These acts are ready to make a big splash in 2019

BLOXX, Eighty-Ninety, IDER, Simple Creatures & vverevvolfWritten by Wes Severson //

They’ve got talent, great songs and are just now starting to be heard. These five acts seem to be flying under the radar, and they really shouldn’t be. They are all putting out new material on a consistent basis, and in most cases, each new song they release seems to outdo the one that came before it.

Let’s face it — finding good new music takes time, which some of you might not have much of these days (that’s why we’re here). Hopefully these five groups can breathe some new life into your outdated playlists. They are all making music that’s on the cutting edge of freshness. So, go listen to these five bands and enjoy!



This London quartet is really something special. Not only are BLOXX’s songs well-written and superbly produced, but the vocals that come from lead singer Ophelia Booth also maintain an amazing tone and texture to them. The songs feature both catchy choruses and verses due, in part, to some top-notch guitar work. Although their songwriting is somewhat predictable, the finished product is so clearly polished and tastefully produced that it keeps you wanting more and more.

BLOXX have issued eight singles so far, with the latest “Sea Blue” slated to be the title track on their debut LP. Their first official song “Boyfriend” was thrust into the mainstream at the start of 2017, and since then, the pop-punk outfit has dropped a new single every 2-3 months on average. So far, they have only played shows in the UK, but it’s clear that their fan base is starting to stretch wide. Keep your eyes peeled for some kind of U.S. tour or at the very least, some North American dates this year.

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Eighty Ninety

Eighty Ninety

These guys got some love from Taylor Swift when the pop star included an Eighty Ninety track (“Your Favorite Song”) in her Spotify playlist “Songs Taylor Loves” less than a month ago. The sultry, minimalist vibes that their songs deliver have a soothing, almost mesmerizing effect on the listener. The duo made up by brothers Abner and Harper James has an incredible ability to make simple vocal lines sound very addictive. Every Eighty Ninety melody grabs you, and the verses and choruses are all well-crafted to hook you. In general, the production on all of their material is top-notch and often features flavorful guitar licks that come out of nowhere.

As far as their lyrics go, Eighty Ninety are all about heartbreak. They’re good at grabbing you with stories that often feel very real ever since they unveiled their three-song EP Elizabeth in 2016. With each new song that they give us, there has been more speculation about a longer release coming soon. For now though, you’ll have to enjoy the band’s seven singles, and we can hope they come back to California at some point this year (we’re pretty sure they will).

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Megan Markwick and Lily Somerville are quickly turning heads back home, but the UK indie-electronic duo making music under the name IDER has yet to break out in the U.S. They soon will, though … trust me. They’ve already started 2019 on a strong note a new pop masterpiece called “Brown Sugar”, and describing it as “infectious” would be putting it lightly. IDER really bring emotion to their catchy, quickly worded melodies. Some have a rap component to them, which definitely prevents any listener boredom. Lyrically, they excel at conveying complicated feelings and situations into simple, uniquely timed musical phrases.

Last year, the group released “Mirror”, which was one of my favorite songs from 2018. But the electronic production that IDER’s latest material employs makes them a force to be reckoned with. Simple, yet groove-able beats and synths keep the focus on the words, which can strike emotional chords in the hearts of anyone who has been in love. IDER have yet to release their debut LP, but when they do, which we assume will be this year, fans best be prepared.

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Simple Creatures

Simple Creatures

Simple Creatures may not even be classified as indie, but I promise you, you will be hearing a lot about them over 2019. That’s because the group consists of two guys who should probably be considered alt-rock Hall of Famers (if there was such a thing). Blink-182’s Mark Hoppus has joined forces with All Time Low frontman Alex Gaskarth, and his signature vocal tone is quite apparent and tends to blend very nicely over their synthpop-tinged tunes.

So far we’ve only gotten a taste of Simple Creatures’ potential, but they’re already proving to be addictive. Hoppus and Gaskarth have been called the two of the juiciest brains in alt-rock, and their creativity shines through on their first two singles “Drug” and “Strange Love”. Plus, there’s a good chance that we’ll get another single or two from Simple Creatures over the next few weeks as they gear up to release their first EP at the end of March.

