Q Magazine

The 12 Most Exciting Acts in the World Right Now

From snarky Leeds popsters to a Californian hardcore outfit, these are the artists tickling the Q staffers’ fancies in spring 2024.

most exciting acts in the world now
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Yard Act

yard act
Source: ZUMAPRESS.com / MEGA

Yard Act - irrepressibly catchy and unashamedly snarky.

When Yard Act’s debut LP The Overload burst into the national consciousness in 2022 it felt like a shot in the arm for British music. Irrepressibly catchy and unashamedly snarky, the Leeds foursome brought a new imagination and intelligence to indie rock, and more than deserved their Mercury nomination for Album of the Year. Now riding the wave of recently-released follow-up, Where’s My Utopia?, they’ve developed their sound to include pop and disco elements, while keeping the stream-of-consciousness smartarse poetics of singer James Smith. There’s a feeling that anything could happen during a Yard Act song – and that the sky’s the limit for the band right now. - Dominic Utton

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Source: Molly Matalon/ANTI-

Waxahatchee - still yet to fully peak, extraordinarily.

It’s possible that recency bias is playing a role here — Waxahatchee’s stellar new album Tigers Blood just came out on March 22 — but few things are more thrilling than watching an artist fully hit her stride a decade into her career. Katie Crutchfield has been a reliably excellent songwriter ever since 2013’s Cerulean Salt, but starting with 2020’s Saint Cloud, she finally seems like she’s making exactly the kind of music she was always meant to make, and Tigers Blood offers the tantalizing proposition that she’s still yet to fully peak. — Andrew Barker


Source: Youtube

Scowl - the face of modern hardcore.

Following the release of their hit full-length debut How Flowers Grow in 2021, Scowl quickly became one of the biggest names in hardcore. That’s how they made it into a series of Taco Bell promotions last year and got the chance to play alongside bands like Korn and System of a Down. But Scowl truly became the face of modern hardcore following their participation in the SXSW boycott earlier this month. Now they’re inescapable. Fans are eagerly awaiting another LP as the band prepares for several summer festival appearances and a tour with A Day to Remember. - Noah Zucker

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Yves Tumor

yves tumor
Source: Isabella Corderas

Yves Tumor - here to remind you that the familiar can still be freaky.

Yves Tumor can seemingly do anything. After starting out as an experimental electronic music producer, the artist born Sean Bowie underwent a radical reinvention, transforming into a glammed-out alien rock star on knockout albums like 2020's Heaven to a Tortured Mind and last year's (deep breath) Praise a Lord Who Chews but Which Does Not Consume; (or Simply, Hot Between Worlds). In an era where rock and roll has lost so much of the transgressive bite that was supposed to define it, Tumor is here to remind you that the familiar can still be freaky. Who knows where they'll go next? - Peter Helman

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Source: Cody Critchloe

Gossip are back with a bang.

The ground-breaking indie rock trio had been absent from the music scene for nearly 12 years before they re-emerged last November with the single “Crazy Again” and with the just released Real Power their presence seems needed now more than ever. Long known for their dives into punk aesthetics mixed with dance grooves, frontperson Beth Ditto stood out even more for her political beliefs couched in her love for her hometown of Portland, Oregon. It was producer Rick Rubin who brought the band (Ditto, Brace Paine and Hannah Blilie) together again to show they are still more than able to breathe life into acknowledgment for queer musicians in the name of queer joy. – Amy Hughes

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The Decemberists

Source: BellaUnion

The Decemberists - for long the darlings of the indie-Americana-folk rock.

After a six-year hiatus, Portland, Oregon natives The Decemberists have re-imagined themselves yet again with the upcoming June 14 double album release As It Ever Was, So It Will Be Again. The quintet has long been the darlings of the indie-Americana-folk rock world, yet with new sounds on the horizon, the album gloriously seesaws from the British Invasion-tinged “Burial Ground” to the flamenco touches of "Oh No!", via laidback Southern slide-guitars of "Long White Veil" and Americana cadences of "William Fitzwilliam.” The big ask is: how will the 19-minute epic "Joan In The Garden" sound with 50,000 people at a concert event this summer? - A.H.

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Angel Electronics

angel electronics
Source: Angel Electronics

Angel Electronics - don't be fooled by the happy and cheery exterior.

