12 metro Detroit acts we think will do big things in 2021 

click to enlarge DESIGN BY EVAN SULT
  • Design by Evan Sult

An anxious diva; an ambitious hip-hop cultivator; a space-rock foursome; an art-punk trio; a prolific emcee; and a singer-songwriter with a big voice and even bigger feelings. These are some of the acts you’ll find in Metro Times’ annual roundup of people making sounds that we think you should be hip to. In the past, we’ve referred to this undertaking as our “Bands to Watch” issue, but if the pandemic taught us anything, it’s that sometimes you have to do it solo — which is why we’ve expanded our verbiage to include all of those amazing emerging solo artists who are making something out of nothing, and, more importantly, making something we want you, our readers, to hear.

Whether you and your musical proclivities prefer to spin the dial on pop radio or keep a watchful eye on music sites like Bandcamp and Soundcloud, or even if you, you know, admittedly listen to a lot of Taylor Swift, this list has something for, well, just about everyone, haters excluded, obvs.

And, readers, we get it. After 2*2*, trying new things, as innocent as it may seem, sounds totally terrifying. But we assure you that by letting the musical stylings of Via Mardot or whiterosemoxie or, maybe even Bombastic Dream Pussy (you heard us), you might be inviting a new vibrational frequency that may forever change your life. You can thank us later.

Also: We know what you’re thinking. “How is ______ not on this list!” Did we miss someone? Of course we did, you freaks! But here’s the good news: Metro Times produces 52 issues a year, as well as daily digital content. (Can you believe it?) If we missed them here, we’ve got plenty of time to cover them later. And we love tips: Drop us a line at music@metrotimes.com and tell us how you really feel.

• Olivia Mainville puts feelings first with Via Mardot

whiterosemoxie is young and in love with the game

• Detroit's Gabriel Duran is bringing sexy back — and adding some spice

John Salvage brings 15 years' worth of music to life on debut solo record

• Detroit's Amber Chene is making space for Black genderqueer women through smooth indie-pop

• Don't be fooled by alt-rockers Bombastic Dream Pussy

VVISIONSS time-travels with cats and Krautrock bible on hand

• Detroit wunderkind Mark Whalen wants to soothe our souls

Alluvial Fans spin out of orbit with contemplative art rock

• Singer-songwriter Lily Milo sorts through big feelings and invites us to do the same

Kynzi is the vulnerable Detroit diva we've been waiting for

• Producer Yohance Carter just wants to spread love as vibesounds

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