It's a new year, so add some new music into the mix. Here are five artists, split between NYC and Boston, on our radar for 2015.
HOWARD (folk/eletronica / Brooklyn, NY)
Describing indie rock as 'intricate' leaves a lot to imagination. Yet, for guitarist/singer Howard Feibusch and his band who intermingle acoustic guitar with electronics, it's an apt adjective. Taking a page from Bonobo and Four Tet, the four-piece create catchy-yet-bewitching tracks that make the listener want to simultaneously sway and be contemplative.
MITSKI (bedroom folk rock / Brooklyn, NY)
Palpable emotion, visceral lyrics and mellow, shoegazy guitar defines 22 year-old Mitski Miyawaki's music. Known as Mitski, the recent Purchase College grad creates sometimes soft bedroom pop and sometimes loud grunge outpourings. Either way, she pulls heartstrings with the best of modern folk. In case you were wondering, it definitely translates live. See for yourself at The Sinclair in Boston on 2/28, Union Transfer in Philadelphia on 3/2 and at Music Hall of Williamsburg on 3/5, all supporting Hundred Waters.
DEAD STARS (indie pop / Brooklyn, NY)
College rock never died. Or at the very least, Dead Stars don't think so. Sure, the three piece might not be doing anything revolutionary. But that's okay — sometimes we just wanna rock. Catchy riffs, universal themes (see "Waste Away" and "Summer Bummer") and scrappy rock define the band who released their debut LP, "Slumber," in June 2014. Read our interview with them from last summer and catch them live in NYC.
RUBY ROSE FOX (soul rock / Boston, MA)
Soul singer/songwriter Ruby Rose Fox began her solo career in 2011 but it wasn't until the Boston Music Awards last month when we fully realized her vocal power. Seemingly out of another era, Ruby Rose has a deep, jazzy voice that would certainly accompany funk revivalist Sharon Jones well. Ruby Rose Fox are the sort of hard-working Boston band that might not get their deserved national spotlight, but we hope her recent Female Vocalist of the Year BMA helps. They perform live next on 2/14 at the Lizard Lounge in Cambridge.
NEW HIGHWAY HYMNAL (grunge rock / Haverhill, MA)
Distortion, raucous riffs and barely discernible vocals characterize The New Highway Hymnal's sophomore LP released earlier this month. It's a testament to their grunge-and-psych-laden sound which the four-piece has developed since 2009. Their sound hits many garage rock tentpoles (see: guitar pop of "By The Pool" and the sludgy psych of "Lovely Soul") but it's all shrouded in New Highway Hymnal-style reverb. If there's a place for psych rock in 2015, this band should be part of it.