For our regular Future Is Now column we profile the hottest artists who are climbing the charts, breaking the Internet or just dominating our office stereos.
SOUNDS LIKE: A shiny blast of new millennium pop-rock that looks to the future but is anchored by real instrumentation
FOR FANS OF: Haim, the 1975, latter-day Paramore
WHY YOU SHOULD PAY ATTENTION: "We just came out of the womb saying, 'We've gotta be in a band.' At least me and Cristal did," says drummer Alisa Ramirez of her and her frontwoman sister. And so it was that at the ages of 9 (Alisa) and 11 (Cristal), the Ramirez sisters started jamming in their parents' house in Provo, Utah, before convincing their friend McKenna Petty to learn bass and join them. By ninth grade they'd met guitarist Katie Henderson, and started playing the all-ages scene in their hometown. "It was a college town, and it was very religious, so there wasn't any alcohol, so they weren't like 21-and-older venues," says Henderson. "It was all-ages, so we were really fortunate to play when we were young." "We were playing venues when I was 12," adds Alisa.
Initially called the Blue Aces, they shortened their name two years ago when, faced with the decision of continuing with the band or going to college, Henderson, Petty and Cristal opted to keep pursuing their music. Soon after they signed with the same management team that launched Lorde's career, and in turn started working with New Zealand producers Simon Oscroft and Daniel Gibson. The first fruits of that collaboration are available to hear on new EP I Don't Like Being Honest, four songs that recall the breezy West Coast pop-rock of Haim's debut, riddled with unforgettable earworm hooks.
THEY SAY: Of their pre-teen years rehearsing, Alisa says, "We were grinding, like band practice every day: 'Meet at this time, we've got to write a new song today!' We were fucking dedicated, man!" Adds Henderson of their sound: "We've definitely tried to make sure we're bringing guitars back. A lot of artists have steered away from that, and we try to keep that present."
HEAR FOR YOURSELF: The sublime hooks of "Touch".