talk of town long before anyone knew its name. By sending out secret SoundCloud links leading to unnamed songs, it captured the attention of the whole scene. The band has got a name now, but it’s still wholly opposed to every step toward commercialization, because Public Access T.V. don’t give a damn about the “template you’re supposed to follow.”

    Essential listening: “In The Mirror”

    Twin Peaks

    What it sounds like: ’80s Garage Rock with modern psychedelic streaks and heavy guitar solos. 

    Why it’s cool: The band got together in high school. As of recently, most of the members still live with their parents. Twin Peaks are as youthful as they are energetic, giving them a great vibe. They’re named after David Lynch’s cult TV series, which will finally have a comeback season next year. Perfect timing.

    Essential listening: “Making Breakfast”


    Follow Caren Badtke on Twitter.

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