Ann Arbor’s Vulfpeck may be best-known for last year’s Sleepify, an album of silence that fans played 5.5 million times on Spotify, earning them $20,000 in royalties to fund an admission-free tour. But they’re more than a stunt—the infectious grooves of the funk four-piece built a fast fan following. After four incredibly catchy EPs, their first non-silent full-length album drops in October, currently 27,133,158% funded on Kickstarter.
Born in Rio to Brazilian and Argentinian parents, Orlando-based NIKO IS blends latin, soul, R&B, and rock influences into his distinctive brand of hip-hop. After two independently-produced mixtapes, NIKO released his debut album, Brutus, with the help of Talib Kweli, who describes him as “one of the greatest emcees I’ve ever heard.”
If Dan Deacon doesn’t make you want to dance, it’s possible your soul is dead. The Baltimore electronic music producer and composer makes psychedelic, absurdist pop with live shows that tend to explode into massive dance parties—even in the NPR offices. His fourth studio album, Gliss Riffer, is a densely-constructed vocoder landscape with a playful and neverending beat.
What up, Internet! In 2013, DJ Hennessy Youngman (aka artist/musician/filmmaker Jayson Musson) released the first CVS Bangers on Soundcloud, a mixtape inspired by the music you hear shopping at CVS—the drugstore chain, not the version control system. The three mixtapes combine DJ tropes with musical cheese into the perfect audioscape for buying toilet paper on a Tuesday night. And Hennessy’s going to do it live at XOXO for the first time ever.
Kawehi is perhaps best known for her looping, beatboxing covers—“Heart-Shaped Box,” “The Way You Make Me Feel,” and “Closer” have been viewed millions of times each on Vimeo and YouTube. The Honolulu-born artist’s dedicated fanbase has funded her last seven records on Kickstarter, with her latest EP raising over $50k from more than 900 backers, who are collectively helping to decide the title, song listings, and cover.
Open Mike Eagle may be the only artist alive to get an 8.0 on Pitchfork while hosting a podcast about Adventure Time. His pioneering flavor of indie rap seamlessly blends personal confessionals and social commentary with pop culture references, landing his last full-length album, Dark Comedy, in Rolling Stone’s Top 40 Rap Albums of the Year and earning him LA Weekly’s Best Rap Artist title. You can also hear Mike on Secret Skin, his bi-weekly podcast about “the day-to-day struggles and absurdities of being a working musician.”
Brooklyn-based Kaki King is a critically-acclaimed guitarist with a musical career spanning over a decade and six albums. Her latest, The Neck Is A Bridge To The Body, is a visual and live music performance that turns her guitar into a projection surface, turning the instrument into a shape-shifting storyteller. We’re thrilled she’s bringing her Kickstarter-funded performance to the XOXO Music stage.