Have you ever felt like there are too many choices when trying to get into new music? Of course you have. It’s one of life’s minor inconveniences. And like many inconveniences, there are numerous ways to combat the issue. You could ask your friends what they’re listening to. You could go online and search for “hot new artists.” You could even surf through Spotify and see what they recommend. All of these options are available, and they might yield some success, but there’s also a strong possibility that none will work. For example, the people that write articles like “10 Musical Artists You Should Be Following Right Now” are probably older than you and have different perspectives on life, your friends might have wildly different tastes in music than you and Spotify is more likely to push established, well-known artists rather than people who deserve a chance in the spotlight.
Knowing all of this, you might wonder how a bunch of undergraduates from a small college radio station could do any better? It’s a fair point. Although 88.7 KTRM might be an indie/alternative station, we as individuals come from many different backgrounds and have very eclectic tastes. It’s what makes the station so special. And it’s because of these eclectic tastes and various backgrounds that we believe we can provide a well-rounded group of musicians you might enjoy. So, that’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to help you find some hot new artists to listen to, starting with:
Hailing from Hillsboro, Missouri, Uncanny Valley might just be the most unexpected thing to come out of rural Missouri. They’re a pop-punk band who have played together since high school and have ambitions of hitting the big time. Though they haven’t released any music yet, Uncanny Valley have honed their skills at crafting catchy, accessible pop-punk, which harkens back to the early 2000s with their previous band, Proceed From Afar. That group might have been a bit too unkempt for some people’s tastes, but Uncanny Valley seems to have eschewed the raw juvenilia of their previous band in favor of thoughtful introspection and playful professionalism. For proof of the latter, look no further than the band’s Instagram posts. They’re putting out wry, behind-the-scenes promotional videos and band member bios that are of a level of quality seen by more seasoned rockers. If these videos are any indication of how the music will turn out, I think it’s safe to say we’ll get some high-quality pop-punk in the near future.
If you’re looking for moody, introspective indie-pop music, then Rae Fitzgerald is the artist for you. Based in Columbia, Missouri, Fitzgerald’s atmospheric music contrasts wonderfully with the urban hub that she calls home. Her songs are sparse, melancholic and tend to communicate universal sentiments like love and betrayal in the most intimate fashion. This is perhaps best seen in the song “I’ve Got a Vision,” which Rae called “her favorite song she’d ever written.” With an album and EP to her name, there’s no telling how she’ll evolve as an artist, but we can’t wait to see more from her.
Unhinged, vulgar and impassioned. These are three words that neatly describe the St. Louis garage punk outfit that is Maximum Effort. Uncompromising in their approach, the band has a quasi-shock rock element present in their music, given how suddenly they go from mid-tempo grooving to screeching intensity. This might be anxiety inducing for the faint of heart, but for the initiated, this is everything you could ask for — raw, punchy guitar music at its finest.
An all-female band based in Kansas City, Blue False Indigo is composed of three friends whose bond is the only thing stronger than their harmonies. They are a mix of Laura Marling and The Staves and refer to themselves as pioneering “spooky folk,” which, for some reason, has been an underutilized genre for the past 100 years. They have an album and EP under their belt, but it’s their most recent work, in which they collaborated with The Wires, that shows their maturity as songwriters. “The Cold Reminds Me” is the best track they’ve released so far, but their journey is just getting started, and we can’t wait to go along for the ride.
With an aesthetic heavily derived from 1950s and early 1960s science fiction, the Melodibots might just be the most distinct group on this list. They’re “an Atompunk-themed musical duo that combines pantomime, humor and heart with a toe-tapping fusion of modern indie-rock and oldies tunes.” In other words, pure performance art. Though the Melodibots only have a concept album to their name, the band has already proven itself as a quirky entity with its eclectic mix of rockabilly, show tunes, honky-tonk and indie rock. The fact that they can make all these disparate styles work together is a testament to their skills as musicians. With an EP set to be released sometime this year, now might just be the perfect time to familiarize yourself with the Melodibots and the fictional future they live in.
Based in Springfield, Missouri, The Wandering Found consists of six members that began working together after Thomas Yonke, the lead singer, was inspired by the book “All the Bright Places” by Jennifer Niven and began to write the songs for their first album. Although every member of the band is connected to one another through their Christian roots, the band’s sound and lyrics better reflect an alternative or indie vibe. The themes of their songs are accessible to everyone. Their two albums to date, a self-titled installment and “The Great Manifesto,” both consist of numbers that range from delicately passionate to brash and insistent, and their willingness to try on a variety of genres makes it difficult to expect what you’ll hear next. Our personal favorites are “The Wedding Table” from the self-titled album as well as “Skin” and “Ultraviolet” from “The Great Manifesto,” although “To Remain a Memory” from that album is an incredibly clever patchwork of all the songs that came before it and deserved honorable mention.
No matter what type of music you like, there’s bound to be something on this list for you. So what are you waiting for? You’ve got some Missouri musicians to support!