2015 was a capricious year for the Atlanta music community; a time when closings and rumors of closings were on the lips of every denim-clad, mustachioed insider, and development came down from the north like one of the more ambivalent of the four horsemen. Yet it was within this chaos that newer, younger members of the scene thrived, invigorating both new and old venues and releasing a slew of punk, pop, hip-hop, and experimental music.

Though there are plenty of releases from young, upcoming artists to look forward to, 2016 promises more from established artists. In addition, this year looks stocked with heavier, harder music. From Bodyfather and Illegal Drugs to Big Jesus and Order of the Owl, 2016 will be taking no prisoners. For those who don’t cry expectant tears of blood every time someone mentions the upcoming Whores. album, there is still plenty of musical diversity to expect. On the experimental side of the spectrum, Waking Astronomer and Art Contest will challenge all musical preconceptions, while Powerkompany and New Madrid will fill that summer-shaped hole in our hearts. Hip-hop heads can look forward to new offerings from Key! and Father to remind the world that Atlanta still calls the shots.

If even half of these albums reach our ears this year, 2016 should be a banner year for local music, a reminder that despite struggles for unity and direction, both Atlanta music and our Athens neighbors still have one thing going for them: a ton of talent. – Russell Rockwell

Art Contest

Art Contest – Two Songs

Release Date: TBD
Label: Post-Echo

Release Info
On Art Contest’s upcoming full-length album, Two Songs, the band hopes to reinvent the concept of math rock and technical music, stylistically and spiritually.

More Info
Bandcamp: artcontest.bandcamp.com
Facebook: @artcontestsc
Instagram: @artcontestsc
Twitter: @fArtContest

Big Jesus

Big Jesus – TBD

Release Date: Summer
Label: Mascot Label Group

Release Info
Recorded in Los Angeles with producer/engineer Matt Hyde (Deftones, Slayer, No Doubt), the record will pair new songs with songs from the band’s self-released LP, One.

More Info
Bandcamp: bigjesus.bandcamp.com
Facebook: @bigassjesus
Instagram: @bigassjesus
Twitter: @bigassjesus

Blue TowerCredit: Chad Radford

Blue Tower/Rotten Stitches – Split 7″

Release Date: TBD
Label: Southern Soundclash Records

Release Info
The forthcoming split 7-inch between local punks Blue Tower and Rotten Stitches is the first in a proposed series called Live at the Taang! Records Music Lounge. Details are still emerging, so stay tuned.

More Info
Bandcamp: bluetower.bandcamp.com
Facebook: @bluetoweratl

Bandcamp: rottenstitches.bandcamp.com
Facebook: @theXstitches

BodyfatherCredit: Nicole C. Kibert

Bodyfather – Heavy Rest

Release Date: February 16
Label: TBA

Release Info
Recorded at Echo Mountain in Asheville, NC, Heavy Rest marks a welcome return for a band that was on the verge of calling it quits in 2015.

More Info
Facebook: @Bodyfather
Tumblr: bodyfather.tumblr.com

Book of ColorsCredit: Matthew Smith

Book of Colors – Book of Colors

Release Date: February 5
Label: Deer Bear Wolf

Release Info
Led by songwriter André Paraguassu and featuring contributions from fourteen local players, including members of Faun and a Pan Flute, Little Tybee, Adron, and others, Book of Colors’ self-titled debut will be available on CD and cassette.

More Info:
Web: bookofcolors.com
Facebook: @Book-of-Colors-63389573566
Instagram: @bookofcolorsmusic
Twitter: @bookofcolors

Brother Hawk

Brother Hawk – Big Medicine

Release Date: May
Label: Self-released

Release Info
Engineered and mixed by T.J. Elias (Blackberry Smoke, von Grey) Brother Hawk’s upcoming full length, Big Medicine, will consist mostly of material that’s already been released, but with far better recording and sound quality.

More Info:
Web: brotherhawkatl.com
Bandcamp: brotherhawk.bandcamp.com
Facebook: @BrotherHawkATL
Instagram: @brotherhawkatl
Twitter: @BrotherHawkATL

Caesium Mine

Caesium Mine – Alia’s Fane

Release Date: TBD
Label: State Laughter

Release Info
The first of two proposed cassette releases from Andrew Wiggins’ synth project Caesium Mine, Alia’s Fane will likely be released via local label State Laughter.

More Info
SoundCloud: @caesium-mine

CHEWCredit: Nick Bach


Release Date: TBD
Label: Self-released

Release Info
CHEW’s upcoming 3D EP will first only be available at shows. The trio will be dropping singles every few months throughout the year leading up to the online release. Look for new tracks to begin surfacing later this month before the group heads out on tour.

More Info
Web: 3dchew.com
Bandcamp: 3dchew.bandcamp.com
Facebook: @3dchew
Instagram: @3dchew
SoundCloud: @3dchew
Twitter: @3dchew


Cinemechanica – Cinemechanica

Release Date: TBD
Label: Arrowhawk Records

Release Info
Details are scant on the upcoming release from Athens mathy rock wizards Cinemechanica, and complications have arisen which may further delay the release. Still, the self-titled album should hit our earholes sometime in 2016.

More Info
Bandcamp: cinemechanica.bandcamp.com
Facebook: @cinemechanica
Instagram: @cinemechanica


Cloak – TBD

Release Date: TBD
Label: Boris Records

Release Info
Cloak’s menacing black metal and d-beat fury first manifested itself on a two-song demo uploaded to Bandcamp. The band is in the process of re-recording the songs and will release them via a Boris Records 7-inch later this year.

More Info
Bandcamp: cloakatlanta.bandcamp.com
Facebook: @cloakofficial

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