Every year, the San Diego music scene finds itself in the company of a new class of bands. Some seem to ride a bigger wave of momentum than others -- or maybe they just work harder? Who knows. But our SoundDiego staff has come to a consensus on nine local acts in particular to watch out for in 2019. Got others in mind? Let us know in the comments; we're always on the hunt.
9 San Diego Bands to Watch in 2019 (in alphabetical order)
Aviator Stash: Fans of the Growlers, the Black Angels, Mystic Braves and all other quirky retro-inspired garage-rock music that finds itself rooted in head-nodding grooves and trippy vibes, look no further than Aviator Stash. The band's new psychedelic album, "Prescribed," might just be exactly what the doctor's ordered. Grab it here (and see 'em at Pour House Oceanside on Jan. 25 for our next SoundDiego LIVE party).
Band Argument: We're a sucker for all things Jordan Krimston (School of Rock whiz kid, and guitarist in Big Bad Buffalo, Miss New Buddha and others) and with a new year inevitably comes a new Krimston project. Band Argument is his latest (he's behind the kit on this one) and it also features Buffalo bassist Sil Damone and guitarists Jake Kelsoe and Alex Simonian. Coincidentally, they just dropped their debut single "Buddy" (like, literally today) and it's a jam-packed 1 1/2-minute smorgasbord of lurching math rock, Talking Heads-esque art-pop, and just the right amount of post-hardcore crunch. Welcome, Band Argument (and listen to 'em here)!
Battery Point: This Chula Vista crew rolls seven deep and as Tim Pyles, 91x's "Mayor of Local Music," explained recently, "They sound like Joy Division and My Bloody Valentine had a baby. Sonically, it's a big sound. It's post-punk with some shoegaze mixed in and it's good!" Boom. Do yourself a favor and check 'em out here.
Coral Bells: Another South Bay band, this "tribe of Southern California beach dwellers" is an extra fine mix of vocal harmonies, rustic Americana, indie-folk and all the vibes made classic by the Band, Neil Young, the Byrds and more. Get in the Coral Bells swing of things here.
Crucial Blend: The ever-popular San Diego staple of reggae/hip-hop/punk is alive and well with this Ocean Beach quartet -- who, by the way, just dropped a new EP titled "Enough Already." If bands like Tribal Seeds and Slightly Stoopid can make it big, why not Crucial Blend? Find their music here.
Hard to Hit: Some of the best and -- wait for it -- hardest-hitting pop-punk this side of Taking Back Sunday or Trophy Eyes, this band blew us away with their latest five-track EP "Better Than I've Been," which is one of the best local examples of jagged melodies, epic breakdowns and sing-along hooks we've ever heard. Also, bonus points: Their video "Lunchbox Special" is hilarious. Check it out and get their music now.
The Havnauts: Over the past few years, we -- along with plenty of others --have raved about Shelbi Bennett's other band, the Midnight Pine (and with good reason) but to be honest, it's refreshing to hear her front this new indie-rock/punk group -- where she can kick out the no-holds-barred jams with her Havnauts bandmates, dial up the distortion and just let loose. After all, if you got a voice like hers, unleash it on the world. (Hav-some of the band's debut EP "Go For It" here)
New Me: Another solo project that popped up out of nowhere last year, this one's helmed by Jakob McWhinney (of Spooky Cigarette, Space Heat and more) and there's a reason why one of our favorite local record labels, Bleeding Gold, jumped at the chance to release New Me's debut 7-inch single in August: These tracks are a delectable combo of '80s-era synth-led new wave, Bowie-esque soul and a healthy helping of plain ol' fun (remember that?). Get hooked here.
Sisster: Our ears perked up when the first notes of "Tu y Yo" -- the debut single of Viri Dimaguya's solo project -- floated out over our office speakers. For those that love bouncy electro-pop and the all-important hook, Sisster ssounds pretty friggin' ssweet. Check out her music here.