Every year, a few bands sneak by without making large enough of a splash in the blogosphere to get the limelight they deserve. As the internet continues to grow and the DIY mentality becomes more common, more and more bands go unnoticed. Below is a selection of 5 bands that I think will have regrettably snuck by most in 2012. Lucky for you… these bands won’t be sneaking by this year.
HOSPITALITY (5,983 Facebook Fans)
Out of Brooklyn, this indie pop trio is probably oddest to see on the list. Their music is not unapproachably weird. However, they have been signed to one of the largest indie record labels, Merge Records, since September 2011. Having released an EP in 2008 on their own, Hospitality induced enough eargasms to warrant Merge’s adding them to the team. Yet, by the time their first full-length release made it’s way to the public this year, people seemed to either forget or overlook the wonderful talent and amazing potential of this band. Listen below.
Kishi Bashi (15,331 Facebook Fans)
At this point Kishi Bashi will be remembered as the guy who has that song in the Windows 8 commercial. Or even worse, his song “Bright Whites” will be recognized by most when heard, but the artist name will become irrelevant. Much like the band Jamaica a few years ago. It’s a gol’ darn shame too. Kishi Bashi is no slouch. Self-recorded and self-produced, K Ishibashi released a solid first album this year, 151a, worthy of a hell of a lot more than being the footnote of a Microsoft commercial. Don’t worry, of Montreal super fans… I know K Ishibashi is in your favorite band. I was getting there…
SHOVELS AND ROPE (17,345 Facebook Fans)
Hot n’ fresh out of South Carolina, the duo, Shovels and Rope, is the ‘biggest’ name on my list this year. Regardless, the band’s mixture of folk, rock and country with a spoonful of honesty is still under-appreciated. With all of the ‘folk’ bands floating around after the Mumford and Sons insurgence of 2010, it’s easy to miss bands like Shovels and Rope. Don’t let it happen to you, because these two pack a wallop and a punch.
WILLIS EARL BEAL (7,156 Facebook Fans)
Born in Chicago, Willis Earl Beal has the most unique story of everyone on the list. He’s been in the US Army, he’s been homeless, he’s struggled to live not off the wages of entry-level positions, all the while he would record music of his own onto CD-Rs leaving them behind in public spaces. That was all before 2008. Why was he leaving the music behind? In hopes of finding a girlfriend… I’m not kidding. Instead, Found Magazine found him, shared his story and his art, which in turn led to Willis Earl Beal being signed to the Hot Charity label in 2012. He’s as lo-fi as they come, but damn he is good.
WOLF ALICE (1,768 Facebook Fans)
Not only is Wolf Alice the only non-American artist on this list, she is also the most under-appreciated. From the land of Northern London, the saucy little minx known properly as Ellie Roswell graces any and all ears that hear it with a mixture of electronic, lo-fi and singer-songwriter qualities that come together in just the right way.
Enjoy a song from each of the 5 bands below.