7 Bands You Really Should Be Listening To

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From top left: The Soft Moon, I Break Horses, POW!, iamamiwhoami, Warpaint, MØ.

We're merely a month into the new year and already there are so many musical endeavors to be excited about! Too-cool-for-school singles from some of my favorite weirdos, long awaited new albums, local acts livening up our beloved and embattled city: all reasons to get psyched about the music of 2014.

First up, we have Luis Vasquez of The Soft Moon, who I am intermittently obsessed with (and who fuels this by never touring nearby, and canceling the one show I had tickets to). He describes his music as "a separate world with its own rules, emotions and aesthetics." This seems very true. I would be hard pressed to really describe this band coherently, as they either make me want to dance, scare me, or just pleasantly envelop me. Lucky for us, The Soft Moon has two new singles out now, which will also be available on 7" and cassette (man, I wish I had a cassette player) on February 3. Check out a video for one of the new singles below.

Jonna Lee's hard-to-type electronic and multimedia project iamamiwhoami already has two awesome albums, Kin and Bounty, which remind me a bit of Fever Ray in the best of ways. She has been up to all sorts of mysterious stuff for the past few years, including a period of time when her identify was a secret and she answered interview questions with cryptic poetry. Like someone else just famously did, iamamiwhoami made music videos for every song on Kin, which can all be played together as a 45 minute movie. Her new single, "Fountain," came out just a few days ago, with an accompanying music video of Jonna wrapped in plastic and dancing weirdly on the beach. Here's hoping that "Fountain" is a sign that all the crawling through the desert, dancing naked in the forest, and other antics will continue!

And next we have  (which means virgin in Old Norse!).  Oft compared to Grimes, MØ has been teasing us with EPs, sultry singles, and swaggering music videos of her riding mopeds, wearing leopard print unitards and dancing with chainsaws for many months now. The good news is she will finally be releasing her debut No Mythologies to Follow on March 10. It was hard to pick a favorite video, but the chainsaw dance won out.

In case only having one or two songs to listen to just isn't going to cut it, there are some actual recent full-length new albums out too. On January 21, Warpaint released their eponymous album, and it's full of lovely, ghostly, bad ass perfection. Also, director Chris Cunningham has been working on an as-yet-unreleased documentary/music video project with the band that promises to be intriguing based on the clip below.

The second album from I Break HorsesChiaroscuro, was released in mid-January as well, and unlike many others on this list, they will actually be coming through San Francisco on May 2, playing a show at The Independent. Don't miss it! Maria Lindén will probably wear a cool, velvet cape that you will want to steal or copy cat. I've been anxiously awaiting this album ever since the single "Denial" came out last summer, and it doesn't disappoint. The video for "Faith" sort of looks like a depressing perfume ad, but I still love it. Or maybe that's why I love it.

San Francisco based POW!'s new album has been described as a "punk eulogy to our fair city." Catch them at Hemlock on February 1 to see exactly what that sounds like.

And I saved the best for last! Trust, the brilliant collaboration between Robert Alfons and Austra's Maya Postepski, have a new album, Joyland, coming out on March 4. A new single and a teaser trailer  are all I have to go on, but their first album, TRST, is one of my all time favorites, and I'm almost afraid of how high my expectations are. There is nothing quite like the thrill of waiting for something new from one of your favorite bands.

Happy listening, everyone!


P.S. One bonus band since I can't help myself. The dreamy Italian band Be Forest has a new album, Earthbeat, out February 4. Listen to a single from it: