Home COVID-19 All the Local Musicians to Listen to While Social Distancing

All the Local Musicians to Listen to While Social Distancing

by Erica Commisso
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Hoboken is, probably, most famous for being the birthplace of baseball, the live music hangout Maxwell’s, and of musical legend Frank Sinatra. Everywhere you turn, there are signs of Frank’s career, homages to his work, and monuments to his life. But, Hoboken and Hudson County are also home to many talented musicians and artists, across genres and sounds. Check out a comprehensive list of songs and work from local artists than can make staying inside a bit more melodic. 

Know of a local musician to include? Email us at [email protected]!

hoboken jerseycity musicians

Alex Tea 

Jersey City’s Alex Tea is a multi-platform artist, and his musical work crosses all platforms and incorporates many of the instruments he plays. His songs have roots in everything from reggae, MPB, and funk to soul and folk music. Check out Alex’s music and all of his work on his website.

Beninghove’s Hangmen 

Composer, writer, singer, and philanthropist — Bryan Beninghove does it all —he’s a composer, writer singer, and philanthropist, and his music has been heard in large audiences and on Bravo TV and Comedy Central. With an endorsement like that, Beninghove’s Hangmen is definitely a must-listen. Learn about Bryan and the band and check out their music on his website

See More: A Round-Up of Entertainment Around the Web to Enjoy at Home

Big Wake

This rock band just released a new album, and it’s definitely worth a listen. The self-titled album is sure to pump some energy into your home, and will definitely make you break out that air guitar and those air drums you’ve been practicing. Check them out on their website

Brett Altman

Brett has won Indie Nation’s Viral Music Competition, and released his first single, “Come Find Me”, through Sony Music’s The Orchard. His recent single, “Full of You”, is described by Atwood Magazine as “easily among the most dynamic of Altman’s work, with its quick pulse and energetic, harmony-laden choruses maintaining a lively atmosphere from start to finish”. Since moving to Hoboken in 2015, Brett has established himself in the Tri-State area music scene through gigs at Rockwood Music Hall, The Bitter End NYC, PIANOS, The Bowery Electric, and other local venues. You can check out his music and virtual performances here.


Indie rock group BWQ recorded their latest EP “Crack Up” last year in Nashville, and frontman Darryl Joo, bassist Jack Breslin, and the band are all proud Hoboken residents. Each of the band’s songs is something to smile about. Get band news and stream their music on their website

Craig Akin 

Jersey City’s Craig Akin contributes the bass to his band’s blues, jazz, and funk sound. The Akin Backbeat play a lot of shows around Hudson County and Hoboken, and his tours have taken him across the country. The band’s tunes are great to get you into your groove. Check out Craig’s website and find videos of his music. 

Debra Devi 

Debra Devi is a rock singer and guitarist from Jersey City who made waves when she played for over 500 people at White Eagle Hall a few years ago. Check out what all the fuss was about on her website and jam out to her killer tunes on Spotify


This four-piece band is based in the Mile Square but features a unique twist: their act consists of guitar, bass, drums, and harmonica. Frenetic debuted in Hoboken at Willie McBride’s in July 2019, and their self-described “synchronistic wonderland” is sure to please your eardrums. Listen to their music on SoundCloud

Forget the Whale 

Jersey City’s Forget the Whale has a knack for music in every genre, and it helps them keep their sound ever-changing. The band’s repertoire mixes inspiration from many places and vibes, including the blues, rock, alternative, R&B, country, funk, and nu-metal. Jam along on Spotify

Greg Humphreys + the Electric Trio

Singer-songwriter Greg Humphreys has been making sweet sounds in the Mile Square since 2013, both as a solo act and with his group, the Electric Trio. He’s done countless local gigs across the city, and his soulful songs are sure to please. Check out their website to find them wherever you stream music. 

James Calleo

Inspired by folk and rock music, James Calleo is a staple in the Hoboken music scene. He has a background in yoga and no shortage of musical talent, so his work is sure to soothe our spirits and leave us feeling serene. Check out his website and his music on Spotify

Karyn Kuhl Band

Karyn Kuhl started her musical career in Hoboken, performing over at the famous Maxwell’s. Now, the Karyn Kuhl Band has a new EP, called Hey Kidthat “is a musical reminder that there are more of us than them — but we need to rise up and make some righteous noise,” according to the website. Check out the band’s Bandcamp page here.

Kelli Bruno

Hoboken resident and New Jersey native Kelli Bruno loves “a good beer and a good time,” and her folk music pulls a bit of indie and pop inspiration into her original tracks to make sure everyone gets what they want. She does covers, too, tackling everything from jazz to R&B. Check her out on Spotify.  

Read More: 50 Things to Do at Home So You’re Never Bored

Lil Steez 

This 19-year-old Jersey City native has built up quite the fan base, with over 100K streams on SoundCloud not even three months after recording in 2016. You can check out what all the hype is about on Spotify.  


MykeSouL released his debut single on Spotify in 2017, and he’s been jamming on the Hoboken/Jersey City music scene ever since. He’s even played in famous venues like Bowery Electric and is using his time in quarantine very wisely — he’s recording an EP! To prepare, check him out on Spotify and YouTube.


Jersey City rapper Obreez has some famous fans: Snoop Dogg once shared his song “Jungle” on his YouTube channel. He travels to Los Angeles once a month to record new music and collaborate with other artists, so his Spotify is jam-packed with rap goodies. An added bonus: Obreez is active in his community too, and often gives Thanksgiving turkeys to Jersey City community members in need, and hosts community toy drives for the holidays.

The Toll Collectors 

The Toll Collectors — made up of Christina Alessi, Jonathan Andrew, Josh Bicknell, Sean-David Cunningham, Mari Byrd Hubley, and Ty Tuschen — are a Hoboken-based band with a smooth and sultry sound. They’re inspired by various artists of many different times and genres, including Ella Fitzgerald, Sia, and Dean Martin. Listen to them on Christina Alessi’s website.

Twiddlin’ Thumbs

Hailing from the Jersey City Heights, Twiddlin’ Thumbs brings a classic Americana sound, complete with banjo, to their music. And, an added bonus: they’re a musical couple who takes their act around the Hoboken and Jersey City area for all to enjoy. Check them out on Instagram

The Innovataz

This quartet has known each other forever, and they bonded over a mutual desire to work to the same goal: to make music and to inspire people. The artists and producers make music that’s sure to get your creative juices going. Check them out on Spotify

Vincent, The OWL

This Jersey City rapper writes for Chicpea JC, and has been in the rap game for a long time. He’s both lyrical and emotional and adds his own personal twist on rap music. His repertoire includes a rather extensive catalog, so get to listening on Spotify.

Yo La Tengo 

Formed in Hoboken in 1984, Yo La Tengo has given us over a dozen indie-rock albums to choose from, written and performed with different group members. They were staples on the Maxwell’s setlist, and their music quickly and easily proves why they’re considered a local pride. Keep up with the band on their website and listen to their work on Spotify

What local musicians are you listening to? Let us know in the comments! 


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