The 2015 Bonnarooo Lineup has officially been released, and TickPick is the only place with the complete lineup, and an intro to each artist, including videos of their previous performances. Check it out and let us know who you’re most excited to see this year at Bonnaroo in the comments!
As a six-time Grammy Award winner and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Billy Joel is without a doubt the biggest headliner at Bonnaroo this year, and definitely the most surprising addition to the lineup. He is one of the best-selling recording artists of all time, with hits spanning several decades, and has achieved icon status as a musician. In 2014 he signed on to be the first-ever music franchise at Madison Square Garden, agreeing to play one show per month at the venue with no established end date.
Mumford & Sons
British folk rock group Mumford & Sons rose to fame shortly after the release of their debut album “Sigh No More.” The band formed in 2007, and is made up of members Marcus Mumford, Ben Lovett, Winston Marshall, and Ted Dwane. Mumford & Sons has been very influential in recent years, inspiring a movement of bands with a similar style to their own. Their mainstream success has paved the way for the rising popularity of other artists with folk and bluegrass influence.
Toronto native and famed DJ/producer Joel Zimmerman performs under the stage name Deadmau5, which is a reference to an incident when he once found a dead mouse inside his computer. Always sporting his trademark giant LED mouse head, he puts on spectacular performances for huge audiences all over the world. He has cemented himself as a legend in electronic and house music, and has been extremely influential in the genre.
Kendrick Lamar Duckworth, better known as Kendrick Lamar, is a rapper and songwriter from Compton, California. He rose to popularity in 2010 with the release of his mixtape “Overly Dedicated,” and the following year his album “Section 80,” which he released exclusively through iTunes, ranked as one of the best digital hip hop releases of the year. His major-label debut “good kid, m.A.A.d city” debuted at number two on the US Billboard 200 and was certified platinum by the RIAA. He received seven Grammy nominations in 2014, including Best New Artist, Album of the Year, and Best Rap Song.
Florence & The Machine
Florence + The Machine rose to popularity with the release of their debut studio album “Lungs” in 2009. “Lungs” quickly became one of the best-selling albums of that year, and their singles were used in a number of movies and television shows, garnering more exposure for the band. Their rising mainstream success paved the way for several awards and recognitions, including a nomination for a 2011 Grammy Award for Best New Artist. Their second full-length album, “Ceremonials,” also earned them two Grammy nominations in 2013, and they are currently working on their third album to be released later this year.
Robert Plant & The Sensational Space Shifters
Robert Plant, best known of course as the frontman of legendary rock band Led Zeppelin, is currently touring with his new band, the Sensational Space Shifters, which debuted in 2012. In addition to Plant himself, rounding out the band’s lineup are Liam “Skin” Tyson, Justin Adams, Billy Fuller, John Baggot, Dave Smith, and Juldeh Camara.
My Morning Jacket
My Morning Jacket formed in the late ’90s in Louisville, KY. Led by frontman Jim James, whose ethereal voice and incredible range are impressive to say the least, the band is known for amazing live performances. Though rooted in alt-country and rock, My Morning Jacket often delves into different genres and experiments with their sound.
Lorin Ashton, better known by his stage name Bassnectar, is an American DJ and record producer. He is known for his live performances and stunning light shows, and sells out huge venues all over the country. Not only has he proven himself as an influential EDM musician, but he has also stood out over the years as a social activist and philanthropist. In 2011, he donated one dollar per ticket sold on his tour to charity for what was known as the “Dollar Per Basshead” campaign, for which he raised $250,000 and let his fans vote for which charities it would benefit.
Roots rock band Alabama Shakes formed in Athens, Alabama in 2009, when lead vocalist and guitarist Brittany Howard met bassist Zac Cockrell in a high school psychology class and the two started making music together. Other members of the band include guitarist Heath Fogg, keyboardist Ben Tanner, and drummer Steve Johnson. They released their debut album “Boys & Girls” in 2012, and have since received several Grammy nominations, including one for Best New Artist and another for Best Rock Performance for their single “Hold On.”
Childish Gambino is the stage name of the multitalented Donald Glover. Glover is not only famous for his music, but also has a successful career as a writer and actor (you may know him from his role as Troy on NBC’s “Community.”) As Childish Gambino, he has achieved huge success, mainly due to internet buzz. His massive online fanbase launched him to the top of the Billboard charts, and in 2013 he released his aptly titled album “Because the Internet.”
