Nashville is a hub of homegrown American music. Amidst the famous country singers and songwriters are bands that fly under the radar. Some groups are relatively well-known in certain music circles, whereas others can only be found with the correct Youtube or Spotify search. All in all, these small-scale artists deserve more recognition, and here’s the place to discover some of their new music. Read on to learn more about these lesser-known Nashville bands.
Band: All Them Witches
The lowdown: All Them Witches is a four-piece psychedelic rock band that fuses a classic American blues sound with hard rock and grunge. They’re the kind of band you really gain an appreciation for if you put on one of their albums to listen to as you wander around campus. They have no trademark hit; rather, their entire repertoire creates one cohesive and unique narrative of classic American swagger, hypnotic melodies and riffs, and an almost otherworldly vibe.
First listen: The slow and heavy “3-5-7” is the best introduction to All Them Witches. It has a killer, reggae-inspired bassline, a cyclic riff that will stay in your head for hours, and an incredible vocal performance that manages to be both ethereal and grounded.
If you like what you hear: Move to “Heavy/Like a Witch” for a more bluesy sound, then listen to the instrumental behemoth “El Centro,” which will enthrall you for all of its eight minutes.
Band: Idle Bloom
The lowdown: The most popular songs of this psychedelic, punk-influenced indie-pop quartet have no more than a couple thousand hits on YouTube, which is difficult to fathom after listening to their music. Their unusual melodic structures and uniquely catchy guitar riffs are reminiscent of old-school punk bands such as the Ramones and the Clash. Vocalist and guitarist Olivia Scibelli writes wandering melodies specifically tailored to her lyrics rather than to the backing track, which, especially compared to the trite vocal-writing tropes of today’s mainstream pop, is refreshing. You might not be humming a chorus right after you finish listening to an Idle Bloom song, but their music promises hankerings for specific songs for days, even weeks, afterward.
First Listen: The best song to start with is the short but sweet “Mind Reader,” which features an addictive riff underneath a catchy melody, all with just enough distortion to make it a truly psychedelic punk track. “Mind Reader” is the kind of song you dance and lip-sync to while getting ready for a night out. Be sure to check out the video as well, as it features various Nashville neighborhoods and landmarks, such as the “I believe in Nashville” mural.
If you like what you hear: Move to the mellower, haunting “Old Bone,” and then the punk-indie track “Diamond Mind.”
Band: American Bang
The lowdown: As the group’s name suggests, American Bang guarantees a good time. This quartet incorporates elements of country, rock’n’roll, blues, and pop into something that would feel just as natural at a summer rock festival as at a honky-tonk on Broadway.
First listen: The first track should be the classic country-rock banger “Whiskey Walk.” “Whiskey Walk” is a party song with modern country-pop themes of going out and finding love, but it also holds an element of complexity and freshness. With a contagious chorus, a unique blend of clapping, percussion behind the guitar riffs, and vocalist Jaren Johnston’s perfect country twang and wild yet sweet tone, the replay button will surely come in use.
If you like what you hear: Move to the emotion-filled “Rewind” and then listen to the loud, upbeat “Hurts Like Hell.”