We have such a sick music scene in Louisville, and this list is a work-in-progress, so let us know some of your favorites and we may give them some shouts on our list!
1. The Pass
You want to talk about a unique sounds, and The Pass provides nothing short of that. Featuring captivating synth vibes and an ever-growing list of balanced songs, they’re one of the most interesting shows that you’ll catch in Louisville. You’re not going to want to pass them up (puns) when you’re looking for solid music.
They recently took the stage right up the river at Bunbury, where they commanded plenty of attention to an adoring crowd. If you couldn’t catch them then, they’re going to be performing at the after party for Forecastle this weekend. Until then, here’s one of their best songs, “Without Warning.”
2. The Debauchees
Post-punk has never sounded so good! The Debauchees have found popularity among the Louisville crowd for their unique approach to artistry, and how they each mastered their instruments. Who needs conventional methods anyway when you can get something that sounds this good, anyway?
They’re always around the area in different venues, bringing plenty of spunk with them. They recently played at The New Vintage, and debuted their album, “Big Machines and Peculiar Beings.” You can check out one of the songs from the album, “I’ve Got Energy,” below!
Houndmouth is the greatest thing to come out of New Albany since… well, ever. If you haven’t had a chance to hear their bluesy, country mix yet, then you need to get on that right now. Even if you’re not typically into country tunes, Houndmouth will supply you with plenty to be entertained with to change your mind.
Sadly, they’ll be on the road for quite a while, but it won’t be long until they’re back home, we’re sure. Don’t get too down about it, though. They have plenty of videos for you to watch. Here’s one of our favorites!
4. Nerves Junior
Nerves Junior has a haunting sound at times, but it only seems to draw you in. They’re certainly one of the best artists we’ve ever heard when it comes to immersing you in an entire range of emotions all during one set. If you haven’t gotten chills at least once after listening to a few of their songs, you don’t have a pulse.
If you don’t believe us about the chills, give them a listen. You’ll be glad you did:
5. The Broken Spurs
Classic Rock is alive and well in Louisville, and has been resurrected by The Broken Spurs; a band that still appreciates wailing on the guitar and all things Rock & Roll. They may not even be a blip on Louisville’s radar with such a great music scene, but that won’t last long. Go to one of their shows and you’ll hear plenty of their fans chanting their songs, and that says something for a smaller artist.
When we say it’s like listening to a contemporary version of the Rolling Stones, we mean it. They know exactly how to capture the pure essence of rock music, and that’s something that few can do these days. Respect.
6. The Tunesmiths
If you want to talk about a band that’s full of pride for their city, all you have to do is check out the Tunesmiths. One of their songs, “Jammin’ In The Ville,” is all about their love for the city, and it’s obvious that it runs deep. You can check it out here:
If that’s not convincing enough, their last album (which you should check out) is titled “Derby City,” and they’re always performing at various venues. Recently, their raging riffs have been heard at The Faulkner Gallery, and they definitely killed it. You’ll be able to catch them there again on August 20th, and again at The Cure Lounge on September 5th. What are you waiting for? Buy the tickets already!
7. Stereo Empire
One of Louisville’s newest Alt-Rock bands, Stereo Empire, have crafted a tone that blends post indie-rock with the sounds of a band really playing from the heart. Formed in 2013, these guys have seen a few lineup changes but now have a solid crew intact and just recorded their debut EP.
8. The 23 String Band
It has to be a given, that an excellent Bluegrass artist would come from right out of Louisville. The 23 String Band will give you all of the old-timey tunes that you could ever need. It’s not for everyone, sure, but it’s a piece of Kentucky history, and there you’re not going to find many who play the style as well as them. Plus, they’re amazing live.
Let’s just face the facts, though. If you’re from Louisville and you don’t want to be listening to Bluegrass, then you’re doing it wrong. Really. If you’re a true Kentuckian, though, you’ll be able to catch The 23 String Band live at Forecastle this weekend.
9. DJ Prism
In a world filled with sh*tty, mediocre DJs, DJ Prism is a breath of fresh air. Featuring mixes that will have your ass dancing all night, he’s always performing at some of the hottest events in Louisville. If you haven’t had the chance to check out one of his sets yet, you probably haven’t been listening to the right DJ.
Essentially, we’re telling you that you need to keep an ear to the ground to figure out where he’s going to be on the weekend, because wherever he’s at is always going to be a good time. That’s a fact.
Since 2005, Cabin has played their down-tempo, mellow beats that sort of remind us of a quiet night in the country, just watching the stars. The music seems to roll in waves, and it’s no wonder that they’ve acquired such a large following as they’ve moved along. Now they’ve taken the world stage as they’re touring across Europe.
We’re almost positive they’re missing their hometown over in Europe, but you have to be stoked for ’em. We just can’t wait until they come back home to give us a hometown performance. Yeah, it’ll be worth the wait.
They’re dark at times… like old school Nine Inch Nails, dark, but they pull it off well. The cutting, dissonant guitars seem to cut to the bone, and are accompanied well by the vocalist, whose voice seems to blend right in with the rest of the music. Is it unique? Yes. It’s also definitely full of passion, as you’ll hear below:
Nine Inch Nails may have left this style a long while ago, but it’s gotten a solid revolution in Louisville with 9voltRevolt. Some call it revolutionary, and we definitely have to agree. You’ll just have to check it out for yourself.
12. Ben Sollee
Damn, this is one musically-inclined dude. His voice lulls you into a state of relaxation at times, but he can also strum away on his various string instruments to keep your heart racing at other times. It’s quite an experience, and he always seems to have a moral in each of his songs, as you’ll see here:
Impressed yet? Yeah, we were amazed to hear just how talented one man can be. The best part is that he’s from right here at home, and frequents venues around town. In fact, you’ll be able to catch him at Waterfront Park on July 30th. We’ll see you there!
13. Leigh Ann Yost
Leigh Ann Yost is a momma with plenty of heart and soul in her music. You can tell when someone truly has love and passion for what they do, and every song Yost performs seems to exude positive energy, and it’s truly inspirational for many. You’ll see exactly what I’m talking about here:
Her lovely smile, light-hearted music, and the fact that she seems to have a passion for life is what we love most about her, and she’s always involved with one event or another in the area. Seriously. That smile.
14. Jalin Roze
Love Old School Hip Hop? Yeah, we do too. Just because it’s Louisville doesn’t mean that there isn’t a solid Hip Hop artist here and there. Jalin Roze caught our ear, though, because of his lyricism and flows. He recently put out a new song, “Gold,” and it’s already getting buzz on Soundcloud.
If nothing else, you have to respect the dedication and time that he’s put into his dreams of making it big time. We’ll definitely going to be watching him at Forecastle this weekend, and you should join us.
15. In Lightning
Who says you need a singer to provide highly entertaining music. Breaking down barriers, In Lightning is sort of like a more mellow, fun version of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and it’s definitely catchy. Who needs flames and ridiculous guitar shreds when you can just jam out with a local group like this, anyway? Check out the chill vibes on one of their songs!
After listening to that, we were just utterly impressed with the overall amount of musical talent on one stage, and how they managed to morph all of the instruments into such a well-organized sound. Want to see what they’re all about? You’ll have a chance to catch them at the Qdoba in the Highlands on August 1st. You’re gonna be impressed!
SUPPORT LOCAL MUSIC!