Flume is the stage name of Australian electronic musician Harley Streten. He released his debut self-titled album in 2012, which peaked at number 1 on Australia’s ARIA Albums Chart. The album and its lead single, “Holdin On,” earned him several nominations at the ARIA Music Awards in 2013, where he received wins in four categories, including Best Male Artist and Producer of the Year.
Andrew Hozier-Byrne, aka Hozier, is an Irish singer-songwriter who has gained tremendous success recently with his gospel and blues-inspired single “Take Me to Church.” The wise-beyond-his-years twenty-something singer grew up as the son of a blues musician, so it’s no wonder he adds that influence to his music and does it so well. He released his self-titled debut album near the end of 2014, and his song “Take Me to Church” is currently nominated for a Grammy award for Song of the Year.
Slayer is an American metal band from Huntington Park, California. Formed in 1981 by guitarists Jeff Hanneman and Kerry King, the band rose to fame with the release of their 1986 album “Reign in Blood,” which earned them the reputation as pioneers in the thrash metal genre.
Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals
Singer-songwriter, guitarist, and three-time Grammy Award winner Ben Harper is known for his eclectic style, mixing genres like folk, blues, soul, and rock. Throughout his career, Harper has played several instruments, spanned multiple genres, and been associated with a number of live acts. He is currently touring with his band The Innocent Criminals, which consists of percussionist Leon Mobley, bassist Juan Nelson, drummer Oliver Charles, keyboardist Jason Yates, and guitarist Michael Ward, with Harper on vocals and guitar.
Belle & Sebastian
Scottish indie band Belle and Sebastian rose to fame in the late ‘90s with a series of critically acclaimed albums full of sweet and catchy songs. Led by frontman Stuart Murdoch, Belle and Sebastian rode their cult status to more mainstream success over the years, all while still being signed to indie labels. Through various ups and downs and lineup changes, the band has stayed strong to this day, and on January 19 they released their ninth studio album, titled “Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance,” which includes their new single “The Party Line.”
Formed in 1993 in Austin, Texas by singer/guitarist Britt Daniel and drummer Jim Eno, Spoon really made a name for themselves with a series of successful and critically acclaimed albums in the early and mid-2000s. With catchy rock hits like “The Way We Get By” and “The Underdog” that were used in many movies and television shows, the band became a huge commercial success, and that exposure increased their fan base even more. In August, they released their eighth studio album titled “They Want My Soul,” which like all of their other works was received very favorably by critics, proving that even after a decade, they still have not lost their edge.
The War on Drugs
In 2005, musicians Adam Granduciel and Kurt Vile met in Philadelphia and formed the indie rock band The War on Drugs. Three years later they released their debut LP “Wagonwheel Blues” and embarked on a European tour. Following the album release and tour, Vile left the band to focus on his own music, and is now a successful solo artist. However, Granduciel stayed with The War on Drugs and despite a major lineup change the band continued to make music. They released their latest studio album, “Lost in the Dream,” in 2014.
Sound Tribe Sector 9, abbreviated as STS9, is an instrumental electronic rock band that formed in Georgia in the late ‘90s. STS9 is guitarist Hunter Brown, percussionist Jeffree Lerner, keyboardist David Phipps, drummer Zach Velmer, and bassist Alana Rocklin. Over the years, the band has sold out shows over the country, and consistently ranks on Pollstar’s top touring charts. Their latest EP, “When the Dust Settles,” debuted at #1 on the iTunes electronic chart.
Ben Folds & Ymusic
American singer-songwriter and pianist Ben Folds is best known as the frontman and namesake of the alternative rock band Ben Folds Five, and also for his successful solo career. He has collaborated with several well-known musicians, including Regina Spektor, William Shatner, and Weird Al Yankovic. Folds is releasing a new album with the NYC-based six piece ensemble yMusic, and they are set to embark on a US tour together for 2015.
Superjam is an annual tradition at Bonnaroo. Each year, the festival hosts a one-time-only collaborative performance with some of the top artists in the lineup. With past performances including the likes of Skrillex, Lauryn Hill, Dan Auerbach, Billy Idol, John Paul Jones, R Kelly, Questlove, and plenty of other big names, Superjam is a once-in-a-lifetime event you won’t want to miss.
Atmosphere is a hip hop duo from Minneapolis made up of rapper Slug and DJ/producer Ant. Since forming in 1989, the group has released seven studio albums and ten EPs. Their most recent effort, titled “Southsiders,” was released in 2014.
