The 40 Best New Bands Of 2019

The 40 Best New Bands Of 2019

Every autumn here at Stereogum, we look long and hard at the last 12 months and pinpoint which new artists make us excited about the future of music. We then organize those artists into our annual Best New Bands list, celebrating what they’ve already accomplished and highlighting them as someone to keep an eye on moving forward. This year is no different, and the crop of 2019 musicians is just as inspiring as ever. Music somehow keeps being good despite everything else being bad, and we’re all happy to keep listening as long as everyone else keeps making it. (Corny, I know!)

The caveats we’ve placed on this list from the beginning still apply. “New” is a subjective term, especially now that we’re all online and everything is happening all the time. Some of these artists have been around for a few years, others only have a couple songs to their name so far, but all of them are making music worth hearing. We also continue to call this the Best New Bands list, even though (as you’ll see) there are quite a few not-bands on the list, but we are absolutely apeshit about alliteration. Can’t get enough of the stuff.

We purposefully run this list a bit before year-end list season, and we keep in mind that an artist’s upward trajectory can’t be tied to a year the way an album release date can. Many of these names will be familiar to regular Stereogum readers who keep up with our daily music posts and Band To Watch column. If you revisit our lists from years past — now handily archived right over here — you’ll see that our taste is impeccable. So make sure you get familiar with Stereogum’s 40 Best New Bands Of 2019, presented below in alphabetical order. You can also listen to a playlist of our picks on on Spotify. Enjoy! –James Rettig

100 Gecs


LOCATION: Los Angeles CA / Chicago, IL

Listening to 100 Gecs feels like snorting crushed computer chips. The data powder contains traces of our collective, scatterbrained music memory from the past 15 years — from Blink-182 to Soulja Boy, Sleigh Bells to Skrillex, ska, pop punk, crunkcore, and bubblegum — filtered through the current internet echo chamber. Dylan Brady and Laura Les echo the maximalist, masochistic spirit of 2019. Their debut album, 1000 Gecs, is 23 minutes of exhilarating aural assault. –Julia Gray

Black Midi

CREDIT: Dan Kendall


Black Midi managed to ascend to nigh-mythical status in their home country with barely any online presence and barely more recorded material. Then they hit Stateside, and it all made sense. Their live show is a spectacle to behold, a roiling mass of grooves and riffs and beats mutating and exploding off in a million different directions. And with their debut album Schlagenheim, they successfully managed to get that electric anything-is-possible feeling down on wax. No matter how many times you listen, their songs never fail to surprise. –Peter Helman



LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA

This charming rap rascal is working in a couple of long-established traditions — West Coast rappers pushing against the beat and over-the-top slapstick sex-comedy. But because he’s suddenly more popular than any of the figures who influenced him, Blueface looks, to a certain segment of the population, like a sign of the aesthetic apocalypse. That’s the burden of success, even when you’re fundamentally too silly to be taken seriously. Baby, you see this face tat? He doesn’t want a job. –Tom Breihan


CREDIT: Ashley Gellman

LOCATION: Philadelphia, PA

Lots of bands have delusions of grandeur, but Caracara appear to have the talent to actually pull off their big ideas. Over the course of one LP, one EP, and a recent one-off single, William Lindsay’s ambitious Philadelphia combo has been honing in on a sweet spot between stately high-drama indie rock and adventurous letting-it-all-hang-out emo. In a wonderfully perverse turn of events, the results resemble late-’90s alt-rock radio mutating into exciting new forms before your ears. –Chris DeVille

Channel Tres

CREDIT: Devyn Galindo


Channel Tres descended from the disco ball heavens last year with his debut single “Controller,” a celebration of the dance floor as a place of autonomy. Over the past year, he’s released two EPs, the latest dubbed Black Moses, declaring that he’s the house music prophet we’ve been waiting for. His music is packed with allusions to Greek mythology, punk icons, and rap trailblazers; he pays homage to Midwest techno and celebrates blackness’ beauty. He put it plainly earlier this year: “I have a lot of shit to say, and I just like dancing.” The suave beatmaker puts your brain and body to work. –Margaret Farrell


CREDIT: Daniel Ramos Jr

LOCATION: Charlotte, NC

Almost every breakout hip-hop star this decade has specialized in line-blurring sing-song, but this year we’re seeing a low-key resurgence of hardscrabble rappers in the mainstream. One of the best is DaBaby, a Charlotte native who talks incredible shit with an intimidating physical presence to back it up (as in, he went viral for beating up a rival rapper this past spring). Muscular but nimble in delivery, hilarious and sometimes terrifying in content, it’s a thrill whenever he shows up on a track — and with two albums and countless guest spots since January, that’s happened a lot in 2019. –Chris

