-Benny Warnick, Arts & Entertainment Editor
Every year, previously popular musical artists begin to fade away, and new artists rise to the forefront of the music scene to take their place. This ever-evolving process diversifies music culture, and the 2015 musical evolution has already begun. Both locally and nationally, each new year’s emerging artists quickly climb the popularity ladder, and a select few make it to the top before the year’s end. Like many times past, Mississippi’s presence in the emerging artists scene is alive and thriving once again in 2015.
Jackson’s own The Weeks, who gained local and national fame with their 2013 album “Dear Bo Jackson,” recently spread their wings beyond Mississippi and even beyond the United States. The five-piece group began a UK tour on Jan. 17 in Southampton, which will come to an end on Feb. 1 in Bristol. The band played multiple Mississippi venues last year, including Jackson’s Hal & Mal’s, and will likely continue their shows in the Magnolia State upon the completion of their UK tour. Information on their upcoming shows can be found at Facebook.com/theweeksmusic.
For those searching for an even more local vibe, Clinton alternative rockers, Fides, will be releasing their album “Olive Branch” on Feb. 13 at Hal & Mal’s in Jackson. The group, which includes Mississippi College musicians Tommy Bobo and Cody Sparkman, previously released their self-titled EP and made their name known at a variety of shows around the state. They will be joined by Mississippi Shakedown and The Tallahatchies for the release concert, which will cost $5 to attend and will begin at 10 p.m. Tickets and additional information can be located at ardenland.net.
On a national note, Atlanta songwriter Raury and Pennsylvania indie rockers, The Districts, have also earned their way into the “artists to watch for” category for 2015. The young artists (Raury being 18 and every member of The Districts being younger than 20) have already made an impact in their short time in the music industry, opening for such artists as Outkast and St. Vincent and playing such festivals as Austin City Limits and Lollapalooza. Raury’s musical style can be likened to a combination of The Lumineers and Frank Ocean, with a broad variety of artists such as Kanye West and Janelle Monae listed as his musical influences. Like The Weeks, The Districts offer a blues-driven, classic rock sound similar to Kings of Leon and The Strokes. More information on Raury can be located at facebook.com/weraur, and more information on The Districts can be located at facebook.com/thedistrictsband.