Location: Rochester, New York Estimated Population: 210,565
In a lot of ways, Rochester, NY is just a really cold college town. Though it boasts a population well into six digits, much of the city is centered around the series of schools at its center. As such, it's not a place that traditionally exports a ton of music. Michael Rheinheimer, the main man behind Rochester band Attic Abasement isn't a college kid, nor does he make music that might suggest it. His three records to date sound like perverse cousins to the work of Bill Callahan or David Berman–gasping, wry compositions poking at existence. These aren't trendy tunes by any means, but that's part of the beauty of working in these climates. Without fellow travelers to poke and prod you, your art is free to become whatever it will. For Rheinheimer, it's classic sounding indie rock, well crafted, and nostalgic only in the sense that his songwriting clout is comparable to the forerunners of the genre.