January 2, 2008

The Best New Discoveries of 2007

Now that the new year is upon us, I'm going to spend the week looking back on what I liked from 2007. First up, the best new artists that I came across.

Last year was particularly rich in music for me over the entire year, but even more since I've started this site. I've come across a number of really good artists. Many thanks to everyone who's gone out and shared a little of what they've liked with everyone. I've gone out and purchased more music than I ever have before, through iTunes and hard copy and even vinyl. Here's some of my favorite new discoveries this year:

Adam Ezra Group
These guys I just discovered a couple of weeks ago, and are a smaller indie band out of Connecticut who've just started out and are playing smaller gigs around New England. If you like Dispatch or Blues Traveler, you'll likely like these guys. They've got a ton of songs up for grabs on their website, and they've got a pretty energetic live show.

Small Town City - Adam Ezra Group

The Alternate Routes
The Alternate Routes really released their first CD back in 2005, but they re-released Good and Reckless and True to fairly good radio coverage - You've probably heard Time Is A Runaway on the radio. I got to see them twice this summer, and their first album is a fantastic first effort on their part, there's a bunch of really good sounds. A good one for any Ryan Adams fans out there.

Time Is A Runaway - The Alternate Routes

Blitzen Trapper


These guys were highlighted on NPR, which led me to check them out. They've got a bunch of really good songs and a new album out this year that I really enjoyed, especially Sci-Fi Kid and Wild Mountain Nation.

Sci-Fi Kid - Blitzen Trapper

Ferraby Lionheart

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I loved this guy - Ferraby Lionheart's got a wonderful sound along the lines of Rufus Wainwright. He's been busy this year, with his first album, called Catch the Brass Ring and a self-titled EP. Catch the Brass Ring was in my time five albums of the year, and comes highly recommended from me.

Vermont Avenue - Ferraby Lionheart

Glen Hansard and Marketa Irgova
These two guys starred in the movie Once, which I've heard a lot about. Neither are actors, but singers, and covered a Dylan song for the soundtrack I'm Not There, which I also want to see (I think I have to wait until DVD). They also contributed to Once's Sountrack.

You Ain't Goin' Nowhere - Glen Hansard and Marketa Irgova

Gregory Douglass


Douglass was recommended to me earlier this summer. He's another Vermont musician, and has been doing gigs in the area. Hopefully I'll be catching him next February when he comes to the Higher Ground. He's got a really easy sound, somewhere along Rock and Soul. He just released his latest album Up & Away, which is quite good.

Hang Around - Gregory Douglass

Jesca Hoop


I think Jesca Hoop is one of my favorite new artists of the year. A breakout hit from Myspace and KCRW in California, she's really gotten big in the blog world with her really unique sound and songwriting. Kismet is her debut album this year.

Money - Jesca Hoop

Jess Clemons & The Cooperative

Jess Clemons is another musician who I'd gone to high school with (the other being Grace Potter from the Nocturnals). She's about to release a self titled album that sounds really good, and is someone to check out if you like Grace Potter.

Make-Out Song - Jess Clemons & The Coopertive

Kate Nash

Kate Nash, out of England, has her first album, Made of Bricks, coming out soon. She's got a really cool sound. She's got spunk and energy, and her entire first album is a fun one to listen to.

Foundations - Kate Nash

Priscilla Ahn


I saw Ahn open for Cary Brothers earlier this year, and she did fantastically on her own. She's done a bit of work with other artists before, with Cary Brothers and Amos Lee, providing backup vocals, and now She's released her first self-titled EP earlier this year and should have her first album out shortly, which I'm looking forwards to.

Lullaby - Priscilla Ahn

Sara Bareilles

Bareilles became a big internet hit with myspace and iTunes earlier this summer with her song Love Song. She has an incredibly strong voice and is probably one of the best female singers to come out this year. Love Song's getting a lot of radio play, but there are a bunch of good songs on her album.

Love Song - Sara Bareilles



Skye came to my attention with a fantastic cover of Gorillaz's song Feel Good Inc. She was a singer with another band, but is now solo, having released her first album Mind How You Go recently. She's got a soft, easy sound that's good for chilling out.

What's Wrong With Me? - Skye

The Softlightes


I found these guys with their video for their first single, Heart Made of Sound, which is probably one of my favorite songs of the year, and probably one of the best videos that I've seen. Very creative. These guys have a wonderful sound with their first album, which came out earlier this spring, Say No To Being Cool, Yes to Being Happy. If you like Death Cab for Cutie, these guys sound similar, and very upbeat.

Heart Made of Sound - The Softlightes

Vampire Weekend

I suspect that these guys will make their big splash next year when their first album is released. They've already been huge this year on the internet, and it's easy to see why - these guys are fun and interesting and really out there. They've got a weird afro-indie sound that's pretty cool. I suspect that they'll be one of the bigger indie bands to come out this/next year.

Oxford Comma - Vampire Weekend

Some other groups that've been around for a long time that I just came across:

Josh Ritter
Corb Lund and the Hurtin' Albanians
Brandi Carlile
British Sea Power
Cary Brothers
Arcade Fire

Coming Up, the best Albums and Songs of the year.