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They have a cool name and they spell it the cool way, but that is not why I like vverevvolf (yes, it’s spelled with no caps), the two-piece from Berkeley. It’s actually because of their creativity and their approach to a type of pop music that doesn’t have to be perfect. Their songs are both dynamic and unpredictable but also are full of hooky lines, interesting lyrics and niche chord progressions as well as beats. They make you feel comfortable. Sometimes playful, sometimes emotional, sometimes distant and sometimes vulnerable, vvwerevvolf’s music packs a punch that’s worth absorbing. They just released their second EP last month that includes the single “Sugar and Spice”, which also has a very funny music video (watch below).

The upbeat, driving pulse on “Sugar and Spice” stands in contrast to vverevvolf’s first single “Cruel Games”, which has more of soothing feel and brings much more artistry and emotion to the table. Kelsey LaRae and Dylan Gallagher have voices that mesh well together, and the stylistic production choices will surely catapult them to the forefront of a returning wave of pop. More new music from vverevvolf is likely in the works, but what they have unveiled so far is a lot to enjoy.

Follow: Facebook. Soundcloud. Twitter. Spotify. Instagram.

Which act are you most excited about in 2019? Let us know in the comments section below!

10 new songs that you should know about & hear

Top songs - Weezer, Hozier, Foals & Bad SunsWritten by Wes Severson //

I’ve combed through the list of recent songs that have been released by record labels big and small. These 10 fresh, new efforts certainly made a mark on me, and I’m pretty sure they will strike some kind of emotion in you.

10. Peter Bjorn and John – “Bones”


“Bones” is the first offering from Peter Bjorn and John’s new three-track EPBJ EP. It’s a super soft and mellow song, but the chorus delivers and also makes you think.

9. MØ – “Theme Song (I’m Far Away)”


The Danish singer-songwriter continues to use her amazing voice to dazzle our ears. But this time, MØ’s latest release goes beyond that and serves as the theme song for “Moominvalley,” a Finnish cartoon that she was fond of as a child.

8. John Mayer – “I Guess I Just Feel Like”


No surprise here … John Mayer goes soft and sentimental but also adds some country-western flare to his new tune “I Guess I Just Feel Like” he just released. The sad lyrical content is what we have come to know and love from Mayer. It’s definitely a solid release from the pop veteran who seems to never quit.

7. Weezer – “High as a Kite”


I haven’t been a huge fan of anything Weezer has put out in the last four years until this song dropped. But the new Weezer, which often includes meaningless lyrical content, has taken a back seat to the old Weezer, which was centered mostly around sensitive material. “High as a Kite” reminded me of what we heard on their debut album almost 25 years ago.

6. DREAMERS – “Die Happy”


This is the same tried-and-true script for the pop-rock trio as they’ve followed in the past. “Die Happy” is packed full of fun, and the groove is very accessible. It’s sure to make fans who will be attending DREAMERS’ upcoming shows, which includes four dates in California, excited.

5. Hozier – “Dinner & Diatribes”


Andrew Hozier-Byrne is known for having an incredible vocal range, and this third single on the Irish musician’s new sophomore LP Wasteland, Baby! conveys that to the absolute fullest. In classic Hozier fashion, the complicated lyrical matter comes in a tight, catchy package, yet it makes us want to know what was going through his head as he wrote it.

4. Foals – “On the Luna”


Foals haven’t been in the mainstream scene for too long, but this diverse track surely shows why they deserve major recognition. “On The Luna” explores new ground with its retro vibe and interesting quirks, making it an easy one to dance to as we await Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost – Part 1 next month.

3. Circa Waves – “Times Won’t Change Me”


Get ready to stomp your feet because this song’s groove is great and makes for a spooky, cool vibe. One of the melodies in it reminds me of Fleetwood Mac, and the rhythm’s driving nature as well as the constant repetition of the lyrics will have you singing along with it in no time.

2. Dennis Lloyd – “Never Go Back”


Israeli musician Dennis Lloyd made a huge splash with his 2016 single “Nevermind”, and his newest hit has the potential to take him to even greater heights. To me, “Never Go Back” is an even better effort more than three years later.

1. Bad Suns – “One Magic Moment”


“One Magic Moment” is the third single from Bad Suns’ new album Mystic Truth, which drops in March and explores a sea of uncharted water for the LA alt-rock quartet. There are so many new sounds to enjoy from these guys. They finish their tour this May with three straight dates in California, including one at The Fillmore in SF and a tour finale at The Wiltern in LA.

Which of these new songs do you like most? Tell us in the comments section below!