4 of the Best New Bands in San Diego

One of the benefits of a music scene as active as San Diego’s is that new bands are hitting stages on a regular basis. Once a haven for art-damaged punk bands, San Diego’s scene has since become incredibly diverse, with seemingly every genre being represented, and from a variety of different perspectives and approaches. Some of the best bands in San Diego right now are actually those who have only been playing together for a year or two. That doesn’t mean they’re amateurs, of course – there’s a lot of crossover between bands in town, and veteran musicians are seemingly constantly starting up new projects. But don’t count out young musicians, either, who are providing a fresh perspective.

Here are four of the best new bands in San Diego.

The Redwoods Revue/Birdy Bardot

The Redwoods Revue is a fairly new entity in San Diego but the musicians involved in it have been part of the San Diego scene for a long time. The Redwoods Music is a record label started by Al Howard and Jason Littlefield of The Heavy Guilt and Matthew Molarius of Transfer, and the Revue is its house band – a super team of soulful ringers that support the label’s artists, much like Booker T and the M.G.s did on Stax Records in the ’60s and ’70s. One such standout artist on the label is Birdy Bardot, whose self-titled album from 2015 is definitely one of the best local releases of the past year.

> Find out more about The Redwoods Revue/Birdy Bardot

Le Chateau

Thanks to @_cmw___ for taking this vid of us playing @themerrowsd last night!

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Like a lot of the best bands in San Diego, the three members of Le Chateau aren’t exactly newcomers. Frank Green, Erik Visnyak and Laura Levenhagen each put in work in different projects before committing to this one. However, Le Chateau is arguably their collective best band to date, blending a knack for classic pop songwriting with electronic beats and dreamy textures. Their songs are subtle and wrapped in various layers of sonic treatments, but they’re easy to love on first listen.

> Find out more about Le Chateau

Juice Box


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San Diego doesn’t often get credit for the soul and funk sounds that many of its artists are responsible for, but it doesn’t take too much digging to hear them. Funk and soul quartet Juice Box are on the younger end of the spectrum as far as carving out grooves goes, but they’ve got some mighty impressive chops. Their music is richly textured and easy to love, leaning more toward jazz rhythms than the outsized sci-fi funk of Parliament, but no matter what, they’ll have you moving.

> Find out more about Juice Box

The Bassics

The Bassics - One of San Diego's Best New Bands

Imperial Beach mod-rock band The Bassics are the 2015 winners of the San Diego Music Award for Best New Artist, so this certainly isn’t the first time they’ve been dubbed one of the best young bands in San Diego. However, despite their youth, the sharply dressed, Rickenbacker-slinging band takes some major influences from bands of the past, including The Who and The Jam. Their songs are short, catchy and rock hard, and they’re best heard in a live setting.

> Find out more about The Bassics

> Explore San Diego’s Music Scene and Discover More New Bands

Featured photo courtesy of Panama66.14
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Jeff Terich

About Jeff Terich

Jeff Terich is the music editor of San Diego CityBeat and has been writing about music for over a decade. A contributor to top music magazines including American Songwriter and ALARM Magazine, Jeff is also the founder of Treblezine.com, an independent music feature and review site. On the video side, Jeff is a co-host of Unherd, a local music TV show on ABC 10.

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