20 artists to see this spring

Cristina Peralta

Apr. 07, 2016












We compiled a massive list of hot new artists destined to make an impact this spring. As you might imagine with a team of music geeks, that list got a little lengthy (more than 200 names!), so we hacked away until we found the best of the new best. We narrowed it down to 20 bands representing every genre possible—from lo-fi Spanish garage rock to surprisingly well-done country-rap fusion—who just so happen to be coming to a ‘fly stage near you. Check out our list, then mark your calendars accordingly.


Alex G: Dubbed an “indie-pop prodigy” by Rolling Stone, Alex G made quite a mark with his dreamy Domino Records debut, Beach Music.

4.11: The Horseshoe Tavern – Toronto, ON ($15+)
4.14: Union Transfer – Philadelphia, PA ($15+)


Andra Day: “Beautiful” is a word commonly used to describe the San Diego native’s powerful single “Rise Up.” The song and her debut album Cheers to the Fall earned her two Grammy nods, along with some major big-ups—including an Apple holiday commercial with music icon Stevie Wonder. Catch her now, before she starts packing arenas.

5.23: Cain’s Ballroom – Tulsa, OK ($27+)
5.28: Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall – Portland, OR ($42+)


Aurora: Norwegian folk-pop songstress Aurora isn’t even old enough to get into the venues she’ll be packing in April. She’s only 19, yet she’s already getting featured by everyone from BBC to Rolling Stone. These shows aren’t sold out yet, but they might be once she drops her debut LP, All My Demons Greeting Me As A Friend, in March.  

4.6: The Independent – San Francisco, CA ($15+)
4.8: Doug Fir Lounge – Portland, OR ($15+)
4.9: The Crocodile – Seattle, WA ($15+)
4.20: Johnny Brenda’s – Philadelphia, PA ($6+)
4.21: U Street Music Hall – Washington, DC ($15+)


Diet Cig: Funny name aside, Diet Cig delivers garage-punk done right. The NY duo burst on the scene quickly last year, getting nods from Noisey and Stereogum for infectious tunes like “Scene Sick.” It looks like they’re keeping that momentum going with a packed tour schedule.

4.12: Black Sheep – Colorado Springs, CO ($20+)
4.18: Observatory North Park – San Diego, CA ($17.50+)
4.20: The Regent Theater – Los Angeles, CA ($17.50+)
4.23: Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas – Las Vegas, NV ($16.50+)
4.24: The Rialto Theatre – Tucson, AZ ($18+)
4.27: The Ballroom at Warehouse Live – Houston, TX ($17+)
5.1: Exit/In – Nashville, TN ($20+)
5.4: Wooly’s – Des Moines, IA ($17+)
5.11: Maverick’s Live – Jacksonville, FL ($17.50+)
6.10: Baby’s All Right – Brooklyn, NY ($12+)


Four Tet: Four Tet has never really disappointed, ever. The English electronic musician just recently played unreleased tracks from collaborations with Future Islands, Madlib, and others while subbing in for his pal Benji B on his BBC Radio 1 show. Catch him this spring on stage with his signature laptop, and prepare to groove, a lot.

5.4: Wonderland Ballroom – Portland, OR ($20+)
5.7: Pappy & Harriet’s – Pioneertown, CA ($25+)
5.8: Music Box – San Diego, CA ($25+)


Hippo Campus: The Minneapolis indie-rockers are Conan O’Brien-approved. The band performed “Suicide Saturday” on his show last March, before sweeping up fans at SXSW with their infectious sound.

4.28: Top Hat Lounge – Missoula, MT ($12+)
4.30: Mississippi Studios – Portland, OR ($12+)
5.1: The Crocodile – Seattle, WA ($13+)
5.6: The Echo – Los Angeles, CA ($14+)
5.7: Valley Bar – Phoenix, AZ ($12+)
5.13: The House Cafe – DeKalb, IL ($12+)
5.17: First Unitarian Church – Philadelphia, PA ($15+)
5.25: Wooly’s – Des Moines, IA ($13+)


Jamie Lawson: The British singer-songwriter was the first artist signed to Ed Sheeran’s Gingerbread Man Records. Find out why as Lawson crosses the pond to support Australian singer-songwriter Vance Joy on his national tour.

5.3: The Chapel – San Francisco, CA ($15+)
5.4: The Troubadour – Los Angeles, CA ($12+)
5.8: World Cafe Live – Philadelphia, PA ($12+)


Kaleo: Already stars in their native Iceland, the quartet signed with Atlantic in the U.S. in 2015 and relocated to Austin. Now we’re getting hip to their blend of folk, country, blues and rock, too.

4.30: Marathon Music Works – Nashville, TN ($15+)
5.25: Valley Bar – Phoenix, AZ ($15+)
5.30: Revolution Hall – Portland, OR ($15+)
7.30: WTTS Rock on the River – Indianapolis, IN ($33.50+)


Lapsley: The British singer-songwriter’s upcoming debut album, Long Way Home, is one of the most anticipated releases from across the bond. It drops March 4 on powerhouse XL Recordings, home of Adele, The xx, FKA Twigs, and other incredible acts, so you know it’ll be good.

4.20: The Independent – San Francisco, CA ($15+)
4.25: Doug Fir Lounge – Portland, OR ($15+)
5.8: World Cafe Live – Philadelphia, PA ($15+)


Miike Snow: The Swedish indie-pop group that needs no introduction is back on the road after releasing their third studio album, iii.

