Steve is a partner at Figurehead Management, a San Francisco-based artist management company that currently manages bands like The Heavy, Orgone, A B & The Sea and Wallpaper.Here are Steve’s picks for 2011.
Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr: I’ve been hooked on this group since I heard their song Vocal Chords from their debut EP. I’ve listened to these songs so much that it’s borderline embarrassing and can’t wait for their full length. There is something so current and progressive with an underlying pop sensibility about what they’re doing. I can see them playing with everyone from Local Natives to Vampire Weekend in 2011. Wonder how long it will be before NASCAR fans join the already growing party?
Odd Future (OFWGKTA) : The subject matter addressed by this grimy West Coast skate rap crew is certainly not for the faint of heart. They mix raw emotion and reckless abandon that can only come from youth and a level of creativity that the hip hop world hasn’t seen in a ages. Bands like The XX already have copped to listening to the group and there will be labels lined up for a piece of Odd Future in 2011.
Gordon Voidwell:I had the pleasure of meeting and seeing Will Johnson aka Gordon Voidwell perform a few times in 2010 and I’ve been a huge fan ever since. His mix tape has been on repeat in my headphones and I anxiously await his full length in 2011. His style to me combines a little Zapp a little Prince and a little Cameo and even New Edition. While clearly well versed in his history he manages to create a unique and Original sound at the same time and his live show could make even the biggest wallflower shake their ass. Download “White Friends” on RCRDLBL.
Tennis: I certainly can’t claim to be a fan of all of the “lo-fi” acts that ruled the indie landscape in 2010. Aside from the fact it left audio engineers in well-fare lines it’s a trend I’ve been happy to see even some of it’s forefathers ditch in favor of glossier production recently. That said when I first heard this bands song ‘Marathon” I was blown away by it’s beauty and simplicity. This band will be a break out band in 2011 in a similar way to how 2010 belonged to Best Coast. Aside from fantastic songs they have a great back-story to build on. They have me ready to break out my wooden racket and booty shorts .
Foster The People:“Pumped Up Kicks” is a flat out HIT record. It combines a sense of indie cool with a true mainstream sensibility. I see it being one of those songs that hits mainstream radio and breaks format much the way Broken Bells“The High Road” did In 2010. It’s type of record you hope will come on while you’re in the car and your iPod lost charge and your subscription to Sirius has expired. Word has it they’re in the studio with super producer Paul Epworth so I see no stopping this band in 2011.