2018 is already upon us, and it feels like 2017 just got under way. While the past year was full of ups and downs we did get to witness some great returns to the music industry and of plenty of freshly discovered talent. Arcade Fire and Broken Social Scene, two of the most iconic Canadian bands to grace the Indie scene made triumphant returns with their latest releases, and several others made long anticipated comebacks such as Incubus and Our Lady Peace. Apart from satisfying my heightened appreciation for nostalgia, 2017 brought upon some great new discoveries as well, so what better way to ring in the new year then to supply you with some of the most fulfilling talents I’ve discovered from the past year.

 

 

Hailing from Frankenmuth, Michigan, Greta Van Fleet brings a 70’s era classic rock sound back to the mainstream. Critics have praised lead singer Josh Kiszka’s vocal range and have not been shy about its obvious similarity to Robert Plant. The band was formed in 2012 and released its first EP studio album in 2017, “Black Smoke Rising”, featuring the above track as well as recent singles, Safari Song and Edge of Darkness. Worth mentioning is their ability to absolutely destroy live shows, so make sure to check them out if they come to a town near you. Touring schedule can be found on the link to their web site above .

 

 

Singer/songwriter Mo Kenney is one of Atlantic Canada’s latest and greatest talents to grace the indie-folk scene. Born in Halifax and now based out of Dartmouth just across the bay, Kenney was discovered by fellow Nova Scotian, Joel Plaskett, while still in high school and went on to release her first album in 2012, produced by Plaskett himself. She is known for her impressive vocal capabilities and advanced instrumental skills, being fluent with guitar, bass, drums, and piano. Kenney recently released her third album, “The Details”, in September 2017, and is beginning to gain notoriety overseas in countries such as Ireland, Germany, and the rest of the UK. Telephones was released in 2014 and is part of her second album, “In My Dreams.”

 

 

Strand of Oaks began as a rock project by Indiana born, Timothy Showalter, who now bases himself out of Philadelphia. Falling into the genres of folk-rock and indie-rock, Strand of Oaks has been active since 2009 and is known for his emotionally driven lyrics and ballad like melodies. The latest album, “Hard Love”, was released in February, 2017, and contains the very anthemic track, Radio Kids, possibly my favorite piece of the year suitable for both a small crowd and a sold out arena.

 

 

It wouldn’t be a suitable best-of list without at least one artist or group from England. London based, Zola Blood, is quickly ascending into notoriety and doing it in 100 percent DIY fashion. Their debut album, “Infinite Games”, released earlier this year was recorded almost entirely in the bands personal studio in Hackney Wick, a borough of greater London, and has since been receiving very positive feedback from critics thus far introduced. Poignant metaphorical lyrics, atmospheric compositions, and a mixture of electronic and traditional instrumental combinations make Zola Blood one of 2017 best new discoveries. Islands is a great example of what Infinite Games has to offer for listeners of any kind.

 

 

My discovery of Thai born, New Zealand based Phum Viphurit came by way of a friends inebriated discovery during a night of YouTube videos and 8 percent beer. Extremely catchy, Viphurit’s genre can be described as a soulful mixture of alternative indie rock and acoustic jazz accompanied by a very crooner like vocal style. Also worth mentioning is the fact that Phum is only 19 years old. Long Gone is a perfect introduction to audiences currently unfamiliar with Vulphurit, who is certainly poised to become a regular addition to any indie fans must-see list.

As the new year begins and 2017 disappears into our rear view mirrors, it must be said that despite certain inevitable downfalls of the last 12 months, the year brought upon its fair share of great new discoveries and previously undiscovered talent. At least we can ride into 2018 knowing there is plenty more good music on its way and an indiscernible amount of people in the shadows adopting valuable inspirations and waiting to make their own musical impact. So happy new year and perhaps some of these tracks will end up on your next playlist.

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About The Author

Adam Stewart
Collaborator - RREVERB

Born into a musical family, I’ve been heavily addicted to playing and listening since the first time I laid fingers on my grandmother’s dateless electric organ. My father was an acoustic guitarist who loved CCR and my mother was a competitive tap dancer in her youth. These surroundings lead me to the guitar where I eventually trained myself in jazz theory and began to involve myself in my hometown’s music scene. Moving to Montreal has only expanded this lifelong passion and the city’s vast diversity has provided for me an endless journey into new musical discovery.