Our annual Bands to Watch showcase takes place at Ace of Cups on Saturday, Jan. 26, and features performances by Hytwr, wyd, Kashis Keyz, snarls and the Bascinets

Every year Alive picks five bands we think you should pay attention to, and every year it's never a struggle to find them. Columbus is flush with options. The tough part is whittling down the choices. The “Bands to Watch” descriptor means that we're not just jazzed about what these acts have done thus far (though we are); it means we think these groups have even more great stuff looming on the horizon, whether onstage or in the studio or both.

In 2019, we're highlighting Winston Hytwr's wobbly bedroom-pop birthed at the end of Ohio; the haunting, “dirty snow globe” tracks of trio wyd; the increasingly introspective rhymes of rapper Kashis Keyz; the sad-but-sparkly indie-rock of youthful foursome snarls; and the subtly dissonant, beautifully melodic pop songs of the Bascinets.

As we've done since 2003, Alive will host a FREE show with performances by all five Bands to Watch inductees; this year's venue is Ace of Cups, and the don't-miss show happens on Saturday, Jan. 26 (doors open at 7 p.m.). Read on to learn more about the 2019 Bands to Watch.