Four LA Bands Not to Miss
Ben Harper, Dhani Harrison and Joseph Arthur of Fistful of Mercy
These four bands did LA proud at this year's Coachella. Don't miss them the next time they're in town.
FOSTER THE PEOPLE
Trust us on this one: Go see LA-based indie-rock quartet Foster the People now before you’re forced to pay top dollar for a mediocre beer at a big venue. We hate to say this foursome who formed in the fall of 2009 are the “next big thing,” but, well, you get it. If the band’s name doesn’t ring a bell, we promise all KROQ or KCRW listeners have heard its supercatchy indie-pop jam “Pumped Up Kicks” many times. This is the band to keep your eye, or more important, your ears on.
COLD WAR KIDS
The darling of the indie festival circuit is back with a new album in which it employed a producer for the first time, giving the record a more refined sound than we’re used to from this band, known for its live shows and raw vibe. Whether or not you’re a fan of the departure album (for the record, we are), you need to hear the new songs played live because that is where Cold War Kids—which calls its sound “soul punk”—is at its best.
Cold War Kids’ Matt Maust, Jonathan Russell, Nathan Willett and Matt Aveiro
A foot-stomping hybrid of rock and Northern soul, Delta Spirit is a guaranteed good time. Don’t be surprised if the band’s always showstopping drummer, Brandon Young, starts banging on trash cans mid-show: He’s known for putting on an unforgettable performance with each live gig, adding to the Long Beach-based quartet’s energetic, fun sound. And the fact each band member looks like he walked out of a J.Crew catalog doesn’t hurt either
FISTFUL OF MERCY
This trio, made up of three frontmen—Ben Harper, Dhani Harrison and Joseph Arthur—is like a modern-day Traveling Wilburys. And not only because Harrison is the son of original Wilbury member and Beatle George Harrison, but also because there are three musical forces manning this impressive side project (if you aren’t familiar with Arthur, we promise your favorite musician is). Fans of Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals will love Fistful of Mercy's folk-rock sound. But as is true of most “side projects,” this one won’t last forever, so see them while you can. Our favorite fact about this trio? Two of its three members met at the Santa Monica Skatepark. How very LA.
PHOTOGRAPHS BY DANNY CLINCH (FISTFUL OF MERCY); LUCY HAMBLIN (COLD WAR KIDS)
Fashion shoot: December 2013 issue of Los Angeles Confidential magazine.