There are few rushes better than stumbling onto excellent new music -- and, as always, San Diego obliges us with new groups each and every year that are worth your time and ears. Some, however, seem to be riding a wave of momentum and look poised for greatness so our staff here at SoundDiego picked nine local bands to watch out for in 2018. Got others in mind? Let us know in the comments; we're always on the hunt.
9 San Diego Bands to Watch in 2018 (in alphabetical order)
Bad Kids: We’re admittedly stoked on these energetic surf-punk lads from Imperial Beach -- so much, in fact, that we tapped their tune "DEF" for our TV show's new theme song. They're also 2018 San Diego Music Award nominees for Best Indie/Alternative (vote for them here) and just released a great new EP called "Seeing Ghosts." If all that doesn't add up to a big year for Bad Kids, we don't know what will.
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Hexa: We’ve been fans of Hexa since the release of 2016's "Bata Motel" EP, the brainchild of Carrie Gillespie Feller (Ilya, Lunar Maps, Hours). Since then, she’s welcomed new members into the fold to round out the group’s goth-tinged "dark-pop," with Megan Liscomb (Soft Lions, PJ Sparkles) as the latest addition to the fold. With so much mind-boggling talent involved, there's no place for Hexa to go but up -- way, way up. While we wait for the group's forthcoming album, see 'em with Soft Kill at Space Bar on March 1.
Love Glow: We’ve got a thing for ‘90s-inspired indie-rock and this quartet fronted by Caroline Corn (and including Sights and Sages' Christian Clark and Jay Sanchioli) nail it (along with hints of shoegaze and electro-pop) on last year’s debut EP “Honey.” Fans of Wolf Alice, Metric, and Pale Waves (or the 1975 for that matter) would be good to check ‘em out immediately. [Listen here]
Miss New Buddha: Opening slots for Metz and Speedy Ortiz at the Casbah cemented our feelings on this new band that brings Weatherbox’s Brian Warren, Big Bad Buffalo’s Jordan Krimston, Meraki’s Shane Moylan and Sarah Linton together for a math-rock/post-hardcore-fueled intensity. Bring on the debut album already! Next up: Space Bar on March 8 with Protomartyr.
Naivete: With a January Soda Bar residency -- and last year's stellar debut EP (find it on Spotify) -- under their belts, this dream-pop duo is near the top of our list of local bands that could break out of San Diego in a big way. While we wait for EP No. 2, read the SoundDiego interview with 'em here and get in the know.
The Parker Meridien: While releasing one of the stand-out albums of 2017 with “Fists Like Gotti,” this trio -- consisting of experimental percussionist Nathan Hubbard, Jack King (aka Parker Edison) on vocals, and John Rieder on bass -- is simultaneously challenging the boundaries/formula of what a live hip-hop band can be and do. Find their music here and be sure to vote for them in the Artist of the Year category at the 2018 San Diego Music Awards (they're also up for Album of the Year, too)!
Pissed Regardless: Put some thrash metal in your life. This San Diego five-piece premiered their latest single, “Lipstick on a Pig,” over at Decibel Magazine; just released their new "Feed the Birds” 7-inch on Creator-Destructor Records [available here]; and delivered a huge record release show at Soda Bar a couple weeks back. Keep the momentum going, guys.
Twin Ritual: Already setting the blogosphere afire with last year's singles, Twin Ritual snagged members of Astral Touch, Le Chateau and Glass Spells for a groove-heavy, ‘80s-influenced sound that should take ‘em far as they feel like going. Check out the recently released EP, "Hand Through the Mist," and if you're in the LA area, catch 'em at the Silverlake Lounge on March 1.
Vakoum: Awarded our Best New Artist of 2017, this experimental electro-pop duo delivered one of the most inspiring local debuts in recent memory last year with their wondrous “Home For Home” EP. Now they’re on a West Coast tour with the Album Leaf. Coincidence? We think not.