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National Music

Artists to Watch in 2018



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Whether they’re big names or small names, we’ve got a short list of artists who have big things coming in 2018.

written by Aaron DiDonato


Knocked Loose

knocked loose band


This hardcore punk/metalcore, in-your-face act from Oldham County, KY made everyone know who they were at Warped Tour in 2017, drawing maximum crowds and giant pits to the Full Sail University pop-up stage all summer long. The band released their first LP Laugh Tracks in 2016 and have been going full force ever since. Lead vocalist/screamer Bryan Garris confirmed in a recent December interview with Revolver Magazine that the band isn’t currently working on any new music, but he knows he has more to say. Catch them as they head out on their first headlining tour in late February with Hardcore veterans Terror, Jesus Piece, and Stone.

As for myself, Iwill be getting a custom mouth guard made that says, “Knocked Loose” in cursive and hope to see you in the pit the second day of tour in Greensboro, NC.


Tiny Moving Parts

tiny moving parts band


A math rock/emo act hailing from Benson, Minnesota, the fun-loving 3 piece has been known for their guitar intricacies, pounding percussion, catchy choruses, and shriek-y riffs. The group has been regarded as one to help continue what many see as the age of the “Emo Revival”. Their 4th LP Swell is due on January 26th. Take listen to their lead singles from the album, “Caution” and “Applause”, and catch them on tour starting later this month with Mom Jeans and Oso Oso.





Matthew Musto is a hip hop artist, singer, songwriter, and producer living in Los Angeles, CA. Collaborations have ranged from Linkin’ Park and Woe, Is Me to Tyler Carter and Mike Posner. Musto helped co-write Justin Bieber’s hit single “Boyfriend” in 2012 and was also one of the first independent artists to receive royalties for monetized streaming on SoundCloud. blackbear came off his headlining tour in 2017 for his LP digital druglord and later in the year, he joined Fall Out Boy on their headlining arena tour and most recently released LP cybersex. blackbear made his way around festivals in 2017 and isn’t slowing down in 2018. Catch him at Okeechobee Music Festival, Coachella, Hangout Music Festival, and arena shows.


A$AP Rocky

asap rocky


Rakim Mayers is a rapper, songwriter, producer, and actor originally from Harlem, NY. As rappers and hip-hop artists always seem to be putting out content and collaborating, “Lord Flacko” has been mostly quiet the past couple years music wise. It has led people to believe that he is working on something, and was recently confirmed in an interview with GQ Style after they put him on the cover of their Holiday issue. They discussed his involvement in acting, becoming a fashion icon, and his path as a designer-entrepreneur-influencer. He discusses that he just doesn’t make music to sound like everyone else, that he tests new sounds and that’s what takes him so much time. In this link from Billboard, there are some possible leaked parts from his 3rd studio album. His last two LPs went number one on the Billboard 200, so it’s fair to say many of us are wondering what’s next.


turnstile band


A hardcore punk band based out of Baltimore, MD, this band has gained popularity since the release of their 1st LP Nonstop Feeling in 2015. The group recently came off tour with The Story So Far in late 2017 and is releasing their 2nd LP Time & Space on February 23rd. It’s their first major label debut under Roadrunner Records. Brendan Yates is the vocalist of the group, but also the drummer of Hardcore Punk band Trapped Under Ice. Yates says their latest single “Generator” is about “near-death experiences; out-of-body happenings that really open you up to see your true self without the noise of the world.” You can’t help but believe the rest of the album could be shaped around a mentality that speaks the same language. The most surprising thing is DJ and Producer Diplo helped produce a track on that album. We look forward to seeing what energetic release the band brings us as they play an array of festivals in 2018.


Lucy Dacus

lucy dacus


Lucy is an indie rock artist based out of Richmond, Virginia. It’s been 2 years since Dacus released her debut LP No Burden and she took the world by storm that year by performing at Lollapalooza, making her television debut on CBS This Morning, recording a “Tiny Desk Concert” for NPR, and was proclaimed to be one of rock’s best new voices by Rolling Stone. She was featured in a recent article written by NPR discussing her single, “Night Shift” from her 2nd LP Historian, out March 2nd. They told you and let me tell you: this is should absolutely be your anthem of the year. While it is a breakup song, she expresses that she doesn’t have any other songs of that type. “…I didn’t believe that sort of negativity was productive, but it’s less productive to resist the truth of a situation…” With that, she couldn’t be any more on point as it’s the debut track on the new album. The first line hits you with a sting, “The first time I tasted somebody else’s spit, I had a coughing fit. I mistakenly called them by your name. I was let down, it wasn’t the same.”


