13 Columbia Artists to Watch in 2013



It’s a new year, so of course we’re waiting with some anticipation of what’s going to be happening in music locally here in Columbia, SC…here’s a short list of some folks who are going to be making noise this year. Any others I missed, put ’em in the comments.

Reggie Sullivan – While the list of accomplishments of bassist Reggie Sullivan is already longer than most artist’s full careers, his rock band is just getting going, it seems. They’ll be heading across the country this year with a West coast tour in the works; now the rest of the country gets to see what the southeastern states have known for a while.

Stagbriar – This brother/sister country folk act’s first EP was on my ‘best of’ list for local releases in 2012, and they are in the process of recording a full-length followup. Emily McCollum is so far one of the great unheralded voices in town, but that’s about to change.


Can’t Kids/People Person/Falling off A Building – The creative juices that have been flowing between Adam Cullum and Jessica Oliver converge and diverge in various ways among these three groups. Cullum quietly released some recordings under the not recently used Falling Off a Building moniker, but Can’t Kids, including Oliver (who also fronts People Person) on drums and vocals, is the hot property right now.

Toro y Moi – He’s pretty much conquered the indie world with his previous critically acclaimed albums, but since we still claim the now California-based Chaz Bundick as a Columbia native his upcoming new Toro Y Moi album Anything In Return (Carpark) is still cause for excitement. It’s being billed as his ‘growing up’ album; decide for yourself by listening at this link: Click Here

Missisippi Kites –I was alerted to this blues rock outfit via the presence of Kevin Petit (Loch Ness Johnny, Bare Knuckle Champions) on bass; they only played a handful of local dates in 2012 so I’d expect to see much more of them in the new year.

JFS – Jason Stroud is a videographer and electronica artist on the Post-Echo collective’s roster; his JFS project has largely been a solo thing but he has begun to collaborate with others including visual artists. A new album is coming in March, check the first song previewed below for a taste of Stroud’s atmospheric, billowing cloud style of blips and bleeps. JFS New Song, Album Preview

The Lovely Few – Mike Mewborne has a new label, Hearts & Plugs, and his trio The Lovely Few released a new album, The Orionids, as well…Mewborne is promising some more interesting artistic collaborations for 2013, can’t wait to see/hear what they come up with.


Ben G – he’s being built up as the rapper who will finally put Columbia on the hip-hop map, and his brand new Reflections mix tape is the next step in that direction. Check it out here: Ben G: The Reflection

Trent Jeffcoat – This Lexington native has been doing the songwriting thing in Nashville for almost a decade; he’s now living here and splitting his time equally between home and Nashville. If you so much as just talk to the guy, you’ll find he has the kind of deep country baritone voice that’s perfectly suited to singing country music. Hoping to see and hear more of him since he’s now at least half-local again.

Pinetop Lightning – D.B. Bryant has been a familiar name around Columbia for a long time, especially among the leather vest wearing, motorcycle riding crowd. Pinetop Lightning is a new original music project that less ‘southern’ rock and more just plain old rock ‘n’ roll, with the bluesy swagger Bryant is known for. Local guitarist Vince McKinley has also joined up with the group, giving them a potent twin guitar potential. Pinetop Lightning EP

Brent Lundy & the Lucky 13 – Speaking of familiar names, Brent Lundy has been active in one iteration or another since the early 1990s; his latest group is a more acoustic version of his basic classic songcraft framework. They’ll be releasing a new recording in the very near future, they’re playing a ‘pre-release’ show on the 25th of this month at Utopia.


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