This list wouldn't be a discovery list without some K-pop. Hitchhiker was a delirious delight. When the DJ/robot/possibly-non-human took the stage at K-Pop's Night Out, doing so in true EDM fashion. It was a never ending stampede of flashes, lasers and smoke machines, a truly modern club performance (with killer tunes to boot).
It's always impressive when a punk band can win the hearts and minds of indie rock fans. It's even more impressive when they do it with Thin Lizzy guitar licks. Enter Sheer Mag, Philly's latest and greatest export. They're all about garage punk with a classic rock sensibility, one that values melody over all. Also: their live show is monstrously good.
James Bay took home the Critics' Choice Award at the 2015 Brit Awards (an honor given to Sam Smith the year prior) so we knew we had to check him out. The singer-songwriter might look like Jack White, but he sounds totally different, writing down-home songs of heartbreak that manage to feel like big pop hits.
Rozwell Kid marry the lo-fi songwriting skill of Guided By Voices with modern pop-punk—think of them as the Weezer of 2015. For fans of Alternative Press andPitchfork, this group could fit well on college radio/on a Spotify playlist designed by a hip high schooler.
Not to be mistaken with Rozwell Kid, Residual Kid is an Austin guitar rock trio made up of actual real-life teens (ages range from 14 to 17). They sound like a pre-pubescent Cloud Nothings and put many adult musicians to shame: These kids can shred. RK were recently signed to Sire by Seymour Stein, the very man who discovered the Ramones, so things are looking bright.