Abi Reimold is the name and eponymous project of Abi Reimold, whose debut LP Wriggling received across the board praise. Building off of the success of 2014's Forget EP, Reimold honed her songwriting ability and chops into a amalgam of rock influences – huge riffs are countered by thoughtful phrases and lyrics that are firmly rooted an introspective tradition.
Aural Burrows began as the solo recording project of clown enthusiast and Sad Cactus co-founder Tim Brown during his stint in southern Tennessee. It takes a village to raise a circus, and Aural Burrows is no exception. After Tim moved to Poughkeepsie, the project expanded to the four-piece troupe that stands before you today, with Niccolo Porcello (jester/drums), Jackson Martel (human statue/guitar), and Pat Dunning (mime/bass) all along for the merry ride.
BIG FRED is the project of Conor McCann and Dylan Vaisey. Their first record <3Pals<3 is a phenomenal entry – loud and fast (just 9 minutes across 5 songs) it is a meaningful record that does not overstay its welcome. BIG FRED deal in the loud and cathartic music that lives like a personal journal – at once intimately relatable, while also deeply personal. <3Pals<3 is a deeply promising debut.
BUCKET was born in a basement and pulls most of its influence from the grumble of a broken heating system, leaky brick walls and the ramble of Malkmus lyrics. Expect spiky guitar lines interweaved with guttural bass and drums. Expect a wall of noise with intricate glass figurines balanced on the edge. Expect it to be more accessible than you would like to admit. BUCKET is the ugly, charming little brother of the Pioneer Valley music scene and proud of it.
Double Grave formed in late 2014 as the natural next step for three friends in Minneapolis. Theirs is a broad flavor of punk, tinged with pop and noise all while unafraid of a slow burning melody or sharp turn. Grounded in the honest and idol-free energy of basements across the country, there is a palpable determination and seriousness within the band, crafted over two relentless years of playing and recording. Their upcoming LP “New Year’s Daydream” brings it all to a head, as they explore isolation, identity, romance, truth, and friendship.
floral print is comprised of Nathan Springer and Paul DeMerritt, two bespectacled friends living in East Atlanta. Beginning in the latter half of 2014, the pair quickly developed an earnest and expressive approach to songwriting. Goldflakepaint described their debut mini-album woo as “gloriously vague, the kind of emo-rock/post-pop hybrid that rumbles away in the shadow before suddenly appearing in the forefront of everything.” They’ve since maintained a consistent presence on the East Coast and Midwest, touring in support of new material as well as old.
Mothpuppy is a young band from Baltimore making intimate and inquisitive music that belies their age. Songwriter and vocalist Morgan Murphy began recording songs in her dorm room at Goucher College before enlisting four friends to make Mothpuppy the dynamic five piece that it is today.
On their debut LP Cool & Pretty, the friends pair a scrappy DIY ethos with more classical elements (the album prominently features a violin), and play with rhythm and dynamics behind Morgan’s arresting vocals. With the release of “Cool & Pretty”, Mothpuppy showcases their technical ability, command of songwriting, and a startling emotional depth that stays with the listener long after the music ends.
Quarrels were formed in late 2013, each member coming from a diverse, but heavily musical background. The quartet specializes in an unnamable combination of post-hardcore, emo, and like genres, finding their niche and exploiting it perfectly. Between the catchy lyricism of Cory Best’s lyrics, the angular pummeling of Jeff Crenshaw’s drumming, and Ryan Bernardo’s touchy guitar work, Quarrels make something akin to pop-inflicted math rock, a strange but ultimately alluring brew.
Hailing from New Jersey, punk trio Rita Fishbone “espouse a true punk ethos, attacking thorny matters with an emotional rawness that grants the music an affirmative power” (via Impose). Theirs is dark-soul, living on the fringe of punk and mathy rock, but never feeling entirely comfortable in either.
Spew was formed in the fall of 2014 as an exercise in maximalism and velocity, and was very active for a month or two. After a long period of dormancy, Only The Worst is the salvage remains of those songs -- finally arriving in the dystopic world of 2017 that it deserves to exist in.
Trophy Dad began in late 2014 as the dorm-room project of Abby Sherman and Jordan Zamansky in Madison, WI. After the release of their debut EP Shirtless Algebra Fridays in May 2015, drummer Justin Huber and guitarist Henry Stoehr joined the lineup. The EP’s lo-fi bedroom pop sound and conscious lyrics resonated with many in the Madison scene, and the band was able support the EP with opening spots for Porches, Frankie Cosmos, Girlpool, Car Seat Headrest, and Whitney. Trophy Dad premiered their most recent single, “Louis Sachar” right at the turn of 2017, receiving much online acclaim; the track was featured on Spotify’s “Fresh Finds” and Hype Machine’s “Stack” playlists, and earned the group a spot on Vinyl Me, Please’s “11 Bands to Watch in 2017.”
Tundrastomper consists of four friends from Ardsely, NY who combine elements of math, funk, jazz, and punk, and rework them into unexpected combinations. Between the unpredictable tempos, far flung harmonies, and a penchant for reverb, their songs are meticulously crafted and mother approved.