Why you should check it out: As the first EDM artist signed to indie powerhouse label Glassnote (Mumford & Sons, Phoenix), Robert DeLong is a pretty perfect choice. His music is both addictively pop-based and thought-provoking, pushing boundaries on topics like identity and spirituality. His one man act results in a live show that is truly something to see, with him running a full drum kit, singing, and working his loops with a variety of video game controllers.
What's up for 2013: The highly anticipated full album Just Movement drops on January 22, 2013 and you can expect to see a full calendar of live dates with one in a city near you.
Why you should check it out: Time's All Gone was one of the most refreshing albums released in 2012. Fully embracing the throw-back current running through music right now and presenting something that fits perfectly into today's music scene. The bleating sax, unprocessed raw vocals, and all-analog sound, recall the smoky R&B clubs of the 1950s mixed with a dash of modern California cool.
What's up for 2013: While Time's All Gone came out in 2012 it's still building buzz with a placement in a national car commercial and Waterhouse's continuing series of small club shows.
Reminds us of: Devin, J.D. McPherson, Mayor Hawthorne
Why you should check it out: Dublin's Little Green Cars formed in 2007 when most of the band was just 15. They've spent the last 5 years developing their sound and perfecting their vocal harmonies; so far the results are impressive. Their debut song "The John Wayne" is fully-formed and as they predicted, pretty easy to fall in love with. Not surprising, as they spent their summer recording with producer Markus Davis (Mumford & Sons, Arcade Fire, Coldplay).
What's up for 2013: The song is already picking up radio play at some major stations around the country and the clever video is racking up views on Youtube; all this, and their full length effort doesn't hit until the first part of 2013.
Reminds us of: Mumford & Sons, Bombay Bicycle Club
Why you should check it out: Ryan Beatty is just 17 years old and a year ago he was posting videos of himself singing on Youtube. If this sounds familiar, it should; Ryan is very much following the path of fellow Youtube sensation turned star Justin Bieber, and to bring things full circle Bieber even covered “Every Little Thing”, one of Ryan’s songs. The blend of his outstanding voice, catchy pop melodies, and breezy lyrics is something not to be missed, and will pretty soon will be all over your radio.
What's up for 2013: Ryan is moving from online to the big time, with a full length release hitting during 2013 and his selection as one of the faces of national a PSA campaign.
Reminds us of: Justin Beiber, Jason Mraz, One Direction
Why you should check it out: Black Prairie started as a downtime creative outlet for three members of The Decemberists who wanted to explore classic instrumental string-band music and tap into an eclectic array of influences that didn’t necessarily fit into their other band’s palette. On their 2012 album, A Tear in the Eye is a Wound in the Heart, you’ll hear classic Americana melancholy, jubilant bluegrass leads, and pulsing Romani rhythms. The final track was born from wondering what a heavy metal song would sound like on dobros and acoustic guitars.
What's up for 2013: With a club tour in the early part of year, the Decemberists taking some time off, and Singers, their continuing series of EP's based on new and fresh collaborations, they should be pretty easy to find.
Reminds us of: Taraf de Haïdouks, Andrew Bird, the Decemberists
Why you should check it out: Marie Miller brings her own brand of pop inflected folk to her songs. Her first major label release "You're Not Alone", from Nashville powerhouse Curb Records, comes ready made for hand-clapping and crowd sing-alongs. Her talent and bright spirit are all over the song, from the bouncy delivery to the toe-tapping guitar rhythm. A talented multi-instrumentalist, Miller brings the house down with her mandolin.
What's up for 2013: Her full length effort will drop in the spring and she will hit the road to support. From what we've heard of the new record, it will be worth the wait.
Why you should check it out: The 2012 album from In This Moment, Blood, solidifies the Los Angeles-based band as a unique presence in hardcore and metal, combining the genres’ classic elements of crushing riffs and rage with a refreshing sense of melody and songwriting, all presented with a unique aesthetic. Their previous albums generated undeniable buzz and landed them on major tours from 2007-2009.
What's up for 2013: The title track "Blood" is helping push In This Moment from the underground into the mainstream, the video has 3 million plus views on youtube, and with strong record sales they are looking to make their moment last.
