Clockwise from upper left: Big Thief, Japanese Breakfast, Margaret Glaspy, Overcoats
Courtesy of the artists
Courtesy of the artists
It's only June and this year is already jam-packed with remarkable new artists who've released some of 2016's most memorable music. These are artists who released their very first songs or first full-length albums so far this year.
Last week we asked for your picks for the best new artists from 2016's first half. We tallied the votes and have your top 10 listed below, alongside quotes that some of you submitted with your votes. The artists you picked cross genres, from the scuzz-y slacker rock of Lucy Dacus to the tender country music of Margo Price. But the thing that links them all, what you told us matters most to you, is a sense of authenticity.
But first, Bob and Robin share their favorites: the wound-tight, propulsive sound of Weaves and the quiet, textured tunes of Ry X.
One of Bob's favorite new artists of 2016, the Toronto-based art rock group Weaves makes music that sounds like winding a rubber band on a little toy airplane and letting it go. "One More" is a perfect bunch of reckless abandon. It's a track that's a little wild and a whole lot of fun.
"A mesmerizing debut. Their sound seems perfected from years of experience despite being a new band. The lyrics are beautiful, sharp and piercing, the band compliments the songwriting perfectly and swirls psychedelically around the breathtaking croon of Adrianne Lenker. Every one these songs make me choke up."
"Lucy Dacus' album, No Burden, was the soundtrack to the long, slow Boston winter for me this year. I bet I have listened to it start-to-finish about 100 times. Her smart, witty but yet simple lyrics really resonated with me as I entered a new stage in my life, wandered the frozen streets of the Northeast, and felt out a new not-yet-defined relationship. I like to call her a cross over between Courtney Barnett & Wilco.
'Without you I am surely the last of our kind.' What a heartbreaking, simple, compelling line. A+"
"There's a real boldness in the sort of mid-tempo-discordant vibe they have. Kristine Leschper's lyrics are genuinely off beat. So many artists try to manufacture quirky art-school lyrics and they generally come off sounding horribly artificial. Kristine Leschper's words make the song feel not quite right. Like something's wrong and you empathize with every emotion even when you can't quite identify what the emotions are."
"So many contemporary bluegrass and folk outfits that get big have a cloying sweetness to them, or a cynical predisposition towards a radio-friendly pop sensibility. Not so with Honeysuckle. Their sound is unpretentious and unabashed, as if each song is meant for one set of ears only. They don't shy away from moments that are as technical as they are mesmerizing, and here their musicianship really shines through. Trampled By Turtles is about to be stomped by a flower y'all."
"With so many artists trying to emulate the '90s today, [Michelle Zauner] seems to capture the authenticity of that sound while blending it with her own personal approach to music to give way to something new altogether. Not a re-creation or a wannabe, authentically true to herself. Recently signed to Dead Oceans and if that's not a stamp of approval, I don't know what is!"