Atomic Bomb! Who Is William Onyeabor
William Onyeabor has made a name for himself as an iconic figure in Nigerian pop and electro funk music. Despite his well known status, the enigmatic musician refuses to speak about his life or his music since becoming a born-again Christian back in the ’80s. Since not much is known about him, it is not unusual for fans to ask themselves “Who is William Onyeabor?” The Atomic Bomb! band is a touring supergroup that plays Onyeabor’s music, including members from LCD Soundsystem, Hot Chip, the Beastie Boys, and others, and in the past has featured special guests like David Byrne and Damon Albarn.
Tears for Fears
English new wave band Tears For Fears formed in 1981 by Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith. In the band’s early years, they established a substantial following in their native England, with their fist album “The Hurting” selling platinum. They rose to international fame with the release of their second record “Songs From the Big Chair,” which reached number one on the US Billboard 200, thanks to catchy synthpop singles like “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” and “Shout.” Orzabal and Smith parted ways for some time, but have since reunited. In 2013 they released their first newly recorded material in nearly a decade.
Singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile, known for her powerful vocals and folksy style, began her career performing in music clubs in Seattle. After signing with Columbia Records and releasing her self-titled debut album, she was later featured one of Rolling Stone’s “10 Artists to Watch in 2005.” Her second album was her real breakthrough though, and the lead single “The Story” was a huge commercial success. She has since put out a series of successful albums, and her most recent work, “The Firewatcher’s Daughter,” is set to be released in March.
Twenty One Pilots
High school friends Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun formed Twenty One Pilots in 2009 in Columbus, Ohio. They put out two self-released albums before their grassroots efforts paid off and they signed with alternative rock label Fueled By Ramen. They released their first label-issued album called “Vessel” in 2013, and have since taken their rap-infused pop sound on tour internationally.
The BlueGrass Situation Superjam Featuring Ed Helms & Special Guests
The Bluegrass Situation is back for its third year at Bonnaroo. This year the Bonnnaroo lineup includes modern roots rock performers Shakey Graves, Hurray For the Riff Raff, Sturgill Simpson, Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn, Punch Brothers, and the Earls of Leicester. The BGS Superjam will surely be an amazing experience for fans of roots music, and to top it all off, the performance will be hosted by actor and co-founder of the LA Bluegrass Situation festival Ed Helms.
Flying Lotus is the stage name of Steven Ellison, an experimental music producer, rapper, and electronic musician from Los Angeles. He has proven himself as one of the most innovative and groundbreaking producers in music today, and has developed a unique electronic sound that is all his own. In addition to his own music, Ellison founded his own successful label called Brainfeeder in 2008. Most recently, he is planning to release a new album sometime this year under his rapper alias Captain Murphy.
Earth, Wind & Fire
Earth, Wind & Fire is regarded as one of the most influential acts of the 20th century and one of the bestselling music artists of all time. Their genre-defying groovy sound and enormous success earned them a place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, as well as spots on countless Greatest Artists lists. Founded by Maurice White in Chicago in 1969, Earth, Wind & Fire continues to tour to this day and the band still performs for sold-out audiences all over the world.
Dan Snaith, aka Caribou, is a Canadian composer, musician, and recording artist. Formerly known as Manitoba, Snaith changed his moniker to Caribou due to the threat of a trademark violation lawsuit from Dictators frontman Handsome Dick Manitoba, and rereleased his two already existing works under his new name. Caribou released his most recent studio album “Our Love” in 2014.
Gary Clark Jr.
Austin-based musician Gary Clark, Jr. has been compared to guitar greats like Jimi Hendrix. His sound is an innovative mix of blues, soul, and hip hop, incorporating both modern and classic elements of blues style, and accompanied by smooth vocals. The Texas native recently collaborated with the Foo Fighters on their track “What Did I Do? / God As My Witness” from their latest album “Sonic Highways” and in September he released a live album of his own.
SBTRKT is the music project of producer Aaron Jerome. He went with the name SBTRKT because he wanted to remove the idea that there was an individual behind the music, and to uphold that concept, the enigmatic musician always performs wearing a mask. He earned success for both his original singles and his remixes of songs from artists like M.IA. and Basement Jaxx. In 2014 he released his sophomore album called “Wonder Where We Land.”
