Hello all current, past, and potential voters for the Philebrity Awards. Welcome. We’re here to break down each category and its nominees in our attempt to help you along if you don’t know which way to vote, and just letting you know more about this year’s nominees. Today’s category is New Musical Artist of the Year, and remember, you can vote here. So meet us after the jump as we tell you more about this year’s nominees.
Here is where, in previous posts, we’ve given some background on the award, and just teased the nominees in general. But today, you’ve got a lot of listening to do. So, without further ado, this year’s nominees for New Musical Artist of the Year are:
The Districts, an Americana-tinged rock band originally from Lilitz, PA (that we almost want to hate by nature because they’re all so young) has been making some serious waves locally. Their self-released LP Telephone came out last year, but those youngins have been playing anywhere and everywhere they can this year, and that passion and spirit (and of course, their music) has led to them getting a deal with Fat Possum Records, which will release their self-titled EP in January. You can next see them at Union Transfer on Feb. 27th opening for White Denim, and on every one of your favorite music blogs after SXSW 2014.
Sometimes, bands come through who just get it. And The Fantastic Imagination, as we’ve said out-loud before, are like The Monkees, if they stopped off in Middle Earth to get some pretty good acid. That is, we feel, about an apt a description you can get, but it still sells the band short. Though they’ve only put out four real songs, those tunes and their fun live show have put plenty of people at their shows on notice, letting them know that The Fantastic Imagination is weird and wonderful, and you better get used to seeing them around.
Certainly less new than some of our other nominees (and we’re sure he’d treasure a Philebrity Award more than that measly Pew Fellowship he got), Chris Forsyth has been making intricate, jazz-influenced, epics for a little while now. But his work this year, with The Solar Motel Band, may be his best to date. It’s already landing spots on year-end lists, and Forsyth and the band aren’t slowing down at all, playing a steady stream of dates for the next few months. Maybe 2014 will be his year too.
Look, we know you guys. We like to think you know what we like, and we like to think we know what you like. So when some nominations come in for HIVELORDS, a black/doom/sludge Metal band who, according to Encyclopaedia Metallum, has lyrical themes of nature, existentialism, death, fear, and psychedelics, we were intrigued. We’ll be the first to admit that we’re not exactly scholars when it comes to the finer art of heavy, but we have to tip our hats to a group of guys who are not only going all in on it, but bringing some experimental, voice-modulating, amp-straddling vocals to the whole thing. We dig it. You can check out the band’s debut full-length, Cavern Apothecary, here.
The brainchild of veteran musician Craig Hendrix (Buried Beds, Birdie Busch), Auctioneer create a fun, upbeat brand of indie-pop and spent most of 2013 touring with mewithoutYou in support of their debut full-length, Future Faces. The album bounces from Bowie-ish croon (on “Up From Here,” which feels almost like the anti-”Modern Love”) to Talking Heads-y stomp (the Shaking Through’d “Our Future Faces”) and back again, on nine stellar tracks. And even if they don’t pull out the victory here, Auctioneer have shown they are worth keeping an eye on going forward.
So there it is. If we say so ourselves, any and all of these nominees deserve the title, and we just can’t choose, so we’re leaving it all up to you. You can vote over here, and remember to join us at Johnny Brenda’s on this Thursay for the Philebrity Awards and Non-Denominational, Totally Secular X-Mas Pageant.