Reminds us of: Halestorm, All That Remains, Flyleaf
Why you should check it out: While most people assume on first listen Nico Vega is a solo artist, in reality it's a group, formed in 2005. You've already heard at least one of their songs, between late night TV performances, video games, and popular movies, their songs have been widely used in the second half of 2012.
What's up for 2013: The group's second album of original material, We Are the Art, is expected in the spring. With all the exposure they've seen in the last couple of months and no signs of it slowing down, we think 2013 is looking pretty bright.
Reminds us of: the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Metric, PJ Harvey
Why you should check it out: Bootstraps is all about the emotion that music can invoke. Their self-titled release from this year is a love letter to lead singer Jordan Beckett's home state of California, and invokes memories of growing up and getting by in the Golden state.
What's up for 2013: If you watch prime-time TV you've already heard the Bootstraps music; they've had songs included in at least 5 shows, worked on 2 film soundtracks, and have several more large projects in the works.
Reminds us of: Ray LaMontagne, Benjamin Gibbard, Freelance Whales
Why you should check it out: Pronounced "juh-jamz", the band took its name from the first letter of each band members name, which is fitting as this is real musicians collective. Boasting a member from each Maroon 5, Rilo Kiley, Phantom Planet, and The Like, Jjamz has the experience already under its belt. Their 2012 debut album Suicide Pact came together over the last 4 years when busy schedules allowed.
What's up for 2013: With their first single "Heartbeat" already a hit overseas and multiple ad campaigns already lined-up to use the song including a major clothing retailer, Jjamz is full speed ahead in support of their debut.
Why you should check it out: When Nigel Godrich, acclaimed producer of Radiohead, puts out an album, it's worth a listen no matter what. When that album also includes Joey Waronker and Laura Bettinson you know it's going to be something special. The self-titled album is pure electro-pop bliss with buzzing synths and haunting vocals from Bettinson.
What's up for 2013: With Radiohead taking a much deserved break for at least part of 2013, Godrich has time to devote to his latest project and its extensive global tour schedule.
Why you should check it out: Male-female harmonies have been all the rage in popular music lately and Sweden's Shout Out Louds have been doing it for years. Formed in Stockholm in 2001 this indie-rock band has been constantly evolving their sound, and their latest single "Blue Ice" is result of that work. Stripping down their sound while still maintaining their solid rock feel has made them simultaneously accessible and engaging.
What's up for 2013: The new album Optica, drops February 26 and we think now is the time for the Shout Out Louds to make their mark on the main stream.
Why you should check it out: When the hit pop-punk band The White Tie Affair broke-up in 2011 it freed-up lead singer Chris Wallace to pursue a solo career. His first effort is one of the can't miss pop albums released in 2012. The album has been critically acclaimed for its catchy pop hooks, ear worm tendencies, and its distinctly mature take on male pop. What's up for 2013: With radio play increasing, a packed tour schedule, a music video rapidly picking up views online, and a national ad campaign under his belt Chris is creating fans the old fashioned way with his high energy shows and great songs.
Reminds us of: The Wanted, The White Tie Affair, Maroon 5
Why you should check it out: Indie-rock band the Rescues is comprised of four singer-songwriters coming together in beautiful four-part harmony. The band is pretty unique in the way they all contribute to songwriting and share lead vocal duties. Each of the band's members had experienced at least moderate solo success before the project came together, and they are most definitely better together. What's up for 2013: With fan-funded album currently in the works to be self-released in 2013 and a ton of TV placement for their music already under their belt, we're betting you hear their name quite a bit more in the upcoming year.
Reminds us of: Imagine Dragons, Glen Hansard, The Head and the Heart
Why you should check it out: In 2012 you probably heard the song "Tonight is the Night" on a commercial, the radio, or somewhere online and you probably didn't know it was the work of New York MC and singer Richard Andrew aka Outasight. After 7 mix-tapes, an EP, and literally thousands of small shows, Outasight has finally dropped his highly anticipated full-length album Nights Like These. The album is full of the unique mix of hip-hop beats, indie inspiration, pop magic, and New York life that his fans have come to love. What's up for 2013: With the album released Outasight has been freed up to take his show on the road; with a slot in a major American tour this summer, you're going to be seeing him quite a bit in 2013.