Up-and-Comers of 2010

    Thanks to blogs, finding dope jams is really easy now. The flipside of this buttery bread, however, is the deluge of shit to listen to. There are music blogs for every subgenre you can concoct — hundreds thrown into the “chillwave” and “glo-fi” categories alone. But I’ll gloss over that hipster chaff and focus on a few groups that may blossom further than premature web-hype ejaculation. In the near future, bands will deserve more than a hundred-word blurb and a free download. But for now they’re stuck with the Wavves’ and Neon Indians of the fickle Net news-cycle.

    Eternal Summers. This Virginian pared-down duo of Nicole and Daniel recalls the White Stripes if they were a dream-pop band with a chick singer. These two learned how to play their instruments only a few years ago with an aim of unadorned and melody-rich classic songwriting. “Lightswitch,” a standout track from their self-titled EP, floats on plaintive power chords and wispy harmonies for a minute and a bit before fading out. When their debut LP drops later this year, indie big leagues will be touting their name.

    The Morning Benders. These pop youngsters opened for Girls at the Loft last December, but they’ve been around for a few years culling Shins-heavy jangles up in SF. Their second record, Big Echo, as fellow columnist Philip Rhie put it, “is like Veckatimest’s bastard child,” but in the best possible way. Grizzly Bear’s bassist, Chris Taylor, produced the new recordings and it shows — the reverb-heavy toms, crunchy guitar tones and ghost-harmonizing of lead single “Promises” spins Bear for the California beach set. They might not be the most original outfit, but they’ve got pop on lock.

    Hudson Mohawke. And now the wildcard outlier: England’s precocious producer Ross Birchard, aka Mohawke, comes from the same cartoon sugar-cereal generation as Flying Lotus and Nosaj Thing, with videogames and commercial jingles on the brain. His Warp Recs debut Butter blends Flying Lotus beat-chopping with Dan Deacon’s hyper chipmunk aesthetic, using cheesy synth lines and cracked-out vox samples to dizzying effect. He’s also mastered the ’90s slow jam, employing Dam-Funk’s sultry vocal prowess on techno-soul banger “Tell Me What You Want From Me.” This young Brit may have some crossover appeal — FlyLo’s doing a track with Thom Yorke this year, so who knows, HudMo might get Weezy or Gucci on a verse someday.

    Oneohtrix Point Never. What! How do you pronounce that? I have no idea. What I do know about this mysterious project is the brain’s name, Daniel Lopatin, whose style is barren synth ambience overloaded for headphone-listening pleasure. Imagine if Yanni circuit-bent his ’80s keyboard arsenal until it sounded in-the-red crispy, then composed the soundtrack to “2001: A Space Odyssey.” Tracks like “Physical Memory” evoke the Mad Max desert future we all secretly hope California won’t become. This artist may never reach an audience outside of niche drone and electronic circles, but his newest collection Rifts is years ahead of its time.

    More to Discover
    Donate to The UCSD Guardian
    $200
    $500
    Contributed
    Our Goal

    Your donation will support the student journalists at University of California, San Diego. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment, keep printing our papers, and cover our annual website hosting costs.

    Donate to The UCSD Guardian
    $200
    $500
    Contributed
    Our Goal