The sound: Soulful R&B singer with an electro tinge
Why he’s hot: Gallant has a falsetto that will make you weep and an unadulterated stage presence that brings hype to each of his songs. He effortlessly blends soul, R&B, and electronic sounds to create unforgettable songs. His songs are catchy and invigorating, and an hour-long set of his will leave you refreshed but thirsting for more.
Start with: “Weight in Gold”
Performing at: Mamby on the Beach, Afropunk NYC, Afropunk Atlanta, Made in America, Music Tastes Good, and Austin City Limits
2. Jai Wolf
The sound: Future beat with an exotic flair
Why he’s hot: Jai Wolf is relatively new and still defining his sound, which gives him plenty of room to experiment and play with ways to make you dance. His sets range from bass-heavy trap to melodic electronica, glued together with euphoric future beats that will have you grinning through every measure.
Start with: “Indian Summer”
Performing at: Panorama, HARD Summer, Bumbershoot, Mad Decent Block Party, and Vertex
3. Modern Baseball
The sound: Alt-rockers with driving punk undercurrent
Why they’re hot: Modern Baseball have managed to marry their eccentric alt-punk-rock notes from their early days with a sonic modern alternative-rock edge. Their sound is explosive and perfect for singing along to, even if you don’t know a damn word. It’s just that good.
Start with: “Your Graduation”
Performing at: Lollapalooza
4. RÜFÜS DU SOL
The sound: Alternative dance with addictive lyrics
Why they’re hot: RÜFÜS DU SOL provide melodic light-weight house records with shimmering vocals and catchy choruses you can’t resist moving to. And, honestly, nothing is better than dancing to their ethereal vibe with arms outstretched under the open sky at a festival.
Start with: “You Were Right”
Performing at: Panorama, Lollapalooza, Vertex, Outside Lands, Splash House, Summer Set, and Suwannee Hulaween
The sound: A groovy blend of soul, hip-hop, R&B, and house music
Why he’s hot: It’s hard to truly define what Kaytranada’s sound is — it’s garage meets hip-hop, funk meets R&B, electronica meets jazz. While it may be hard to define, it is definitely easy to dance to. His sets include some of his irresistible singles mixed in with his funky remixes of today’s hit songs.
Where to start: “Lite Spots”
Performing at: Panorama, HARD Summer, and Life Is Beautiful
6. The Strumbellas
The sound: Anthemic indie rock meets folk music
Why they’re hot: The Strumbellas’ debut album Spirits was released earlier in 2016, and already the single “Spirits” is carving up the airwaves. Their sound is rich with driving indie-rock melodies and massive gang vocals that you can’t help but shout along to — plus, there are plenty of oohs and aahs if you don’t know the words.
Start with: “Spirits”
Performing at: 4Knots, Festival Pier, Newport Folk Festival, Life Is Beautiful, Pilgrimage, and Austin City Limits
The sound: Dark pop with chilling vocals
Why they’re hot: HÆLOS create dark electropop that is brooding and cinematic. Seeing them perform live is like being carried on a journey through harrowing lows and explosive highs. It’s a beautiful display of musicianship that will leave you feeling fulfilled but hungry for more.
Start with: “Dust”
Performing at: Lollapalooza, Outside Lands, and Austin City Limits
8. Louis the Child
The sound: Future-beat electro you can shake it to
Why they’re hot: Louis the Child have an unmistakable future-beat sound that is vibrant, bass-heavy, and robust. This Chicago-bred duo has put their Midas touch on plenty of pop songs and originals, underscoring them with bass and horns that make you want to move. Check them out if you’re wanting to dance with reckless abandon.
Start with: “It’s Strange” feat. K.Flay
Performing at: Lollapalooza, HARD Summer, Mad Decent Block Party, Pygmalion, and Global Dance Festiva
The sound: Irresistible and eclectic indie pop
Why they’re hot: Chairlift had everyone tapping their toes when their hit song “Bruises” was featured in a popular commercial. Their sound is an irresistible blend of pop and indie dance that you can’t help but move to. Add to that the infectious charisma of lead singer Caroline Polachek on stage, and you’ll be hooked.
Start with: “Ch-Ching”
Performing at: Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits, The Meadows, and Voodoo
10. Mr. Carmack
The sound: Booty-droppin’, bow-throwin’ trap music
Why he’s hot: If you’re looking to sweat it out on the dance floor, then Mr. Carmack is your dude. His electrifying trap music will keep you moving into the wee hours of your night.
Start with: “Pay (For What)”
Playing at: Lollapalooza, HARD, Summer Set, Hopscotch, and Life Is Beautiful
11. Big Wild
The sound: Electronic dance married with groovy pop
Why he’s hot: When it comes to his live performance, Big Wild goes, well, wild. He performs his hit originals and remixes live, moving from his drum pad, MidiKeys, and various live instruments to create a captivating set you won’t soon forget.
