Our great city of Los Angeles is gem for discovering new music. Many of the artists and bands that make the City of Angels their home quickly work their way up from playing small venues and underground shows, to selling out famed venues and going on large tours and playing music festivals. Last year, as predicted in our 2014 forecast for artists to watch, we saw it happen with Banks, Lo-Fang, Death Valley Girls, The Moth & Flame and many more L.A. based acts. This year we’ve selected a new crop of talented and promising Los Angeles artists and bands who are sure to create quite the excitement in 2015. While we are aware that there are plenty more bands who are just as promising, these our selections for the 13 Los Angeles Artists and Bands to Watch in 2015.
Photos by Pamela Garcia Aguirre
Meg Myers — Myers has released a couple of EPs but is set to put out her debut full-length sometime in 2015. She started to really make a name for herself in 2014 on the strength of her live show and her single “Monster.” I first discovered her at Bardot’s School Night in February and saw her three more times before the year is out. Her psychotic-yet-sexy songwriting puts her in a category all her own and her confidence and charisma on stage has left the crowd wondering, “Who the hell is this badass?” I tried answering some of those questions in my feature on her mid-last year.
Avid Dancer — We’ve seen a lot of Avid Dancer (aka Jacob Dillan Summers) that past year playing at some of L.A.’s best underground venues and opening up for big acts. This past October he released his debut EP I Want To See You Dance. The album bubbles with 80’s Bowie vibes and rolls with a sexy strut (especially that “I Want To See You Dance” song). Avid Dancer has a February residency coming up at The Echo. You won’t want to miss any of those performances.
Corners — Echo Park-based Corners released their stunning nine-track full-length record, Maxed Out on Distractions this past October via Lolipop Records and we could not get enough of it. Gracing our Best Albums of 2014 list, the band delivers music that is rich in haunting synths with the dark sounds of the 80s post-punk era. Not only do their tunes sound brilliant on their album, but they translate very well live.
Kera and The Lesbians
Kera and The Lesbians — So much passion, so much charm, so much fucking fun. Just one year ago, Grimy Goods presented Kera and The Lesbians’ residency at The Echo and they most definitely won fans over with their incredible live show and charm, leading to a busy year of shows and releases. Those that have attended a Kera and The Lesbians performance know just how enthralling their set can be, and those that have been fortunate enough to meet frontwoman Kera, immediately get an instant crush. She’s just a rad human being.
Charlotte OC — This UK-based songstress has made Los Angeles her home and like many others made her L.A. debut at Bardot’s School Night earlier in the year. I was so blown away by her voice that I had to check her out the next night at Hotel Cafe, where she didn’t disappoint. She’s proven to be a dual threat with R&B jams like “Hangover” to go along with more ballady-type songs like “Colour My Heart,” my favorite among her live songs. A full-length album should be forthcoming in 2015 from the Adele-like singer.
Girlpool — This quirky, sassy and refreshing duo consisting of Cleo Tucker and Harmony Tividad closed up 2014 with an incredible Monday night residency at the Echo. Playing songs from their debut self-titled EP which was remastered via Wichita Records, the ladies won fans over with their simple harmonies and female empowering charm. We’re looking forward to the release of their debut full-length later this year.
Ryn Weaver — The L.A. and N.Y.-based singer has the chops to be one of 2015’s biggest breakout pop stars. A mix of Katy Perry and Ellie Goulding, Weaver’s “OctaHate” blew up thanks to music blogs and will likely get a major radio push in the first quarter of 2015, when her debut album is slated to release. She’s also proven in less than a dozen or so live shows that her sound translates in the live setting, as evidenced by videos like this one from her Hollywood Forever performance in December (her debut L.A. gig).
The Black Ryder
Black Ryder — The Los Angeles duo by way of Australia and composed of Aimee Nash and Scott Von Ryper have finally set a date on their sophomore album, the follow up to their incredible Buy The Ticket, Take The Ride (2009). On February 24, The Black Ryder will release their new LP, The Door Behind The Door. We’ve been waiting five years for this! To celebrate the release, the band have announced a headlining record release show at The Echo on February 25.
Odessa — People have been buzzing about Odessa for years but it was in 2014 that she started gaining more traction. She blew me away in support of Jenny Lewis late last year in Petaluma and her song “I Will Be There” should find its way into many TV and commercial spots (a car commercial being where many discovered the singer-songwriter). We wrote a feature on her and that song earlier in the year and feel there are big things to come.
Jonwayne — Part of the lauded Stone Throw family and one of L.A.’s finest underground rappers, Jonwayne is due for another album this year and we’re sure it’s going to be a fresh hip hop record that you’ll want to get your hands on. Jonwayne most recently performed at The Echo this past December for a Passion Of The Weiss show. Fans were treated to a new song full of that slick flavor.
Blood Candy — A relatively new shoegaze band that played their first show in March has me looking forward to their debut EP, which they just wrapped up recording in the past month. Slated for a spring 2015 release, singer Tara has the vocal stylings of Yeah Yeah Yeah’s Karen O at times (such as on a few of the songs on their SoundCloud). Their Twitter account along with drummer Tammy’s Twitter account are most follows for some hilariously dark updates.
Dark Furs — This female-fronted LA band has a similar sound to Dum Dum Girls with a bit more of a hazy rock finish to them. They’ve teased a new single that will be released in January and it sounds rather dreamy. They stood out to me at this past year’s Culture Collide festival and are someone to keep your eye on.
Mystic Braves — These Echo Park boys had an incredible year playing countless Los Angeles shows and festivals, as well as touring throughout and even having their song included in the Yves Saint Laurent fashion show. Their yesteryear spirit in the likes of Jefferson Airplane and 13th Floor Elevators makes fans from all walks of life graviate towards their entrancing charm.