It's 2014, and with a whole new year comes a whole new crop of bands to keep on your radar. It's always interesting to see which bands break out of their local circles and enter the public view. Last year we saw this happen to artists like King Krule, CHVRCHES, and Parquet Courts, just to name few. We definitely don't play God when it comes to deciding who's going big and who will remain underground, but we always have our predictions. Here is our list of 10 bands with break-out potential in 2014.
Back in 2013 we were first seduced by this Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter. Banks' deep, sultry vocals mixed with remorsefully toned electronic beats has us swooning for her next move. Her EP, London, feels like an ambient pleasure wave crashing down on a vast landscape, and this is thanks to her production team of SOHN, Lil Silvia, Jamie Woon and more who incorporate a wide variety of electro and house elements that surround Banks' vocals with a crystal clear atmosphere. You definitely won't want to skip Banks' recently announced Coachella performance, and for our brethren across the ocean she'll be touring in the UK this March. As she gains more and more popularity we can only hope a Banks full-length won't be too far off.
Brooklyn-based Haerts are members of the illustrious Neon Gold tribe. To leave an impact on a label bolstered by acts like Passion Pit and St. Lucia is quite the feat, and they've done so with their own mystical brand of synth pop. Haerts' ideas are based around making the personal universal, and the universal personal, which stems from finding their inspiration through individual astrological paths. Such ideology is a bit up in the clouds but their EP Hemiplegia has us starry-eyed, waiting for an upcoming record, which is rumored to appear early this year.
English singer-songwriter Sam Smith's breakout was his vocal feature on Disclosure's single "Latch", but his enamoring voice will stand on its own with the release of his upcoming, debut album In the Lonely Hour, due out May 26th. To tide us over in the meantime Smith will be releasing two singles around February 16th, which will undoubtedly lead to some exploding hearts. His gospel-infused voice mixed with romantic as-all-hell lyrics create an amorous atmosphere that has the power to eliminate the very thought of foreplay.
Hailing from Melbourne, Australia, Alpine's debut album A is for Alpine was released in the U.S. in 2013 and has been buzzing all over music sites ever since. Currently in production on their second album, Alpine is a great source for your daily dose of indie synth pop as frontwomen Baker and James provide goose bumps with their haunting, high-pitched vocals mixed with steady pop undertones. Think Cut Copy paired with the vocals of Coco Rosie.
Listening to Brooklyn-based Big Ups is similar to the experience of splattering paint on the wall. There's a certain satisfaction that comes with disturbing a solid shade, and turning it into a whole mess of color. The same can be said for the cluttered punk sounds that are coming out of Big Ups. But band's melodramatic sensibility is what has us most excited; you can always expect the band to land home on a concise and comfortable note. Head on over to their bandcamp to hear a new LP, Eighteen Hours of Static, set for release January 14th.
Out of Boston, Magic Man has been making a name for themselves ever since their nostalgic and incredibly catchy debut, Real Life Colours, a self-produced album they recorded in the French countryside. In their most recent EP, the band turn up the synth to searing heights. This group's sound is bigger and bolder, and will definitely bring out an urge to dance that you never knew you had.
This band exudes their name with bubblegum pop beats and a touch of sadness you can't help but smile about. Bleeding Rainbow delivers catchy hooks that range from songs drifting into the surf rock realm reminiscent of The Babies, to gut busting jams found in No Age. Bleeding Rainbow has gone through some distinct changes since their first two albums, both recorded under their original name Reading Rainbow. Three LPs later, a name change, and some serious shake-ups in the lineup, and the now-quartet is gearing up for their fourth and most highly anticipated full-length due out this year.
Ratking have been making a serious name for themselves in New York's underground hip hop scene ever since releasing their first EP, Wiki93. Growing up in the City rappers Wiki and Hak reflect on true life in NYC; what could be better than copping 40s and smokin' blunts in abandoned warehouses? Not much for Ratking. Producer Sporting Life's trappy, psyched-out, sample-heavy beats create a rustic atmosphere that sets the sound apart from other producers. Ratking boasts collaborations with young songwriter, King Krule and acclaimed Dutch photographer and filmmaker, Ari Macopoulis, and will definitely be making their mark on the future rap dungeons of New York.
Porches is a band backed by songwriter Aaron Maine who coins his music as booty-clapping folk rock, just to give you a little taste of his sense of humor. Their latest LP, Slow Dance in the Cosmos, is a beautifully spaced-out, Beach House-reminiscent album. Accompanied by songwriter Frankie Cosmos, the lyrics take on a playfully tragic feel. Imagine a lone cigarette smoker in an empty field surrounded by dead flowers and you might have the picture of what Porches is trying to portray.
This fuzzed out, vintage girl-rock inspired quintet is unforgivably assaulting. Joanna Gruesome's new album is a hyperactive, bipolar collection of headbangers and hook-heavy tracks. Gruesome's mix of sweetheart vocals and a heavy rhythm section makes these songs want to burst out of the speakers and bust your surroundings to a pulp. Their album Weird Sister was released last September and is definitely worthy of a blast in your earbuds.