2012 has been a big year !
And if you’re confused as to who to look out for in the following year don’t worry the suspense is part of the fun. It’s been tough writing up a list, mostly because there are so many other amazing artists out there. Below’s a bunch of music artists/groups that I’m planning to stalk throughout 2013 as well. Feel free to comment/add on any other artists you deem fit for the list below.
Emancipator (Douglas Appling) [Portland, US]
Trip Hop / Chillwave
American trip hop and chillwave producer Emancipator is a veteran that’s been around since 2006. The reason why he’s on this list is because his new album Dusk To Dawn is due to be dropping anytime now ! For now check out his website here.
Here’s one of his older tracks and one of my favorites, featuring Thao Nguyen. Unlike most of his tracks that are consisting of instrumental arrangements heavy on violin, this track is 5 minutes of pure chillwave bliss. Thao Nguyen, the vocalist from californian folk rock group The Get Down And Stay Down has a voice that almost seems to illustrate a dreamscape. Close your eyes at around the 2.25 mark and imagine a thin layer of snow gently creeping up your ankles. This track is from his album Soon It Will Be Cold Enough, a whole set of tracks that’ll set you in the mood for winter.
Jessie Ware [London, UK]
R&B / Soul
Best known for her single Wildest Moments, in 2012 she released her debut album Devotion that has been making all sorts of noise. For a new artist she’s being doing more than well, having performed vocals for SBTRKT only months from her debut. This R&B and soul songstress is definitely one to look out for. Check out her soundcloud here.
Here’s her lead single 110% produced by Julio Bashmore from her debut album Devotion.
Emma Louise [Brisbane, Australia]
Indie / Acoustic / Alternative
Australian indie songwriter Emma Louise has been around on youtube for quite some time posting covers of songs and originals and whatnot. In 2011 we first heard her name when she came out of nowhere and made the Triple J Hottest 100 list with her track Jungle. She caused quite some commotion, with that mysterious tomboy look, no record label. and of course;that voice. Definitely one of the more intrigueing artists out there. So what’s she been doing up till now? Nothing much, not till her recent single Boy which apparently is part of an album to be released in 2013. Keep up to date with her at her bandcamp page here.
Here’s her recent single Boy. Not as catchy as her debut single but still decent.
Azealia Banks [Harlem, US]
Rap / Hip Hop / Alternative
There’s not all that much to say about American rapper and singer Azealia Banks other than she is extremely young and talented. Having been into musical theater and performed in off broadway since youth it’s quite appalling that she’s ended up here. However her undeniable flow as a rapper is what caught my attention. Even though she has said in interview that she looks up to senior artistes Aaliyah and Beyonce, her fans have begun describing her as the female Kanye West. She’s on this list because of her next album Broke With Expensive Taste that should be released this year. Check out her soundcloud here.
I understand that many music lovers tend to be skeptics when it comes to rap but give her track her listen and I guarantee you’ll think different.
Madeon (Hugo Pierre Leclerq) [Nantes, France]
Electro / House / Pop / Mash-up
Having started composing music at the age of 11, without any exaggeration, this kid is a prodigy. If you haven’t seen the clip of him with his Novation Launchpad make magic with 39 samples of songs in Pop Culture. Below is said video.
Anyways after this clip and over six million views within a few days later, it quickly propelled him to international fame. At age 18 this year, he has already been featured on 15 Minutes of Fame, invited to perform at none other than the biggest dance music festival in Miami, Ultra Music Festival anddddd on top of that, the prestigious Coachella in California. Right now he’s listed as the 54th Top 100 Dj’s List as of 2012. But that’s about to change real fast. It’s rumoured that this 18 year old is going to be one of the producers of Lady Gaga’s much awaited album ARTPOP. Take some time to absorb that. While most of us were trying to figure out our uni applications that’s what he was doing.
Once you get over the shame, take a peek at his most recent and only EP released so far
“i’m french, i make music” here’s a link to his soundcloud.
Rober DeLong [Seattle, US]
Synth / Pop / Electro
This guy is your success story. Heading to Los Angeles nothing but a tolbox of Wii-motes, keyboards, and drums to develop DeLong has managed to capture the attention of critics by putting on a few live shows and was scouted on the spot by a label executive who signs him to a record deal. I can’t even begin to explain what genre he specializes in. But I think the best way to explain would be telling you what he does. This man is the the jack of all the trades, he is the bob the builder of the music industry. You name it, he can do it. DeLong uses the drums, keyboards, laptops, drum pads, wii-motes, and on top of that does his own songwriting and vocals. The man makes music that suits a dancefloor yet couple with lyrics for your earphones as well.
