Boston Calling: Get to Know the Local Artists on the Line-up

Boston Calling: Get to Know the Local Artists on the Line-up
Graphics by Kasvi Bhatia

Boston Calling Music Festival is returning to the Harvard Athletic Complex for the first time since 2019. The event, which will run Friday, May 27th - Sunday, May 29th, features a lineup of local talents worthy of spotlighting. From up-and-coming bands like Dutch Tulips that just released their debut albums within the past year to artists that have been making waves on Boston’s music scene for years, get to know the local artists on this year’s line-up.





Originally from Milford, Massachusetts, Born Without Bones has been making music for over a decade. What once began as frontman Scott Ayotte’s solo endeavor in 2010 has transformed into a powerful emo-inspired rock trio. Ayotte covers vocals and lead guitar while guitarist Jonathan Brucato and bassist Jim Creighton fill in the blanks. They’re currently signed to Pure Noise Records and will be playing Harvard Athletic Complex on May 27th. 

Favorite Songs: “Baby,” “Falling Asleep” and “I Was in Love”

- T.J. Grant, Staff Writer



Following the success of her 2019 EP Excuse My Baggage, singer-songwriter Miranda Rae won Boston Music Awards’ R&B Artist of the year in December 2020. Though Rae is originally from Cambridge, Massachusetts, her musical career began in West Palm Beach, Florida in 2013. Her collaboration with producer collective DNAAO in 2015 led to the making of her debut EP Defying Love, which solidified her status as a serious local talent. While it remains unclear what Miranda Rae has in store for 2022 and beyond, it is guaranteed to make a lasting impression on the charts and in our hearts. 

Favorite Songs: “Thinkin Bout You,” “Invitation for Love” and “Done”

- T.J. Grant, Staff Writer



A rapper from the South End, Avenue grew up in a neighborhood that, as he puts it, is "the best of both worlds… million dollar brownstones and Section 8". He wears his love for the city on his sleeve and is as likely to rhyme over skittering beats as he is to be backed by samples of a gospel choir. His set shouldn't be missed!

Favorite songs: “Bob the Chefs,” “Chez Vous,” and “WE UP”

- Phil Jones, Afternoon Host



Although the Chelsea Curve just started putting out music last year, it feels like they’ve been a part of the music scene for a while. This familiar quality to their sound likely comes from the resemblance it bears to the works of longtime rockers. In an interview with WGBH, the Melrose, Massachusetts-based trio cited the Clash and the Jam as influences. A listen to “Eye On You,” from their debut album released March 31st, even evokes the Pixies. Commit the names of Linda Pardee (lead vocals, bass), Tim Gillis (guitar, backing vocals) and Ron Belanger (drums) to memory — they might just be joining the ranks of the Black Francis’ of the world. 

Favorite Songs: “Eye On You,” “Top It Up” and “Girl Cavedog”

 - Nora Onanian, Web Services Coordinator





Breaking out in 2020 with their song “space girl” on TikTok, Frances Forever became a staple name in the Boston music scene. They did a summer intensive at Berklee College of Music in high school, and from that moment in time, music became their main mission and passion. Last year, they realized their dream with their first EP, paranoia party. When they’re not making music, Frances Forever are studying music technology at Clark University in Worcester.

Favorite Songs: “space girl,” “eat the rich” and “Certified Fool”

- Tatum Jenkins, Music Coordinator



In 2021, Van Buren Records became the face of the New England hip-hop scene. The Brockton-based rap collective received substantial praise for their debut album, Bad for Press. Although some publications, like Okayplayer., likened the group to iconic rap collectives like Wu-Tang Clan, writers were ultimately struck by the group’s originality. The collective’s 13 members each specialize in a different creative pursuit including design, production, and rapping. Their latest album release, BLACK WALL STREET, solidified what many fans already know: this is only the start for Van Buren Records. 

Favorite Songs: “FOXY BROWN,” “Medic” and “FINGERPRINTS”

- Claire Dunham, Staff Writer



When I close my eyes and listen to Ali McGuirk, I imagine the most perfect summer day. While her music is so easy going, her voice is enthralling and it’s impossible to get enough of it. A local from Boston, she has been recognized by many places such as the Boston Globe as “an artist to listen to” and has been recognized by the Boston Music Awards on multiple occasions. While she performs often in Cambridge and Somerville, we absolutely can’t wait to experience her performance at Boston Calling.

Favorite Songs: “That Way,” “My Man Is Gone (Live at Herd Studio)” and “Long Time”

- Erin Norton, Membership Assistant



When I started as Music Coordinator at WERS, I was unfamiliar with the Boston music scene. I grew up in California with surf rock and rap dominating the Bay Area scene. Coral Moons was my first introduction to Boston’s music — a scene full of innovative, exceptionally interesting artists and music. Coral Moons, a four person band, met after college in our wonderful city, and came out with their debut album Fieldcrest just last year.

Favorite Songs: “Like We Used To,” “Beach Song” and “Winnebago”

- Tatum Jenkins, Music Coordinator



Meet Charlotte Sands, a master at manifestation. In 2020, Sands posted a TikTok asking Yungblud to let her open for him on tour. Not even a year later, she was onstage hyping the crowd up before one of his shows. Sands is a magnetic performer, marked by her electrifying stage presence and her dazzling blue hair. Alternating between an electric, poppy sound to a soothing indie-folk sound, Sands’ discography has something for everyone to enjoy.

