We often wonder if every St. Louis musician made some kind of blood oath on December 31, 2012, promising to grind out a gazillion shows and EPs over the next twelve months. Their joy over surviving the Mayan apocalypse is the only way we can explain how 2013 was even more fan-freaking-tastic than usual for local music, with bands, collectives and solo artists all raising the bar in homegrown entertainment.
But we know even more good stuff is coming in 2014, from every type of artist in every genre. In particular, we're keeping an eye on the following eight acts, which have promised us (OK, and you) albums, tour dates and a whole lot more, proving themselves 314 to the core.
Woohoo! Née has been recording new songs, and we can only imagine this means two important things: a forthcoming album and plenty of dance parties! Actually, it's not like the band has stiffed us on the shake-your-ass front. Kristin Dennis and company have played plenty of shows in St. Louis and around the country this year to support the 2012 release of Finches, plus this week Dennis will reprise her role as the Scientist in an encore performance of Charlie Brumley's Chrono Man (Friday, December 13, at Plush). Still, every time Dennis tells Facebook about how often she's been heading into Native Sound Recordings (owned by husband and bandmate David Beeman), we get a little giddy and stare longingly at our glitter makeup. We're ready for some fabulous new electropop, and surely Née won't let us down.
The Lion's Daughter and Indian Blanket
Yes, they're two different bands. Yes, they play wildly contrasting styles of music. Yes, they're an unlikely pair at first glance. But after metal band the Lion's Daughter and folk group Indian Blanket jointly put out A Black Sea last month, we can't help but hope they'll become a permanent supergroup like the Traveling Wilburys, but with more Devil horns and mayhem. Individually, each band has nabbed acclaim within its respective genres. Together, though, their combination of earnest words and emotive howling, plucky strings and growly guitars pushes us into a dark place tinged with hope -- "doom-folk," if you will. And we will. And we want more, dammit.
Arthur & the Librarian
It's been a while since we've had a full-on Arthur & the Librarian sonic assault. The folk group has played a few shows this year (a toy drive concert happens Saturday, December 21, at the Demo), but it hasn't released an album since 2012's Reverend Whitepigeon Speaks on Love and the End of the World. That's just cruel, which is why we're glad the five-piece has been recording during the past several months and plans to release a new album in 2014. Confession: We've heard portions of the development, and we're excited about where the band's tighter storytelling, stellar arrangements and more mature tones will be taking us. Plus a new album surely means an increase in shows, right? Come on, guys, we're ready to get our sing-song on.
With in-house songwriting, recording and mastering, M.M.E. could give how-to lessons in DIY. Led by rapper and producer Mvstermind (Muhammad Austin), this crew of versatile hip-hop artists was on fire in 2013, grinding out shows, collaborating with other musicians, releasing joint and individual albums, and tirelessly promoting the heck out of all of it through every social-media channel out there. And they've got even bigger plans for 2014 -- plans that include some major touring. The gifted supergroup successfully tested the touring waters this fall and, with savings and a bit of funds collected from an Indiegogo campaign, is now is planning where else to spread the St. Louis gospel around the country. With talent and chutzpah to spare, 2014 could be the year that M.M.E. become household initials.
Continue to page two for more bands to watch in 2014.
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