Punch Brothers is a progressive bluegrass band consisting of Chris Thile, Gabe Witcher, Noam Pikelny, Chris Eldridge, and Paul Kowert. They formed in 2006 and went through several names before deciding on Punch Brothers, which is a reference to a short story by Mark Twain. The band just released their new album “The Phosphorescent Blues” as well as a new single titled “Julep.”
Medeski, Scofield, Martin & Wood
John Medeski, Billy Martin, and Chris Wood perform together as the jazz band Medeski, Martin & Wood. They often perform and collaborate with noted guitarist John Scofield, and they have recently added him to their lineup and are touring with him as Medeski, Scofield, Martin & Wood. In September, the quartet released an album titled “Juice.”
Sweden’s Tove Lo gained attention in 2013 when her electropop single “Habits” reached number three on the US Billboard Hot 100. The song became even more popular and saw more international exposure when it was remixed by American production duo Hippie Sabotage. Her rapid success earned her a spot opening for Katy Perry on her Prismatic World Tour. In September she released her debut album “Queen of the Clouds,” which is her first full length record.
Run the Jewels
What started as a one-off collaboration between noted rappers El-P and Killer Mike evolved into the hip hop superduo Run the Jewels. Shortly after a successful self-titled debut album, they released their sophomore album titled “Run the Jewels 2.” Both albums were met with huge success, and Killer Mike has stated that the duo is set to start working on “Run the Jewels 3” this year.
Dawes is an American folk rock band from Los Angeles comprised of brothers Taylor and Griffin Goldsmith, Wylie Gelber, and Tay Strathairn. Originally, the band started out as a post-punk/indie rock group called Simon Dawes, but after the departure of former member Blake Mills, they shortened the name to just Dawes and pursued more of a roots rock sound instead. They released several successful albums, and eventually played at an Occupy Wall Street protest in Liberty Park alongside Jackson Browne, which only further heightened their popularity. They continued to increase their commercial success and gain more mainstream exposure when they appeared on the NBC television drama “Parenthood” as themselves.
Gerald Gillum, better known as G-Eazy, is a rapper and producer from California. He has made a name for himself as “the James Dean of rap,” often sporting a leather jacket and a pompadour. His mixtapes have produced viral singles, including “Runaround Sue”, an R&B remake of the rock & roll classic. After hitting the road with Hoodie Allen, G-Eazy garnered enough recognition to come out with his first full length album, “These Things Happen.”
Tycho is the stage name of ambient music artist and producer Scott Hansen. The San Francisco-based musician creates chill, dreamy, downtempo instrumentals with plenty of atmosphere. Though Tycho began as a solo project, the band has consisted of three members since the production and release of its third album. In early 2014, Tycho released a fourth studio album titled “Awake.”
Trampled by Turtles
Trampled By Turtles formed in 2003 in Duluth, Minnesota. The folk and bluegrass band, consisting of Dave Simonett, Tim Saxhaug, Dave Carroll, Erik Berry, and Ryan Young, has performed at a multitude of national festivals, and has seen more and more success with the release of each of their albums. They released their latest album, “Wild Animals,” on July 15, 2014.
Country singer-songwriter Sturgill Simpson, former leader of the roots rock band Sunday Valley, released his solo debut “High Top Mountain” in 2013. The album became a word-of-mouth hit, opening doors for him as an artist. The Kentucky native expresses his deep southern roots through his music, but wanted to experiment more with pushin the boundaries of the genre for his second album. Simpson released his sophomore effort, “Metamodern Sounds in Country Music,” in 2014.
Moon Taxi is a progressive rock and jam band from Nashville. The band quickly gained quite a following in their hometown, which led to eventually signing a record deal with 12th South Records. Moon Taxi formed when vocalist Trevor Terndrup, guitarist Spencer Thomson, bassist Tommy Putnam, drummer Tyler Ritter, and keyboardist Wes Bailey met while attending Belmont University. The band has recently begun to see more commercial success, and in the last two years they have played on television shows like “The Late Show with David Letterman” and “Conan.”
AWOLNATION is the solo electronic rock project of songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Aaron Bruno. AWOLNATION’s debut album “Megalithic Symphony” was a worldwide success, specifically with the hit single “Sail.” The commercial success of “Sail” helped propel the electronic rock genre into the popular sphere.
Sylvan Esso is the electro folk-pop duo consisting of singer Amelia Meath and Nick Sanborn. In 2014 they released their eponymous debut album, which includes their hit single “Coffee.”
Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn
Banjoists Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn perform as a duo with just their two banjos and Washburn’s singular voice. That level of minimilism is both powerful and refreshing in an age of often over-produced music. Fleck is a 15-time Grammy Award winner and Washburn is a very accomplished musician herself, so when the duo perform together their combined talents offer something spectacular.
Alternative rock band Guster formed in 1991 in Boston when its three co-founders met while attending Tufts University. The band, consisting of members Ryan Miller, Adam Gardner, Brian Rosenworcel, and Luke Reynolds, is best known for their 2006 rock hit “Satellite.” In 2014, the band sought out Shins keyboardist Richard Swift, with whom they produced their seventh studio album “Evermotion.” The album was released in January 2015.
Jamie xx is the stage name of Jamie Smith, English solo musician, producer, remix artist, and member of the London-based group the xx. His work with his band the xx brought him into the spotlight, and he eventually became a much sought-after remix artist, remixing songs by artists like Adele, Florence + The Machine, and Radiohead. After recently releasing a new album with the xx and touring in support of it, Jamie is back to focusing on his solo career, and released new music in 2014.
Against Me! is a punk rock band formed in Gainesville, Florida in 1997 by singer and guitarist Laura Jane Grace. After releasing three studio albums on independent record labels, the band signed a major label deal in 2007 and from there on began to see more mainstream success.They launched their own label in 2011 and have since released their music through that. Since the band’s lead singer Grace came out as a transgender woman, they have released an album titled “Transgender Dysphoria Blues,” which deals with gender dysphoria and Grace’s own experience.
ODEZSA is an electronic music duo from Seattle consisting of Harrison Mills and Clayton Knight. Mills and Knight formed the group in 2012 while they were still in college and released their music via the internet, when their songs rose to the top of Hype Machine’s popular chart. Their success earned them a spot touring with Pretty Lights, and a year later they released their most recent album, “The Return.”
Grammy-nominated reggae band SOJA formed in 1997 in Arlington, Virginia. The eight-member band’s 2012 album “Strength to Survive” reached the top spot on Billboard’s reggae album chart, and they have since released another record, titled “Amid the Noise and Haste.”
Jerry Douglas presents Earls of Leicester
Musician and record producer Jerry Douglas put together the bluegrass supergroup the Earls of Leicester. In addition to Douglas, the band includes Shawn Camp on lead vocals and guitar, Charlie Cushman on banjo and guitar, Johnny Warren on fiddle, and Barry Bales on vocals and bass. The Earls of Leicester released their self-titled debut album in the fall of 2014.
NYC indie pop act Bleachers was formed by Jack Antonoff, the guitarist for the popular rock band Fun. Bleachers’ debut album was released in 2014, and its lead single, the catchy and anthemic “I Wanna Get Better,” quickly rose to the top of the Billboard Alternative charts. Bleachers’ sound has an obvious ’80s influence, but the band combines modern production techniques with that to make music that’s fresh and interesting.
The London-based electronic act Rudimental has been making waves on the English music scene for a few years now. They skyrocketed to national fame in 2012 with their UK number one single “Feel the Love.” Since then, the band has received several honors and awards, and they released their first full-length album in 2013.
Mac Demarco emerged from obscurity a few years ago as an indie sensation when in 2012 he released his EP “Rock and Roll Night Club,” shortly followed by his album “2.” The Canadian singer/guitarist, with his quirky, lilting voice and jangly guitar chords, gained the attention and respect of many music critics, and his work received the “Best New Music” designation by the indie music bible Pitchfork. In 2014, Demarco released his second album “Salad Days,” which was met with just as much critical favor as his earlier work.
The Very Best
The Very Best is Malawi’s Esau Mwamwaya and London-based producer Johan Hugo. Their music combines several genres, including dance, hip hop, jazz, and traditional Malawian style. The Very Best produced their first full-length album, “Warm Heart of Africa,” in 2009. The album features collaborations with big name artists like M.I.A. and Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig. They have since gone on to release several other albums and are planning to tour the world some more.
Freddie Gibbs & Madlib
Rapper Freddie Gibbs and DJ/producer/rapper Madlib collaborated for an EP in 2011 called “Thuggin’.” The duo is working together again, with a full-length album released in 2014 titled “Pinata.” The album was entirely produced by Madlib and released under his record label “Madlib Invazion,” and includes appearances by notable hip hop artists such as Raekwon, Earl Sweatshirt, Scarface, Ab-Soul, Mac Miller, and others.
