Local Bands You Should Be Listening To

Los Angeles is a natural hub for musicians. The plethora of iconic venues and a willing and exuberant pool of music fans make it a necessary tour stop as well as an incubator for aspiring artists. From opening slots to free show residencies, to headlining tours, we've fallen in love with these hometown acts that make us proud and rep the best of LA. Join us with Jack Daniel's on our path to local music discovery and raise a glass to some of your future favorite artists.

Frankie & the Witch Fingers RIYL: GØGGS, Death Valley Girls

Who: Frankie & the Witch Fingers

What: Following the release of their newest LP Brain Telephone, hometown darlings Frankie and the Witch Fingers are a thrilling and eccentric LA staple. The West Coast screamers are built up from the very fabric of psychedelic souls. Their mind-bending sounds translate beyond their record and bleed into their album art as well as their live performance. To know them fully is to see them live for an out-of-body, blissful experience.

When: Catch them at The Smell on Saturday, December 9th with WEEED and Hooveriii

Frankie and the Witch Fingers are a swift kick in the ass for garage psych. Their hooks are sharper, the production isn’t vintage for the sake of vintage, and the recorded material captures the energy of the band’s eccentric live performances perfectly. -Consequence of Sound

The Buttertones RIYL: The Frights, Slow Hollows, Froth

Who: The Buttertones

What: The Buttertones draw from doo-wop, surf, garage, and post-pop-punk. The quintet originally put their own spin on classic genres from the 1940's to early 60's and progressed further with their latest LP Gravedigging. The new album expands and draws old-school punk vibes that inspire a dizzying desire to dance.

When: Catch them at the Troubadour with Tracy Bryant and Wild Wing on Saturday, January 13th.

LA's The Buttertones have a knack for the strange and dirty, as highlighted by their latest LP Gravedigging. The Innovative Leisure release is a concoction of chugging guitars, brazen sax, and appropriately buttery vocals, plucking the best from nasty, scuzzed-out pre-Beatles rock 'n' roll and filtering it through modern garage chops. -Noisey

The Paranoyds RIYL: The Regrettes, L.A. Witch

Who: The Paranoyds

What: Four-piece from right here in Los Angeles. Punk wing dong gaze porn pop cop chop proto shoes progs clogs hogs fuzzy wuzzy soaked hugs and slugs. Intrigued yet? The Paranoyds is one of those groups who transcend band descriptions and require a listen to ensure an optimal experience. 

When: Check out The Paranoyds' Artist Page to see where they're playing next.

Mega model Staz Lindes' buzzy four-piece is creating the LA DIY scene's most richly layered punk sounds of the moment. -i-D

Space Diaries RIYL: David Bowie, Interpol

Who: Space Diaries

What: From infectiously catchy guitar riffs to Bowie-inspired vocals, Space Diaries is a local four-piece currently pioneering the space wave genre in LA. Their self-titled EP was released this spring and has struck up a growing and well-deserved fan base.

When: Space Diaries just completed a residency at Silverlake Lounge. Check out their artist page for upcoming shows.

Space Diaries are a Los Angeles band that formed in 2015 by Eddie Olguin. Originally known as Sunset, the group changed their name earlier this year. With a new album in tow, Olguin has also teamed up with Buwi Meneses, Marty Witt, and Raymond Lacsamana to create a captivating record that will lure you in within every listen. -Buzzfeed

Low Speech RIYL: The Get Up Kids, Saves the Day

Who: Low Speech

What: Local pop-rock outfit bringing back the emo-inspired music we loved so much in the early 2000’s. Their EP The Only Constant is a reflection of over two years worth of writing, recorded in a weekend with producer Beau Burchell. Since their release, Low Speech has opened for Saosin and has been playing an increasing number of local shows in LA. Make sure to catch them live for Curb Your Enthusiasm jokes, catchy guitar riffs and, overall, some damn-good music. 

When: Check them out live at The Vibe on November 17th and keep an eye on Low Speech's Artist Page for more upcoming shows.

