Best New Bands 2024

Here are some of Portland’s hardest working artists.

What’s new? In the case of WW’s Best New Bands poll, that’s as complicated as asking an artist to tell you exactly what they sound like.

“New” could mean a lot of things: an artist’s first open mic, first song, a debut album, or a national tour. But everyone knows that even getting to that first open mic takes hours of practice.

We reached out to almost 600 people tied to the music community in Portland—audio engineers, labelheads, die-hard local fans—and asked them to decide. What came back from just over 80 respondents was a wide, versatile list of artists, with the following nine solo artists and bands receiving the most votes. You can see the top five take the stage at Mississippi Studios on Wednesday, April 10, for WW’s annual Best New Bands showcase.

Best New Bands isn’t about gatekeeping. It’s about connecting eager listeners with eager artists. And this poll isn’t new—this is our 20th edition. (Past winners include Aminé, Haley Heynderickx, Black Belt Eagle Scout, Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside, and Radiation City.)

With room for only a handful of artists, this list will inevitably feel incomplete. You might see it and feel like your sound, your style, your community isn’t being represented. It might even inspire you to write a diss track. Stay dedicated to your craft—you might land on the WW cover six years later.

We’re highlighting artists at all stages of their careers, from Kendall Lujan releasing her debut album to artists like Ann Annie, who’s curious instrumental worlds are already pulling in hundreds of thousands of streams a month on Spotify.

Many of these musicians have grown accustomed to the artistic grind—doing interviews between night shifts and days recording a sophomore LP, running back and forth between a day job at the florist and tours in Europe, grappling with handing over the booking control to dig more into the live show, or spending two decades growing a fan base, leaving no stone unturned.

For us at WW, this is what we mean when we say Best New Bands. In the following pages, we celebrate artists who are putting in the work. —Robin Bacior, Arts & Culture Editor

Willamette Week’s Best New Bands 2024

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