4.11: Roseland Theater – Portland, OR ($25+)
4.13: The Independent – San Francisco, CA
4.14: The Independent – San Francisco, CA
4.21: Pappy & Harriet’s – Pioneertown, CA ($30+)
5.20: Marathon Music Works – Nashville, TN ($25+)
5.21: Balcony Experience – Millvale, PA ($20+)


Mothers: Originally a solo project of Kristine Leschper’s while attending art school in Athens, GA, the band grew with her fanbase—which includes Of Montreal’s Kevin Barnes, who asked Mothers to join them on tour to share their delicate indie-pop with the masses. Now they’re doing it again, this time on their own headlining tour.

4.9: Three Links – Dallas, TX ($10+)
4.15: Hal & Mal’s – Jackson, MS ($7+)
4.16: The Syndicate Lounge – Birmingham, AL ($10+)
4.26: DC9 – Washington, DC ($12+)
4.27: Johnny Brenda’s – Philadelphia, PA ($12+)
4.28: Baby’s Alright – Brooklyn, NY ($12+)
5.5: El Club – Detroit, MI ($10+)


MOTHXR: Catchy synth-pop led by Gossip Girl actor Penn Badgley. New jam “She Can’t Tell” is already making waves, with their Centerfold LP set to drop Feb. 26.

4.14: High Noon Saloon – Madison, WI ($25+)
4.20: Lee’s Palace – Toronto, ON ($21.50+)
4.25: Union Transfer – Philadelphia, PA ($17+)
4.26: 9:30 Club – Washington, DC ($20+)
4.28: Cat’s Cradle – Carrboro, NC ($16+)
4.29: Terminal West – Atlanta, GA ($16+)
5.1: The Mothlight – Asheville, NC ($15+)


PWR BTTM: Raw, earnest and unapologetic, the queer garage-punk duo is known for making tunes that are catchy and challenge the concepts of gender—and dieting (do yourself a favor and listen to the hilarious and too-real “Carbs”). Their 2015 debut, Ugly Cherries, was a hit with music critics. Now they’re on the road with Ra Ra Riot. Hopefully, some new music is coming soon, too.

4.6: The Riot Room – Kansas City, MO ($16+)
4.7: Triple Rock Social Club – Minneapolis, MN ($18+)
4.14: Lee’s Palace – Toronto, ON ($18.50+)
6.26: The Irenic – San Diego, CA ($14+)


Rudimental: The English drum and bass group has swepped up awards all throughout Europe, and now they’re bringing their hard hitting sound straight to the US for a few shows that are sure to impress. Don’t miss the group that’s already worked with the likes of Ed Sheeran, John Newman, Foxes, Alex Clare, and so many others.

5.18: Central Park Summerstage – New York, NY ($39.50+)
5.22: Quartyard (DJ set) – San Diego, CA ($35+)


Skrizzly Adams: Skrizzly has a sound unto his own that combines country, hip-hop and rock with his balladeer vocals. His self-released 2014 EP Stains put him on the map but after signing to Atlantic Records, it’s safe to say 2016 will be his year.

4.7: Trees – Dallas, TX ($16+)
4.11: Terminal West – Atlanta, GA ($17+)
4.14: 9:30 Club – Washington, DC ($25+)
4.15: Johnny Brenda’s – Philadelphia, PA ($20+)
4.23: Varsity Theater – Minneapolis, MN ($22+)


Sunflower Bean: There’s a lot of anticipation for the NY trio’s full-length debut, Human Ceremony, out Feb. 5 on Fat Possum Records. Rightfully so. The sparkly dream-pop of single “Easier Said” has had us in a trance since it dropped last month.

4.6: The Frequency – Madison, WI ($8+)
4.9: Smiling Moose – Pittsburgh, PA ($10+)
4.14: Metro Gallery – Baltimore, MD ($10+)
5.17: Chameleon Club – Lancaster, PA ($10+)
6.11: Zanzabar – Louisville, KY ($10+)


The Shelters: Fuzzy, bluesy and drenched in So Cal sunshine, the L.A. band’s brand of feel good rock ‘n’ roll is sure to translate into a good time onstage.

4.6: Troubadour – Los Angeles, CA ($17+)
4.7: The Independent – San Francisco, CA ($17+)
4.9: The State Room – Salt Lake City, UT ($19+)
4.17: The HI-FI – Indianapolis, IN ($17+)
4.21: Lee’s Palace – Toronto, ON ($24+)
4.23: Showcase Lounge – South Burlington, VT ($15+)
5.1: U Street Music Hall – Washington, DC ($18+)
5.3: Terminal West – Atlanta, GA ($18+)

The Struts

The Struts: If this UK rock ‘n’ roll four-piece is good enough to open for the Rolling Stones, then dammit, they’re worth a couple hours of your time and whatever cash you’ve got in your wallet.

4.18: House of Rock – Corpus Christi, TX ($15+)
4.27: The Vogue – Indianapolis, IN ($16+)
4.29: Beale Street Music Festival – Memphis, TN ($105+)
5.2: Wooly’s – Des Moines, IA ($15+)
5.18: The Social – Orlando, FL ($15+)

The Suffers

The Suffers: Groovy and sweet, this Houston-based 10-piece serve up what they call “Gulf Coast Soul.” Give it one listen and you’ll be begging for more. Catch them as they join Lake Street Drive on a national tour.

6.9: Barleycorn’s – Wichita, KS ($10+)

Tor Miller

Tor Miller: Tor Miller’s indie-pop jams will get stuck in your head. It’s just a fact. Take recent single “Carter and Cash,” for example. Nylon called the cut “euphoric” with a “stadium-sized hook that can launch a career and dominate a summer.” Press play, then repeat.

4.6: The Independent – San Francisco, CA ($15+)
4.8: Doug Fir Lounge – Portland, OR ($15+)
4.9: The Crocodile – Seattle, WA ($15+)
4.20: Johnny Brenda’s – Philadelphia, PA ($6+)
4.21: U Street Music Hall – Washington, DC ($15+)

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