MTV describes him as “a one-man band, dance party, and philosopher”. It’s no wonder he’s on MTV’s list of artists to watch. And of course my list as well. Here’s a link to his soundcloud, check out his new Just Movement EP due to release in 2013.
Now this, is a musician at work.
Zedd (Anton Zaslavski) [Russia]
Electro House / Progressive House / Dubstep
Russian-German dance music producer and DJ has been around since 2011 catching attention by his remix of Skrillex’s Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites but only in 2012 has he been really mixing things up (pun intended). I Don’t Like You with Eva Simons and Beauty and The Beat with Justin Bieber and Nicki MInaj sound familiar? Both produced by him. Alongside Madeon, Zedd will be one of the producers for ARTPOP as well. No doubt this 23 year old has got big things coming up in 2013. Stick around at his soundcloud here.
For now here’s one of his originals and one of my favorite progressive house tracks of all time.
MØ (Karen Marie Ørsted) [Copenhagen, Denmark]
Electronic Soul / Synth Pop
Honestly there’s nothing much we know about her other than she’s from Copenhagen and has an AMAZING voice. Think Lana Del Rey and Purity Ring combined and you’d be somewhere close. Either way, she’s definitely earned her place on my list. Here’s her facebook page link but there’s really nothing much on there now. Let’s await her debut album in 2013 and we can be assured it’ll be bustling with fans.
Here’s all she’s released up till now.
Laura Mvula [Birmingham, UK]
Soul / Jazz / Gospeldelia
25 year old English singer/songwriter Laura Mvula is another one of those newcomers that the media has absolutely nothing on them. All we know is that after releasing one single in 2012 she’s been signed to Sony’s RCA and nominated by BBC as one of the Sounds of 2013. They even went has far to create a new genre for her “Gospeldelia”. After hearing her sing you’ll understan why it’s so hard to put a genre on her music. Follow her at her soundcloud page here
Here’s an artist that’s bring something new (or old) back to music!
Kodaline [Dublin, Ireland]
Alternative Rock / Indie / Folk
Dublin based Irish alternative rock quartet first appeared in 2007 with their single Give Me A Minute but have been laying low since then. Out of nowhere, in 2012 they released an entire EP (The Kodaline EP) with the widely acclaimed tearjerker track All I Want. They were recently well deservedly nomiated one of the Sounds of 2013 as well. Follow them at their soundcloud here.
Here’s their new High Hopes EP. (P.S. High Hopes comes with a tear jerking video too.)
Imagine Dragons [Las Vegas, US]
Alternative Rock / Indie Rock
The four piece rock band from Vegas requires doesn’t really any introduction right? I’m sure you’ve heard them all over the radio for that one excellent track that even after your 27th time hearing it still somehow manages to put you in a good mood. Anyways go check the rest of their It’s Time EP at their soundcloud page here. It’s not half bad at all. Can’t wait to see what’s in store for them in the coming year.
If you’ve been living in a hole, here’s a little recap.
The Neighbourhood [California, US]
Alternative / Indie Rock / Experimental / Rap
Californian quintet The Neighbourhood has been active since 2011 yet has definitely not been receiving deserved attention. Which is exactly what makes them so damn, well, cool. The group has been extremely bold with their genres. Their recent album release I’m Sorry… is described to be “genre splicing” and once you’ve had a peek at it, it’s pretty hard to put a finger on what exactly this band is up to. However, whatever they’re up to, let’s hope they’re doing it right. The first I’ve heard of them was almost a year back when I heard Sweater Weather and they had me almost instantly. Back then, their soundcloud was non existent and their facebook page had a meager 405 likes. Now they’ve got up to 40,000 likes and a soundcloud with over 3000 followers. But since then, they’ve released a few tracks that’s got us wondering what they’re doing. Let’s hope they’ve got the experimenting out of their system and get their act together. If they do, we can be sure that they’re gonna be one of the big contenders for 2013.
Here’s Sweater Weather, beautiful video, amazing lyrics, and just pure gold.
