Once again in 2018, the RFT recognizes St. Louis' unparalleled musical talent by presenting the STL 77, our list of 77 acts who did big things in the last twelve months. From now through June 16, the kick-off date of our huge two-day music festival ShowcaseSTL, we'll be announcing two honorees per weekday on our music blog. For last year's STL 77 picks, go here; for the complete lineup for ShowcaseSTL, go here.
It's tough to put a unique spin on indie-folk these days, but the Defeated County defies the odds. As demonstrated by 2016's Bar Tabs & Baby Names
, the band specialize in haunting songs that touch on gothic Americana, low-desert twang, fuzzy '90s rock curios and Vaudevillian waltzes. Credit for this eclectic approach goes first and foremost to lead vocalist/rhythm guitarist/songwriter Langen Neubacher. Her singular voice — which possesses a Kristin Hersh-esque dusky timbre, coupled with hints of Maria McKee's country lilt and Amanda Palmer's dramatic flourishes — drives evocative songs that aren't afraid to dig into uncomfortable places or ask tough questions. Her Defeated County bandmates — including the live rotation of Irene Allen, Devon Cahill, Simon Chervitz, Russ McCanless and Kyle Rex — are the perfect foil for her ambitious vision. On record, the band enlists a who's-who of south city musicians to add occasional violin, pedal steel, accordion and extra harmonies.
Recommended If You Like:
Neko Case, PJ Harvey, Nick Cave, Dresden Dolls, Throwing Muses