Breaking Bands: Which New Faces Will Cause A Commotion In 2011?
As we boot 2010 out the door and get ready to begin not only a brand new year, but a freshly minted decade, what up-and-coming bands and artists will make their mark on 2011? The Alternate Side staff gazed into the future and picked the musicians who we thought (well, hoped) might make an impact in the next twelve months and beyond; our many choices range from Denver's husband-and-wife duo of Tennis to the brash British pop of The Vaccines to Long Island's ever-cool quintet, Twin Sister.
Russ Borris, TAS on-air host and TAS/WFUV assistant music director (last year's prediction was Cloud Control):
Earlier in 2010, the band released their debut EP Sun Bronzed Greek Gods, filled with catchy songs and a bit of an MGMT-vibe. They won a lot of new fans with their energetic, polished live show and I expect to hear much more from them in the coming year.
From Denver, husband-and-wife Patrick Riley and Alaina Moore will release their debut full length, Cape Dory, in January. Judging from their EP it should be fuzzy and fun. They already have my vote for album cover of the year for 2011, making Cape Dory a sort of tribute to an old Lisa Hartman album. So awful and yet, so good.
Chris Laufman from Pittsburgh is Wise Blood. He makes music in a similar way to Girl Talk, by layering clips and pieces under and over each other to create something new. At the same time, he sounds nothing like what Girl Talk does. His voice adds a different dimension to his music. Very interested in his next EP (and debut for Dovecote Records) due early in 2011.
Alisa Ali, TAS on-air host (last year's predictions were Broken Bells, Two Door Cinema Club and Jónsi):
This duo out of Toronto creates the perfect combination of dancehall and indie. How can that not be great? They released an EP a couple of months ago called Broughtupsyand it's awesome. You've probably heard us playing the song "Stumble" on TAS already. I'm really looking forward to a full length album from these guys.
A band with great vocal harmonies, unique instrumentation - I’ve seen them use sandpaper for percussion - and amazing beats. They sometimes have a bit of a shoegazey sound, but you’d never know it from their dynamic live performances. Sherlock’s Daughter have recently re-located from Australia to the States and they are apparently living in New York now. Hopefully I’ll be seeing them around, although they'll be off gallivanting with The Antlers on tour in Australia this February. No word yet on the exact date of the release of their full length debut, but it will definately be coming in 2011.
Lauren Dillard and Lauren Flax are a Brooklyn based duo who recently released a single called, “Days” with Romy Madley Croft of the xx that I have played about a thousand times in a row and I’m still not sick of it. They’ll be releasing a full length this year which I cannot wait to get my hands on.
Kara Manning, TAS web editor and on-air interviewer(last year's predictions were The Joy Formidable, Delphic and The Drums):
Twin Sister "All Around and Away We Go," a single pulled from this Long Island band's sultry 2010 EP Color Your Life, is four-and-a-half minutes of mirror ball spun perfection; an incandescent pop cousin to Andrea True Connection's "More, More, More," propelled by Twin Sister vocalist Andrea Estella's breathy, come-hither croon. The quintet is recording their debut album this winter.
The UK and Ireland has a surfeit of young, innovative singer-songwriters shifting the soundscape of contemporary folk rock, like Laura Marling, The Leisure Society, Lisa Hannigan and Villagers' Conor O'Byrne. Add to that constantly expanding roster the Anglo-Irish multi-instrumentalist Hannah Peel, who has toured with The Unthanks, David Ford and Tunng. Peel releases her delicately painted debut Broken Wave, produced by Tunng's Mike Lindsay, on January 31 on Static Caravan. Aside from her own songs, like the quirky, murderous deer lament (really) "The Almond Tree," Peel also does a sublime and tender cover of Soft Cell's "Tainted Love."
The Chapman Family
My highlight of SXSW 2010 was catching this wryly theatrical, incendiary rock quartet from Stockton-on-Tees rip through a brutal, astonishing set that concluded with charismatic frontman Kingsley Chapman lassoing the mic cord around his neck before feyly crumpling onstage in a nattily-dressed, rock 'n' roll heap. Fantastic. The Chapman Family have only released a handful of singles over the last couple of years; new songs "All Fall," released in October, and the upcoming "Anxiety" (out February 28) are taken from their debut album which is due in the early part of 2011 on PIAS Recordings.
Let's Buy Happiness
Virtually The Chapman Family's neighbors from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, Let's Buy Happiness' supple, dreamy pop, guided by the silky, sweet vocals of Sarah Hall, catapults you back to the sentimental days of The Sundays or Cocteau Twins. The quintet released the No Hot Ashes EP last year, featuring the ever-so-pretty "Works Better On Paper," and a gorgeous new single, "Six Wolves," this past November.
Yuck Yes, their name is pretty bad; you can already imagine music critics, who've yet to hear the quintet, sharpening their switchblades when Yuck drop their self-titled debut album on Fat Possum on February 15. Problem is that the London-based group (with a New Jersey drummer) are terrific, harboring in their hearts a love for crafty, effervescent indie pop bolstered by driving downpours of dense guitar (band members Max Bloom and Danny Blumberg used to be in the sadly defunct Cajun Dance Party) and they've appropriately supported Teenage Fanclub. Yuck will be touring most of the winter; you can catch them at New York's Mercury Lounge on January 25.
Eric Holland, TAS on-air host
The Vaccines London power-pop quartet led by Justin Young, a former flat-mate of Marcus Mumford. If they can make an album (it'll be on Columbia) as good as their first singles, it'll kill.
Another quartet that could be genrefied as power-pop, this unsigned NYC outfit is made up of former members of The Virgins and The Young Lords.
Car on the Moon Car On The Moon expanded in 2010 from a duo to a quartet, filling out their uniquely American rhythm and folk sound. They plan to release their self-titled debut album, formed around a lullaby and a back-beat, on Extropian Records in early 2011. Keep an eye out for them in intimate venues around Brooklyn and NYC, as well as up and down the east coast this spring.
I Love Monsters
If you watched any TV in 2010 you've probably already heard I Love Monsters. Their music was featured on The History Channel, BRAVO, HBO, and in a national advertising campaign, and their blend of pop, rock and dance will continue to be a fixture on the small screen in 2011. Monsters are set to continue their plan of churning out and giving away catchy singles (instead of selling cumbersome LPs), producing music videos and playing tight, sweaty shows after the New Year.