Here’s another track of their’s remixed from alternative to trap! Now that’s genre splicing
F Y F E [London, UK]
Alternative / Electronic / Synth
He has one track and nothing else to back him up. But maybe it’s all this mystery that’s is catch? These days we pretty much expect to know all about an artist, from how many siblings to what grammar school he went to before actually hearing his music. Well this anonymous musician isn’t about to let that happen, his music will be judged for what it is. For a first track it is certainly amazing and has captured attention all over the web. The track features low key vocals along with melodic guitar and chilled out drumbeats. His upcoming EP to be released in March is already accompanied with extremely high but appropriate expectations. Check out his fresh new webpage here. Don’t miss out listen to his track below.
Kate Boy [Sydney & Sweden]
Electronic Pop / Synth Pop
Coming out from seemingly nowhere, this band based in both Sydney and Sweden have released their new track Northern Lights that I’m sure anyone would agree sounds like it’s drawn inspiration from The Knife. However, this doesnt mean it’s a cheap knockoff, if anything it’s some extremely sensual and complex synth pop you’re about to hear. If this doesn’t make you wanna move from the first beat, I don’t know what will! Check out In Your Eyes as well, it’s almost as equally catchy.
Last Lynx [Stockholm, Sweden]
Electronic / Indie Pop
I’ve already wrote about them before but there’s just too much promise. Maybe it’s the gentle male and female vocals, maybe it’s the low riff guitar but since hearing Killing Switch I think there’s no debate that they deserve and will get so much more attention in the year to come. Even though the year has just started, I’m willing to bet that by the end of it they’ll still be one of my favorite bands this year if not all time. Check out their soundcloud page here
The Royal Concept [Stockholm, Sweden]
Electronic / Indie Pop / Alternative Rock
Anyone remember Phoenix? Well not to overexaggerate but these guys sound just like them and not in a bad way at all. This Swedish quartet carries the same sunny pop and electronic elements that Phoenix does, frequently combining the use of jazz insruments as well.The band only released their self-titled debut EP June 2012 which frankly speaking showed much promise but wasn’t all that remarkable. After listening to Gimme Twice which as been all over the radio a few months back, it led me to check out some of their older tracks. It’s the one track Naked & Dumb that got me so intrigued and instant fans of them. Even though they’re already pretty much widely acclaimed especially with their recent relese of World On Fire I hope they pick up the pace and expeirment a bit more in the following year. Check out their soundcloud here
Here’s a list of my favorite tracks. (Naked & Dumb is still my favorite)
Yes, I know. They sound an awful lot like Phoenix.
STRFKR (Starfucker) [Portland, US]
Indie Pop / Electronic / Electronica
Before I say anything, what an awesome name for a band. I mean, what’s better than being a star? Fucking a star, that’s what. Formally known as Pyramidd, the quartet is known for making music that makes you get up on your feet and dance as well as keep you company on long bus rides. The band’s been around since 2007 doing some electronica back then but now since their release of While I’m Alive in 2012 they’ve veered more or less towards indie pop and it’s serving them well. The reason why they’re on this list is their album Miracle Mile that’s due to be released in March. They’e been teasing us by dropping one track from the album each month and believe me it’s making my panties all wet. Check out their soundcloud page here
Here’s a list of my favorites.
Bloc Party [London, UK]
Indie Rock / Alternative Rock / Electronic
Sounding something like The Cure and Radiohead mashed together but much more upbeat, this band’s definitely got the recipe to success. Much like many of the other bands on this list the’ve been around for quite some time, since 2007 actually and have been widely acclaimed ever since. The reason why they’re on this list is because of their recently released album Four. This album didn’t really hold any amazing tracks but was more or less consistently enjoyable. It’s as if the band is going back to its roots and reconstructing itself. The band might not be releasing anything much in 2013 but if they do we canbe sure it’ll be worth waiting for. In any case, there’s bound to be many remixes to come! Here’s their website, link
And here’s what i mean by remixes to come!
Carousel [Brooklyn, US]
Electronic Pop / Indie
2 man electro pop group Carousel has emerged in 2012 with extremely catchy electronic instrumentals along with soothing vocals. Their songs make you wanna dance but not in a trashy way y’know. Some might even say they sound like a mellowed out Owl City and Penguin Prison put together. But personally I like them so much more. They’re definitely one of my favorites of 2012 and I hope to see much more of them in 2013. Having only released one album so far (Stay Awake), they’ve been extremely popular. However, their songs tend to have a once you’ve heard one you’ve heard ’em all quality to them so they’d better start experimenting if they wanna stay current. Here’s their soundcloud page link
Here’s a list of my favorites along with an amazing Sound Remedy remix.
