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50 Bands from 50 States: Part 3

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We scour the Midwest to find the ten bands you need to know right now.


Saying that we have a lot of new albums strewn about the Gen Art office is kind of an understatement. Most days if you go near our Director of Music Programming’s desk, you’ll find tiny Carrie Schupper busy at work behind enormous stacks of CDs, press releases, and random industry-related swag. While this constant flood of material is a great way to discover emerging talent, it also makes it hard to give everyone who deserves a shout out a fair chance.


Thus, 50 Bands from 50 States, the third installment of our five-part playlist. Enjoy ten tracks from this spotlighted area of the U.S.—the Midwest—and drop me a line if you know of great bands we should feature in the upcoming months!

21. Ohio: The Black Keys, “Strange Times”
Frenetic and swampy, this Akron band’s blues-tinged sound seems born in the back room of a smoky bar in Dixie—not Ohio.

22. Nebraska: Tilly and the Wall, “Cacophony”
Hot out of Omaha, this unique tap-dancer percussionist group plays energetic indie pop like no one else; their new album is out June 17th.

23. Kansas: Minus Story, “Stitch Me Up”
Known in the past for their “wall of crap” layered lo-fi, these days this Kansas group brings a welcome polish to their atmospheric rock sound.

24. Minnesota: Cloud Cult, “Everybody Here is a Cloud”
With a new album that’s rumored to be their last and live shows that feature an on-stage painter, this experimental band is weird—and wonderful.

25. Iowa: Pieta Brown, “Sonic Boom”
Get your country music fix with twangy tunes from a moody emerging talent who claims that she’s from “the middle of nowhere” Iowa.

26. Missouri: Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, “Glue Girls”
The happy-go-lucky, easy listening sound of this adorable indie pop quartet from Springfield makes us smile—just like the band’s silly name.

27. Wisconsin: Bon Iver, “Skinny Love”
Critics are calling his spare, folky debut—the product of four months spent in a cabin in the woods—one of this year’s best albums.

28. Illinois: The Cool Kids, “Gold and a Pager”
Their long-awaited full length might not drop until June 10th, but everyone we know is already talking about how freaking rad it is.

29. Indiana: Margot & the Nuclear So and So’s, “Whiskey Jingle”
This eight-piece Indianapolis band’s folk-influenced sound is like a wistful, modern rock lullaby for adults.

30. Michigan: The Detroit Cobras, “I Wanna Know What’s Going On”
The leather-clad bad ass girls behind this group’s dirty garage rock just might be our new style heroes.

50 Bands from 50 States: Part 1
50 Bands from 50 States Part 2

By Caroline Stanley

Photo coutesty of GenArtPulse

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