As curators, we listen to a ton of music every week. In addition to hot releases by artists we know and love, we stumble upon plenty of lesser-known gems that excite us. Here’s a brief list of some of our favorite recent discoveries, from metal and jazz to country, hip-hop and world music.
Aside from having maybe the best band name ever, TLTITWTKUA deliver wild, over-the-top prog-metal laced with post-rock parts and intricate eight-string bass noodling. It’s kind of a weird combo, but the result is really solid and pretty original.
Tune out to the blissed, cosmic chill brought on by this Bostonian’s samples and lush, mirage-like beats.
Like a satanic marching band crossed with psychedelic percussion ensemble Crash Worship, itchy-O combine pounding rhythms, with spaced-out synths, insane costumes, theremins, dancers and more. Their shows are wild spectacles that often spill into the street outside whatever venue they’ve just decimated.
Chris Stapleton-style country ballads with knockout vocals to match. Polished production doesn’t sap one iota of earthy spirit from these songs.
A dizzying mix of experimental deathcore, hyper-distorted metalcore and Warped Tour-style emo. The production is super tight and the whole record is a twisted tangle of crushing riffs, soaring melodies and wild digital FX.
This Australian songbird has a gorgeous, throaty voice which she wraps languorously around a lush, softly psychedelic cabaret. A dreamy, sultry gem.
A blue-eyed bluesman comes in heavy with a five-and-a-half-minute slide guitar jam. Dude’s got bottleneck chops and undeniable soul.
A heady sprawl of spaced-out, smoldering, Eastern-tinged doom. Just bass, sitar and drums. The sound slips from snake charmer stoner rock to slow-burn downer rock, always wreathed in clouds of druggy effects-heavy shimmer.
Crate-diggers take note: this hourlong suite of instrumental hip-hop is an old-school truimph. You can get it on cassette, too.
Eerie, horror movie electronica doused in a cauldron of glitchy electronics, ’80s VHS synths, echo-drenched handclaps and squiggly minor key melodies. A darkly modern take on the retro trippiness of classic witch-house.
A vivacious live set, recorded in the titular city, showcases this agile pianist and his stupefyingly tight backing band. Just try and keep up with some of these breakneck runs.
The most recent release from this long-running French black metal band. Ultra-melodic, expertly produced, distorted and depressive. Mostly mid-tempo, but with some frenzied bursts of black buzz.
This classically-trained ensemble bakes fusion-y flourishes into its muscular Afrobeat.
Sexy, sultry, foul-mouthed R&B/trap. Nasty and groovy, with sinuous, seductive verses and a banging, ultra-catchy chorus.
Her lighthearted imagery is spoken with the slightest of drawls. Effortlessly warm and easygoing in the tradition of Norah Jones.
Self-described as “Blasting Brutal Animal Death Grind,” Eat Your Murder is a brain-curdling, animal-liberating blast of ultra-intense, extremely gurgly gore-grind. This vegan-core crew spits out frenzied, downtuned bursts of blurred heaviness, tangled gouts of grinding metal and churning blurts of dizzying mincecore, all in service of some of the most insanely liquid-sounding vokills ever.
This Queens, New York singer and percussionist has performed religious music from Hispaniola for over a decade. This sample of his repertoire brims with joy and rhythms that delight.
If you like: Enerolisa, Musica de Palo, Conjunto Batey
The second punk rock marching band on this list. Imagine creepy soundtrack music performed by a massive horn section and an even bigger drum corps. Haunting and moody, but also wild and bombastic, like an alternate soundtrack for every Tim Burton movie ever.
Crushing, ursine post-hardcore from these East Coast knuckle-draggers. Massive breakdowns, huge riffs and gang vocals all wound up into some seriously hooky and hellacious noise rock.