The critical success of Frank Ocean's Channel Orange
ushered in a wave of bedroom-R&B, indie-R&B, PBR&B--call it what you will. And if the new releases slated for the first quarter of 2013 are any indication, the soul-tinged trend is not letting up. We've already covered Autre Ne Veut's anxiety-ridden falsetto crooning
and the jazz-reggae-soul stylings of Wild Belle
in recent installments of Good Listener. But there's certainly more where they came from. So, without further ado, we present our top five bands to watch out for in the coming year.
Wildcat! Wildcat! - "Please and Thank You"
We weren't exactly sure what we were in for the very first time we listened to Wildcat! Wildcat!, but we can now confidently say that the L.A. trio's single "Please and Thank You" is undoubtedly one of the best tracks we've heard all year. (What else do you expect from a band with not one but two exclamation marks in their name?) With a soft, sweeping intro that's nothing if not suspenseful building and a hook that will leave you begging for more, these guys certainly have more in store for 2013. ADRIAN BRINKLEY
MS MR Track Addict Vol. II
Last summer, I noticed the duo MS MR when they released an awesome mixtape featuring acts like Tennis, Ava Luna, and Alt-J. Then earlier this month, they released Volume 2
, which among other jams includes the song "Vampires" by Frances Rose, which I'd like to point out seems tailor-made for triumphantly closing out any and all MTV shows. This May, they're releasing their first full-length album, and if singles like "Hurricane" are any indication, it will be a starry, chilled-out pop gem. May seems like a long time away, so for now, I'll be looking forward to their live show in New York this January. MALLORY RICE
He's My Brother She's My Sister - "Tales That I Tell"
Here's another eclectic brother-sister-led duo--this one featuring a tap-dancing drummer(!!!)--that has been hijacking our attention for a hot minute with its singalong-friendly tunes. As evidenced by this live video footage (not to mention the group-teeth-brushing promo shot), there's an undeniable Magnetic Zero-esque, collective-spirit vibe to the L.A.-based band, which releases its debut album, Nobody Dances in This Town
, this January 22 on Park the Van Records. MELISSA GIANNINI
Atlas Genius - "Trojans"
This Australian duo registered a blip on our radar for its lovely cover of The XX's "Islands"
back in October, and the pop-rocks we've heard so far from their debut album, When It Was Now
, out February 19 on Warner Bros. Records, have more than confirmed our suspicions that these guys were ones to watch. So far, they've toured with Silversun Pickups and Wolf Gang and performed on Jimmy Kimmel Live
. The first single, "Trojans," has already sold over 100,000 singles. That's a lot of action! MR
Hooray for Earth - "Never/Figure"
This NYC dream-pop group, led by singer/multi-instrumentalist Noel Heroux, just finished recording their follow-up to the great-but-underappreciated debut True Loves
with Chris Coady (Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Grizzly Bear, etc.), so watch out for that. In the meantime, let's all enjoy this new video for "Never/Figure," a gorgeous swirl of life-affirming devastation. Yes, such a thing exists. Now you know. MG