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Shepherds, The Vassar Blondes, O Key, Ottoman Slap

With the 2015 album Exit Youth, Atlanta trio Shepherds showed an ability to create a big, rich vibe with a minimalistic drums-bass-guitar setup. On tunes like “Reverie,” the group put a dreamy spin on skittering post-punk. In October, Shepherds returned with Insignificant Whip, an album with Athens in its DNA: It was tracked at Chase Park Transduction, pressed at Kindercore Vinyl and released via local label Arrowhawk Records. Now a five-piece, the band has further fleshed out its sound and vision, adorning its socially conscious art-rock with goth and shoegaze elements.