Music » Local Music

Bands to watch: 10 Detroit artists we think will blow up in 2019



A jazz wunderkind; a flirtatious hip-hop angel; a melancholic foursome; and a politely anti-establishment pop duo. 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. We call it our Bands to Watch issue.

About that name: While combing through Detroit's music scene, this year, we couldn't help but notice a trend — solo artists are making major moves. Whether emerging from their home studios, or old Corktown churches, or transforming iPhone voice memos into bangers, metro Detroit's solo artists are redefining what it means to make music, and we wanted to make sure they got their time in the spotlight. We're still calling it "Bands to Watch," because "Artists to Watch" or "Musicians to Watch" just doesn't have the same ring to it.

Also: We know what you're thinking. "How is ______ not on this list!" Did we miss someone? Of course we did, you turkey! But here's the good news — Metro Times produces 52 issues a year, as well as daily digital content. If we missed them here, we've got plenty of time to cover them later. And we love tips: Drop us a line at and tell us how you really feel.

Once upon a time, a fiery little-known rapper once destroyed the Shelter with his shady stylings, and a quirky garage rock duo going by the name of the White Stripes spent years low-key retooling the local rock scene. What we're getting at is everyone's got to start somewhere — and if you want our opinion, these 10 bands and artists are off to one hell of a start.

Plus, thanks to them, our 2019 is already sounding pretty damn good, too.

Career Club gleefully deconstructs pop conventions

• With True Blue, Alexandria Berry explores grunge with a dreamy touch

• How the members of don't fell in love with being in a band again

Allen Dennard takes jazz into the future

• Rising queer pop singer Siena Liggins can't wait to drop more music

• Detroit rapper King - V wants to push soul music forward

• Why Werewolf Jones is a quintessential Michigan punk band

Black Noi$e reinvigorates leftfield techno with a cerebral touch

• Detroit singer Briana Lee is a teenaged girl with a big voice

• Experimental duo Cousin Mouth takes the path less traveled

Stay on top of Detroit news and views. Sign up for our weekly issue newsletter delivered each Wednesday.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.