When I started making a list of local “Bands To Watch in 2015” it didn’t occur to me that four of them were already lining up for a concert together over in Detroit at P.J.’s Lager House on the 29th.
What did occur to me, however, was the semantics of my headline. You shouldn’t solely watch these bands on my list, but be sure to listen to them, also.
First on the list is local singer/songwriter and artist/illustrator Jim Cherewick. Cherewick fronts Ypsi’s post-punk yowlers Congress as well as Wicker Chairs, the former having played what Cherewick felt was their best show yet at last month’s Mittenfest and the latter having sprung from a solo batch of songs that he’d written to be fleshed out by a full band. Both projects, Congress/Wicker Chairs, have plans to release new music this year, the second LP for Congress is wrapping up while Cherewick completes work on Heavy Chalk for the Wicker Chairs.
“I’ve been drawing way more than I’ve been writing, lately, but now I’m trying to figure out where to go next,” Cherewick said. Whether singing or drawing, it all comes from… the same distorted perspective: my view of the day to day or thoughts, feelings and intentions.”
Cherewick also has a side project with Linda Ann Jordan called Best Exes, debuting January 29th with Rebel Kind,Prude Boys and Moonwalks.
Wicker Chairs – “Urgency” (Video)
So, of course, Rebel Kind and Prude Boys were both covered in this column in recent weeks. Both released some excellent music last year. Prude Boys are only halfway through a series of cassette singles while Rebel Kind have been only gaining momentum with a comparative uptick in live performances between Ann Arbor and Detroit. Both are local supergroups as far as I’m concerned.
But then there’s Moonwalks. I got turned onto this Detroit-based group towards the end of 2014, a blend of post-shoegaze echo-dazzle effects, surfy reverb twang and impassioned, mid-high croons over jangled/shuffling rhythms. They have a new album coming out in early spring.
Moonwalks – “Sheik”
More info on that show, here: http://on.fb.me/1y6dfBy
Another sure bet for exciting new music (as well as engaging live performances) will be the neo-funk/pop purveyors Joe Hertler & The Rainbow Seekers. It’s been more than three years since they first turned heads with their debut, On Being, but the follow up, Terra Incognita, will be out in late February.
Blending a fun indie-folk style with a swaggeringly rhythmic space-rock (and a bit of impassioned soul to those sweet vocals), the Rainbow Seekers could, if you pardon our hyperbole, be set up for a truly breakout year on the national scene. They play The Pyramid Scheme over in Grand Rapids on January 31.
Other bands I’ll be watching out for in 2015: Ypsi/Arbor area-based Child Sleep (currently working on new recordings), Grand Rapids based Valentiger (currently contending in NPR’s ongoing Tiny Desk Concert campaign to find the next great unknown musician.)
Child Sleep: http://childsleep.bandcamp.com/ (Current’s pick: “Monster”)
Valentiger: http://valentiger.bandcamp.com/ (Current’s pick: “Stray Animals”)
More Bands To Watch in next week’s post. Stay tuned.