Midweek Music: The Best of DC Edition (Part 1)

By Gretchen Kast

Sometimes it’s easy to think the worst of Washington DC. And by that I mean the most mundane: gray buildings, stuffy politics, ill-fitting pantsuits. But one of my favorite things about this city is that, when you look a bit closer, there’s a wealth of really interesting, creative people doing some really cool stuff—and it has nothing to do with what’s going on over on Capital Hill. You just have to look for it. While cities like New York and London and LA are greedy for attention, loudly asserting their presence, DC gets to just quietly harbor its talent in neighborhood pockets.

After going to a couple really great shows in the past few weeks, I set out to compile a list of the best local DC music. With each name added, I grew more and more energized and not just because I can recognize some places and faces and street corners in the music videos. But because these musicians are also just really good. From Shark Week’s grungy surf pop to GEM’s hauntingly dreamy synth to Uno Hype’s perfect combination of steady rap and sampled indie—the music being made in DC right now covers a wide array of genre, melding and sampling diverse influences. And it does so with such casual confidence that it’s just hard not to get excited for what’s yet to come.

U.S. Royalty // Equestrian 

GEMS // Pegasus

The Silver Liners // Cheer Up Alex 

Uno Hype // We Were Kings ft. Hassani Kwess 

Typefighter // Happy 

Drop Electric // Empire Trashed 

Brett // Rap Songs 

Shark Week // Baby Maybe 

The North Country // You Can Never Go Home 

Ugly Purple Sweater // DC USA  

Dance for the Dying // Mannequin 

Check back tomorrow for more local music! And, in the meantime, check out our Calendar for upcoming shows!