Prenatt’s Picks: 50 bands you need to hear in 2017 (Part three)

Our music critic gives you part three of his five part series of bands to look out for in 2017

Chris Prenatt, Contributing Writer

Although a third of 2017 is behind us, there is still plenty of music to come. While most of you might be listening to your favorite bands from years ago, don’t sleep on the up-and-coming talent out there that you aren’t paying enough attention to. Over the course of five weeks, The Record will introduce you to some hot talent primed for a breakthrough from a variety of genres such as rap, metal, pop and others. Here’s list number three.


Hometown: Atlanta, GA

Out Now: Two Parts Viper (Good Fight/Cooking Vinyl)

For Fans Of: Death From Above 1979, Every Time I Die, Japandroids

Formed from the ashes of metalcore group The Chariot comes this noise rock duo from Atlanta. Composed of vocalist/guitarist Josh Scogin (ex-The Chariot) and drummer Michael McClellan, the two have seen some success during their four year existence, touring with acts like Bring Me the Horizon, August Burns Red, and are currently on tour with Buffalo natives Every Time I Die. ’68 have also played well known rock festivals such as the Vans Warped Tour, Carolina Rebellion and the upcoming Roskilde Festival in Denmark this summer. The duo is well known for their energized shows, crazy antics (Scogin will sometimes drag his guitar across the stage or tossing it into the air and catching it,) and extreme use of guitar pedals such as looping and distortion. Their first album in three years Two Parts Viper will be available June 2nd via Good Fight (Fit for an Autopsy, Rarity, While She Sleeps) and Cooking Vinyl (City and Colour, Madness, Trivium.)

Song to Listen to: “This Life Is Old, New, Borrowed and Blue”


Hometown: New York City, NY

Out Now: What Everyone’s Thinking – EP (AJR Productions)

For Fans Of: Andy Grammer, Jon Bellion, The Vamps

Usually it’s a rule of thumb in the music world for younger acts to not send their music to everyone in the world. However, that’s how this trio composed of the Met brothers, Adam (vocalist/bassist), Jack (guitarist/percussion/vocalist), and Ryan (ukulelist/trumpeter/vocalist) got discovered by Australian singer Sia, who then told her manager who contacted CEO of S-Curve Records Steve Greenberg, who became the brothers’ co-manager. Since then, the trio has started to gain quite some success. Their debut single, “I’m Ready,” which features a sample of SpongeBob Squarepants repeating his catchphrase, became a commercial success, playing on Sirius XM’s Top 20 on 20, Good Day New York and on VH1. The trio, with four EPs and two full-lengths under their belts, and their newest album The Click. coming out on June 9, have been gaining more success with features and appearances in the New York Post, Billboard, the Today Show, and TeenNick, plus being named iHeartRadio’s Artist of the Month for Top 40 in January. AJR have done shows with well-known acts and artists such as Demi Lovato, We the Kings, and Train. Their music videos have gained over millions of views on YouTube. Pretty damn impressive for a DIY band that’s twelve years old.

Song to Listen to: “Weak”


Hometown: Tempe, AZ

Out Now: As Seen on the Internet (We’re the Future)

For Fans Of: G-Eazy, Moosh & Twist, Wiz Khalifa

The Internet will make a celebrity out of anyone, and Zachary Beck aka FUTURISTIC is of no exceptions. Originally from Bloomington, IL, FUTURISTIC first got big on YouTube in 2015 with the help of YouTuber BigDawsTV who had the rapper perform dressed up as a nerd in the videos “NERD RAPS FAST IN COMPTON!!” and “NERD RAPS FAST AT COLLEGE!!” FUTURISTIC is also known for his song “The Greatest” which currently has 20 million views on YouTube. His newest album, As Seen on the Internet, contains appearances from musicians Hopsin, Karmin, and Goody Grace, and features big name talent like Shia LaBeouf, Seth MacFarlane, and Morgan Freeman and peaked at number 116 on the Billboard 200. You can see FUTURISTIC on this year’s Warped Tour from June 16 to June 23 and June 25 to August 8.

Song to Listen to: “Next Level”

Trash Boat

Hometown: St. Albans, UK

Out Now: Nothing I Write You Can Change What You’ve Been Through (Hopeless Records)

For Fans Of: Knuckle Puck, Neck Deep, The Story So Far

Named after an episode of the Cartoon Network series Regular Show, this pop punk quintet has been making a name for themselves in the UK, but it’s time the United States heard of these guys. The band consists of vocalist Tobi Duncan, guitarists Dann Bostock and Ryan Hyslop, bassist James Grayson, and drummer Oakley Moffatt. Forming in 2014, Trash Boat quickly rose in popularity in their home country playing shows with As It Is, Beartooth and Less Than Jake and signed with the American record label Hopeless Records (Bayside, New Found Glory, The Wonder Years) a year later. The band finally came to the US in late March for a tour with pop punk legends New Found Glory as part of their 20th Anniversary tour which featured several sold out dates. Unfortunately, the band was robbed in Chicago a few weeks ago, which they lost equipment, passports, laptops and, according to their Facebook, “Dann’s dirty underwear.” That won’t stop them however, the band is still touring with NFG all the way until the tour’s conclusion on May 18th in Nashville, TN. Let’s hope their next US tour isn’t as problematic.

