Here are some blurbs we wrote in 2014 on ten of our favorite emerging KC artists of the year:
Madisen Ward & the Mama Bear
Madisen Ward can write tunes that sound more seasoned than someone of his age should be able to do. Along with it, his vocal styling demands attention, ranging from serenely soulful to ardent and impassioned. Ruth Ward plays guitar effortlessly, as though it’s an extension of herself, and sings each note from deep within. The connection they share—both musically and as mother and son—comes through with the genuine delivery of each song.
Special congrats to them for their appearance this evening on The Late Show with David Letterman!
The duo was signed to Glassnote Records in 2014, and just released its newest single “Silent Movies.” It is now available on iTunes.
The Project H
Most people know that Kansas City is steeped in a rich jazz heritage that continues to this day. One of the groups that has helped carry on the city’s vibrant jazz scene is The Project H, who has taken the music’s tradition to a modern level. Though still tasteful to listeners of jazz standards, the band incorporates a range of influences and abilities, creating music that is relevant and colorful.
The Project H released its third studio album We Live Among the Lines in September 2014. It is available on Bandcamp.
Katy Guillen & the Girls
Katy Guillen & the Girls' style is rooted in the blues but draws heavily from rock, flamenco, and jazz elements, performed by three musicians at the top of their craft. The group—led by Guillen's masterfully intricate guitar work and earnest songwriting—is propelled by the rhythm section of Claire Adams and Stephanie Williams, who adds crucial melodic accents to its signature style.
Katy and the Girls advanced to the finals of the International Blues Challenge in early 2014, and released its debut self-titled LP in September 2014. It is available on Bandcamp.
Jorge Arana Trio
There’s something both soothing and jarring when you hear Jorge Arana, Jason Nash, and Josh Enyart share a stage together. They conjure up these wickedly rich, complicated rhythms and melodies that almost make you uneasy. It’s like when you snuck out of your parents’ house as a teenager to smoke cigarettes with your friends or make out with your crush—an innocent enough gesture, coupled with the exhilarating rush of rebellion and intensity. And every time the trio takes the stage, it seems like the perfect setting, be it in a dingy basement or a big venue.
The Blackbird Revue is a collaboration of Danielle Prestidge’s upbeat pop influences with husband Jacob Prestidge’s sincere folk approach, resulting in compositions that are simultaneously sweeping, delicate, and intriguing. The duo’s latest offerings have incorporated a multi-instrument approach, adding a momentous layer to its already purposeful music.
Danielle and Jacob released the music video for their latest single “Blueprints” in late 2014, and are currently working on a studio album.
(Photo by Lindsey Kennedy)
Taryn Miller’s project Your Friend was signed to Domino Records earlier this year. Her intelligent songwriting and entrancing music is making its way around, and for good reason. With her debut album Jekyll/Hyde, Miller constructs a simultaneously comforting and haunting atmosphere, fashioned around somber but colorful vocals.
Miller was signed to Domino Records in early 2014 and released the Jekyll/Hyde EP in February. It is available through Domino Records.
(Photo by Zach Bauman)
Only a month after forming its full lineup, Miry Wild recorded its debut self-titled EP, a concise spiritual sojourn dotted with enchanting instrumentation and alluring vocal harmonies. The band’s natural chemistry and charm is apparent even from a cursory listen to the album. With this fairly new lineup and only a handful of shows under its belt, Miry Wild is finding its identity as a collective. Fortunately for the rest of us, they’re finding it through cohesive, tasteful songwriting.
Miry Wild released its debut self-titled EP in March 2014. It is available on Bandcamp.
Though the two have been making music for a number of years, Bryce Jones and Colin Blunt formed The Thunderclaps just at the beginning of 2014. A grimy garage rock guitar/drums duo influenced by the surf leanings of The Gories and the psychedelic offerings of Thee Oh Sees, the band delivers an undeniable lo-fi rock ‘n roll edge.
The duo released a self-titled EP in August 2014. It is available on Bandcamp.
Admiral of the Red
In its short time together, Admiral of the Red has quickly evolved from a blues-based garage rock duo into a fully realized, dynamic rock band. The raw roots rock approach of guitarist Matt Hurst and drummer Tom Hudson, coupled with MB Hurst’s visceral vocals and a low-end punch from bassist Meredith McGrade creates the band’s primal, driving sound, reminiscent of The Dead Weather and Queens of the Stone Age.
Admiral recently released its single “Footbeats.” It is available on Bandcamp.
Hembree is picking up where Quiet Corral left off, but with a renewed vigor and sensibility. The group—who makes up five of the six members of now-defunct Quiet Corral—retains much of its former identity of compelling, captivating Americana, but with a pop appeal.
Hembree released its debut EP New Oasis last month. It is available on Bandcamp.
Michelle is editor of The Deli KC and plays in bands.
The Deli Magazine was born in NYC's Attorney Street in 2004, in the shape of a print issue with a then unknown band on its cover, called Grizzly Bear. Ths NYC blog came in 2005, then the SF one in 2006, and then 9 more in the following years. The Deli is focused on the coverage of emerging bands and solo artists with a 100% local focus - no exceptions!