I spent four years running a college radio station and three working in corporate music programming, so I’m here to offer you some advice. (And first and foremost, let’s make sure the phrase “buzz band” never happens again.)
All Dogs are a trio from Columbus, OH. Simple garage rock is a good thing and there isn’t enough of it these days (also see: Heavy Cream and The Gories.) People started taking grunge pretty seriously (I think that started in the 90s somewhere?) and it hasn’t been the same since. Don’t call it a revival because it never left–people just started paying attention to other shit. Do yourself a favor and spend more time browsing bandcamp, and less time up and down voting songs you love and hate.
Wild Rice is another garage favorite, heavy on the psychedelics. They jam a lot and play long sets and instrumentals. Be fine with this because it’s tight even though the bass strings are loose. They’re part of the best shit coming from New Jersey (also see: Kicking Spit and The Screaming Females.) You’ll bang your head and have an even better afternoon.
For those of you who like the smoother side of life–like R&B smooth, like chilly smooth, like reverbed vocals smooth–keep your eyes on Blood Orange. Devonte Hynes has spent time working with Solange and Jessie Ware, if that gives you any ideas. He spends his other spare time throwing listening parties for fans while they drive around together in his car and covering Phoenix. We’re still awaiting the second full length, Cupid Deluxe, so follow him because its bound to pop up sometime soon.
The new mixtape from Le1f, Tree House, is for you if you like flamboyant rappers who talk about how much the smell of sex gets the motor running. Gay black men aren’t prominent in hip hop, but Le1f is turning all that around. I just learned that “millennial rap” is a thing and I’m pretty sure this is it (see: drum machines, saturated vocals etc.) You can stream the whole thing over at soundcloud.
But if hip hop collectives are more your style (and you’re already sick of Odd Future/you’re sick of Odd Future? shame on you[u1] ) get your hands on World’s Fair’s new mixtape, Bastards Of The Party. People love to argue that New York Hip Hop is and isn’t back (see Joey Bada$$) but I think they just aren’t paying attention. This output features MCs Remy Banks, Prince SAMO, Cody B. Ware and a lot more. You can stream all of it online or just download it for free over at Hip Hop Wired.