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Seven Local Artists to Watch in 2013

Jeremy Essig: Having already released three albums that have appeared on Sirius and his own Pandora channel, 2013 should play out as a continuation of the ascent of Jeremy Essig's standup career more so than a "breakout" situation. The prolific writer has already earned quite a name for himself in the industry. Essig is booked to headline some of the better comedy clubs in the country in 2013, including a local date at the Westport Funny Bone to be announced soon. He will also continue touring with actor and comedian Brian Posehn as his preferred opener. Los Angeles has taken notice of Essig's talents as well, and the funnyman recently appeared on some the better-known indie shows. In addition to performing almost every night of the year, Essig is also working on a Web series with Jim Utz of Vintage Vinyl. It will be released later this year. You can catch Essig's sharp-witted standup at the Dubliner on Washington Avenue on February 22 and 23. Matt Conty

Syna So Pro: Syrhea Conaway advertises herself as a "one-woman musical enigma," and that description couldn't be more accurate. Though technically a one-person band, Conaway's methods of looping and echoing make her feel more like a ten-person show. Her primary weapon is her voice, and she puts her greatest instrument through a series of modifications that layer the lyrics and make her songs feel robust. Stringed instruments and numerous electronic devices allow Conaway's songs to build and peak, resulting in a wide, lush performance. The lack of any other distracting musicians on the stage gives this sound artist full command of the audience's attention. Syna So Pro is experimental, but not so experimental that it is hard to follow. Her songs are structurally interesting and, well, just plain pretty, and her live shows are always passionate and captivating. —Jaime Lees

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