The Wandering Lake Fayetteville
The Wandering Lake is the solo recording project of Fayettville's Brian Kupillas (SW/MM/NG), who makes deeply personal and expansively produced indie-rock. His first full-length album, "Wend to Why," was released this year, followed by the recent EP "From James' Garden." Both are wounded and restless and gorgeous, among the year's best. Listen at wanderinglake.bandcamp.com.
The Pine Bluff rap scene thrived this year, between high-profile releases from stalwarts like ESide Shawty and relative newcomers like Saeuce Millz, who makes breathless, desperate, hyperactive street rap. Listen to "Good Gas" or "What Are We Smoking" — numb, frantic collages of trap-rap 808s, druggy ad-libs and addictive hooks. Listen at soundcloud.com/toure-tmillz-miller.
Taylor Moon Little Rock
Taylor Moon is the only woman and the only singer in Little Rock rap collective Young Gods of America, and she's also responsible for some of the crew's most imaginative and sonically adventurous music. Her output so far has been small, but the dreamy, robotic R&B singles "King Tut" and "Final Fantasy MMXIV" have made a huge impression, and we hear an EP is on the way soon. Listen at soundcloud.com/taylor_moon.
The winners of the 2015 Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase, and purveyors of ice-cold, bass-heavy dance-punk in the tradition of Pylon, E.S.G. or the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Listen at hearghostbones.bandcamp.com.
One of Little Rock's best and brightest young garage bands, specializing in wry, taut, angular punk rock indebted to Pavement and the Pixies. Listen at bombayharambee.bandcamp.com.