Stereogum’s 50 Best New Bands Of 2015

Stereogum’s 50 Best New Bands Of 2015

Dilly Dally


Sore’s a good word to describe how you might feel after spinning through Dilly Dally’s debut album of the same name. Katie Monks’ scratchy, full-blooded howl will reel you in, and their whip-smart lyrics and pulverizing intensity will keep you coming back time and time again for another cathartic fix. Their loud, brash, toweringly epic style of rock feels is a front for the more vulnerable feelings underneath, and that only adds to their might. —James

Fetty Wap

LOCATION: Paterson, NJ

One mark of a truly transformative artist is that they sound like absolute garbage at first, and gradually they reorder your brain until you skip past acceptance and straight to embrace. Even many of us who initially recoiled from “Trap Queen” eventually surrendered to Fetty Wap’s jubilant honk because underneath all that off-key ugliness were hooks and humanity in seemingly endless supply. His exuberance and/or inspiration may well run out someday, but for now everything Paterson’s one-eyed underdog rap hero records elicits that “Yeeeeeaahh baby!” feeling. —Chris


CREDIT: Stephanie Griffin

LOCATION: Brooklyn, NY

Emily Sprague has been performing under the Florist moniker for a bit now, but the project’s broadly intimate ambitions are solidified on Holdly, the 5-song collection of sun-speckled folk that serves as a precursor to their debut LP due out next year. But what an introduction it is, full of brightly-realized and wrenching music that’s as innately appealing as it is emotionally devastating. —James

Girl Band

LOCATION: Dublin, Ireland

If you hold to the increasingly reasonable opinion that indie rock has become too nice, too soft, too precious, too upwardly mobile and obsessed with pop, Girl Band are one of today’s finest antidotes for your woes. And even if you like nice, soft, precious, poppy music, you might find yourself bowled over by the Dublin combo’s relentless abrasion anyway. Like early Liars, their songs mostly just bombard you with aggressive repetition topped off with snarling rants and raves. The pummeling will only amplify your bad vibes, but you’ll come out the other side feeling like a supervillain. —Chris


CREDIT: Allyssa Yohana

LOCATION: Philadelphia, PA

Cleo Tucker and Harmony Tividad, the two members of this band, are products of LA’s still-teeming DIY punk scene, but they don’t have to play loud to be heard. And they’ve since relocated to recent DIY mecca Philadelphia, but while they’re nearly as tuneful as their big-sister band Waxahatchee, they haven’t lost any of their basement-hardcore urgency. Instead, they sing songs about feminism and friendship and fucking assholes, their voices in nyah-nyah close harmony over their minimal guitar-and-bass backdrops. They don’t have a drummer because they’re too punk to need a drummer. —Tom


CREDIT: Renate Winter


The moniker stands for “Girls Living Outside Society’s Shit,” and that’s barely enough to give you the slightest idea what you’re in for when you click play on their demo. They’re a trans-feminist punk band from Olympia, Washington, and they play with all the feral urgency of people who feel, quite justifiably, that the world is out to get them. Their sound is raw and serrated but steeped in old-school hardcore intensity. It’s what might’ve happened if Black Flag or Born Against had somehow possessed the power to make you rethink all your gender assumptions. —Tom


LOCATION: Brooklyn, NY

Leslie Hong kicks off the band’s debut album with frustration over a lack of connection: “I don’t give a fuck if you don’t have the internet!” she screams with scorn. That feeling of festering anger threads through Sleepy Kids, and the result is a prickly, uncompromising record that captures both the energy of their weathered live show and forges a new, exciting path. —James

Johanna Warren

CREDIT: Beth Behler

LOCATION: Portland, OR

All of Johanna Warren’s songs feel like they’re flying — it’s a sensation she explored on her 2013 debut, Fates, and perfected with n?m?n, the immensely satisfying sophomore effort that brought her widespread attention this year. In addition to her engaging talk of dualities and astrology and New Age rituals, Warren is lifted up by her voice, which takes the form of a majestic and wonderful flutter. —James

Julien Baker

CREDIT: Jake Cunningham

LOCATION: Murfreesboro, TN

When you stumble upon a songwriter as tender as Julien Baker, the initial urge is to keep her all to yourself. The Tennessee native has been working as part of Memphis’ Forrister for a while now, but her solo debut Sprained Ankle sounds effortless, a wellspring of wisdom and weariness from an impossibly astute 20-year-old. Baker recorded her debut at Matthew E. White’s Spacebomb Studios, which is why every note and lyric sounds clear and clean like polished silver. Baker’s spare, magnificent songs gleam and shimmer, fractured precursors of things to come. —Caitlin

Katie Dey

LOCATION: Melbourne, Australia

There are no photographs of Katie Dey online, an impressive feat given how much modern music has come to be centered around cultivating an image. That alone says a lot about the unknowable nature of the project. Even with only a single EP to her name so far, the young Melbourne musician has created her own ungraspable language. This is some of the most progressive electroacoustic experimentation to come along in years, and it feels like it comes to Dey so naturally. The bare bones of her songs would be akin to folk, but they’re distorted and pulled apart through digital means so that they end up sounding unlike anything you’ve heard before. Typically, music this heady and experiential keeps itself at a distance, allowing you to marvel at its construction, but all of asdfasdf pulls you in close, refusing to let go until you’re basking in its warmth. —James


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