Sunday, January 8, 2012

15 Artists to Watch in 2012

As we look into the New Year, we look forward to see what new sights and sounds 2012 will bring us. Here is a list of 15 musical acts that are sure to make a name for themselves in the year the Mayans believe the world will end.

1) Lana Del Rey – Not since Arctic Monkeys made a name for themselves has an artist been this hyped on the web. The New York City via Lake Placid singer found herself the talk of the blogosphere in 2011, thanks to her single, “Video Games,” which showcased her clever lyrics, talented voice and fantastic production. Now Del Rey will release her debut, Born to Die in January and it’s already being hailed by some critics.

2) Frank Ocean – While 2011 belonged to hip-hop collective Odd Future and their front man, Tyler, The Creator, Odd Future member Frank Ocean had more admiration thanks in part to his mixtapes and work on Jay-Z and Kanye’s epic Watch the Throne album. As Ocean readies a new solo album, this will be the year where he breaks out and may even break away from the collective that got him started.

3) Reptar – Athens, Georgia has given us amazing artists through the years – REM, B-52’s, Danger Mouse among others. Meet Athens next buzz band – Reptar. A pop-rock indie band that will certainly grab your attention right away.

4) Wolf Gang – This UK singer, producer, beatmaker is the full package and the real deal. Already a massive hit across the pond, Wolf Gang’s ambient electronic sounds will transport listeners to a whole new dimension.

5) S.C.U.M. – This London psychedelic punk band has been kicking around their city since 2007, now after all these years their music has taken shape in all the right ways. Once this band hits the festival circuit, they will be instant fan favorites.

6) The Front Bottoms – From New Jersey, a Blink-182 meets Ben Folds meets early Green Day inspired pop-punk band that take teenage angst to a whole new level. Their live shows are a sight to be seen and The Front Bottoms are ready to be The Garden State’s next big band.

7) Niki and the Dove – This Swedish duo formed in 2010 and signed to the legendary Sub Pop records in 2011 have managed to create the perfect blend of pop and electronica. Their live shows feel less like a concert and more like a Broadway production and with music this fascinating – 2012 is looking good for them to fly high.

8) Austra – A Canadian all girl electronic trio that have something special. Blending all types of electronic music together (pop, new wave, synth, Krautrock) and layering it under very sexual and seductive lyrics, Austra’s music is something that you can dance to and be entranced all at the same time.

9) Fallulah – 26-year-old Danish singer, Maria Apetri goes by the name Fallulah and has been a big buzz in Europe since releasing her debut in 2010. Now, as 2012 approaches, it is time Fallulah makes her mark in the US. Fans of Oh Land and Lykke Li will enjoy her immensely.

10) Dry the River – This London acoustic band has already drawn comparisons to another London acoustic band – Mumford and Sons and draws massive crowds to each of their shows back home. With their debut slated for the Spring and a forthcoming US tour, Dry the River are ready for your attention.

11) Howler – Howler are a Minneapolis garage rock band and are already getting attention from Spotify and NME and now deserve your attention. Signing to Rough Trade Records, the band will release their debut; America, Give Up in January and it for sure will be a record people talk about all year long.

12) Caveman – This Brooklyn band has only been around for a year but thanks to the release of their debut, Coco Beware and their acclaimed sets at SXSW and CMJ, Caveman are ready to emerge from the booming borough and into the New Year with a bang.

13) Blu – After releasing brilliant mixtape after brilliant mixtape, this California rapper has been a favorite among fans of the genre for years, but still remains unknown to the mainstream. After signing with Warner Bros for a 2011 release and later dropping the label and giving away his album for free, Blu is making his own rules and sticking to them, which is why he is someone who has respect among fans and critics wanting more.

14) Sulk – With the Godfathers of Britpop, The Stone Roses reuniting for a new album and world tour, the sound that dominated part of the world in the 90’s may experience a renaissance thanks in part to a new generation of bands that were inspired by the music that arrived a decade or so earlier.

15) Graffiti6 –Assembled by British producer Tommy D and songwriter Jamie Scott, Grffiti6 signed to Capitol Records and will release their debut in January and will be pop music’s favorite new band of 2012. Graffiti6’s radio friendly pop (think Coldplay, Snow Patrol) is easy to engage to and will swoon fans around the globe.