Start with: “Aftergold” feat. Tove Styrke
Perfmoring at: Camp Bisco, Capitol Hill Block Party, Mad Decent Block Party, Vertex, Stilldream, Vertex, and North Coast
12. Panama Wedding
The sound: Infectious indie synthpop
Why they’re hot: Panama Wedding have a knack for creating anthemic summer tunes that liven any mood. Their music is ripe with sing-along choruses and electric synth sounds that invigorate you at your core and make you feel alive. If you’re looking to revel in the neon light with your friends, this is the band to do it to.
Start with: “All of the People”
Performing at: MPOP, Lollapalooza
13. Bear Hands
The sound: Post-punk and indie rock smashed into one
Why they’re hot: Bear Hands have an intoxicating sound, pairing the melodic and danceable rhythms of post-punk with invigorating indie-rock melodies and instrumentation. When they perform, they perform with an unadulterated energy that spills out into the audience.
Start with: “2AM”
Performing at: Austin City Limits and Voodoo
The sound: Upbeat indie rock with a splash of pop
Why he’s hot: Chris Baio is the bass player of Vampire Weekend, so he knows a thing or two about writing catchy songs. His style is reminiscent of ’80s new wave with a vibrant touch of modern indie rock. If you’re in the mood to dance, then shimmy and shake your way over to his set.
Start with: “Sister of Pearl”
Performing at: Lollapalooza and Sound on Sound
The sound: Emotive and captivating female singer-songwriter
Why she’s hot: Låpsley’s smoky vocals flutter with a delicate sting. Her emotive ballads are ripe with introspective lyrics that find a way of captivating the listener and transcending them into her songs. If you are looking for an incredible vocalist and to catch some feels, don’t miss her.
Start with: “Hurt Me”
Performing at: Lollapalooza and Outside Lands
16. Wild Child
The sound: Catchy toe-tappin’ indie folk and pop
Why they’re hot: Austin-based group Wild Child perfectly marry the honky-tonk dance-hall vibe with indie-folk pop in their music. The end result is an infectious concoction of sing-along lyrics, staccato melodies to move to, and a warm and inviting mood that will awaken your spirits.
Start with: “Break Bones”
Performing at: Forestcastle, Newport Folk, Lollapalooza, Fair Lane Folk, Thrival, and Austin City Limits
17. Tor Miller
The sound: Ultra-catchy singer-songwriter vibes
Why he’s hot: Tor Miller’s voice is as captivating and vast as the music he creates. His voice is soulful and smooth with just the right touch of grit — and his knack for songwriting is admirable. Check him out to discover your latest obsession.
Start with: “Carter & Cash”
Performing at: Lollapalooza
18. Oh Wonder
The sound: Mellow alternative pop with a sunny disposition
Why they’re hot: This London-based duo is able to intertwine mellow folk vocals with delicate but delightful melodies that will have you feeling things and wanting to dance with somebody. Hearing them make music together is a treat, but seeing them live is something even more special.
Start with: “Lose It”
Performing at: Panorama, Outside Lands, Symbiosis Gathering, Lollapalooza, Life Is Beautiful, Voodoo, and Austin City Limits
The sound: Effervescent electronic dance music
Why he’s hot: Tourist’s approach to dance music is precise, mixing the right notes of pop structure into the drawn-out nature of dance music. He co-wrote the hit single “Stay With Me,” so he has a knack for putting together all the right bits for the perfect dance tune.
Start with: “Run”
Performing at: Camp Bisco, Forestcastle, and Panorama
20. Jack Garratt
The sound: An intoxicating blend of blues, R&B, and electronica
Why he’s hot: Jack Garratt’s style is unlike anything out there. Some of his songs will start slowly and brooding with soulfulness and the twang of blues — and before you know it, the chorus explodes into driving pop electronica with percussive melodies you can’t ignore. Just one song, and you’ll be immediately hooked.
Start with: “Worry”
Performing at: Lollapalooza, Outside Lands, Life Is Beautiful, Austin City Limits, and The Meadows
The sound: A cosmic collision of indie folk and pop
Why she’s hot: Aurora’s stage presence is as big, beautiful, and bubbly as the songs she creates. Her music is cinematic and so large in scale that it fills any theater or festival stage she is playing and commands your attention. Aurora is a budding pop star you do not want to miss.
Start with: “Running With the Wolves”
Performing at: Panorama and Lollapalooza
The sound: Gnarly hip-hop beats with a hearty side of bass
Why he’s hot: Lunice knows how to work his way through some sick bass lines. His take on hip-hop production is eclectic and refreshing, drawing out his melodies but making sure that bass still booms.
Start with: “Glow”
Playing at: Mad Decent Block Party and HARD Summer