Here are 4 Tracks by 4 Acts that I (Emz) believe will conquer 2016 in one way or another. This was supposed to go live last Friday so you’re probably wondering why, but hey – better late to the party than to never arrive at all, am I right? Get the 411 on the acts below, and let me know what you think in a comment! If you have a band/song/question that you can’t get out of your head – share it with us also in a comment or via e-mail –>letyourearsdecide(at)gmail(dot)com <–
Happy Listening! 

1. Whitney
To say that Whitney is more than the sum of its parts would be a criminal understatement. Formed from the core of guitarist Max Kakacek (ex-Smith Westerns) and singing drummer Julien Ehrlich (ex-Unknown Mortal Orchestra), the band itself is something bigger, something visionary, something neither of them could have accomplished alone.” Before today there was only one track released from the band, “No Woman” w . Watch the accompanying video via YouTube for “Sunny Days.” Their debut LP Light Upon The Lake is due out June 3rd via Secretly Canadian, pre-order the record now while it’s available on clear vinyl or via CD/cassette. 
Yesterday LA singer/songwriter TRACE released “Honey”, the follow-up to her 2015 breakout debut “Heavy Shoulders” over on Stereogum. Continuing the journey of what first grabbed our attention with what sounds like a tranquil lullaby infused with a charm that oozes just what we want to hear more of. Her debut EP will drop later this year, but only time will tell just when that lucky time will be. In the meantime, grab “Honey” on iTunes and leave it on repeat for an hour or 8. 3. Mass Gothic
When the news broke out that New York’s Hooray For Earth was no more, it was a shock to the system to say the least, but it was truly for the best. If Noel Heroux never made that decision then the chances of Mass Gothic may not be where it is today, one of my favorite bands at the moment. Heroux states, “I was super depressed. I was creatively frustrated. I was emotionally unavailable to the people I really really wanted to be there for—and no matter how much I cared, I just couldn’t change. But when I realized that I needed to end the band and just try again, my head cleared and the clouds parted. I’d been derailed somehow,” he adds. “So I allowed myself to return to the beginning.”

Once there was a return, it was eventually followed by  next would be the birth of Mass Gothic who’s self-titled LP made its debut last month, and in my opinion – something bigger, something better than what’s recycled on the radio. “A lot of these songs are more or less a really dramatic, loud apology/thank you note,” he says, referencing his partner, collaborator, and tour mate, Jessica. “It didn’t matter where any of the sounds came from. I just cared that it sounded big and heavy, and that it was moving when it was done. It’s a clean slate entirely—and I’m so relieved.”
There’s a reason why I chose to legitimately cut those words from an artist bio because how else do you describe this evolution that’s beautiful and everything you’ve wished in an artist to achieve other than straight from their mouth?  With that in mind, snag their self-titled in multiple forms here and if you’re a fan of colored vinyl – then we recommend that you click on the LP option. 😉
4. JUDE. Another duo that’s on my mind at the moment is JUDE. aka Kevin James Neal & Sydney Morris who made the wise decision to hop from West Palm Beach, Florida to NYC within the last year. This isn’t the first time they’ve caught the blog’s attention, in fact they’ve been on the blog’s radar prior to SXSW ’15, only to randomly cross paths with them on a random street in Austin where we took an unexpected tour of the town in search of another showcase. Since the big move they’ve been music-making machines, and I have a feeling 2016 is going to be a big year for these two. The duo’s first release of 2016, “Pretend” is a haunting track that legitimately teases the heartstrings. Keep in mind that this is the first of m a n y  singles/treats that will surface from the duo this year, so by all means – don’t let this band slip out of your memory because you don’t want to be the one who has to find out the hard way (when you could’ve been in the loop this entire time!) –>!