Who are The Current's most essential artists?

Technics 1200 turntable
Which artists should earn a spot on the Musicheads Essential Artists turntable? (MPR Photo / Nate Ryan)

This May, we're going to profile a handful of the most essential artists from The Current's playlist.

What makes an artist "essential"? Good question. It's not one we take lightly, so we're asking you, our fellow musicheads, for help, (see below).

We started by taking a look at the influential artists who've been around for a while and, for better or worse, have flown under the mainstream radar. We want to feature the artists who stand out as cool; the unique bands that any musichead worth their salt would have — or want to have — in their record collection.

Why does it matter? (Another good question.) Starting May 14 — the start of our annual Spring Member Drive — we'll reveal a new essential artist each day, based on your votes. You'll hear music from that artist every hour, and one of our hosts will go to the mat to tell you why that artist is truly worth knowing.

And the next day, we'll do it all over again, turning the spotlight to another great artist. It's like building an essential record collection on the radio.

Your chance to weigh in on who should make the cut starts now. We compiled a list of about 55 of the artists we think fit the theme, but hey, "essential" is a relative term, so we thought you could throw in some write-ins too, if you're inclined.

Vote for The Current's Musicheads Essential Artists

Pick five (or more) artists you think deserve the "essential" treatment.

We'll play back your favorite essential artists starting May 14, 2015 at 6 a.m. CDT.

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