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Going in for a closeup on indie artists headed our way

Prince Rama

The members of Animal Collective were so taken with Prince Rama's hypnotic, trippy, spiritually-cued psychedelia, they signed the Brooklyn trio to their Paw Tracks label. Michael Collins and sisters Taraka and Nimai Larson started making music together while living in Alachua, Florida - it's just a few miles north of Gainesville, which is decidedly Bohemian-heavy, and contains the largest concentration of Hare Krishna devotees in the country. Such was their thing. The threesome create gigantic tribal soundscapes with eerie electronica, full-tilt percussion and echo-laden chant vocals. "I'm aware that a lot of people might think we're just airy-fairy hippies," Taraka says, "but life is not that chill. We've gone through a lot of shit." See princerama.com

Astronautalis

If Beck were a rapper, he'd be Charles Bothwell, who blends an experimental amalgam of, rock, hip hop and electronica. He's a freestyle master - expect the unexpected, if you haven't already figured - and a compelling, emotive blues-based singer who comes up with decidedly interesting and literate lyrics. The Florida native, who burst out of the MC scene in Seattle, is touring this spring with a live band. In a big way, Astronautalis is living proof that the lines between genres are dissolving, and that music - wherever its roots began and wherever its limbs spread - is music. See myspace.com/astronautilus

Young Buffalo

The band's online bio gives this as a manifesto: "Goal 1: make good music. Goal 2: not be doosh-like." Barely out of their teens, Jim Barrett, Ben Yarbrough and Alex Von Hardberger are from Oxford, Miss., but they do poppy harmonies right out of Southern California, layered within and without quick-step guitar rock. There's something very ‘90s about Young Buffalo, as if they'd never heard any music more than 25 years old, but that's also one of the band's more refreshing aspects (it's retro but not slavish). New single "Catipilah" is loaded with hooks, which won't let you alone once you've heard them. For fans of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and Vampire Weekend. See youngbuffalo.bandcamp.com

Nive Nielsen & the Deer Children

Acoustic amazement: Hey, if Bjork can bust out of Iceland, then the sky might not even be the limit for Nielsen, a native of Nuuk, Greenland (even colder, fewer people, no pop stars that anyone can think of). At last year's SXSW, she was asked to describe the Deer Children's music: "Snow songs? Inuit indie? I don't know. We sound like singing and dancing little Eskimos lingering in front of the fireplace after making snow angels under the Northern Lights. Ooh, and there's ukuleles too! Yup!" She is a singer/songwriter, a sometimes-too-precious folkie with a childlike voice and a quirky sense of drama and whimsy. Our favorite song: "Vacuum Cleaner Killer." See myspace.com/nivenielsen

 

 

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Bill DeYoung

Bill DeYoung

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Bill DeYoung was Connect's Arts & Entertainment Editor from May 2009 to August 2014.

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