Song to Listen to: “How Selfish I Seem”


Hometown: Daytona Beach, FL

Out Now: digital druglord (Beartrap)

For Fans Of: Chris Brown, Mike Posner, Trey Songz

He’s the first independent artist to monetize off Soundcloud. Matthew Muston aka blackbear has been becoming popular in the R&B scene, collaborating with Childish Gambino, Pharrell Williams, metalcore band Palisades, Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo and rock band Linkin Park. He first got his start by co-writing Justin Bieber’s hit song “Boyfriend” in 2012. Deciding to pursue a career as a musician, blackbear started to release several EPs and albums on Soundcloud, even recording with Mike Posner under their project Mansionz. His debut album Deadroses produced the song “IDFC” which charted at number 19 on the R&B Songs chart on Billboard. With his newest album digital druglord which dropped last Friday, blackbear has become a name in the R&B scene that no one should mess with.

Song to Listen to: “do re mi”


Hometown: Sarasota, FL

Out Now: Ivory (Victory Records)

For Fans Of: ††† (Crosses), Halsey, Purity Ring

After metalcore band Burden of a Day broke up in 2010, vocalist Kyle Tamo and drummer Morgan Alley decided to form the electro-R&B duo Colours. With slow, electronic beats and a haunting atmosphere, the Sarasota duo signed with Victory Records (Carousel Kings, Reverend Horton Heat, Tear out the Heart) in late 2015 and released their debut album Ivory last February. They also gained some popularity with their song “Monster” appearing on shows like Lucifer, Catfish, and MTV’s The Challenge. Colours has so far toured with acts like Andy Black, Robert DeLong, and badXchannels. Tamo’s vocals on Ivory are both seductive and comforting. With a style that’s both sexy yet soothing, Colours might become the next big thing in indie pop.

Song to Listen to: “Monster”


Hometown: Los Angeles, CA

Out Now: DREAMCAR (Columbia)

For Fans Of: Blondie, A Flock Of Seagulls, Night Riots

When news broke out of AFI’s vocalist Davey Havok working with No Doubt’s members, many speculated that he was replacing Gwen Stefani as their new vocalist. However, that’s not the case. Havok, along with bassist Tony Kanal, guitarist Tom Dumont and drummer Adrian Young, became known as the new wave supergroup DREAMCAR. In an interview with Alternative Press about their upcoming self-titled debut set to come out next month, Kanal said that the album’s style is “very inspired by all the ’80s stuff that we love.” The group played their first show earlier this month in Santa Ana, CA to a sold out crowd at the Observatory’s Constellation Room, followed by a short run of more sold out dates in California and Arizona. They recently played Coachella and appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! a few weeks ago. DREAMCAR will be on tour again next month with the closest date being May 25 in Toronto at the Phoenix Concert Theatre.

Song to Listen to: “Kill For Candy”

Stacked Like Pancakes

Hometown: Towson, MD

Out Now: This Is Us (Self-Released)

For Fans Of: Chase Long Beach, Goldfinger, Less Than Jake

Silly name aside, this ska-punk band has been seriously gaining attention. Forming in 2007, the group has gone through several lineup changes, with lead vocalist/rhythm guitarist Kellen McKay being the only original member left. The band gained some popularity on Reddit on the /r/Ska subreddit where the band would post their videos to the subreddit. Where does the name come from? One Reddit user pointed out McKay’s history as an online gamer for the game Counter-Strike where there was once a team called “Stacked Like Pancakes,” but McKay said there’s no meaning behind it, saying “It was the result of 30 seconds of brainstorming upon the inception of the band, and we just stuck with it.” The group has gained popularity with their acoustic song “Money Sucks” which reached the front page of Listen to This on Reddit. The band have also played shows with Bowling For Soup, Reel Big Fish, and Toad the Wet Sprocket and have played Warped Tour in 2014 and 2015. Stacked Like Pancakes will be on this year’s Warped Tour from July 16 to August 6.

Song to Listen to: “It’s Too Late”

Marian Hill

Hometown: Philadelphia, PA

Out Now: ACT ONE (Republic)

For Fans Of: Banks, Phantogram, Sylvan Esso

You’ve probably heard of these guys before and you might not have known it. Their song “Down” appeared in a commercial for Apple’s AirPods earlier this year. Since then, the duo composed of Samantha Gongol and Jeremy Lloyd have been gaining tons of popularity with their combination of blues, jazz, and heavy bass. “Down” has since gained over 14 million views on YouTube. Gongol and Lloyd have appeared in Rolling Stone and SPIN and performed “Down” on YouTube as part of the YouTube Music Foundry. Marian Hill will be going on tour this summer as part of their Down Tour, with the closest date being at the Theatre of Living Arts in Philly on May 23.

Song to Listen to: “Down”

Color Film

Hometown: Long Island, NY

Out Now: Living Arrangements (Epitaph Records)

For Fans Of: ABC, Joy Divison, Tears For Fears

Daryl Palumbo is no stranger to the music scene. He’s the vocalist of the legendary post-hardcore band Glassjaw and alternative rock band Head Automatica. Along with his friend, former Men Women & Children bassist and current Head Automatica multi-instrumentalist Richard Penzone, the two came together to make Color Film in 2012. The duo sounds like a mixture of post-punk and new wave, sounding like Tears For Fears meets Night Terrors Of 1927. So far, the duo released only an EP in 2013 called Until You Turn Blue. Since then, the project has been quiet until earlier this month when Epitaph Records (Alkaline Trio, Every Time I Die, Refused) announced that they’ve signed the duo and will release their long awaited album Living Arrangements on June 16. Hopefully, unlike Palumbo’s other projects, this band won’t start to disappear.

Song to Listen to: “52 Minds”