best-emerging-bands-artists

David Strange brings his eccentric psych rock to Knitting Factory on 1/30

David Strange is delightfully weird, devilshly hypnotic, and guaranteed to pull you down into his personal rabbit hole. With psych rock leanings, it's easy to say that the ex-session musician's sound belongs to a different era, but there's a hard-to-place oddness pumping through the twisted heart of his self-titled EP--so much so that it's perhaps more fitting to say Strange's music belongs to a different dimension. Stand out track "Aztec Corn" pulses with the grit and glam of old-school rock n' roll, but has a jaunty, sinsiter quality that feels as if Strange is edging closer and closer to becoming wildly unhinged. The result is a delirously delicious aural treat, especially for those craving something a bit more unusal. You can catch him at the Knitting Factory 1/30 with ZEBEDEE, Logan X, and Toot Sweet, but in the meantime, be sure to stream him below. - Olivia Sisinni

   

Niia song catches fire through risque' video featuring Kylie Jenner and Tyga

We've always been fan of NYC's songstress Niia, whose sensuous song "Last Night in Los Feliz" was recently chosen by Kylie Jenner & Tyga as soundtrack for a risque` video unveiled on Christmas day. Needless to say, this got Niia a fair amount of exposure, and her name popped up in our Best of NYC Top 10 for emerging artists on this same page...

   

The Deli Philly’s January Record of the Month: a cheap close-up of heaven - So Totally

Philly four-piece So Totally gives listeners the ideal soundtrack for winter sadness with the release of their debut EP. Equal parts moody reverb and poetic gloom, a cheap close-up of heaven is a brutally candid depiction of unfiltered millennial feels.
 
Opening with the swell of “i can’t wait,” So Totally prove that not all twenty-somethings are afraid to wear their hearts on their sleeves. Heightened by lyrical concision and atmospheric riffs, the song is a melodic rumination on uncertainty and intimacy. On “lead & alchemy,” the universal need to be loved takes center stage amidst crashing riffs and lines like “I want to taste the real thing, follow me home” just before the track “rare form” pairs the sincerity of early aughts emo with the unfettered intensity of mid-90s shoegaze.
 
Infused with well-tempered nostalgia, “rare form” is the perfect summation of both genres’ devotion to doomed love and self-loathing - two themes further explored in “late gloomer”. Brutal like a best friend’s honesty, it is a ready-made wake-up call for anyone prone to self-induced sorrow or prolonged bouts of sulking. Comprised of hissing snare and reminders like “no one cares if it’s raining out, no one cares if you hate yourself,” the song is a bitter pill to swallow, but in a good way, while “easy leave” is a grunge-y hymn about the necessity of escapism, despite its limitations, and the frustration of temporary lows. a cheap close-up of heaven ends with the somber burn of “zoetrope,” a bleak but breathtaking portrait of human closeness eclipsed by apathy, a befitting end to an EP that isn’t afraid to find light at the center of an existential abyss.
 
The tracks on So Totally’s debut are ready-made mantras for the New Year, a collection of anthems for realists and romantics alike. With a combination of nostalgia and sincerity, a cheap close-up of heaven might not help you live your best life, but it will make you feel less alone, giving even the staunchest pessimist a glimmer of hope. (Photo by Austin Crostarosa) - Dianca London
 

   

Visual Vices: The Last Artful, Dodgr & Neill Von Tally - "Caverns"

With one of the most recognizable voices in the game right now, The Last Artful, Dodgr certainly knows how to turn something good into something incredibly great. Teaming up with producer Neill Von Tally has proved an even greater endeavor, as Von Tally's beats make for the best presentation of Dodgr's matchless take on R&B and hip hop.

Having already released their debut as a duo, the Fractures EP, last year and a collab EP with Myke Bogan earlier this year, the pair have shared with us the second single to come off their first full-length Bone Music.

"Caverns" as a video is just like it is as a track - incredibly smooth in its minimal execution in a way that allows Dodgr's flow to really shine. Watch the glitchy video for "Caverns" below and be on the lookout for Bone Music, due out early 2017.

   

Q.D. Tran’s Favorite Philly Albums of 2016

2016 will be emblazoned in most of our memories – whether for good or bad (most likely bad). However, from vaped weed, you make weed butter, and we will all find joy again, as well as sadness – I’m sure – thus, the cyclicality of life. So working on this year’s list has been a therapeutic endeavor for me, and I really hope that you find as much joy and solace as I have in these rad Philly albums.
 
“Music as social glue, as a self-empowering change agent, is maybe more profound than how perfectly a specific song is composed or how immaculately tight a band is.”  David Byrne
 
Happy New Year! Much love to all the extremely talented artists that we have lost this year. And Fuck You, Trump!
 