Los Angeles, California's Low Speech are the latest export from the Cottage; the studio ran by Saosin guitarist Beau Burchell. Produced, mixed and mastered by Burchell over the summer, the band's debut is a five-song serving dubbed the Only Constant. There's years of influences pulled from and past band experience in their lineup, mostly transplanted from the East Coast. -AP Magazine

Fartbarf RIYL: The Shrine, PPL MVR

Who: Fartbarf

What: One of the most sonically and aesthetically intriguing rock outfits in LA. A mere handful of ape-like orderlies resisting a touchscreen future. The music from Fartbarf is just as interesting as their name. Look beyond the masks and jumpsuits for synth-drenched danceable tunes that hypnotically tempt you to the dancefloor despite sinister lyrical undertones. Their 2014 release Dirty Power has effortlessly carried us through the past couple of years and soundtracked some of our favorite recent shows in LA.

When: Check out their artist page for upcoming shows in LA.

Are you of the XX chromosome persuasion? If so, then you don't need to be told about Fartbarf, a synth-based trio from Redondo Beach and San Pedro, because girls fucking love Fartbarf. This should surprise no one as the first few rows at all of their performances are filled with dancing women. No one, apparently, except the members of Fartbarf. -OC Weekly

Shannon Lay RIYL: Chelsea Wolfe, Julien Baker, The Regrettes, The Feels (duh)

Who: Shannon Lay

What: It's hard to miss Shannon Lay, the fire-haired solo artist comes from LA faves The Feels and we'll take any excuse to get more music from the ever-talented musician. Shannon's latest release Living Water is out now on Mare/Woodist and features a solid catalog of striking, poignant tracks best exemplified with "The Moons Detriment."

When: Shannon will be performing with Cherry Glazerr and Vagabon at the Fonda Theatre on December 9th. Keep an eye on her artist page for more upcoming shows as they’re announced.

At its core, Living Water (the inaugural release on Kevin Morby’s Mare label) hones in on the Los Angeles singer-songwriter’s acoustic guitar and quietly shape-shifting voice; her stark, skeletal arrangements often withhold more than they reveal. But “Coast” is a rare moment of turbulence on the album. -Pitchfork

Moon Honey RIYL: Angel Olsen, Deerhoof

Who: Moon Honey

What: An LA duo as entertaining to hear as they are to watch live. Formed in the back swamps of Louisana,  Moon Honey is Elaine Ramsey and Andrew Martin. The pair later moved to Florida and eventually followed their hearts and diligent west coast fan base from Baton Rouge to their current home, right here in Los Angeles.

When: Keep an eye on their artist page for more upcoming shows.

Whirlwind virtuosity, extremes of delicacy and impact, melodies that leap all over the place, suite-like structures, cryptic lyrics based on literary conceits — all the hallmarks of progressive rock are robustly in place on “Hand-Painted Dream Photographs." New York Times

Jessica Ramsey has one of those voices. I can see a cult forming around this band. Maybe there already is a cult in Baton Rouge, I need to get down there and join in. They’re all dipping cotton candy in peyote. “The Cotton Candy Cult”. —NPR All Songs Considered

Goon RIYL: Sunflower Bean, Parquet Courts

Who: Goon

What: A riveting LA-based quartet with effortless waves of guitar riffs that transport you to a state of euphoria. Goon pride themselves on creating soul searching, planet hopping, comfort cultivating good time music and if you’ve heard any of their singles, specifically “Cammie at Night,” you know that they hit the nail on the head. 

When: See them every Monday night at The Echo during the month of October. After this month, take a gander at their artist page for more upcoming performances.

Hipditch's vocals are an interesting juxtaposition against the striking, heavy-rock music wall behind her. -CBC News

Lauren Ruth Ward RIYL: Bonnie Prince Billy, Gregory Alan Isakov

Who: Lauren Ruth Ward

What: An LA transplant from Boston carefully cultivating a delicate, lyrical balance between grit and grace. Through her lines, you’ll learn about her vulnerability and strength and through her sound, you’ll enjoy her 60’s rock and roll nuances. Ward has released four singles so far this year and is showing no signs of slowing down. 

When: Keep an eye on Lauren Ruth Ward's artist page for future shows.

The style of Ward's "project" is a blend of ’60s and ’70s rock with the acoustic, folksy emo she loved as a teen. Vocally and lyrically, she falls somewhere between Janis Joplin and Courtney Barnett, with a soulful voice that sounds like it's emanating from vintage vinyl and a brilliantly quirky storytelling style. -LA Weekly