There are certain musicians who endure the test of time. And while we love spinning the classic records we grew up on, there’s something to be said for that feeling of discovering a new artist for the first time. While no one can replace the greats, there are plenty of current musicians influenced by the icons we loved. So we created a list of new artists to try to help you discover something new you’ll love.
Miss the lyric-driven storytelling of Billy Joel and Elton John?
Sing along to Ben Folds and Sara Bareilles.
From Captain Jack to Scenes from an Italian Restuarant, no one told a tale quite like the Piano Man aside from the great Elton John boasting over 50 top 40 hits like Candle in the Wind and Tiny Dancer. And while you can still catch both on tour, fans should add these current lyrical singers to their playlists.
Influenced by Joel himself, the singer/songwriter Ben Folds brings vivid storytelling to the alternative music genre. The songs Brick and The Luckiest are great intros to his style.
Sara Bareilles rose through the charts with her infectiously upbeat and clever piano ballad Love Song in 2007. And like Elton John, who co-wrote music for Disney’s Lion King, Barellis also since brought her superb songwriting to Broadway for the musical Waitress, earning her a Tony nomination.
Yearning for the Americana songs of Bob Dylan?
Tune in to Josh Ritter and the Tallest Man on Earth.
Bob Dylan remains one of the most influential musicians, who captured not only a counter-culture but an entire generation with songs like Blowing in the Wind and Like a Rolling Stone rooted in American folk and blues.
The Idaho-born singer Josh Ritter captures his own style of Americana with songs like Harrisburg and Kathleen that exude his MidWest roots.
Swedish folk musician Kristian Matsson is better known by his stage name: The Tallest Man On Earth. Those nostalgic for Dylan’s raspy vocals will quickly fall for Matsson’s voice which frequently draws comparison. Start with the song King of Spain to instantly hear the resemblance.
Miss the good vibrations of The Beach Boys?
Give Weezer a spin.
If you’d choose Pet Sounds over Sgt. Peppers (not that anyone should have to choose), you just might dig the Cali vibe of Las Angeles rock band Weezer. The alternative rock band has been making music since the 90s and continues to roll out acclaimed albums. The songs Island in the Sun and Buddy Holly are perfect jams for a drive up Route 1.
Used to rock out to The Rolling Stones?
Add The Black Keys and The White Stripes to your rotation.
During the British Invasion, The Rolling Stones brought grit, sex, and a harder brand rock to the airwaves and define classic rock to this day. And you can still certainly hear their influence in today’s bands.
Of the bands who still capture the bluesy riffs of the Stones, the garage-rock duo The Black Keys stand out. Songs like Howlin’ for You and Lonely Boy will hook you instantly.
Boasting 6 Grammy Awards, The White Stripes (Jack and Meg White) have already carved out their place in rock history. The next time you’re feeling nostalgic, we strongly recommend throwing on Seven Nation Army or Fell in Love with a Girl.
Used to groove to Earth Wind & Fire?
Get funky with Bruno Mars.
Earth Wind and Fire defined an era and filled dance floors with dancy disco funk hits like Shining Star, Let’s Groove, and Boogie Wonderland. And simply nothing elates like the opening horns of September.
Now, pop chart-topper Bruno Mars has certainly brought 70s funk to a new generation. Between Uptown Funk, Locked Out of Heaven, and 24K Magic, Mars has dominated today’s top 40 radio and his groovy tracks will have you dusting off your polyester and platforms.