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Editors’ Picks: Best new bands of 2017

2017 is over! We’ve spent the last few weeks revisiting our favorite music videos, albums, and live acts. In this last installment of our end of year look back, we examine some of our favorite acts to have emerged. 


I’ve talked a lot about Promiseland already but basically! If you see or listen to one new band/musician/performer this year this should be it. I try to make any and all of his performances because it’s a visceral, enthralling and unnerving performance which is really hard to do consider how desensitized the Internet has made us. The first time I saw Promiseland it felt like the cyber punk version of Iggy Pop cutting himself up on stage in the 1970s (I assume). Plus the studio stuff is equal parts menacing and enticing.

—Tamim Alnuweiri

The Cutouts

The Cutouts came out of nowhere—a cold pitch found in the winter while sifting through my email inbox. Their debut EP Baby Blue Suede was tongue in cheek and witty with hints of lo-fi dreaminess that happens when you’re self recording in bedrooms and basements. In 2018 expect the band to push past their dream-wave noise into more live-oriented music.

—Tamim Alnuweiri


When people talk about Detroit being the next place for the resurgence of counterculture, Moonwalks is what they mean. The three piece is so immediately alluring in person that every time I’ve seen them they’ve stolen the show. They’re so youthful and glamorous it feels like you’ve stepped through a looking glass into some alternate universe where the fountain of youth is real and it’s been spiked.

—Tamim Alnuweiri

Animal Show

Frontwoman from The Pizza Boys, Reiley Ugly, started a whole new project this year and it’s the perfect manifestation of gritty and shameless NYC punk rock. Managed by the infamous Andy Animal, Animal Show channels the essence of staple punks like Richard Hell and Iggy Pop. Their music is raw and wild, and fucking catchy as all hell. They know how to have fun on stage and make sure their robust and riotous sound stirs up a crowd. 10/10 would recommend.

—Elena Childers

Honorable Mentions*


Surfbort leaves New York City with ZERO room to twiddle their thumbs… hitting the stage with a digestive regularity to keep the city fit for the beach all year long. Every moment of Surfbort’s live show is accounted for to the Nth degree with Dani’s performance “frothing over the top” in the most contagious ways and memorable lyrics, guitar licks and pummeled drums to stitch together ever inch of their massive hearty-harrr freak quilt.

—Daggers For Eyes

Charly Bliss

Charly Bliss is not technically a “new band”-the four-piece has been around since 2014, but this year marked the release of their first full LP, the irresistible, indomitable Guppy. It’s the soundtrack to dancing around in your underwear in your room; to the blurry, frenzied days of an adolescence that stretches far past the teen years, but it also stands for something beyond that—to quote the New York Times article that cites Charly Bliss’s lead singer Eva Hendricks, “rock’s not dead, it’s ruled by women.”  Hendricks, who writes lyrics like “I cry all the time/I think it’s cool/that I’m in touch with my feelings,” and “I’m not afraid to lick the floor/because I’ve sucked on something worse,” and jumps around on stage to propulsive speed-trains of rock songs, who takes no one’s shit, is a blaring beam of hope in a year that’s been so repeatedly shitty for women. She shows us that this is power—to take ownership of every part of yourself, the good with the bad, to contain multitudes, to fuck up and come back from it and take it all in stride. She is the poster-child for a whole new era of unapologetically badass rock.

—Nikki Barnhart

*not exactly new bands but still worth a shout out.

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