Nir Netz ’19
Greetings everyone, and welcome to my list. I’ve been a music-head for quite some time now, and this year has been the pinnacle of my music craze. I’ve learned about so many new genres, listened to tons of great (and not so great) songs, and stumbled upon new favorites. This list discloses some of the talented musicians and bands I’ve discovered this year. However, I’m not really doing this for myself. I’m making this list in hopes of expanding your horizons in terms of music! Most of what I listen to isn’t pop or hip hop, so I’m hoping to turn you guys onto something new. You may not like some of the people on this list; however, you should definitely give each band/musician a shot! Below each description, I have posted a link to one of their songs so you can check it out. Now, on with the list. Here are the top 30 musicians and bands I discovered this year!
30. Trash Boat
Genre: skate park punk
Starting this list off is an underrated punk band known as Trash Boat. Their musical style is fast-paced, loud, and above all: crazy. The guitars and drums help convey the feeling of adrenaline in their songs, and the lead vocalist, Tobi Duncan, has a great, high pitched voice. The lyrics are also worth mentioning; they’re deep, entrancing, and they tell stories of pain and regret. They’re perfect songs to listen to while skating.
Eleven – Trash Boat [CONTAINS SWEARING]
29. The Interrupters
I find it sad that ska isn’t very well known on campus. I mean, who wouldn’t love a combination of punk and reggae? Here’s the first ska band on this list: The Interrupters. The instrumentals and lyrics are your typical ska instrumentals and lyrics (partying, friendship, and comedic stuff) however, what separates this band from other ska bands is the lead vocalist: Aimee Allen. Aimee’s voice is groovy, energetic, and pleasant to the ears. Her voice is basically the heart and soul of The Interrupters, and that’s why the band is so memorable.
28. 11 Acorn Lane
While making this list, I really wanted to put Lunicorn Lunz, an electro-swing band (sub-genre of 40’s swing and EDM) on your radar. However, I just remembered an electro-swing band that I discovered this year that’s even better – 11 Acorn Lane. This band always turns my frown upside down. Their songs are so upbeat that I can’t help but smile! This duo has everything going for them: amazing vocals, infectiously catchy tunes, and cute lyrics. I love them to death, but since I just discovered them, I don’t feel comfortable putting them any higher on this list until I know more about them.
27. Benjamin Clementine
Genre: piano opera
Benjamin Clementine is an incredibly talented artist, poet, and musician. As much as I’d like to talk about his experimental art and his dramatic poetry, this is a list about music, so let’s focus on his musical abilities. His songs are mostly piano based, and include deep, thought provoking lyrics sung in Benjamin’s beautiful operatic voice. Some of his other songs use instruments like violins and drums. He also incorporates his other artistic abilities into his music videos, which is very cool.
26. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
Despite the crazy name, shoegaze isn’t really an interesting genre. It’s basically a more space-y and calmer version of indie music, one of my more disliked genres (at least in its’ purest form.) However, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart manages to make this genre interesting and enjoyable to this listener! Their songs usually include relaxing guitars and calm vocals that have an echo effect. They include an almost have a psychedelic vibe and always suck me into this vast void of tranquility. Their music videos are also worth mentioning, as each one is brilliantly made and contains positive messages.
Finally, a band that a few people might actually know! For those not aware, Radiohead is a popular rock band that surfaced around the mid 80’s. Today, they’re one of the most well known modern rock bands – and for good reason! Thom Yorke, the lead singer, has a voice reminiscent of a somber melody. The instrumentals are laid back, yet emotional, and the lyrics are pretty symbolic. I would’ve put them higher if I had listened to them more often, but alas, they’re only at 25.
24. Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
Genre: swing revival
Whoever says that swing in it’s purest form is dead? Look no further than Big Bad Voodoo Daddy to show you that swing is alive and kicking! As a modern swing band, their melodies sound like Cab Calloway if he were alive today. Their tunes are jazzy and snappy. I could totally tap dance to their music if I knew how. Their lyrics are captivating, romantic, and pretty catchy – especially in songs like “Diga Diga Doo” and “Why Me?”
Genre: Viking metal
Believe it or not, Viking metal is a real genre, and it’s awesome! If you’re completely new to this genre, why not start with Týr? Their songs are slow, and they have this epic downtempo tone. Their lyrics are always about Viking related things like Norse mythology and history. The lead vocalist, Heri Joensen has a beautiful deep singing voice that sounds like nothing I’ve ever heard before.
22. The Four Freshmen
Genre: barbershop jazz
I’m a big fan of barbershop music, and there’s a lot of great bands from the genre. One of them is The Four Freshmen. Their music dates back to the late 40’s, and they’re still making music to this day! Once in awhile, the quartet loses and gains new members, and for the most part, they sound harmonious. The combined voices of the Four Freshmen are simply astounding – they’re bold, on key, and very pleasant! My only complaint is that they could use a little work on their lyrics; otherwise they’re home free!
21. Light This City
Genre: death metal
I know not many people like this kind of music, but regardless, I really like Light This City. This band’s guitar riffs vary in speed and tone, the drums are simply crazy, and the lyrics are brash and violent. Much like other bands previously mentioned, the vocals are what makes this band stand out. Laura Nichol has a deep, menacing, and masculine voice that makes it difficult to make out her words at first, but once you read the lyrics her words become clear as day! Unfortunately, the band broke up in 2008, which is such a shame, because these guys were awesome!
The Unwelcome Savior – Light This City [CONTAINS SWEARING]
20. Andrew Bird
Genre: folk rock
Shoutout to Teacher Monty for sparking my interest in this talented musician! A few months ago I discovered Andrew Bird on Spotify, but I didn’t think much of him at first. Then, after Monty showed me more of his songs and told me about his ability as a multi-instrumentalist, a fantastic vocalist, and an expert whistler, I was amazed. Each of his songs are different from one another in so many ways. One song has roots in rockabilly, another in folk, and another sounds like it’s right out of the 1930’s. I hope to listen to his music more often.