Actor-turned-musician Alejandro Rose-Garcia performs under the alias Shakey Graves as a one-man alt-folk/Americana band. The Texas native released his debut album “Roll the Bones” in 2011, which was a success with its ragged blend of country, folk and blues. He followed that up with the release of 2014’s “And The War Came,” which was generally received as favorably as his first album.
The Seattle-based experimental hip hop group Shabazz Palaces is led by Ishmael “Butterfly” Butler and Tendai “Baba” Maraire. The group released several EPs on their own before becoming the first hip hop act to be signed to Sup Pop Records. Most recently, they released their album “Lese Majesty” in 2014.
Slovenian-born DJ/producer Gramatik mixes hip hop, electro, and dubstep styles in his music. He moved to New York and dropped his first hip hop album in 2008, and eventually signed to electronic artist Pretty Lights’ label Pretty Lights Music. He has since released several other works, including his most recent effort “The Age of Reason.”
Danish singer Mo first came into the spotlight in 2013 when she sang on Avicii’s track “Dear Boy” from the producer’s hit album true. She released her eagerly anticipated full length album “No Mythologies to Follow” in 2014. Her style can be described as electro-pop, and she cites bands like Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Sonic Youth as influences.
Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Unknown Mortal Orchestra is a rock band comprised of singer, guitarist, and songwriter Ruban Nelson, bassist Jake Portrait, and drummer Riley Gleare. After signing with Fat Possum Records, the band released their self-titled debut album in 2011. They released their second and most recent album, “II” in 2013.
Jungle was founded by childhood friends Josh-Lloyd Watson and Tom McFarland, referred to as J and T. The London-based band released their first singles in 2013 and rose to popularity in England. The group earned a spot opening for Haim, and later embarked on a headlining international tour of their own.
New Orleans’ Benjamin Booker is a blues rock musician. He released his self-titled debut album in 2014 and has since gone on to tour with Jack White and play several major music festivals including Lollapalooza, where Rolling Stone praised him for his amazing live performance.
Alternative country band Houndmouth formed in 2011 in New Albany, Indiana. The band is made up of Matt Myers, Katie Toupin, Zak Appleby, and Shane Cody. In 2012, they performed at the SXSW music festival to promote their self-produced, self-titled EP, where they met Geoff Travis, the head of Rough Trade, who signed them shortly afterward. In 2013, they released their debut full-length “From the Hills Below the City” via Rough Trade.
California-based band The Growlers consists of Brooks Neilsen, Matt Taylor, Scott Montoya, Anthony Braun Perry, and Kyle Straka. Since forming in 2006, the band has released four albums, all with what they describe as a gothic beach rock sound.
Glass Animals is an English indie rock band from Oxford. They released their debut album “Zaba” in 2014, which includes their hit song “Gooey,” which reached #19 on the Billboard Alternative Songs chart.
Ana Tijoux is a French-Chilean musician who rose to fame in Latin America as the MC of the hip hop group Makiza during the late ’90s. She eventually crossed over into the mainstream pop genre, and became well known for her activism and commitment to nonviolence. She began her solo career in 2006, and has since released several albums, her most recent being 2014’s “Vengo.”
SZA is the stage name of alternative R&B artist Solana Rowe. In 2012, she self-released an EP titled “See.SZA.Run,” which she followed with the release of her second EP “S.” Since then, she has signed with the indie label Top Dawg Entertainment and released her third EP “Z” in 2014. Her most recent album includes collaborations with Chance the Rapper, Isaiah Rashad, and Kendrick Lamar.
Australian singer-songwriter Courtney Barnett first entered the spotlight with her self-released EP “I’ve Got a Friend Called Emily Ferris.” She began to catch attention in her country of Australia, and eventually the influential website Pitchfork named her song “Avant Gardener” as one of the Best New Tracks of summer 2013. She released her second EP later that year and began touring in the U.S. and Europe. In 2014 she signed with Mom + Pop Records and released a double EP reissue.
Rhiannon Giddens is best known as the lead singer and founding member of the Grammy-winning folk band Carolina Chocolate Drops. Giddens dove into her solo career in 2013, receiving high praise from critics when she stole the show in New York City at the “Another Day, Another Time” concert, which was inspired by the Coen brothers’ film “Inside Llewyn Davis.” She is set to release her debut solo album “Tomorrow Is My Turn” in February.
