Artists You Should Know - Volume 2

I'm really excited to publish the second installment of my Artists You Should Know series. In the last AYSK post, I wrote up a short bio on each artist and linked their Spotify artist profile. You all are smart & capable -- you can hit up their Wikipedia page or bio in Spotify/Apple Music! For this round of artists, I'm going to share why I chose to feature them instead. These artists and their music all mean something to me, whether it is knowing and believing in the artist on a personal level, or just generally connecting with their music over the years. You've likely seen some of them on previous playlists I've pushed out; they are all very much worth a listen - here is a playlist containing some of their best work. <--

Let's go!

Broken Bells - Broken Bells were a band I listened to a lot more in high school, driving around doing things my parents wouldn't approve of and feeling like I was getting away with it. Turns out I definitely wasn't getting away with it - but when The High Road comes on shuffle it takes me back to those days and feels so good. Broken Bells is actually made up of Brian Burton & James Mercer, Mercer being the lead vocalist of The Shins, explaining the similarities between the two bands' sounds. Though their most recent release as Broken Bells  was in 2019 (single Good Luck) they were one of my top picks for artists you should know.
Vance Joy - If you play music and haven't tried your hand at covering Riptide, well I mean you definitely have so don't even try lying about it. Vance Joy has other, better songs and was a pretty intense obsession of mine for my formative college years and beyond. Georgia, featured on this playlist, was written about the feeling of peace one finds when you kiss someone you love, and I think that's beautiful.
King Princess - I'll never forget my former roommate turned close friend Lucy telling me she was going to a King Princess concert, me saying I had no clue who that was, and then fast forward a year becoming her biggest fan...and now adding her to a list of artists you should most definitely know. She's incredible live (yes, I quickly followed in Lucy's footsteps and bought tickets to her show), and she writes music that just about anyone can relate to and dance to.  She is actually  signed to Mark Ronson's label, along with other big names Fiona Apple, Anderson Paak, & Mura Masa.
Shay Dizzy  - Up and coming rapper Shay Dizzy  originally from Baltimore, but now making music and working in Brooklyn, NY is a supremely talented lyricist, artist, and even a writer. He has contributed to Sonika's World with his write up on fellow rapper Mario Judah, you can check that out here. His most recent EP, I Feel Dizzy , has some serious flow - but his most recent release Coast  really hits different for me. This is one artist you will want to keep your eye on. 
Arlo Parks - If you've been following this blog at all you know I'm a huge Arlo Parks fan. I recently had someone ask me if there was an album that I could listen to the whole way through without skipping a song and my answer was Collapsed in Sunbeams, Parks' debut album released earlier this year. It's easy, Sunday morning listening and anyone I have shared the album with has been a fan so I hope you become one too.
Goth Babe - When I think Goth Babe, I think sunshine, SoCal, Molly Quinn, my alternate personality that is always happy, driving with the windows down in the summer & generally all positive vibes. Are you intrigued yet? 
Morgan Brock - What started out as a friend telling me that his coworker was releasing an EP, quickly turned into my first artist interview and a new obsession with her music. Since Morgan released her EP Stars or Angels  in February, I have not been able to get it out of my regular rotation. When I was recently visiting my old neighborhood beach in Oceanside, I had Bad Sailor come on shuffle... the combination of being somewhere I loved and hearing that song just instantly brought tears to my eyes. You know it's good music when it stirs up emotions and I will stand by that until the day I die. 
Leon Bridges - Leon Bridges makes music for people in love. I am rarely "people in love". I still love his music and I think that speaks volumes. You should know Leon Bridges.
Papadosio - I have previously written a bit about what Papadosio means to me and you can read more about that here. 
Turnover - An open letter to Conor. If you're reading this, thank you for introducing me to Turnover by putting Dizzy on The Comedown on a playlist for me many moons ago. That quickly turned into a Turnover obsession, seeing them in concert 3 times in 2 years, and many wonderful memories made while listening to their music. People like you have changed me in ways you could never imagine by simply introducing me to music that you liked. That's why I write this blog, in hopes of doing that for someone else. Thank you. 
Gary Clark Jr.  - Okay. I'm about to make a big statement. The first time I heard Bright Lights  by Gary Clark Jr. I got major Jimi Hendrix vibes. I know, it's bold of me to say but I wouldn't have put it in writing if I didn't stand by it. This is one you will just have to listen to and report back to me with your thoughts. In any case, he is an incredible guitarist and most certainly an artist you should know. 
Vallis Alps - This Australian/American duo has about 6 released songs and I have seen them live twice in different cities because those 6 songs are that good. They met long distance and recorded their music for fun virtually thousands of miles apart. I love their story and love their music more.
FirstNameDane - From South Jersey, Dane & company make waves (no pun intended) on Surf  Pt 2, a song you are definitely going to want to have on your vaccinated girl summer 2021 playlist. Dane and I share a love of rating and reviewing music; you can find more from him, including his recent cover of Creep on  
Jhene Aiko - Jhene is basically on the Lana Del Rey level of iconic for me. Feeling sad? Put on Jhene. Angry? Triggered by Jhene. Happy? The entire Trip album. Driving? TWENTY88 album. Working? Jhene. Partying? Jhene. You get it, now go stream Chilombo.
Grateful Dead - Some artists are honestly too elite for this playlist, but you'd be surprised how many people know the name Grateful Dead and haven't actually listened to any of their music. There's  a lot more to the Dead than tie dye t-shirts and stories of your parents following them on tour when they were teens. Some superfans would even go as far as putting together a 12 hour long playlist of their live music in chronological order for fun (not me, I swear)... but I would go as far as saying that I want that playlist on as the background music at my funeral. 
The Menzingers - My dream in life is to get The Menzingers to let me interview them for this blog, but this will have to do for now. I've written a bunch in the past about how they are one of my all time favorite bands, the band I have seen live most times, and all around really good people. I want to take this moment to quickly shout out their producer, Will Yip, who recently raised over $79K for the AAPI community fund fighting anti Asian racism. He is an incredible talent and you can read more about his efforts here.

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