After forming at UGA in the late 1990s, Je Suis France established a reputation as Athens' go-to indie-rock party band, releasing a self-titled 2000 LP and 2003's terrific Fantastic Area—as well as a stream of exploratory CD-Rs that showcased the group's mischievous side—before its members scattered to various corners of the continent.
Co-led by former Oh-OK member Linda Hopper and featuring the estimable songwriting and guitar stylings of Ruthie Morris, Atlanta band Magnapop saw minor U.S. success in the mid-'90s thanks to alt-rock earworms like "Open the Door." But the band has carved out a steady career since, thanks largely to its popularity among European listeners, and on Sept. 27 it will release a sixth full-length—the group's first album in a decade—titled The Circle Is Round.
With her canny pop-classical hybrid, violinist Annie Leeth has established herself as an Athens-music chameleon, able to slide seamlessly onto experimental and indie-pop bills alike. Since releasing her debut LP, Recurrence, last year, Leeth has continued to fine-tune her expressive, loop-based approach.
Led by former King of Prussia frontman Brandon Hanick, Athens "spirit-folk" recording project/supergroup Future Lives also features members of Drive-By Truckers and Velveteen Pink, as well as violinist Annie Leeth and pop songsmith Nicholas Mallis, among others.
As unpredictable as they are hard-working, Athens band Georgia Dish Boys are set to follow up last year's rocking Nine Song Movie, which blended trashy Crazy Horse riffage with aching alt-folk, with a new LP, Good Country Livin, in July.
With the release of last year's Glossolalia—one of Flagpole's favorite local EPs of 2018—Athens group Partials established themselves as the thinking-person's party band, blending heady funk and Afrobeat grooves with rich, provocative lyrics exploring themes of technology and isolation.
Though currently based out of Savannah, rapper and producer Kedrick Mack, aka Dope KNife, has formed a close relationship with the Athens scene over the past couple of years, appearing regularly on local bills and collaborating with local artists.
Photo Credit: Jason Huffer
Athens duo Cicada Rhythm released one of Flagpole's favorite local records of last year with the electrified Everywhere I Go, a cool and confident album that showcased the roots group's expanded palette. Today, we're excited to premiere another new Cicada Rhythm recording: the group's cover of Simon and Garfunkel's lovelorn pop song "Cecilia."
Athens four-piece Walden boasts a soaring, radio-ready sound inspired by melody-drenched megastars like U2 and Coldplay. In a testament to its mainstream appeal, the band won the Road to Roo competition in both 2016 and 2017, earning it a spot on the Bonnaroo lineup and a legion of new fans to boot.
Singer-songwriter Ryne Meadow, an Athens native, moved to the New York City area a few years back, but a debilatating bout with depression and anxiety during what he dubs the "dark, two-year stint" left him unsteady and uncertain. Returning home, he "set out to create a new set of songs documenting his daily battle with mental health issues," according to a press release.
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