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2012 Sounded Good: The Best Breakout Music Acts In Detroit

There is great music coming out of Detroit. The music scene is one example of the explosive creative force that can be discovered within the city. Talent is found on the streets, forming in garages and practicing in basements throughout the are. Detroit cannot be categorized as one sound, but as embracing and cultivating a wide range of musical styles, thereby creating a sound that is unique to each artist or band.

Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.

Dale Earhardt Jr. Jr. is made up of Daniel Zott and Joshua Epstein. They basically arrived on the scene running. In the brief time they have been together, a couple of years, they have managed to catapult themselves into the national spotlight. Incorporating fresh style with tinges of disco flava, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. modernized its breezy retro sound with the addition of electronic elements. If you are a fan of roller skating alongside the glistening seaside on a sunny day, you will enjoy this group's musical style.

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Hard Lessons
(credit: Hard Lessons/Facebook)

The Hard Lessons

The Hard Lessons is a band that originated in East Lansing. The group's sound is quintessential garage that morphed into something different. These talented individuals create punk-infused upbeat pop with an edge. Solid vocals add an unexpected contrast to the slight bite. The result is an eclectic mix of diverging sounds, somehow tied together to be cohesive. All of this is pulled off by Augie and Korin Visocchi, who co-write the lyrics while also playing a multitude of instruments. The duo is rounded out by Ryan Vandeberghe on drums. The Hard Lessons have been a favorite band throughout the last decade around the Detroit area, virtually since the group's arrival on the scene, but 2012 was the group's biggest year to date.

Danny Brown

His unique sense of style isn't the only thing that has garnered Danny Brown the attention of fans and critics. His gritty lyrics laced with straightforward musings have helped to propel him front and center into the waiting arms of the Detroit music scene and beyond. In a short time, his unconventional lyrical style helped him gain nationwide attention. Brown transcends rap, mixing serious observations with silly humor. He could be the best thing to come out of any rap scene on a national level in years. In a sense, Brown breathed some new life into a sometimes stale scene.

Destroy This Place

A definite favorite of Detroit crowds, Destroy This Place is hardcore energy with no reservations, conveniently broken down as indie grunge punk rock. Destroy This Place consists of vocalist Ryan Allen, who also plays guitar, joined by John Nelson on guitar and vocals. Monday Busque plays bass and provides additional vocals while Sean Sommer is the featured drummer. The group's distinct sound provides all the twists and turns you would expect from a roller coaster, with the turbulence of a bull at a Dallas rodeo. It's wild and erratic and that's how we like it. The band is currently working on its latest album to be released in 2013.

Black Milk

Black Milk

A mainstay on the hip-hop scene, Black Milk is a multi-talented artist who started out as a sought-after and highly regarded producer. He built a solid reputation through his ability to create unexpected musical combinations. Black Milk eventually expanded his repertoire to include lyricist, thereby creating lyrical art by melding symphonic elements with traditional hip-hop.

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Nicole Wrona has been on the music scene since she was fourteen- standing in line to score tickets to the latest show. After receiving a BA in Photography from Savannah College of Art & Design, she began working with a diverse range of musicians. She currently resides in Detroit. Her work can be found at

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