The Music Issue

Meet 14 of Santa Barbara’s Hottest New Acts

When we put out the call for submissions for this year’s music issue, I heard more than a few whispers of doubt. “There are no bands left in Santa Barbara,” my coworkers argued. “Good luck with that,” grumbled one musically inclined friend, eyes rolling. But then the emails started coming. Hundreds of them. All promising a glimpse at something or someone I needed to hear. Sure, there were some throwaways. There was also enough fodder for a whole other, way weirder version of this issue. Most importantly, though, the exercise landed me on the receiving end of an inbox teeming with musicians. All from the tri-county area. And all wanting to be heard.

In an attempt to streamline the masses, it quickly became apparent that we were going to have to set some guidelines. As such, all the acts we’re featuring in this issue are fairly new. They’re also showing crazy promise early on in the game. In a lot of ways, you can consider this our guide to what’s next in the Santa Barbara music world. Or a list of the Best New S.B. Bands of 2014.

I, for one, am using it as a not-so-subtle way to say “told ya so” to that friend with the eye rolls. The scene’s not dead, guys. Not yet.

Sun Daes - Sunny, warm, nostalgic, and catchy are just a few of the words we’re using to describe these Isla Vista surf rockers

The Caverns - From Led Zeppelin to Pink Floyd, this young trio is making us rethink the term “cover band”

Mångo Mångo - We fell hard for these synth-toting newcomers and their fluid mix of smooth disco and catchy dance beats

Chaye Tione - Positive vibes are the name of the game for this young emcee, whose conscious raps are as feel-good as they are groove-worthy

Mexico City Blondes - Allie Thompson’s woozy vocals prove to be the perfect foil for shimmering keyboards and funk-tinged guitar work

Lucy Langlas - There’s an ineffable quality to Lucy Langlas’ folky finger-plucked guitars and sweetly timid deliveries

Derek Jennings - Brazen heart-on-your-sleeve lyricism is just one of the reasons we fell hard for this Ventura County singer-songwriter

Vamp - Dark, brooding, and eerily appealing, Vamp is making a vie for Tom Waits’ next-of-kin

The Internet - Fuzzy power chords, sunny melodies, and lo-fi production tactics get mixed and mangled by these Santa Barbara shoegazers

Maru - What happens when you mix two of the music scene’s brightest young bands? In this case, a throwback to all that was good about ‘90s alt-rock

Los Stellarians - SA Martinez’s latest outing is breathing new life into some soul music’s deepest cuts

Pacific Haze - From Jerry Garcia to Gregg Allman, this Carp quintet is worshiping at the altar of blues rock’s biggest heroes

Afishnsea the Moon - Prepare to groove long and hard with these Carpinteria retro-rockers, who are trance-channeling Cream for the next generation

swordthrume - Emotive, naturalistic, and evocative, swordthrume’s productions are fully capable of standing alone

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