2015 was a good year for music, as many bands released break-out albums that put them on the map. 2016 is already shaping up to be another year full of cool new music and tours for several bands that are pushing their respective genres to exciting new limits. These five bands might have gone under your radar, but each of them are on the rise and are looking to have a busy year ahead of them.
Brigades is a local Columbia pop-punk band that have seen a great deal of success over the last two years; getting signed by Pure Noise records and touring around the country with bands like Every Time I Die and State Champs. Brigades puts a refreshing twist on the pop punk formula by mixing in a heavier guitar and vocal sound than most bands in the genre. Brigades has a six-song EP called “Crocodile Tears” as well as a full length album called “Indefinite” under Pure Noise. Even as they find new fans around the country, Brigades still shows love for their hometown and often plays shows at the nearby New Brookland Tavern.
Song Recommendations: "Small Time Crooks," "The Writing on the Wall," “Enemy”
PVRIS, pronounced "Paris," is a three-piece band from Lowell, Massachusetts whose genre is hard to exactly pinpoint and is gaining fans from a variety of music scenes. They released their first studio album, "White Noise," in October of 2014 and have quickly risen in popularity, going from playing a smaller stage at Warped Tour to opening up for Bring Me the Horizon and Fall Out Boy in less than a year. PVRIS has a nice blend of guitar and heavy, hard-hitting electronics that contrast each other nicely. PVRIS is rumored to be releasing their sophomore album sometime in 2016.
Song Recommendations: "My House," "White Noise," "Eyelids"
With four albums and more than 10 years as a band, Enter Shikari, a genre-defying electronic rock band from England, is incredibly well known in Europe but has always had a smaller American audience. Enter Shikari has an exciting and ever-evolving sound that combines guitar, electronic sounds, and a singer with an unyielding British accent for a result that is sometimes moving, sometimes hilarious, and always entertaining. Enter Shikari's latest album, "The Mindsweep," came out in January 2015 but the band is known to unexpectedly release non-album songs throughout the year. Whether you want a soft, emotional song about life or a politically charged, chaotic jam with guitar riffs and car horns, Enter Shikari has something for everyone.
Song Recommendations: "Anaesthetist," "Gandhi Mate, Gandhi," "Dear Future Historians"
I the Mighty
First formed in 2007 by singer Brent Walsh and guitarist Ian Pedigo, I the Mighty has made a lot of progress in their career. I the Mighty is an alternative rock band based out of San Francisco, California and have had a number of recent milestones in their career, such as having Max Bemis from Say Anything feature in a song as well as getting added as a supporting act on a Coheed and Cambria tour. I the Mighty’s technical guitar sound takes inspiration from heavier metal bands while the vocals have more of a melodic style. In addition to having incredible range and power in his vocals, Walsh is also an impressive lyricist and many I the Mighty songs tell intriguing stories. The most notable of these are three songs which span across three albums and tell the story of a man and his lover being framed and hunted after for a crime they didn’t commit.
Song Recommendations: “Playing Catch with .22,” “Speak To Me,” “The Frame I: Betrayal in the Watchtower”
Getting their initial start from YouTube videos, this instrumental progressive rock band from Dallas, Texas has been showing up all over the progressive rock world. Polyphia's happy, feel-good style that they put into their instrumental jams is addictive. It's nearly impossible to hear one of their songs without tapping your foot, dancing around or generally feeling happy. Whether you are usually into instrumental music or not, you should check out this relatively new band and maybe catch them on one of their many tours planned for this year. Polyphia has announced that they are releasing a new album in 2016 to follow their 2014 record, “Muse.”
Song Recommendations: “Sweet Tea,” “Aviator,” “Champagne”