Cold Beat by Ringo

Download: Mixtape: Fourteen San Francisco Bands to Watch in 2014

We cover a whole lot of San Francisco Bay Area bands at The Bay Bridged, a sign of the wealth of musical talent here. The size of this talent pool, however, presents its own challenge: with so many interesting local bands out there, and with acts emerging seemingly every day, who are the new artists to keep a close eye on in the months to come?

This mixtape takes a stab at answering that question, showcasing fourteen excellent local bands that are new to our podcast, young groups with at most one LP behind them. There are a variety of sounds and styles included here, but we’re hoping that all of these promising bands have big success on the horizon.

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About the bands:

Michael & The Strange Land – “Shook Away” (0:03)
From: San Francisco
Bandleader Michael Taras is no stranger to local music, playing in Sam Flax’s band and having been involved in Shock. The trio’s only been together for a year, but they’ve already released two EPs, including the recent Strange Land EP II.

Golden Drugs – “Struggling Attacker” (2:34)
From: Oakland
Drew Pearson of Twin Steps leads Golden Drugs, accompanied by members of Creepers and Honeycomb. Golden Drugs doesn’t feel like a combination of those groups, though; the band’s winding songs yield a unique and rich sound.

Cold Beat – “Worms” (8:02)
From: San Francisco
Since the dissolution of Grass Widow, Hannah Lew has stayed busy with a number of bands, and a new record label called Crime on the Moon. Cold Beat’s stellar debut Worms/Year 5772 EP explores “death, Internet surveillance, paranoia and science fiction,” and the band’s already been working on a follow-up record with Phil Manley.

Life Stinks – “Sharp When You’re Bummed” (9:47)
From: San Francisco
Described by Terminal Boredom as “San Francisco’s last punk band,” Life Stinks released a self-titled debut LP late last year on S-S Records. It’s a record full of powerful punk-meets-rock-and-roll, produced by Mikey Young and Kelley Stoltz.

Chasms – “N.V.S.” (12:30)
From: San Francisco
Calling Chasms a band to watch feels like a no-brainer (and also long overdue). With three releases under this duo’s belts, including, most recently, the Riser EP (on Dream Recordings last year), a tour accompanying Dirty Beaches, and numerous local shows, the band’s gained deserved acclaim for its heavy and melodic shoegaze-influenced sound.

Balms – “Surface” (16:00)
From: San Francisco
Since last summer, emerging SF trio Balms has released a series of singles demonstrating a knack for melodic, shoegazey indie rock. Look forward to a new EP from the band sometime this spring.

Fronds – “Crush” (19:40)
From: San Francisco
Dylan Tidyman-Jones of the now-dissolved The Mallard launched his new band last year with Fronds. A gorgeous collection of psych-pop, the album impressed Castle Face’s Brian Lee Hughes so much that it served as the inaugural release on his Do Not Disturb imprint.

Mane – “Older” (23:33)
From: San Francisco
Mane’s debut “mini-LP” of raw post-punk came out via Cut-Rate Records late last year; the 17-minute 7″ sparks with an urgency, a welcome introduction to this trio, which has played shows alongside Pow!, Scraper, and CCR Headcleaner among others.

Running In The Fog – “Desire” (26:56)
From: San Francisco
Amanda Harper is Running In The Fog, composing “soul-infused space pop” that melds textured productions to Harper’s strong voice. Her debut EP, Silver, arrived in December on Father/Daughter Records.

Annie Girl and The Flight – “Betray The Sea” (30:36)
From: San Francisco
After arriving in SF, Denver-born Annie Girl joined Mark Matos & Os Beaches, eventually enlisting Matos to serve as a “spiritual adviser” as she developed her own psych-influenced, experimental folk band. After a self-titled release last year, “Betray the Sea” is the first single from a new Annie Girl EP expected to arrive in May.

Rich Girls – “Sink Like Stones” (34:19)
From: San Francisco
It took several years after the dissolution of The Blacks for Luisa Black to reemerge with her new project, Rich Girls, whose first EP, The One I Want, arrived late last year on Tricycle Records. The EP’s billed as “a collection of garage rock torch songs from the dark end of the street,” and “Sink Like Stones” nicely blends the gothic and the melodic.

Kitten Grenade – “Gray” (37:55)
From: San Francisco
Released earlier this year on Breakup Records, Kitten Grenade’s self-titled EP featured charming indie pop guided by buoyant ukelele playing and Katelyn Sullivan’s exceedingly charming vocals.

Satan Wriders – “Freeway” (41:14)
From: Stockton
All the way from Stockton, Satan Wriders are surely the band to watch with the longest drive to SF. “Freeway” is a slice of rollicking rock and roll that comes from the trio’s debut Black Eyed Kids LP on Harlot Records.

bAd bAd – “Problem Now” (43:46)
From: San Francisco
Few bands describe themselves with genre hybrids as unique as “Turkish surf punk mariachi,” but bAd bAd delivers with hooks aplenty. The band’s working toward a new cassette to be released later this year.