Dead Heat

CREDIT: Joe Calixto


Plenty of bands are doing everything they can right now to resurrect the crossover era, that magical late-’80s moment when hardcore and speed metal fused into one jackhammer whole. But none are calling back to that era with the verve of Dead Heat, whose fired-up blitzkrieg hits like a skateboard to the face. Dead Heat are history-minded enough to cover crossover originators the Crumbsuckers, and they’re immediate enough that their debut Certain Death will cave your skull in. –Tom


CREDIT: Tonje Thilesen


Isaac deBroux-Slone and Raina Bock, the duo behind Disq, grew up together as family friends, but joined forces later in middle school after discovering they liked the same music. Those influences haven’t steered them wrong. Disq sound like they took meticulous notes on Todd Rundgren instead of the modern-day bands influenced by him, like Tame Impala or Quilt. They’re a young band (they wrote their first album in eighth grade), but Disq already know how to mellow out on the weird side of ’60s psych-pop — something more bands should attempt. –Nina Corcoran

Dry Cleaning

Dry Cleaning, London, June 2019. Picture credit: Hanna-Katrina Jedrosz
CREDIT: Hanna-Katrina Jedrosz


Dry Cleaning came together in a somewhat atypical way — three musicians who’d already been through the ringer with failed projects, finding their spark with a frontwoman who had no musical experience. That’s also what makes them special, with Florence Shaw’s deadpan-then-vicious spoken word delivery adding a new twist on Dry Cleaning’s gritty post-punk. Her lyrics come from stray details and overheard conversations and YouTube detritus — the jumble of a mind in an era of too much information and too many stimuli, the outpouring of it all ultimately making Dry Cleaning somehow therapeutic. –Ryan Leas


CREDIT: Marisa Holmes

LOCATION: Vancouver, British Columbia

The funny thing is, Dumb are a really smart band. The Vancouver quartet is restless and ruthless, making rowdy post-punk that questions and analyzes everyday life. As a follow-up to 2018’s Seeing Green, this year they released their frenetic second album Club Nites. It’s a bundle of exposed wires, a twangy flurry of anxious guitar strums and frantic chord changes. Their catchy, winding melodies organize their acerbic commentary/comedy. With his forthright, deadpan vocals, Franco Rossino is a necessary spokesman for those tired of the status quo and current daily bullshit. –Margaret

Dump Him

CREDIT: Jonathan Vahid

LOCATION: Northampton, MA

Dump Him released their long-awaited debut album, Dykes To Watch Out For, this past August. A collection of superb and gutting punk and queercore, the album is fueled by fear and anxiety, from planetary destruction to humanity’s combustion as a result of a sympathy void. It’s about oppressed and marginalized voices, bodies that even underground cultures, like punk, still exploit and abuse; it’s about trauma; it’s about the pitfalls of being human. Dump Him are a great band that are asking for us to be better. Their music is a glorious wake-up call. –Margaret


CREDIT: Daniel Topete

LOCATION: Hamilton, Ontario

Linnea Siggelkow named her debut EP The Fuzz after the static on a TV screen between channels, and that hazy liminal space is exactly where her music resides. She makes dream-pop songs born of sadness and ambivalence that envelop you like a cool gray fog, unfolding patiently but with all the force of a gathering squall. And now that she’s signed to Fat Possum and reissued her EP on her new label, all we have to wait for is more lightning on the horizon. –Peter




Fauness wants to make pop music with a purpose. The titles of her two EPs, Toxic Femininity and Lashes In A Landfill, both evoke very 21st century concerns, and she translates these modern worries into stuttering songs that sound like glitches in the matrix. “Sixteen” is her high water mark so far, a song about the glamorization of being young when all you want to do is be taken seriously as an adult. “I don’t wanna be sixteen,” she begs on it. “When I was sixteen, I was fragile and so lonely.” –James

Faye Webster

CREDIT: Eat Humans


If alt-country seems inaccessible, let Faye Webster ease you into the genre with an R&B saxophone yawn or rap verse courtesy of Father. The Atlanta singer-songwriter didn’t turn alt-country on its head with Atlanta Millionaires Club, but she did dress it up enough to give folk-pop and soft-rock fans a natural in to the genre. Maybe it’s her breathy lilt. Maybe it’s the moderation of slide guitar. Whatever the trick is, Webster knows it makes her songs irresistibly coquettish. –Nina

Fontaines D.C.