British rock duo Royal Blood, comprised of vocalist/bassist Mike Kerr and drummer Ben Thatcher, formed in Brighton in 2013. Their garage/blues rock sound is remniscent of bands like The White Stripes and The Black Keys. They were championed early on by the BBC, who named them to their Sound of 2014 list, as well as by Arctic Monkeys drummer Matt Helders, who wore the band’s t-shirt during their headlining set at Glastonbury and later invited the band to open two of their shows at Finsbury Park. This exposure helped the band earn more spots at festivals around the world, and they have most recently been tapped by the Foo Fighters to be their opening act for their Sonic Highways tour.
Tanya Tagaq is a Canadian throat singer who is well known for her collaborations with Icelandic singer Bjork, including an appearance on her 2004 album “Medulla,” as well as several live performances with her. Tagaq rose to further popularity through performances at Canadian folk festivals. She has released several albums over the years, her most recent being 2014’s “Animism.”
Woods is a folk rock act that started out as the side project of singer and guitarist Jeremy Earl, but evolved into a three-piece band that now includes multi-instrumentalist Jarvis Taveniere and drummer Aaron Neveu. The band has kept busy over the years, releasing eight albums since 2006. Their most recent, “With Light and With Love,” was released in 2014.
Hurray for the Riff Raff
Hurray for the Riff Raff is a New Orleans-based folk and Americana band. The group was founded by singer, songwriter, and banjoist Alynda Lee Segarra. They self-released their first two full length albums, after which they moved between record labels. They released their most recent album, “Small Town Heroes,” in 2014.
Danish punk rock band Iceage formed in 2008 in Copenhagen while its members were all still mere teenagers. They released a few albums before signing with indie label Matador Records in 2013. In October, the band released their most recent album called “Plowing Into the Field of Love.”
English rock band Temples formed in 2012 in Kettering. The band’s ’70s-inspired psychedelic rock sound has received considerable media attention, and they have been championed by the likes of famed musicians Johnny Marr and Noel Gallagher. Temples centers around the songwriting duo of vocalist/guitarist James Bagshaw and vocalist/bassist Thomas Warmsley. Rounding out the lineup are guitarist/keyboardist Adam Smith and drummer Sam Toms.
Between the Buried & Me
Progressive metal band Between the Buried and Me formed in Raleigh, North Carolina in 2000. Having been a band for over a decade, they have released several successful albums over the years.
Glasgow’s Russell Whyte performs under the stage name Rustie. He has established himself as an acclaimed producer and musician whose style draws on hip hop and electro influences.
Ryn Weaver is the stage name of American singer and songwriter Erin Wuthrich. She released her debut single “OctoHate” in June 2014, which boasted collaborators like Charli XCX and Passion Pit’s Michael Angelakos. With these big-name connections, the song quickly rose to popularity and released her debut EP “Promises” in August.
Dopapod has come a long way from their humble beginnings, but they have maintained their grassroots spirit over the years, despite their growing success. The hardworking band seems to always be on the go, keeping up a busy tour schedule that recently has included several festival appearances. Dopapod’s hard work is paying off though, as they’ve received critical praise from publications like the Huffington Post and Jambase.
The talented Pokey Lafarge is a musician, songwriter, and bandleader who plays American roots music. His style mixes early jazz, ragtime, country blues, and western swing. He signed to Jack White’s label Third Man Records in 2013 and has since seen great commercial success, including several television appearances.
Portland, Oregon’s Priory formed in 2009. The electropop duo is comprised of Brandon Rush and Kyle Sears. In 2014 they signed with Warner Bros. Records and had a big hit with their song “Weekend.”
Bahamas is the solo project of Canadian musician Afie Jurvanen. Throughout his career he has worked with such artists as Feist, Howie Beck, Jack Johnson, and others. In 2014, he released his third studio album titled “Bahamas is Afie.”
Strand of Oaks
Strand of Oaks is the rock project of producer and songwriter Timothy Showalter. He has released several albums as Strand of Oaks since 2009, his most recent work being 2014’s “HEAL.”
Wisconsin-based indie pop band Phox formed in 2011 in the wacky circus town of Baraboo. The band, which is comprised of a group of longtime friends who met in high school, describes their sound as something of a mix between Feist and Monty Python. Following a successful 2013, the band signed with Brooklyn-based indie label Partisan Records and released their eponymous debut album in 2014.
