Medasin is the most established artist on this list, but he hasn't reached his peak. In 2017, his inventive EDM remixes drew the attention of DJ Khaled, Deadmau5 and Portugal The Man. He’s been booked heavily across the country and just returned to the states after performing aboard the popular EDM cruise festival Holy Ship. Now he's embarking on a headlining tour, and the Los Angeles stop has already sold out. He'll play a homecoming show Feb. 3 at the South Side Ballroom.
This Oak Cliff quintet isn’t reinventing the wheel, but the five tracks Luna Luna released in 2017 are all absurdly endearing and earnest. The band is nostalgic, romantic and indebted to the '80s, and its sound is already picking up steam on Facebook.
Sad Cops is criminally underrated. Central Track voted “Best Friends” its favorite local song of 2015, and the Observer named the band one of five DFW bands under 21 to watch in 2016, but the emo-revivalists haven’t garnered much local attention since. Perhaps new music on the way this year will change that.
Hey Cowboy! is off to a great start this year. On Jan. 1, the Denton trio released its debut album, The Soft Kind, and it's playing several shows this month. The band's sound is high-energy dream-pop; tracks like "Gaby's Noodles" are frantically paced.
Medicine Man Revival
Medicine Man Revival is already a favorite in Deep Ellum, where it frequently plays, but its online footprint is minimal. It only has a few songs and one music video to its name. But “Bittersweet” is good enough to carry the band a long way. What has us excited for the band’s prospects in 2018 are the behind-the-scenes clips the band has been posting on Instagram in the studio with Leon Bridges. That's a powerhouse combo if there ever was one.
Kaz Moon’s Anomie was one of our favorite surprise discoveries of 2017. The songwriting on the album is sharp, and its tone is cohesive, smooth and enticing, with just enough progressions to keep listeners on their toes. Since then, Kaz Moon has released two more new tracks that have us really excited. On "dba.1986," the artist is more confident in his vocals. This year, you can expect a new release, a new project and even a live show or two.
Denton's Sunbuzzed trades in a brand of psychedelic rock that is brooding and phantasmagoric. Anchored by Lo Ramirez’s haunting vocals, the band's album is varying and rich with lots of interesting progressions — it's remarkably complex for a debut.
Next month, Fort Worth-based artist Matthew McNeal will release Good Luck, a nine-track album that blends Americana, psych-rock and soul, as heard on the lead single, “Rumorosa.” McNeal develops that song from a whisper to a yell and couples it with sharp storytelling. Good Luck was produced and engineered with Israel Nash and Grammy Award-winning Ted Young, suggesting this could very well be McNeal's year.
There’s a sweet sentimentalism to the songwriting on The Bralettes’ first EP, as heard on “Mr. Movie Phone,” but don't mistake its honesty for vulnerability. This trio is all about girl power and has a simple message: Be confident. Love yourself and your body. Start a band and take your shirt off in front of strangers. Do whatever you want.
FlexinFab’s “where nightmares never end” introduced us to GuitarEmoji, but since then, the enigmatic artist has released two tracks. “Vintage Ferrari Coupe” has our full attention. The track is a throwback that would be right at home on Miami Vice. GuitarEmoji's manager says he is planning to play live shows soon. From the unreleased material we’ve heard, it’s safe to say GuitarEmoji is finding a lane of his own, and this could be his year.