Atlas Genius [Adelaide, Australia]
Indie Rock / Alternative Rock
Adelaide based indie rock band Atlas Genius first released Trojans back in 2011 and I haven’t stopped stalking them since. Vocalist and guitarist Keith Jeffrey’s dreamy voice is enough to make any track sound straight out of a sheesha lounge. Their debut EP Through The Glass has turned heads all over the U.S. and they’ve since been signed to Warner Bros Records. Their next EP When It Was Now is due to be released anytime now and a few teasers have been dropped already. Check out their music at the soundcloud page here link.
For a bonus there’s a cover of The XX’s Islands in there too
Flume (Harley Streten) [Sydney, Australia]
Indie / Electronic / Trap / Synth
Sydney DJ/Producer Harley Streten is one of those musical geniuses that just happen to have an amazing sense for what works and what doesn’t. He’s like a 5 star hotel chef when it comes to making music, and he uses every sound he can get his hands on as his ingredients. He chops them up, dices them down, sautees them, then tosses them on his turntable to make something that he calls “Flumestep”. He’s been mixing music since as young as 13 but has only recently released his debut EP Sleepless. I wouldn’t know how to describe it but I guess it’s warm, soulful, wobbly, cuddly and segmented. Why am I even trying, check out his soundcloud and make your own conclusions. link
Ultraísta [London, UK]
Experimental / Electro Pop / Synth / Future Garage
“I wanted to take that kind of colorful, intense, full-on vibration,
put it in a ball, and project it out into the universe.”
Ultraísta is definitely not your conventional rock band. If anything, it’s more of a musical project. The group consists of producer Nigel Godrich, drummer Joey Waronker and vocalist Laura Bettinson. Other than Bettinson, the other two are pretty much legends in music. You might recognize Godrich as the producer for Radiohead and Waronker as one of the greatest rock drummers in the industry. Bettinson being the vocalist who they deemed worthy of this project. The group’s story is almost as intrigueing as the music they create. Can’t wait to see what they have in store in the years to come. Read more about them here.
Meanwhile check out their soundcloud page here and below are two of my favorites.
AlunaGeorge [London, UK]
Electronic / Pop
The english electronic duo have been around since 2009 but have only released their first commercial single Your Drums, Your Love a few weeks back. If hard pressed, I’d say this duo sounds a bit like swedish female DJ Duo Icona Pop. Aluna Francis the vocalist has extremely powerful vocals that you’d be surprised she isn’t singing soul or mainstream R&B alongside Beyonce. George Reid the producer compliments her voice nicely by creating a great nuance with pretty low key backs and bleeps. Nevertheless this exotic style of music that they’ve got going on is definitely working out and they’ve already won second place for Sounds of 2013 despite only getting any attention recently. Check out their soundcloud page here.
Purity Ring [Montreal, Canada]
Experimental Pop / Future Garage / Electro Pop / Disco / Indie
Purity RIng is the project of Corin Roddick and Megan James. This mysterious group has been known to be around since their 2011 release of Ungirthed that blew us away with a genre music we’ve never experience before. Since then people have started relating the group to Grimes and even Crystal Castles. Personally I think it’s far from all that. Their music features ghostly almost ethereal vocals from Megan James yet is always accompanied by beats that are more than ready for the clubs. Since their dramatic debut the group has done no press releases, no photoshoots. Basically they’ve given out nothing at all. However, in 2013 they’ve got a whole bunch of tours booked so I’m hoping they’ll have a larger arsenal of tracks ready. On top of that I’m still waiting for them to drop their first album! Despite how little I’ve heard from them, I’ve been hooked ever since two years back. (Yes I know it sounds slightly unhealthy but it’s true!). Here’s their soundcloud page but it’s empty for now. Link
Listen to these and come share my unhealthy obsessions
Xander The Great [London, UK]
Electronic / R&B / New Wave
The band is made of the duo Xander Taha and Ed Sanders and they’ve only been on my radar about half a year ago and hasn’t really caught my attention till their recent first official debut single Bloodhound which completely blew me away. I don’t know too much about them yet but I’m sure the world will soon. Check out their soundcloud here.