This Los Angeles based duo describes themselves on their Bandcamp page as the city’s “#1 brutal euphoria wave band,” and they offer a few words of warning for anyone who might be on the cusp of downloading their debut album: “Please hold on: the colorful dream of paradise is about to begin.” The cover of art of the album in question, Ultra Paradise, is a remarkably good stage-setter in terms of giving you an idea what to expect from its contents: yes, it looks happy and cheery at first glance, but it doesn’t take you long to realize that it’s actually a bit darker and angrier than you first thought it was going to be. Don’t worry, though: as long as you’re willing to hold on tight, Ada Rook and Ash Nerve come armed with more than enough pop hooks to make it worth your while to stick around. Mind you, there’s little chance that you won’t be sold on Angel Electronics by the end of the second song: “One Thousand and One Nights” is enough to have you keeping an eye on this twosome for the long haul. - Will Harris

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Tyla - one of the year's undeniable breakthroughs.

Admittedly, the hype cycle around this Johannesburg native has been a bit much. With the types of TV bookings she’s gotten in recent months, and the types of venues she was scheduled to play during her (now postponed) North American tour, you’d have thought Tyla was several albums deep into her career, rather than on the cusp of her debut. Yet none of that really matters when you listen to her 2023 single “Water,” which was one of the year’s most undeniable breakthroughs. After decades of watching American and British pop stars strip-mine African music for inspiration, there’s something exciting about seeing someone from the continent so confidently flip the script — especially when it’s all coming from a just-turned-22-year-old who has no qualms about announcing her intentions to be “one of the world’s biggest pop stars.” — A.B.

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Source: YouTube

Johnny Franck's solo project is pushing the boundaries of metal, pop, country and jazz.

Johnny Franck began his music career as a guitarist in the genre bending MySpace scene band Attack! Attack! These days he’s still pushing the boundaries with his solo project Bilmuri, which touches on metal, pop, country and jazz. The music is compelling enough on its own, but Franck’s strangely quotidian DIY music videos may be even more impressive. They’re so obviously low budget but still incredibly entertaining. The Ohio native is going on a brief tour of his home state later this month. The trek will include stops in Cincinnati, Columbus and the Cleveland suburb of Lakewood. - N.Z.

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The Lottery Winners

lottery winners
Source: Anthony Stanley/WENN / MEGA

The Lottery Winners - joyful, exuberant, and thrilling live.

There’s something unashamedly and wholeheartedly joyful about Mancunian outfit The Lottery Winners. It’s not just the straight-up, soaring, major-key catchiness of their songs, or the fact that they promoted last album Anxiety Replacement Therapy by taking over an old Argos shop in Wigan, it’s not even that somehow that tactic worked, with the album debuting at No. 1… it’s that all that exuberance and joi-de-vivre comes over gloriously in their live shows, with singer Thom Rylance especially one of the most magnetic, enthusiastic and straight-up likeable frontmen in music right now. - D.U.

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Source: Jimmy King

KillerStar's debut will hit record store shelves this month.

There are a lot of reasons to be excited about this new band, but even though they’ve only just released their self-titled debut album, the majority of their members have had someone in common for quite some time. Mike Garson (piano), Earl Slick and Mark Plati (guitar), Gail Ann Dorsey and Tim Lefebvre (bass), Emm Gryner (backing vocals), and Donny McCaslin (saxophone) all worked with David Bowie. Combine them with vocalist/guitarist/synth player Rob Fleming and drummer James Sedge, and the end result is a powerhouse of a band. KillerStar started to let their songs trickle online about six months ago, starting with “Should’ve Known Better,” but their self-titled debut finally hit record store shelves this month, and whatever buzz it’s getting, it deserves. No, it’s not some sort of Bowie homage, it’s just a good, solid rock album, and if we’re lucky, it’s a collaboration that’ll continue onward from here. - W.H.

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Source: Brandon McClain

Wednesday - bruised balladry and fiery guitar squalls.

Wednesday has been around for years now, but the Asheville, North Carolina band’s 2023 album Rat Saw God still felt like an arrival. It crystallized everything that makes their songwriting so special – the vividly imagistic snapshots of decaying Americana, the bruised balladry and fiery guitar squalls colored by an unmistakable Southern twang – into a beautiful testament to the enduring power of indie-rock catharsis. They’ve continued to level up with each new record and show no sign of slowing down anytime soon. - P.H.


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