Atlanta-based Artists to Watch Out for in 2017

Atlanta-based Artists to Watch Out for in 2017

The year 2017 promises to be exciting for Atlanta musical acts. This city has always been known as the “Hip-Hop Capitol Of The World," but there’s a lot more than hip-hop coming out these days. Atlanta's diversity lends itself to a plethora of different sounds and genres that now define the city's music scene. Here’s a small taste of some of the artists who’ve got something cooking in 2017.

Photo courtesy of Death Of Kings Facebook

Photo courtesy of Death Of Kings Facebook

Death Of Kings - Metal

Atlanta’s metal scene is vibrant with a variety of different sounds and subgenres. Looking for an act that harkens back to the early days of classic 80's thrash while still managing to bring something new to the table? Death Of Kings are here for you. The Atlanta metal four-piece has been active since 2009 and are seemingly a band that's never at rest for too long. Thanks to a relentless touring schedule, word of mouth popularity, and legendary live shows, they've more than earned their spot as one of the premier metal bands of Atlanta to come out in the last five years. They released their last EP Regicidal in the summer of 2015. Since then they've been polishing up a new slew of riff-heavy headbangers to make for their first proper full-length since 2012, Crushed Beneath The Steel; due out later this year.

Photo courtesy of Victoria Fallin

Photo courtesy of Victoria Fallin

Sarah and the Safe Word - Rock/Emo

Active only since 2015, Sarah and The Safe Word don’t exactly have the largest body of work to parse through. But of what little there is, it’s damn good. Blending harmonious vocals with a mastery of excellent soft-to-loud dynamics and soothing catchy pop hooks, the three-piece band managed to put out the very solid EP, Afterlife, last year and capture some much-deserved attention. Now facing a new year, Sarah and the Safe Word stand poised to grab a heck of a lot more of that attention in the months to come. A yet-to-be-titled album is slated for an April release, along with a slew of Atlanta tour dates. 

Photo courtesy of Jake Kruse

Photo courtesy of Jake Kruse

Michael Myerz - Rap

There is the chance that you might be reading this as an Atlanta native and have no idea who Michael Myerz is. I’m sorry you've been missing out because there is not an artist in Atlanta who perfectly encapsulates the enjoyable, raw and genre-defying weirdness that is the Atlanta underground music scene. Michael Myerz has been an active rapper since 2011, and yet has managed to get around to releasing his 16th(!) album this past summer. Needless to say, Myerz’s song output is quite astounding. A quick listen through his extensive discography lets you know that he’s as comfortable pumping out club bangers as he is indulging in his love of all thing 90’s and nerdy. What does 2017 hold for the enigmatic Mr. Meyerz? Not one for being a slave to trends, he’s currently working on a split collab with Atlanta sludge/doom metal band Day Old Man, due out later this year.

Photo courtesy of Athens GA Live Music

Photo courtesy of Athens GA Live Music

Day Old Man - Sludge/Doom Metal

The aforementioned lads from above! Meet Derek Schulz (Bass/Vocals) and Bobby Theberge (Drums/Vocals). Then forget everything you think that a sludge metal band is supposed to look like. Rather than the usual suspects of blurry and bearded dudes who take themselves entirely too seriously, Day Old Man are an exciting and rather slim duo; conjuring up all gloom and doom of Black Sabbath with psychedelic influences, while dressed head to toe in some damn excellent glittering sequins. Their music delivers a sinister wallop, and the band certainly know how to put together a killer live show consisting of both flash and substance. Best of all, they actually look like they’re having the time of their lives doing it. There’s psychedelic soloing, eerie banshee wailing, billowing clouds of smoke, and on occasion, tongues firmly in cheek. 

Photo courtesy of Eric Ayotte

Photo courtesy of Eric Ayotte

Dasher - Post-Punk/Noise

2015 was poised to be the year for Dasher. Since they formed in 2013, the Atlanta post-punk trio lead by drummer/frontwoman Kylee Kimbrough, had been steadily building momentum through their chaotic live shows. They capped off 2014 being signed to the indie label, Jagjaguwar and releasing a 7-inch of their single “Soviet." Everything big seemed to be ahead of the band but then Kimbrough made the abrupt announcement that the band was going to be disbanding indefinitely. No reason was ever provided short of the thinly veiled implication that it was something deeply personal and private. Kimbrough moved to Bloomington, and Dasher seemed destined to go down as just another “might have been." But just as equally out of nowhere, Kimbrough announced that Dasher was going to reunite (though now using Bloomington as their home base) and played their first show back in December at Star Bar. They're currently putting the finishing touches on an LP produced by Shellac’s Bob Weston, and shooting for a spring release.

Photo by Gunpowder Gray via Facebook

Photo by Gunpowder Gray via Facebook

Gunpowder Gray - Rock

Gunpowder Gray make no bones about who they are as soon as they take the stage. No gimmicks, no bells, no whistles. Just pure unadulterated, sleazy, bluesy, frantic, foot-stompin’ rock n’ roll for the soul. While the band is still a relatively young one, having only been part of the Atlanta music scene since 2014, this is far from their first band; an advantage that they make work in their favor. Gunpowder Gray is made up of musicians who’ve been tooling around the Atlanta music scene for a good while now.  In their share of punk, metal and death experiencing they managed to cobble together their individual influences (as diverse as Danzig, Pink Floyd and David Bowie) into something that come out the other side that stands out; not quite glam, not quite metal, not quite punk, but that perfect sweet spot in between. 

Photo courtesy of RobOlu Instagram

Photo courtesy of RobOlu Instagram

Robolu - Rap

Nigerian-born rapper, Robolu, is very much a fringe act. He’s only been at this since 2015, but make no mistake, what he has put out is enough to warrant attention. Robolu’s music doesn’t bother too much with trying to copy trends or play follow the leader with the iconic high hat and beats that have come to define the Atlanta trap scene. That’s not to say you can’t find some incredible, dark minimalistic beats in his music that can double as stripper anthems. The heady rapper tries to focus more substance over style, taking you into his world on topics of depression and isolation, delivered with an aggressive growl reminiscent of Tyler the Creator.  Robolu’s got a young and untapped fire coming of 2016 releasing the collab LP, Soho with the New York-based, Benny Jetts.

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