An indie-rock quintet based in Portland, Ore., Houndstooth features singer Katie Bernstein and guitarist John Gnorski — both of whom are originally from Austin, Texas. The band's sound reflects both hometowns, with Gnorski's loping guitar riffs hinting at bluesy Southern influences.
Last Good Tooth shares a hometown — Providence, R.I. — with The Low Anthem, and the two bands have both shown a penchant for experimenting with fiddles and Appalachian music.
Led by songwriter Penn Sultan, the son of sculptor Donald Sultan, Last Good Tooth crafts free-wheeling songs, marked by delightful extended breaks and smart lyrics. The group recently relocated to New York City, and its new album (Not Without Work and Rest) is out now on Conor Oberst's Team Love Records.
Tyler and Maggie Heath, siblings from San Marcos, Texas, self-released their independent album, Through the Deep, Dark Valley, in October of last year. It was the culmination of a collaboration that began a couple years ago, when they wrote their first song together — for their mom. She liked it, but more importantly, they liked the process.
After a band breakup, musician Chris Snyder consoled himself with the challenge of what he called "the threesixfive project": a challenge to write a song every day for a year. This one-man band ended up with 10 songs that stuck, and those formed his debut album, Yearling.
The Brooklyn multi-instrumentalist eventually got a chance to revisit the recordings, which initially were little more than sketches, in an upstate New York studio. Listen to two songs from Yearling here.
Hanni El Khatib is a first-generation American who grew up with a Palestinian father and a Filipino mother in San Francisco. His music has origins in '50s and '60s soul, blues, R&B and garage rock, with all those influences filtered through an intense love of punk music.