The Ten Bands You Need To Listen To Now

by: Stephanie Roush

August 15, 2012

The music industry can be hard to keep up with, and that’s a glaring understatement.  In this era of blogs, podcasts and SiriusXM, there’s barely enough virtual space to encompass all the new music being made.  It’s overwhelming, yet there’s nothing more satisfying than finding that on-the-verge band that quickly sky rockets into your Top 25 Most Played after spending endless hours sifting through blogs and playlists. This post compiles the WILD’s picks for the ten best new bands, in no particular order.  We did all the hard work for you. Enjoy.

1. Shy Kids

They describe themselves as “just kids jammin,” according to their Facebook page. A new Toronto band, Shy Kids just released their Field Trips EP, and although it only boasts three songs, they manage to make it clear that they’re not messing around. Filled with rollicking guitar sounds, haunting-yet-sharp vocals, and just the right amount of experimentation, Field Trips sounds like Animal Collective circa 2005.  ”Raise ‘Em Right” stands out as the best track of the EP with tongue-in-cheek lyrics about the seemingly easy process of raising kids. With only three songs out right now, Shy Kids are a band to watch closely in the next year.  They’re going places.

2. You Won’t

Hailing from Cambridge, MA, You Won’t has such immense talent for a two (sometimes three) person band that sometimes it’s hard to believe the complexity of the sound you’re listening to based on how many people are creating it. They’ve toured around the northeast the last couple of years hitting up colleges and small venues alike, recruiting new fans at every show. With a full-length album out, Skeptic Goodbye, the band’s live performances light up with a wealth of material and an uncanny stage confidence.  The best tracks off their album are “Television,” “Who Knew” and “Three Car Garage.” See them perform a Big Ugly Yellow Couch Session below, and if you like that enough they’re performing in New York Friday night at 92Y Tribeca (tickets).

3. Twigs

So much hype and so little information: this seems to be the method of operation for Twigs.  She’s a British vocal talent whose videos have gone viral due to her genre-spanning music as well as stunning visuals. In her “Ache” video, we watch a black man crump in slow motion with a face mask made of Air Jordans on. In the “Hide” video, released about a month ago, we see a sort of asexual visual monologue. The stunning graphic qualities of  both videos were created by London producer Grace Ladoja. Besides her two videos and her face on the cover of I-D magazine, we know very little of Twigs, but that makes us like her even more. The mysteriousness that pervades her public persona seeps into her music as well, adding to its ephemeralness. Hopefully, we’ll know or hear more from her soon.

4. The Peach Kings

The Peach Kings are an up-and-coming duo out of Los Angeles whose smoky, dirty sound could be compared to The Black Keys or The White Stripes.  Their song “The Little Things” was the featured track for an Alternative Apparel campaign and has a softer edge to it than majority of their other music. “Chuggin’ whiskey in the bayou/chuggin’ whiskey in the train car” croons Paige McClain Wood on “Thieves and Kings,” a song that makes you feel like a badass just listening to it. Their music is soulful, yet heavy; funky, yet smooth. Listen to “Fisherman” below and look out for their five-track vinyl to be released in the fall.    

5. Daughter

The haunting lyrics and vocals of British band Daughter are hard to ignore.  With the success of their Wild Youth EP, released in the United States in March, the band will release a full-length album with Glassnote Records in the coming year. Elena Tonra’s softly powerful voice breaches topics such as heartbreak, addiction and youth in a genuine way that appeals to the listener as a friend or confidante, not as a stranger. “And if you’re still bleeding you’re the lucky ones,” Tonra sings on the track “Youth,” “’cause most of our feelings they are dead and they are gone.” With unique vocals and echoing melodies, the band helps define a new brand of folk coming out of the United Kingdom.  Listen to “Youth” and let Tonra’s voice take over.

6. Trails And Ways

The ultimate summer band, Trails And Ways have the perfect mix of rock and pop and Latin-infused music. They describe themselves as “bossa nova dream pop,” but delicious might be a more simple adjective to classify their sound. The band consists of two boys and two girls and the only music they’ve released so far was recorded in a bedroom in Oakland, CA.  After spending some time in Brazil, the band’s keyboardist and guitarist returned to the US with a very specific sound in mind. And thus, Trails And Ways was born. The band’s latest release on their bandcamp, Trilingual, consists of the three singles they’ve released this summer.  If you haven’t already, add “Nunca” to your summer playlist, or at least give it a listen below.

7. Lorine Chia

Amy Winehouse might have passed away, but her sound lives on in Lorine Chia. Having just released the single “Living in Vain” with Chance the Rapper, her name is buzzing in the blogosphere for being one of the most promising new female voices in the hip-hop world. While she belts and croons on tracks like “Living in Vain” and “Babbling Idiots,” Chia also shows her flair for rapping on her track “Saturday,” sparking comparisons to the likes of Lauryn Hill and Azealia Banks. Born in Cameroon, raised in the United States, and now residing in Ohio, 19 year-old Chia has great potential for a big career.  

8. Capybara

Capybara, disregarding pronunciation, is probably not a name you’ve heard. They released their first and only album, Dave Drusky, in February and played at SXSW, yet remain quite unknown.  Despite their anonymity, their music is some of the best we’ve heard in the past year. Dave Drusky strings together different sounds and influences to create a musical experience that could compete with an album like Vampire Weekend’s Contra or Fanfarlo’s Room Filled With Light. Highlights from the album include “Late Night Bikes,” “Wild” and “Neighbor Crimes.” They’re not on iTunes yet so you’ll have to venture to their bandcamp to get the album. Watch their SXSW showcase video for “Neighbor Crimes” below if you still need to be convinced of Capybara’s musical prowess.

9. The Orwells

International musical tastemaker Justin Gage’s SiriusXM show, Aquarium Drunkard, has introduced numerous bands to a large audience, The Orwells included. Five seventeen-year-old boys from suburban Chicago, their bio doesn’t impress much, but their music speaks for itself. Creating swirling, messy garage rock that hits harder than most of what’s out there right now, these kids know what they’re doing. Their debut album, Remember When, was released last week on Aquarium Drunkard’s spin-off label, Autumn Tone Records. With positive reviews from the likes of Pitchfork and Spinner, their single “Mallrats (La La La)” demonstrates their ability to rock while also highlighting their songwriting ability.  They sing about going to the mall, having a crush on the girl that rents them go-karts, and the love-hate relationship they have with the suburbs in which they all grew up. The band’s youthful energy vibrates throughout their first album, as does their ability to rock. 

10. Jonquil

We may have saved the best for last. Jonquil’s signature beach-dance sound makes their music universally listenable and maybe one of the best albums for summertime. The album, Point of Go, was released in February to blogger acclaim, yet little commercial success. They sound a little like Tanlines, a little like Delicate Steve, but in the end comparisons seem fruitless with a band like Jonquil.  The stand-out tracks from the album include  ”Swells,” “Run” and “Mexico.” The percussion-infused happiness of Point of Go is simply irresistible. 


Order The WTF Issue Today

Order The WTF Issue Today