Heartless Bastards are back and better than ever. The Cincinnati-based group recorded their first demo in 2002 and their big break came in 2004 when The Black Keys' drummer Patrick Carney passed their demo along to Fat Possum Records. From there, they didn't need much help capturing the attention and praise of critics and fans.
Zola Jesus (whose off-stage name is Nika Roza Danilova), has been deeply shaped by her rural and philosophical upbringing--and it shows in her music. Training in opera for ten years, leading a secluded childhood in the bitter cold Wisconsin forest, and becoming a rising synthpop sensation while studying philosophy in college have all informed her experimental, multi-genre sound.
The Shins is a dream-pop outfit hailing from Portland, and revolving largely around singer/songwriter James Mercer. Arising as a side project while Mercer lived in New Mexico, The Shins took on a life of its own after a number of singles such as "New Slang" were featured on films, and pulled the young indie rock group into the national spotlight.