Based in: London, UK
Band Members: Ritzy Bryan (vocals, guitar), Rhydian Dafydd (bass, backing vocals), Matt Thomas (drums, percussion)
This Welsh trio was responsible for one of my favourite albums of 2011 -The Big Roar- and Ritzy Bryan happened to be one of my major crushes of the year gone by.
With a sound reminiscent of the best of 1990s alt and noise rock, The Joy Formidable had a breakout year in 2011 culminating with them opening for the Foo Fighters. 2012 promises to be even bigger with the band embarking on their headlining tour.
Based in: Los Angeles, California
Band Members: Robbie Arnett, Graham Fink, Marlana Sheetz, Andrew Heringer, Curties Marrero
This is what I wrote about Milo Green in July 2011 ‘Sunny vocal harmonies that swing breezily from sweet and gentle to joyous and soaring; mingle with blissful folk pop melodies and simple, bittersweet lyrics to produce something quite magical. That for me in a (slightly big) nutshell is the sound of LA folk pop/rock quintet Milo Greene. It’s the kind of music one can’t help falling in love with’. Every word of that still rings true.
The band’s headed on its first headlining tour covering the West coast of USA from Feb onwards (check dates on their website) and plans to release their debut album in spring of 2012.
Based in: Chicago, Illinois
Band Members: Macie Stewart (vocals, keyboard), Liam Cunningham (vocals, guitar), Vic Mensa (rapper), Nico Segal (trumpet), J.P. Floyd (trombone), Lane Beckstrom (bass), Greg Landfair Jr. (drums), Rajiv Halim (saxophone)
It’s always a pleasure to discover artists whose music reflects the joy that they feel while making music. That pleasure is heightened when the music they play is an enthralling mix of blues, hip hop, soul, jazz and rock. And that in a nutshell is what Chicago based collective Kids These Days is all about.
Over the course of 2011 they released their debut EP Hard Times and managed to play at Lollapolooza. They are working on their debut album Traphouse Rock which is being produced by Jeff Tweedy of Wilco and is scheduled to be released in the first half of 2012. So there’s plenty to look forward to from these kids in 2012.
Artist Links: Website | Facebook
Based in: Dublin, Ireland
Band Members: Joun Duignan (vocals, guitar), Conall O’Breachain (drums)
We Cut Corners’ music ‘is a delectable almost schizophrenic mix of crisp, melodic noise pop and sparse, poignant guitar pop that in no small way demonstrates the talent of this duo’.
This is quite apparent on their debut album, Today I Realized I Could Go Home Backwards, released towards the end of 2011 which is full of intelligently written songs with exquisite melodies (just feast your ears on Yet).
Based in: Newcastle, UK
Band Members: Hazel Wilde (vocals, guitar), Paul Gregory (guitar, electronics), Adam Sykes (vocals, guitar), Brendan Sykes (bass), Sarah Kemp (violin), Ol Ketteringham (drums, piano)
Lanterns On The Lake ‘create restrained, melancholy drenched folk melodies with just a hint of electronic beats’. It’s exquisite, sighs and tears inducing stuff; not happy music for sure but very pleasing indeed.
Formed in 2008, the band released their moving debut album Gracious Tide, Take Me Home last year and if you like this kind of music you should definitely check it out.
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