Listen: No MySpace, SoundCloud, Bandcamp or any recordings exist online. Gotta see 'em live.
Diana Benanti

Savage Sun
Who: A West Coast emcee who regularly plays Lemmons and Cicero's with vocalist Sarah Bollinger

Sounds Like: While his production ranges from the nostalgically upbeat to the chillingly moody, his lyrics are consistently thoughtful and introspective

What He's About: Savage Sun's alternative style of hip-hop has created a buzz both nationally and abroad after his freshman full-length album, The Art of Being Alive, netted him the accolades of both CDBaby and URB magazine. He's spent much of the time since promoting the album and honing his stage performance at the Play:STL Music Festival and SLUMfest. Next year could be big for Sav; he's gearing up to release an EP titled Rebel's Odyssey, a documentary of his promotional tour in Germany and a comic book penned by Philadelphia artist James Comey.

Hannah and Delia Rainey of Dubb Nubb perform at Foam during the Secret Sound Festival on October 30.
Kholood Eid
Hannah and Delia Rainey of Dubb Nubb perform at Foam during the Secret Sound Festival on October 30.

Listen: The Art of Being Alive
— Calvin Cox

Lavelle Spitz
Who: A young emcee with DIY ethos and serious pride in his city

What He's About: Lavelle Spitz is a fresh new talent finding his sea legs in the increasingly promising St. Louis hip-hop scene. Though only a few years out of high school, Mauri Lavelle Roberts has energy and ambition to spare — and isn't afraid to be his own hype man. After putting out his full length, Loose Leaf Statements, he got busy working on mixtapes; check out the new The City Slicker, which pairs Spitz's rhymes with unexpected grooves. He also participates as part of the reggae/funk extravaganza the Noam Chomskys and plays out on his own whenever possible.

Listen: Loose Leaf Statements
— Diana Benanti

Union Tree Review
Who: A Cherokee Street-based sextet

Sounds like: Polished indie-folk in the vein of Ryan Adams

What It's About: Union Tree Review has done quite a bit this year — aside from playing myriad shows at Foam, Off Broadway, the Billiken Club and even the Pageant, it christened the first St. Louis Secret Sound Festival and played An Under Cover Weekend as the Postal Service. The band recently leased a space on Cherokee Street, which will serve as a living space and studio through the winter months — and facilitate the group's plans to release a new record early next year. In addition to the record, uncollected tracks from the sessions will be released intermittently via Twitter.

Listen: Unravel/Run EP, which is available at shows
 — Chrissy Wilmes

Warm Jets USA
Who: The latest fuzz-pop project helmed by music-community mainstay Jason Hutto

Sounds Like: The offspring of Dinosaur Jr and Urge Overkill, joining a Boston-area band in 1989

What It's About: Hutto's bands have never lacked for pop hooks, but Warm Jets USA is particularly tuneful and well produced. "Records" contains lovely, jangly riffs, while "Peach Fuzz" is a classic, two-minute burst of loud-soft-loud. "Dumb" is even better, a jolt of greased-up '70s hot-rod rock; it goes down like a shot of whiskey. If you're a fan of unheralded, criminally underappreciated indie-noise bands from the '90s, Warm Jets USA is right up your alley.

Listen: Demo tracks are all over its Facebook page, www.facebook.com/pages /Warm-Jets-USA/117258474983109
— Annie Zaleski

We're Wolf
Who: Two gals that hang out at Hartford Coffee Company, playing lots of open-mic nights

Sounds like: Moldy Peaches-esque lo-fi folk

What It's About: We're Wolf's simplistic, dreamy folk songs possess a lyrical maturity beyond the duo's collective years. Anne and Maya's voices sound quite similar; they often take full advantage of this by layering them in a way that complements the stripped-down strumming. The duo opened for Brandi Shearer at Off Broadway and played the first Crestwood Local Music Festival. We're Wolf is currently booking shows for January.

Listen: The We Haunt the Same Houses EP was released in May 2010 and is available at shows. Several tracks are available for free download on MySpace.
— Chrissy Wilmes

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