With the apocalypse narrowly avoided and 2012 now behind us, a new year of new music dawns upon us. Last year saw the emergence of a plethora of fresh talent with Frank Ocean, Jake Bugg, Alt-J and Lucy Rose amongst many gaining mainstream success and critical acclaim.
But what artists are likely to break through the barriers in 2013? The Adele benchmark has been inevitable over the past year or so in determining potential success. Who will be the next Strokes and save guitar music (as it goes every year for the past ten)? Who will be the next Bravery…? Maybe not. Concrete gives its best predictions for the next twelve months.
First up are the hotly tipped American pop sisters Haim, who recently topped the BBC Sound of 2013 poll and have supported acts such as Florence + the Machine and The Strokes’ Julian Casablancas. Haim are one of a slew of current indie bands to tip their hats to Fleetwood Mac; their combination of Mac-esque pop with 80s synth by way of lead singer Este Haim’s Annie Lennox sounding vocals and power, as well as The Breeders’ cool image look to be a strong indicator of success for the LA sisters. With their debut album set for release within the first half of the year, Haim are definitely prepared for the big time in 2013.
In a similar if more inverted way to Haim are British post-punk band Savages. Making a strong introduction to the masses last year on Jools Holland, this all-female band immediately call comparisons to Joy Division and Public Image Ltd. with their brooding undercurrent and startling passion. Their single Husbands is exemplary of this, the sinister lyrics delivered with power and eccentricity of Siouxsie Sioux.
For fans of electro-pop, Chvrches seem set for increased exposure in 2013. The Glaswegian trio have already been featured on The Guardian’s notable New Band of the Day column and are noted for their heavy synth-based sound, reminiscent of M83 amongst others in their emphasis on melodious pop songs.
Fresh talent also comes in the form of California’s The Neighbourhood, whose tracks such as Let It Go tap into the current niche of emotive hip-hop and melodic pop à la Lana Del Rey. Also from across the pond are Deap Vally, who are based in Los Angeles and seem set to be one of the chief proponents of garage rock in 2013, drawing immediate comparisons to the Black Keys and The Dead Weather. The duo have already supported stadium megastars Muse on their current tour and are in the process of recording their debut album. Expect to hear more from these guys in the coming months.
Also set to make an even bigger splash in 2013 are Palma Violets, whose garage rock looks set to propel them to the forefront of the British indie rock circuit. From Manchester are Swiss Lips, who make exciting indie-pop in the same vein as Foster The People, to whom they have been frequently compared. They take clear influence from their hometown’s entrenched dance scene and have supported artists such as Bastille. Their debut single is released at the end of this month. Also hailing from Manchester are Embers, whose atmospheric, arena-sized sound and grand vision is wide-spreading but encapsulating at the same time, doting to post-rock stalwarts Mogwai and Sigur Rós; their music could easily soundtrack the last days of man, yet it still grabs at your heart. Embers are also noted for their incredibly visual live shows and are definitely ones to check out this year.
Also doing the rounds that looks set for increased exposure in 2013 is Australian electronic artist Flume. Having toured with artists such as Four Tet, Flume released his self-titled debut two months ago and is prepared for greater success amongst the dance/chillwave-sphere this year.
On the more pop side, AlunaGeorge have acquired much hype over the past few months and came second in the BBC Sound of 2013 list. The duo produce catchy electro-pop, such as on You Know You Like It, and are sure-fire set to shoot up this year.
Also high on the BBC list is Angel Haze, a New York rapper that continues the new wave of East Coast hip-hop in the mould of last year’s success Azealia Banks (whose debut album will be dropping soon). Continuing on the pop spectrum is critics’ favourite is Tom Odell, who recently won the Brits Critics Choice Award. Odell writes heartfelt songs that build up with a fierce intensity and showcase strong talent from a new generation of singer-songwriters. Having studied at the Brighton Institute of Modern Music and his music already appearing in a number of adverts, expect to see his first full-length LP drop in June.
If you haven’t already, do make sure to check out all these exciting new acts and more, as 2013 looks set to be an incredible year for music and new talent.