22 Orlando bands you should keep an eye (and ear) out for in 2017

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22 Orlando bands you should keep an eye (and ear) out for in 2017
Illustration by Schiani Ledo

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click to enlarge 22 Orlando bands you should keep an eye (and ear) out for in 2017
Photo by Liv Jones

Wet Nurse

Incandescent products of the edgy Mills Avenue scene, this twin-fronted band have become the undisputed leading ladies of Orlando punk over the handful of years of their existence, and they've done it the old-fashioned way. Their joyously carefree collision of garage, punk and pop started out good and has consistently gotten more chiseled from frequent tours on the national circuit. Now their résumé boasts releases on national and international labels, regular appearances on bills next to vanguard bands of the punk and garage underground, and even a feature on Noisey. Their latest release is a recent 7-inch split single with Brooklyn punks the Meltaways that features a great '90s look for Wet Nurse ("Belly Hurts"). – BLH

Shania Pain

The postpunk duo of Andrea Knight and Jason Kimmins is one of the more surprising additions to Orlando's live scene. Knight is already known in underground circles for her no-wave noise project Bacon Grease, but Shania Pain (THAT name!) is very much its own entity. Though both say all existing recordings and shows to date have been based around improv jams, this is no joyless noodling. Knight (guitar, electronics) and Kimmins (vocals, loops) immediately stumbled upon a reverb-heavy haunting, droning sound that calls to mind Throbbing Gristle and Cabaret Voltaire and early synth-punk leading lights, and they are hypnotic live. They play regular, though often last-minute, shows on all manner of bills – and you will not be disappointed, though perhaps confounded. – MM

Thad Anderson

Few classical artists in the metro are as active or progressive as this young UCF music professor. The avant-minded percussionist-composer is a go-to performer for the city's most leading-edge events, like the Accidental Music Festival and the In-Between Series at the Gallery at Avalon Island, which launched with an Anderson drum-corps performance. This year, he unveiled Northbound, a fascinating real-time urban soundtrack mapped and inspired by a full-length trip on SunRail that we named "Best City Soundtrack" in our 2016 Best of Orlando issue. In 2017, he plans to release two albums: the aforementioned Northbound (spring) and Lines: The Music of Thad Anderson (fall), a collection of solo and chamber works from his Lines series. – BLH


This crushing Orlando monolith has been inactive of late but they're in our mix here because their sound is as now as any heavy band in the city, especially since groups like Deafheaven have drawn a significant popular spotlight toward and expanded the conversation around heavy metal. A forward convergence of black metal rush, technical brutality and epic post-metal sweep, their gorgeously overwhelming music is the very essence of metal, yet something clearly more. And live, it's astonishing in its assault and beauty. Dzoavits tells us there have been talks lately between members and increasing eagerness to wake the beast. One word: please. – BLH

The Woolly Bushmen

Though these stylish lads are young, they know their history. And they've tapped some of its marrow to become the best pure rock & roll act in the city with wild, heat-seeking stage shows that have become the stuff of new legend. Of all the acts here, they have maybe the most recorded work on the horizon. First, they just finished recording a new album – produced by Southern Culture on the Skids' Rick Miller – that they'll be shopping around. Then, in early 2017, they plan to release an EP on Hidden Volume Records, the Baltimore label run by Scott Sugiuchi from Orlando garage gods the Hate Bombs. Also early next year, they'll be playing Field Trip South (Feb. 24-25, Will's Pub), a festival that will pair the cream of the area garage-rock crop with stars like the Woggles, Subsonics and a reunited Hate Bombs. Afterward, the Bushmen embark on a monthlong, first-ever European tour. – BLH

About The Authors

Bao Le-Huu

Music columnist.
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