Earl Sweatshirt

earl sweatshirt


Thebe Neruda Kgositsile, better known by his rapper name Earl Sweatshirt, is from Los Angeles, California. At only 23 years old, he’s notched 2 top 10 debuts on the Billboard 200. As member of rap group Odd Future, he’s had many collaborations over the past few years. While he has released a handful of tracks via SoundCloud and iTunes since LP 2, it’s been reported by numerous sources that he’s working on his 3rd LP. His sound can be described as “highly personal alt-rap and morbid horrorcore”. His lyrical composition stems from his background and discipline from misbehaving/becoming an artist as a minor. After he released his debut mixtape Earl, (highly praised) his mother sent him to boarding school in Samoa. His mother is a Law Professor at UCLA and his late father Keorapetse Kgositsile was a South African poet and political activist.   With Earl’s father’s recent passing this past week, it will be interesting to see what Earl gets off his chest or what he would incorporate.





A folk rock band from Columbus, Ohio, the group uses a ton of different instruments in their music, including a marxophone and a stomp box. Who knows what those are, but I absolutely can’t get enough of their unique sound. I discovered them on tour with Tigers Jaw last year and was blown away at their live performance. They’ve recently released a couple songs since their last LP Such Things and EP The Mallwalker. Check out “The Wandering Star” and “Moon Barks At The Dog”. I seriously have visions of these guys playing a big stage at a festival someday soon. Discover them before your friend beats you to it.





This synth-pop band from Glasgow, Scotland is massively popular even though you may or may not have heard one of their songs remixed. I saw them twice in 2016, once at Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival and in Charlotte, NC the same summer and discovered they are such a fun group. If you like dancing or even just clapping your hands in a synchronized motion, look no further. Coming off charting #8 with their 2nd LP Every Open Eye in 2015, frontwoman Lauren Mayberry recently announced they will be releasing a new album in 2018.

She reveals in an interview with Entertainment Weekly that they are working with the same producer of Adele and Pink. Mayberry shares, ““I was looking at the world and realizing that we are both the best and the worst — humanity does all of this to itself,” …. “(The album) is about questioning why we are where we are and how do we reconcile with that.” We look forward to seeingwhat festival, summery type, pop jams they provide us with.



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Austin Richard Post is a rapper, singer, songwriter, producer, and guitarist from Grapevine, Texas and lives in Los Angeles, California. Let’s be honest, Post Malone is killing it right now and you guys don’t even know his full story. His debut LP Stoney came out in late 2016 reaching #7 on the Billboard 200, reaching Platinum multiple times. And Rockstar. Is. A. Bop. The dude grew up exposed to a ton of different music which he credits his dad for (his dad was a disc jockey at some point). He calls his music “genre-less” which makes so much sense. People tout his music as a “melting pot of country, grunge, hip-hop, and R&B.” Although Posty also calls Stoney “mediocore”, he clearly has the right forces behind him. He’s been hanging and collaborating with the biggest moguls in music while his true love lies in other places. His eagerness to learn guitar came from playing Guitar Hero, and he even tried out for Post-Hardcore band Crown The Empire in 2010, but his guitar string broke during the tryout. There’s a picture flowing out there on the internet of Posty looking like a scene kid in a The Devil Wears Prada band tee. He also recently hung out with Bryan Garris of Hardcore Punk band Knocked Loose (first group on this list) at or before one of Posty’s gigs. Here’s a video of Posty screaming Stick To Your Gun lyrics. He’s interacted with Anthony Green of Circa Survive and Kellin Quinn of Sleeping With Sirens on Twitter, hinting at maybe a future collaboration with artists from rock/emo/post-hardcore. Posty’s already boasting popularity/personality and with this, he would stand on top of the stratosphere. His release Beerbongs & Bentleys was slated to be due in December, but he apologized on Twitter for its late arrival. I think we can assume he’s working on something that’s way more special than Stoney.

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