Favorite Songs: “Dress” and “Lost,” 

- Sophie Severs, Staff Writer



Boston-based quartet Dutch Tulips bring a fresh take to pop-rock. The blooming talents were recently honored as a nominee of rock artist of the year at the 2021 Boston Music Awards. Dinosaur Jr. may have edged them out for the win, but Dutch Tulips will surely carry on to make more waves in the local scene. Double Vision, the group’s debut album, came out on April 23rd. Listening closely, the LP’s lyrics sometimes turn self-deprecating, as they do in “Frozen Orange.” But again and again, the sonics pick up with a contagious energy. Fuzz-pedals, synths, and lively vocals give their music the power to feel like an escape.

Favorite Songs: “Tell Me Your Codes,” “Frozen Orange” and “EMDR” 

- Nora Onanian, Web Services Coordinator





Cliff Notez wears many hats, from award-winning musician to Professor at Berklee College of Music to globally-recognized filmmaker. With each one, he brings a bursting level of creativity and grace. “His art is a continuous exploration of the Black mind,” reads his website. His debut album, 2017’s Where the Sidewalk Ends is a brilliant testament to this mission. Leaning heavily into the hip hop genre, he pairs often mellow backing beats with rhythmic spoken commentary. Though he hasn’t released an album since 2019, he has since put out singles and been involved in collaborations

Favorite Songs: “Voodoo Doll,” “Good Riddance,” and “Losing Crowns II”

- Nora Onanian, Web Services Coordinator



The Connecticut-based band Goose has garnered many fans since their founding in 2016.  Notably, one of these self-proclaimed fans is Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koening, who recruited the group to record a cover of his song “2021.” Although Goose members call themselves an “indie-groove” band, they have made waves in the modern jamband community. The group takes musical inspiration from bands like “Phish,” but their sound is also reflective of modern indie-rock as well. Dripfield, the band’s third studio album, is set to be released on June 24th, and Goose will kick off their summer tour on May 27th. 

Favorite Songs: “Arcadia,” “Dripfield” and “Spirit of The Dark Horse”

- Claire Dunham, Staff Writer



Aaron Perrino (longtime frontman of the Sheila Divine) is one of those Boston music guys: ask your average local if they've ever heard of him and you'll probably get a head scratch. Ask a local musician who's recorded in town and you've got great odds that they'll know and love the long time member of Zippah Recording in Allston. Aaron and the Lord is a new project between Perrino and Steven Lord of the Boston band Dirty Bangs, who've played Boston Calling in the past. Aaron and the Lord showcases both of their strengths; Lord's as a brash but calculating drummer, and Perrino's unmatched vocals. The big question: will Tanya Donnely of Belly join them for a duet on the single "This Love Ain't Dead?" 

Favorite Songs: “This Love Ain't Dead,” “Garden of Eden” and “Soon You'll Find Home”

- Phil Jones, Afternoon Host



If you’re looking for a band who is genre-non-specific, has powerful lyrics, and a memorable sound, then you’re in the right place! Originating in Cape Cod, Crooked Coast has accumulated fans from all over Massachusetts, the North East, and now have many listeners from other places in the U.S. They create their music with a strong focus on the sound of it and the lyrics, which has resulted in a generous mix of genres such as indie rock, reggae rhythms, hip-hop and pop. This summer is extremely busy and exciting for the band. Crooked Coast are booked for several music festivals and plan on releasing their first full length album since 2017!

Favorite Songs: “Down for the Count” and “Go Back”

- Erin Norton, Membership Assistant



Born and raised in the Boston area, Wellesley High grad Cam Meekins always knew he wanted to pursue a career in music. He arrived on the national scene back in February 2011, and since then has founded his own record label, Lamp City Records. But his strive for individuality and freedom isn’t seen only in his entrepreneurial style. Meekin’s musical style is a genre-blend of pop and hip-hop, and he accredits this to growing up with influences that range from Dave Matthews Band and Sublime, to Jay-Z and Kanye West. He works to combine the genres of the artist he admires, and is surely excited to be coming home to Boston to perform!

Favorite Songs: “Fadeaway” and “Good Times”

- Breanna Nesbeth, Staff Writer



For Boston-based band Ripe, seven is a magic number. It only took two weeks at Berklee School of Music for these seven musicians to unite under one purpose — making groovy music. This spunky and funky jam band has charmed the Boston music scene for years with their upbeat and vibrant tunes, putting on a dynamic, energetic performance that offers audiences hours of danceable fun. 

Favorite Songs: “Settling” and “First Time Feeling”

- Sophie Severs, Staff Writer



Under the not-so-secret alias DJO, the boy known for his signature floppy hair on Netflix’s critically acclaimed Netflix series Stranger Things, Joe Keery, creates songs that tend to have a modernized or electronic element embedded in their core while simultaneously being able to capture a sound reflective of the early 2010’s indie-pop scene. With his music, Keery,  who hailed from Newburyport, Massachusetts, leads the listener to both want to dance their problems away and overthink them at the same time.

Favorite Songs: “Chateau (Feel Alright),” “Personal Lies” and “Total Control”

- Kira Weaver, Staff Writer

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