One of our biggest goals in 2013 is to bring you even more new and cutting edge artists than ever before. Be it music, film, comedy, or something else altogether that absolutely floor us, we are dedicated to helping usher in the next wave of talent that will soon overtake the industry.
Just over a year ago we brought you our first ‘5 Artists To Watch’ feature (found here), and in the months that have passed since we have watched those same artists become some of the most recognized names in the alternative community. With this year’s list we tried to focus on bands that not only worked harder than most, but we specifically looked for those that are pushing themselves to find new ways to expand and build on what is currently popular. These artist are not your run of the mill knockoff acts who will scrape by on similarities alone, but rather bands and musicians working around the clock to bring something new to as many people as they can, and it’s that passion for evolution that leads us to believe they will become big names in 2013.
Squid The Whale
Two EPs into their career with singer Bradley Walden, Squid the Whale are on the fast track to success. Converting concert goers into fans on a nightly basis isn’t such a difficult task with charisma and character practically oozing from the band’s live set. Technical and infectious guitar leads compliment hard-hitting drum patterns and some of the most groovy bass lines you’ll find in an “alternative rock band.” Sitting prettily atop this rock solid instrumental foundation is one of the most powerful and coveted set of vocals in the scene. Simply put, ‘Rock & Soul’ is the easiest way to describe the sound produced by the Michigan collective that will be carrying them sky-high and nationwide this year.
Conditions stormed the gates in 2010. Playing the APTour and gracing the magazine’s 100 bands to know in 2010 AND 2011, it seemed the band were going somewhere big, fast. Their live show could attest to this. Soaring vocals from Brandon Roundtree and some ear bleeding guitar licks beg for a stadium to fill with sound. Yet, for the most part, the band is still playing clubs. They deserve far more. The had a glimpse at Soundwave 2012, but with a new album recorded and in the mastering process as we write, Conditions are looking for an even bigger year and we have no doubt they’ll find it.
Tiny Moving Parts
It’s hard to pinpoint what makes any one band stand out more than others in their scene, but most the writers would say that it’s one of those things “you just know.” Some may say it’s a feeling, or just a sense that overcomes the listener, but there is something in the way certain songs connect with listeners that is too powerful to be denied. It’s the kind of feeling that makes you feel both alive and surrounded by like-minded people simultaneously, and the first time we heard Tiny Moving Parts our entire staff collectively shared that feeling. The passion and lyrical intensity laced through each track on The Couch Is Long And Full Of Friends oozes with teen angst and tales of friendship in such a way you that can almost instantly picture basement shows and VFW halls full of sweaty kids screaming along under dim lights with their arms wrapped around one another. If that sounds like your kind of concert, then Tiny Moving Parts are about to become your new favorite band.
In a time where the lines between genres are more blurred than ever, Boston’s Bad Rabbits have emerged with a sound that defies categorization. They’re as funk as they are punk, and have more soul than their pop sensibilities may lead you to believe. Their début EP (Stick Up Kids) was on repeat so long we had to buy another copy, but even that release cannot compare to our love for their most recent single, “We Can Roll.” 2013 will be the year Bad Rabbits finally release their long-awaited follow-up and we have no doubts that they will quickly become one of the biggest crossover success stories of the year.
Few terms make modern music fans shudder like “nu-metal,” so for the sake of better selling Ohio’s Dangerkids we will attempt to write the following section without referring to that scene (even though they fit perfectly).
Having only been an active band since April of last year, Dangerkids have quickly amassed an online presence and following that developed acts take years to build, and they did it almost entirely without blog coverage or live performances. Their slick, high-gloss approach to marketing and music production sets a new standard for independent artists hoping to garner the attention of increasingly distracted listeners, and they have a sound to match. Part hip hop, part rock, these guys are bringing a new twist to a genre most only relate to Linkin Park, and their current opening slot on Sleeping With Sirens’ spring headlining tour is only the start of what they have in store for 2013.
Who do you think will be the breakout artist of 2013? Comment below and let us know!