Gregory Alan Isakov
Singer/songwriter Gregory Alan Isakov was born in Johannesburg, South Africa and raised in Philadelphia, where he began touring with a band at the age of 16. He eventually moved to Colorado to pursue music as a solo artist. His folk and Americana style is influenced by artists like Bruce Springsteen and Leonard Cohen.
Brownout presents Brown Sabbath
Austin-based band Brownout performs under the alter ego “Brown Sabbath,” a project dedicating to reinterpreting the music of well-known rock band Black Sabbath. They released their EP “Brownout Presents Brown Sabbath” in 2014. The EP contains funk versions of Black Sabbath tunes.
Pennsylvania natives The Districts formed in 2009, when the band’s four members were still only in high school. In the last year, they have played several major festivals, and NME even dubbed them “the band who owned SXSW” in 2014. They signed to Fat Possum Records back in 2013, and are set to release a new record in February of this year.
Madisen Ward & The Mama Bear
Mother-and-son duo Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear consists of singer/songwriter/guitarist Madisen Ward and his mother Ruth on vocals and guitar. The duo began playing together in their hometown of Kansas City, where they gained a small following, but it wasn’t until they played the Americana Music Festival in Nashville that they earned more widespread recognition, as well as stunning praise from Rolling Stone.
Sydney, Australia’s DMA’s is a band on the rise, both in their home country and overseas. The trio formed in 2012 and developed a sound that evokes the early-90s style of iconic Britpop bands like Oasis, Blur, and The Stone Roses. They gained a lot of recognition with the release of their successful debut single “Delete,” which earned them critical praise and an ever-growing fan base.
Catfish & The Bottlemen
British four piece band Catfish and the Bottlemen formed in Llandudno, Wales, and consists of singer/guitarist Van McCann, guitarist Johnny Bond, bassist Benji Blakeway, and drummer Bob Hall. They started off playing Beatles covers to small local audiences, but soon tired of playing songs that were not their own and set out to produce original music in a D.I.Y. studio. Their hard work eventually paid off, as they later signed to Mumford and Sons’ Ben Lovett’s Communion Records before moving to Universal in 2014.
Jon Cleary & The Absolute Monster Gentlemen
Jon Cleary & The Absolute Monster Gentlemen consists of Jon Cleary on vocals and keyboard, Derwin Perkins on guitar, Cornell Williams on bass, and Jellybean on drums. The band draws large crowds at classic venues in their hometown of New Orleans, and they have played at several prominent music festivals.
Pallbearer is a doom metal band formed in 2008 in Little Rock, Arkansas. The four piece band is made up of vocalist/guitarisst Brett Campbell, guitarist Devin Holt, bassist Joseph D. Rowland, and drummer Chuck Schaaf. Their 2010 demo gained the attention of label Profound Lore, which released their full-length debut album “Sorrrow and Extinction” in 2012. They followed that up witht their most recent album “Foundations of Burden.”
Deja Trimble, aka Dej Loaf, is an American rapper and singer from Detroit. Her single “Try Me” became a viral internet hit, and peaked at number 46 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Singer/songwriter Christopher Denny draws heavily from gospel and country influences. He first picked up a guitar at the age of 14 and was inspired to become a solo musician. His most recent album, “If the Roses Don’t Kill Us,” was released in 2014.
Hiss Golden Messenger
Hiss Golden Messenger is a folk duo from North Carolina consisting of MC Taylor and Scott Hirsch. They formed in 2007 and released their early works through Taylor’s own recording label “Heaven & Earth Magic Recording Company.” In 2014, they signed with Merge Records and released their fifth album, “Lateness of Dancers.”
King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard
Formed in 2011 in Melbourne, Australia, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard has a 60s psych sound reminiscent of early Frank Zappa. In 2014 they released their third studio album “Oddments.”
Jessica Hernandez & The Deltas
Jessica Hernandez & The Deltas is a Detroit-based band whose sound combines genres like R&B, rockabilly, jazz, and reggae. They recently released their much-anticipated debut album “Secret Evil.”
Unlocking the Truth
Brooklyn-based metal band Unlocking the Truth’s members are merely 8th graders, but don’t let their youth fool you – these tiny and talented rockers are creating quite a buzz. In 2014, they became the youngest band to play at several major music festivals, including Coachella and the Vans Warped Tour, and they have opened for such legendary bands as Guns N Roses Motorhead, and Queens of the Stone Age, proving that age is but a number.
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