5. Residual Kid
Combining the sounds of Nirvana and Sonic Youth, the band from Austin, Texas took the alternative rock world by storm in 2016. Using the element of catchy choruses with grunge undertones, the band put out the hit song “Scentless Princess” which topped out at number eight on Apple Music’s alternative charts in early 2016. In 2013 the band won the Austin Music Poll’s “Best Under 18” band award. Residual Kid has yet to release their first full length album but it is heavily anticipated. In 2014, the Huffington Post acknowledged the teen band as “the group that may take over rock music.”
It is safe to say that Windchill is so unheard of that he doesn’t even have his own Wikipedia page. However, the underground MC from Harrisburg, PA has been around the game for awhile, coming out with his first full length album, “I Have Arrived”, in 2007. Windchill delivers a 90s style of rap over poetic rhymes that questions life and relationships. The rapper has released two albums since his debut. His most recent album was “The Human Animal” in 2014, which contained a variety of great underground hip-hop music.
Sharing similar qualities to the band Wolfmother, Badflower broke into the mainstream rock scene with their adrenaline fueled single “Animal”. Led by their wild lead singer and rhythm guitarists, Josh Kratz, the Los Angeles natives have brought energetic stage presence back into the dying genre. In November of 2016, the band released their first full EP, which has received positive reviews from music critics nation wide. “Animal” has reached as high as 38 on Billboard’s Top Mainstream Rock charts, and their album “Temper” has many other suspenseful songs such as “Heroine.”
2. Dillon Cooper
Dillon Cooper’s ability to balance the underground and mainstream sounds is very similar to that of current rap star Kendrick Lamar. The Brooklyn rapper is one of the most talented rap artists that no one has heard of. While Cooper has not signed to major label yet, his song “State of Elevation” has made some noise in the realm of underground hip-hop. A self-taught guitarist, the MC produces most of his own music, which is rare for many modern rappers. He currently has released to mixtapes, “Cozmik” and “X:XX”. It is only a matter of time until this rapper finds his into the spotlight.
Whoever said that women cannot play lead guitar, clearly never heard Slothrust’s Leah Wellbaum. The Brooklyn based band utilizes their special brand of indie-punk infused with Wellbaums blues riffs and apathetic voice to create one of the most intricate sounds of the decade. Their song, “7:30 Am” is used for the opening of FX TV show “You’re the Worst.” The band has released two full length albums and is currently on tour. They are scheduled to play in Portland March 18, at The High Water Mark., in what should be a truly electric show.