Man, the beginning of the year isn’t always ripe with new music since it seems like everyone likes to cram everything into the fall, but boy oh boy do I have a good feeling about this year. Some of my favorite artists are coming out with full-length records in 2017, and some other newly discovered artists I just know are going to make it big. Or, you know, at least they’ll get a lot of play on my personal Spotify account because let’s be real when I find something I like to play it out. (Sorry, neighbors who are probably really sick of The Weeknd’s Starboy record. It’s real good.)

So, without further ado, here are my top five picks for this year that I think you’ll want to keep an eye on, either because they’re really pushing into the public scene or because they’re poised for something great. And hey, no matter what happens? We’ll have a great post to look at later and laugh at when it turned out I was real wrong, or something. Anyway. Let’s get on to the music.

1. Allman Brown

Why He’s Awesome: Listen, liiiiisten, I have been singing the praises of Allman Brown for basically forever (or at least as early as the summer of 2015) A few years now, really, ever since he won me over with “Sons & Daughters” with Liz Lawrence back in 2013. Allman Brown has some really fantastic folksy sounds that really hit the spot if you’re into that sort of thing, and his singles released thus far have been perfect for just about every season, including the recent “Palms” (also with Liz Lawrence) which has been just as perfect for a quiet winter snowfall as I imagine it will be for early springtime mornings and late summer nights. If you enjoyed the likes of Hozier, James Bay, and Lukas Graham over the past few years, you’re going to want to follow Allman Brown.

What To Look Forward To: His debut album, 1000 Years, is being released on February 10 of this year, and he’ll be hitting up the European tour stops beginning in March. I imagine the album might contain a lot of tracks we’ve already heard before since Allman Brown’s collection of released singles is pretty extensive, but I am personally really excited to hear how the album comes together as one cohesive piece, especially after really enjoying his EP releases we’ve had thus far.

Manda’s Favorite Track: Other than “Sons and Daughters,” my favorite has got to be “House of Spirits,” which I will forever hold dear as a song I sang loudly through tears as I drove back to my hometown after more than a year away two summers ago. You can check those songs out on Spotify, but I’ve included his latest release with Liz Lawrence below, which I’m already falling in love with.

Want More Allman Brown? In addition to Soundcloud, you can find his music on Spotify and iTunes, or follow him on Facebook for updates. If you want to preorder a physical copy of his new album, you can do so on Amazon for just $10 USD and help support this blog in the process. You can also find Allman Brown at allmanbrown.com

2. KNGDAVD

Why They’re Awesome: To my knowledge, KNGDAVD only has two singles to date—the scream along “Say My Name” and addictive “Poppies,” both edgy, catchy modern rock songs that are sure to be played over the radio and in every mid-level clothing chain for the foreseeable future… just as soon as more people take a listen. Though KNGDAVD boasts something like 17,000 Spotify listeners (okay, and more than 18,000 twitter followers), they have I shit you not, less than 500 Facebook followers. These guys might not be a big name yet, but I have a feeling they’re going to blow up along the likes of Walk The Moon and other suddenly popular new-ish rock bands, so you might as well blast “Say My Name” and “Poppies” as loud and as long as you can before you get sick of hearing it every time you accidentally disconnect your aux cable and have to listen to the real radio for 30 seconds. (We can all come back here and laugh if I’m wrong, but really… did you stop to listen to those songs? They’re amazing.)

What To Look Forward To: It’s cryptic, but it’s all we’ve got: via Facebook KNGDAVD has promised us via a series of two status updates “JANUARY 24” and “WE’RE BACK” so you know what, I’m in. Let’s see what we’ve got coming.

Manda’s Favorite Track: This is kind of a trick question I wrote for myself since these guys have such a short discography as of the date of publishing this, but I’m going to go ahead with “Say My Name” because it sounds so dang great on my car speakers and it’s just got that right rhythm that I love.

Want more KNGDAVD? Head on over to Spotify and give them a follow for future releases, buy “Poppies” or “Say My Name” on iTunes, or check out Facebook for more updates.

3. Are You Anywhere

Why They’re Awesome: Another artist (well, duo) that I’ve covered before, this Romanian pair made their debut last year and have been on pretty heavy rotation on my headphones whenever I need something to dance (or work, or workout) to. With catchy beats that belong smack in the middle of a strong setlist for a really great party, AYA takes their beautifully crafted tracks and reels you further in with artistic videos shot in a series of exotic locales that make it clear that Are You Anywhere is everywhere, and that every day is a story. You get a whole experience with the music, and for those of you into the dance music scene I feel pretty confident you’ll be hearing more from these guys.

What To Look Forward To: Having played some pretty great sets last year (I mean, from my international, online-only vantage point) such as at the Electric Castle festival, I feel pretty confident that these guys are only going to be pushing their talents and their performances even further to reach as wide an audience as possible. While we have no news on forthcoming music, we did just get another really excellent video for their latest single. I also know I’d love to see them hit up the festival circuit here in the United States, where I think they’d fit in well.

Manda’s Favorite Track: Easily their debut single “Stay True,” which basically sums up everything I love and believe in and makes me want to go wander off and explore since I now have the perfect soundtrack. There have also already been some really great remixes of this track by other artists who have put some clever twists on an already wonderful song.

Want more Are You Anywhere? Grab a copy of their debut EP on iTunes, give them a follow on Spotify, then head over to Facebook for updates (and to see all of their beautiful music videos.) You can also find Are You Anywhere at areyouanywhereonline.com

4. Jogger

Why He’s Awesome: Not everyone is going to be the next Eminem, but there’s a pretty good niche being carved out by the likes of Wax, Watsky, Hoodie Allen, and so on that Jogger fits right in with pretty well. His beats aren’t bad, his rhymes are pretty great, and I found myself repeating his tracks pretty quickly after hearing them for the first time. I’m usually into heavier rap (go figure, right?) but I’m really enjoying Jogger so far and am interested to hear where he’ll be headed next… especially since he is, get this, apparently still in high school according to his website. If he’s doing this well now, I’m pretty excited about what his sound might be like later on.

What To Look Forward To: Other than seeing where Jogger’s sound goes as he hones his talent, his “From The Shadows” EP will be digitally released on February 9, so we’ll get a better chance to hear what his tracks sound like when put together as a set and how his sound has progressed since previous releases. (Also, at the time of publishing this his Twitter is promising us a new track as soon as tonight…alright!)

Manda’s Favorite Track: Though I’m a huge fan of the very brief “Godfather” feat. ZAKREE found on Jogger’s Soundcloud, it was “All Night” that won me over and got me to dig a little further into who Jogger was and discover his other tracks in the first place, so it’s easily still my favorite.

Want More Jogger? You’re in luck! Follow him on Spotify to hear his latest singles when they’re released, or on Twitter for more updates. If you wanna help support an up and coming artist, you can buy his singles on iTunes, too! You can also find Jogger at jxgger.com

5. GGOOLLDD

Why They’re Awesome: Currently one of Wisconsin’s best kept secrets since PHOX, these guys have an incredibly well polished electro-pop sound that can sit right on the same shelf as CHVRCHES and other similarly all-caps titled bands and hold their own in a really great, unique way. You wouldn’t think that the Midwest would be a hotbed of music reminiscent of Florence + the Machine, Lana Del Rey, and other loud indie favorites, but this lady-fronted, Milwaukee-based group is here to not only prove you wrong but convince you that we owned the sound up here all along.

What To Look Forward To: Though the band has been playing local stages since 2013, this year they’ll be making a scene at SXSW, where they’re sure to capture attention on a more national scope. They’ve also hinted at writing some new music on their Facebook page (along with cuddling some adorable puppies.)

Manda’s Favorite Track: “City Lights” sounds exactly like its namesake; from the opening notes I can already picture driving under the seemingly endless underpasses of Milwaukee, watching the lights flicker as we head home from concerts at one in the morning, which seems to be a perfect homage to GGOOLLDD’s roots.

Want More GGOOLLDD? Come to Wisconsin, where they put on loads of excellent shows! Other than that (or if you don’t want to brave the cold) you can stream or download tracks on Spotify and iTunes and follow them on Facebook for further updates. You can also find GGOOLLDD at ggoollddband.com


What did you think of these artists? Are you already a fan? Be sure to let me know in the comments! I’d also love to hear what other artists you’re looking forward to following for 2017 so that I can check them out as well. Let’s all share in some awesome new music together!

This post was originally published at mandarific.com.


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