Best of NYS State Music 2017: Bands on the Rise and Artists You Should Know

As we continue our look at the best and the brightest in music this year, we shift our focus to up and coming bands that are ready to burst on to the national stage.  While our staff picks may mirror those of last year, NYS Music readers have voted for a new act that’s ready to join the ranks of other popular New York bands with bight futures.

And if you’ve missed any of our previous voting results from earlier this week, check out our winners for Best Venues, Best Albums and Best Festivals.

Bands on the Rise

Staff Pick


For the second year in a row, our staff has selected Aqueous as a band on the rise as the Buffalo, NY quartet continues their steady progression towards national relevancy.  Playing bigger festivals, opening for acts like The Disco Biscuits, and collaborating with members of moe., fellow Upstate New Yorkers, in addition to a steady touring schedule have all contributed to this band’s surge in popularity.  This should come as no surprise to Buffalo area music fans who have been singing the group’s praises for years now.  They’ll get to enjoy Aqueous back in their hometown as they ring in the new year at Town Ballroom.  Tickets are still available and can be purchased here.

Formula 5

Formula 5 is also making their second appearance in a row on this list as the New York rock/funk troupe continues its ascension in the national music scene.  Sparked by the release of their latest album All Points North, the band has seen their footprint grown in size around the Northeast as they slowly begin to make more trips to the Midwest and Colorado in an effort to expand their growing fan base.  Their sets feature a nice mix of intricate compositions and free flowing jams and, like Aqueous, they too have a special end of the year gig coming up on Dec 30 in the form of a Phish ‘after show’ at DROM in New York City. Tickets are available here.

Readers Pick

The Other Brothers

At least the readers of NYS Music have offered up a new taste this year for their Band on the Rise selection as they’ve chosen The Other Brothers.  Fresh off the heels of their recently released EP Jones, this band has seen a steady rise in prominence in 2017 thanks to increased exposure this summer at local festivals like Disc Jam and strong word of mouth.  They hang their hat on being able to mix delicate ballad-like songs with focused and heavy jamming in the live setting.

Artists You Should Know

We’re always looking for new music, especially bands from New York State, and this year we stepped up our game and found bands from all corners of the state playing our local bars and clubs, just getting started.

We checked in with our readers, and they overwhelmingly suggested three New York artists: The Backseat Bullets (for fans of shoegaze and a 90s grunge influence), Aqueous (jam stalwarts of Buffalo), and Hartley’s Encore, the new funk powerhouse in Albany.

The Backseat Bullets


Hartley’s Encore

Meanwhile, we asked the staff who were some artists readers should know about, and we ended up with an impressive list of 21 different artists to check out. There’s no sense in sending you off to listen to three or four bands worth checking out when there is so much variety in store. So here’s the NYS Music Staff list of Artists You Should Know for 2017.

St. Phillip’s Escalator

Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats

Sydney Worthley

Big Mean Sound Machine
King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard Honey Smugglers


Pigeons Playing Ping Pong



oh wonder

The Seratones


Anderson .Paak & the Free Nationals

Portugal. The Man

The Wood Brothers

Root Shock

Parquet Courts

Mary’s Blood (Japan)

Formula 5

Highly Suspect

Royal Jelly Jive

Comments are closed.