CREDIT: Daniel Topete

LOCATION: Dublin, Ireland

In a deft move of self-mythologizing, Fontaines D.C. provided the manifesto for their ascendant 2019 right out the gates, an already oft-quoted line from Dogrel’s charging opener “Big”: “My childhood was small/ But I’m gonna be big!” Ireland might be a small place, but it’s often the people from the smallest places, the people hungry to see the rest of the world, that make the biggest sounds. Accordingly, Fontaines’ prophecy is already coming true: Dogrel and their visceral live show have earned them feverish hype, fervent fans, and a Mercury Prize nomination. It’s one of the least likely and most fascinating rises for a young rock band in recent memory, but more importantly it’s a testament to the will for self-invention. –Ryan


CREDIT: Jen Dessinger

LOCATION: Washington, DC

There’s a lot of pedigree behind Gauche — its members are also in Downtown Boys and Priests — so maybe it’s not too surprising that their debut album, A People’s History Of Gauche, absolutely goes off, but so it does. They’re a young band that has a sense of legacy, willing to engage with punk music on a continuum, and each song feels like a treatise on what it means to be screaming and singing about the same injustices for decades while the status quo remains the same. –James

Glass Beach

CREDIT: Joey Tobin

LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA

The First Glass Beach Album is like peak-eccentricity of Montreal reimagined as peak-audacity fourth-wave emo and then remixed by peak-accessibility PC Music. Or maybe if the Unicorns wrote a post-rock symphony about a jazz band that goes to war with a synth-pop band. Narrated in a histrionic whine by the artist formerly known as Casio Dad, it includes songs called “classic j dies and goes to hell, Pt. 1″ and “Yoshi’s Island” and “Soft!!!!!!!” and, naturally, “Glass Beach.” It’s a lot. –Chris

Grace Ives

CREDIT: Tim Ives


“I just want to go back home and be alone in my bed.” The opening line on Grace Ives’ “Icing On The Cake” is the shoe-in #mood for this generation, replete with the bouncy synth bursting like confetti behind it. Her newest album, 2nd, sounds like a long-lost MySpace gem. Ives has an air of cool aloofness on it, like she accepted the world is on fire and is content dancing on her own while others panic, and her music invites you to join. –Nina

Idle Hands

CREDIT: Peter Beste

LOCATION: Portland, OR

Idle Hands is led by Gabriel Franco, previously of the band Spellcaster, whose old members also make up most of Idle Hands. On their debut album, Mana, they throw it back to gothic rock and big riffs, gliding through 11 twinkling rippers that are catchy and expressive, fast-paced but also gorgeous, artfully taking over your whole mind. –James

Joanna Sternberg

CREDIT: Charlie Gross


When they’re not penning comics, Joanna Sternberg records songs fit for New York’s anti-folk era in the early 2000s, the scene that birthed the Moldy Peaches and Diane Cluck. Armed with an extensive compositional background from the New School, Sternberg turns their worries and daily battles — depression, suicidal ideation, self-hatred — into lo-fi folk jaunts. From piano ballad “My Angel” to the self-explanatory “This Is Not Who I Want To Be,” a painful transparency takes hold, and it lingers long into the night. –Nina

Julien Chang

CREDIT: Erica Snyder

LOCATION: Baltimore, MD

What were you doing at age 19? The prodigious Julien Chang enrolled in Ivy League classes, signed a record deal to become labelmates with Alvvays and SOPHIE and Julia Jacklin, and released a debut that swirled together neoclassical, psych, progressive jazz, folk, synth-pop, and more. Parts resemble inspired elevator music, like chillwave snapping back into focus. Others evoke the chamber-pop pocket symphonies of Fleet Foxes and Grizzly Bear. Jules is a diverse ecosystem unto itself, one that will make you wonder what other worlds Chang will create someday. –Chris

Just Mustard

CREDIT: Karl Walsh

LOCATION: Dundalk, Ireland

Just Mustard already garnered a ton of acclaim in their homeland upon the release of their debut album Wednesday, but it took a little longer for word of mouth to drift across the Atlantic. Fittingly, their best songs — like their latest single “Seven” — function like storms approaching off the sea. They exist in the eerie moment when you feel the air shift and tighten: Warped guitar screeches suggest destruction on the horizon, and Katie Ball’s ghostly vocals a siren song calling you into it. –Ryan


CREDIT: Signe Fuglesteg Luksengard

LOCATION: Oslo, Norway

Upon relocating to Oslo for college, two longtime friends from Norway’s northern fringe discovered a powerful musical chemistry. As Konradsen, Jenny Marie Sabel and Eirik Vildgren deliver an artful new spin on tender coffeehouse indie, infusing it with flashes of folk and post-rock and avant-R&B without wavering from their distinct voice. Their debut Saints And Sebastian Stories is spellbinding, like encountering an old friend in a dream and discovering they have superpowers. –Chris

La Neve

CREDIT: Jen Dessinger

LOCATION: Providence, RI

For the past few years, Joey La Neve DeFranesco has played slashing, feral guitar in the righteous and urgent punk band Downtown Boys. But as La Neve, she makes straight-up dance music. The two projects sound nothing alike, but La Neve’s music is no less driving or purposeful from that of Downtown Boys. On her full-length debut, The Vital Cord, La Neve plays with skeletal drum machines, romantic synths, eerily ringing guitars, and queer signifiers, making righteously utopian party music. –Tom

Lil Nas X