Sincerely,
Q.D. Tran
 
 
1. Mannequin Pussy – Romantic (Tiny Engines)
 
Mannequin Pussy was already on my radar before they relocated to Philly so I was looking forward to getting more familiar with the three-piece turned quartet this past year. Romantic effortless shifts from heartfelt pop-rock to blistering punk, while capturing the ferocity of the band’s live performances. Clocking in at under twenty minutes, I have to agree with their record label Tiny Engines. The LP is “all killer, no filler.”
 

 
2. Chris Forsyth & The Solar Motel Band – The Rarity of Experience (No Quarter)
 
Chris Forsyth had already been building his reputation around town for years as a gifted guitar maestro. Now, with the backing of The Solar Motel Band, they have united to become a jamming tour de force, melding his love for the sounds of such inventive artists as The Grateful Dead, Television, Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Popol Vuh, and Richard Thompson. The Rarity of Experience takes you on a glorious journey through music history, beautifully curated by the experimental rockers from Philly.
 

 
3. NAH – Michael (Ranch)
 
Hip hop and punk have always been rather strange bedfellows, bonded together at NYC clubs in the early days. Though the marriage of the two can sometimes lead to disastrous outcomes, NAH, a.k.a. Mike Kuhns, successfully bridges the gap, with his raw, palpable intensity and imaginative compositions. Michael is an album that should not be slept on.
 

 
4. The Retinas – chaba (Self-released)
 
On chaba, The Retinas really caught me off-guard with their songwriting skills. Ear-burrowing melodies combined with creative, disenchanted, slacker lyrics buried under just the right amount of fuzz are what drove me to book them this year for The Deli Philly’s Anniversary Bash (which absolutely ruled). I also was introduced to a lot of their kick-ass new material that night so hopefully you’ll be hearing more from them sooner than later.
 

 
5. Moor Mother – Fetish Bones (Don Giovanni)
 
I feel like Moor Mother’s Fetish Bones is a reflection of what I have become in 2016: politically charged and pissed off. Now, as I leave this god-awful year behind, I am encouraged to see how our art community will respond to this dystopia that now lays before us. The fight has only just begun.
 

 
6. Lushlife + CSLSX – Ritualize (Western Vinyl)
7. Them Jones – A Mountain of Nonsense (Self-released)
8. The Original Crooks and Nannies – Ugly Laugh (Self-released)
9. Japanese Breakfast – Psychopomp (Yellow K)
10.Tunji Ige – Missed Calls (Brainbandits/Bad Habits)
11. Great Thunder & Radiator Hospital – The Great Thunder Radiator Hospital Wedding Album (Stupid Bag)
12. Cherry – Gloom (Lame-O)
13. Needle Points – Feel Young (NeedLove)
14. So Totally – a cheap close-up of heaven (Self-released)
15. Suburban Living – Almost Paradise (6131)
16. The Afterglows – The Afterglows (Salinas/Stupid Bag)
17. Modern Baseball – Holy Ghost (Run For Cover)
18. Nothing – Tired of Tomorrow (Relapse)
19. American Trappist – American Trappist (Self-released)
20. Jo Kusy – You Break Me (Kooze Kontrol)
21. Purling Hiss – High Bias (Drag City)
22. Spring Onion – please relax (Self-released)
23. Abi Reimold – Wriggling (Sad Cactus)
24. Creepoid – Burner (WavePOP)
25. The Writhing SquaresIn the Void Above (Siltbreeze)
26. Wild At Heart – DEMO (Sensual World)
27. Slaughter Beach, Dog – Welcome (Lame-O)
28. Hezekiah Jones – Har! Har! Har! (Self-released)
29. Gorgeous Porch – The Champagne Laugh (Self-released)
30. Permanent Body – Permanent Body (Self-released)
31. Hello Shark – Delicate (Orindal)
32. Beach Slang – A Loud Bash Of Teenage Feelings (Polyvinyl)
33. Pinkwash – Collective Sigh (Don Giovanni)
34. Myrrias – Spectra (Soft Dystopia)
35. Queen of Jeans – Queen of Jeans (Third Uncle)
36. The Fantastic Imagination – Good Knight, Sweet Dreams (Self-released)
37. Pill Friends – Child Sacrifice (Out of Breath)
38. Residuels – Hurricane (Self-released)
39. Mary Lattimore/Jeff Zeigler – Music Inspired by Philippe Garrel’s Le Revelateur (Thrill Jockey)
40. Thin Lips – Riff Hard (Lame-O)
41. The Dove & The Wolf – I Don’t Know What To Feel (Self-released)
42. Ghost Gum – The Past, The Future, Dwelling there like space (Self-released)
43. Valley Exit – Valley Exit (Soft Dystopia)
44. Hurry – Guided Meditation (Lame-O)
45. Sad13 – Slugger (Carpark)
46. Camp Candle – ERE (Self-released)
47. Shelf Life – Alright, Okayy (Self-released)
48. Sheer Mag – III (Wilsuns RC/Static Shock)
49. Mumblr – The Never Ending Get Down (Fleeting Youth)
50. Honey Radar – Blank Cartoon (What’s Your Rupture)