The Chehade Brothers. Photo: Wikimedia

What Are the Best Bands You've Discovered Abroad?

by Matt Hershberger Dec 29, 2014

I was in Peru back in 2008, and I was sitting next to an Australian on a train. She had her iPod earphones in and I had mine, and we were going back and forth playing music for each other. A lot of the stuff she was playing me I was already familiar with, so it was just a fun DJ game. But then she put on “Vitriol,” a song by an Australian band called Bluejuice that had been popular in Oz but never made it to the United States. It was fantastic, and it has a spectacularly weird and funny music video to go with it. I’ve since put it on a ton of my playlists.

As you would probably expect, this happens a lot while people are traveling: we discover awesome new bands. It might be a band that was playing live at a bar in a new city, maybe it was on an unfamiliar radio station, or maybe it was just a good old-fashioned iPod swap. We asked our Matador audience on social media for some great bands they discovered while traveling, and here’s what they came up with.

City of the Sun

On Instagram, Luxe A Voir told us about her find: “Brooklyn NYC-based City of the Sun is an amazing trio with beautiful melodies and beats. I saw them play in Central Park last summer, everyone walking by stopped to hear them, they drew a big crowd!”

She recommends their album Live at the Factory.

Brass Against the Machine

Instagrammer jbarath stumbled across the brass band Brass Against the Machine while traveling:

“An amazing 13 piece brass group with one amazing drummer and incredible personalities to match. Made for a wonderful evening of dancing when I accidentally came across them in the streets of Zadar, Croatia.”

There are tons of videos on YouTube of Brass Against the Machine performing in the streets of Zadar. Check them out!

Lykke Li

Emmyhagen discovered Lykke Li before she made it big “…in the south end of London about 6 years ago, in a room that fit no more than 60 people. I remember she danced through every song. Still a fan today.”

Caravana Sun

Instagrammer exp0seyourself suggests Caravana Sun. “I saw Australian band @caravanasun at #BalmersHerberge in Interlaken, Switzerland. One of the coolest bands out there! They describe themselves as gypsy fueled ska surf rock.”

Milk Drive

Missy DeChellis found Jazz-grass band Milk Drive while hanging out a bar called Cowgirls in Santa Fe, New Mexico. “We liked [the bar] so much we went three times during the week that we were there.”

Robbie Boyd

Bazodeephotography was lucky enough to stumble across Robbie Boyd in Notting Hill in London. “We were lucky enough to run into his band performing on the street and filming a music video. Sadly we didn’t make the final cut, but he was great live!”

The Chehade Brothers

Okan Emre suggests the “highly talented” Lebanese band the Chehade Brothers.

What are the best bands you’ve discovered abroad? Let us know below!

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