Meet Mark, the man behind Yvynyl, a Philadelphia based indie music blog that takes the term indie to a whole new level. Anytime I’m feeling all hip, smug and on top of my music game, I just head on over to his site for a dose of reality. Because quite often I haven’t even heard of many of the bands he’s recommending. And they’re all good. (GODDAMNIT!) Enjoy his picks for 2011. Most likely they are bands you’ve never heard of.
Scott McDonald runs the LA-based music blog, Surfing On Steam, and is also a contributing writer for the renowned Aquarium Drunkard. Every once in a while I need to balance my garage-psych yang with a little electro-ambient ying and Scott’s site usually has just the anecdote. I turn to it often to troll his recommendations in those categories. Here are Scott’s picks for Bands to Watch in 2011.
If you live in the Bay Area, you know APE. For those that don’t, Another Planet is a Bay Area concert production company that organizes the best festivals in San Francisco, like Treasure Island Music Fest and Outside Lands. They also book the most coveted venues in town like The Fox Theater in Oakland and The Independent. Bryan is one of the brains behind the music we all enjoy here. Here are his picks for 2011.
Zach condon hasn’t released a full length since 2007’s “The Flying Cub Cup”. He will grace us again with his orchestral beauty and french horn in 2011 with a brand new record. The world needs more Beirut.
Will Sheff may be disheveled, but he’s a lyrical genius and writes a superb pop song. He’s backed Roky Erikson recently and will lead Okkervil River to the forefront this year. Folk music is the new black.
The Fleet Foxes may be the critic’s darlings, but The Head and The Heart are knocking on that door. The scene is strong in Seattle and these acts are paving the way. Both groups dig on harmonies and flannel and will have new material in 2011.
This label is putting out the records of the best artists you have never heard of…Real Estate, Tamaryn, Kurt Vile, Best Coast, Weekend, Washed Out, Young Prisms and Tallest Man on Earth to name a few. Check out anything they put out in 2011.
Their complex and layered music is more accessible than you think. If you haven’t heard them yet, you will. Look for their sophomore album in 2011.
As much fun as year end ‘Best Of’ lists are, I find the new artists releases starting in January even more exciting. For me, wrap up lists are more about catching what you’ve missed. But from now until SXSW in March there is always a building crescendo of album releases and buzz. It’s a busy time and fun to predict the bands that are going to pop. So all this week I’m featuring a series on the bands to watch in 2011 with picks from some of my favorite and trusted fellow music bloggers and industry insiders. Sharpen your pencils. Here’s mine to start things off.
With a new album coming out this spring and the first single already remixed by Tame Impala, I expect this Aussie blues siren to become a household name.
Artist: The Vaccines Album: What Did You Expect From The Vaccines? Release Date: March 21, 2011 Homeland: London, England Track: “Blow It Up”
The demo tape of this mystery band caused an industry sensation in the UK late last year. The details of the group are out, but the hype has not subsided. NME named the group as one of the 20 bands you need to hear in 2011 and BBC Sound of 2011 put them on the top of their list. Already feeling the pressure of the hype, the group has appropriately named their debut album, “What Did You Expect From The Vaccines?”. We’ll shall see.
Artist: Sun Airway Album: Nocturne of Exploded Crystal Chandelier Release Date: Out Now Homeland: Philadelphia, PA Featured Tracks: “Put the Days Away”
My jaw dropped the first time I saw this band live. They were the first of three openers. But I predict they will not be a supporting act for long and will follow a similar trajectory to that of, say, Animal Collective.
Signed by a tastemaker label, represented by the right publicist, highlighted in the NY Times for her CMJ performance, already on the shortlist for SXSW with a debut album set to release this month. And oh, it includes a track with Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon. Sounds like a recipe for success to me.
Rarely do I get excited over remixes, but the Tame Impala versions are categorically good. This one from Pilooski is no exception, just adding the the psychedelic Beatles-esque flavor of the group. Innerspeaker is one of my favorite albums this year. Get it if you don’t have it yet. And for the local SF crew, the band is coming back to the US so be sure to get tickets to their show at The Independent on December 13.
How much do I love Sea of Bees Julie Baenziger and her debut, Songs for the Ravens? |<————————-This much—————————————————>| Please buy this album. It’s one of my favs for 2010. Such a lovely and talented singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. NPR dubbed her a female Sparklehorse and it’s the best description I’ve heard yet. Sophomore album to be recorded soon!