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From "Microsoft Store Paintings"Michael Manning

States of Independence: our new heroes

Bubbling up from the underground are a bevy of genre-smashing, click-baiting, diet-tipping creatives – the freshest names we discovered in our sea to sea survey of America


Alexis Penney – previously profiled here – is one of New York's most pivotal underground names, and, as well as releasing incredible music runs the rad post-drag band Chez Deep. They took over a day for our State of Sex week, and Alexis's Pop Quiz is one of the most radical / tru summations we've posted in this hurricane of "content".


While putting together State of Art, one name that kept on coming up was Michael Manning. An LA painter who hops on Microsoft mall-shop laptops to make his canvases, his day-in-the-life is a great read.


Also heavily tipped during our art special was Maja Cule. Taking to GIFs to make her feminist-art historical statements, we dig her because she's expressive, high impact and smart, and encourage you to follow her hawkishly.


One of the people we're proudest to show the world during this season of American independence isn't even American. Manc producer Boothroyd was recommended to us as the US's most important by Warm Up's Imogene Strauss (who, we should stress, is a native daughter of New York City), saluting the ongoing importance of Limeys on America today.


A Drake-tipped rapper whose weird-vivid-weird raps and elliptical real-life stories make him one of the most vital forces in about-to-blow hip hop, we spoke to him in Atlanta for State of Music week. 


State of Literature was a fantastic week looking at the vital and thrilling world of underground, DIY and alternative writing stateside today. Author and illustrator Atticus Lish was one of the most outlying of all of these, recommended by Tyrant Books as part of their takeover. 


Mira – who contributed a clickbait-biting pom of diet tips – as part of Kenneth Goldsmith's day of poetry found in the cracks of the pavement and the internet. 


Sex week alert! Giving a fresh face to gender diversity as one of the founding members of trans performance collective Chez Deep is Hari Nef. Documenting her transition openly, she is one of New York's most interesting new performers.


Tearing up Atlanta by giving it a reason to wake up and pause the hip hop is Raury, the 18-year-old indigo child whose mix of genreless music is so magnifying, it's a scene in and of itself.


The 23-year-old writer and editor at Rookie is "more in tune with the thoughts and emotions of young women in America than any other non-teen". Cherry-picked to be part of Mike the Ruler's Kingdom, she is all about bringing it in a bit closer: "My whole goal at Rookie and my career goal in fact is to do work that makes people feel less alienated".