Best New Artists Of 2013

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WOLF ALICE

This quartet from North London suddenly appeared in the local scene as one of the most promising new acts in a long time.  Their folksy roots combined with powerful guitar riffs, deep lyrics and Ellie Rowsell’s incredible voice, make for a truly unique identity, which Clash Magazine meaningfully described as ‘the lovechild of folk and grunge’.  Their debut EP, Blush, is as striking as it is evidence of Wolf Alice‘s potential for greatness. — by Rita

JOANNA GRUESOME

They snarl at you with sharp guitar rhythms, soothe you with dreamy, C86 inspired choruses, and then threaten to crush your skull.  If this Welsh Fuzz-Pop group’s ability to mesh these contrasts into short bursts of energetic punk are any indication, it may be some time before we find their limitations.  These guys are the most beautiful ass-kicking you’ll get all year. — by Sam

CHARLES MURDOCH

Recently signed to Australia’s independent music label Future Classic, Brisbane-based producer puts out soothing ambient electronic tracks with the release of his debut EP, Weathered Straight.  This artist became the gateway influence for my what seems to be never ending affair with this downtempo wave. — by Lenore

RHYE

Most notably, Mike Milosh (a long time favourite) and his other musical half Robin Hannibal (Quadron band fame) were responsible for restoring a full-album listening experience for me.  Woman, their debut, is a masterpiece.  Their songs are arranged in such a manner that the vocals and instrumentation become so interwoven they’re bolstered forward as a single entity.  Milosh’s wondrous countertenor has always stood out for me, but on this album he manages to attach an alluring aspect to the music without making it overtly sexual.  This band feel deeply intimate and seduce you in, letting you get lost in their gorgeous sentimentality. — by Lior

GEMS

This Washington, D.C. duo of Lindsay Pitts and Clifford John create intoxicating, cinematic dream-pop that has turned a ton of heads in 2013. Reminding me of the XX with their intimate male and female vocals, hazy guitars and lush synthesizers, I’m totally hooked on this group. — by Chris

RAINER

Rebekah Raa and producer Nic ‘Casually Here’ Nell form the glamorous indie pop duo Rainer, a brilliant and original band from London that puts electro and scandi-pop inspired sounds to the service of sharp lyrics with no trace of monotony.  With an impressive EP, a couple great remixes and proven talent, Rainer are on their way to what can only be a huge success. — by Rita

PARQUET COURTS

At first listen, Parquet Courts‘ brand of peppered post-punk is delivered with a David Byrne-like anxiety.  Their talent lies with taking this delivery and combing through it with lyrics of stoned-out contentiousness. Who knew lethargy could be so aggressive? — by Sam

BODY PARTS

Having already been circling the LA-music scene for the past few years, experimental synth pop duo dropped their highly anticipated debut LP Fire Dream via Father/Daughter records.  Their vibrant tracks and polished harmonies are what captivated me the most.  Just listen to their album once, and don’t be surprised if it has the tendency to become permanently glued in your head.  — by Lenore

JUNGLE

Personally, I’ve never actually been to the jungle.  Truth be told, my imagination for it is as actively mesmerizing as the music this band from London manage to conjure up this year.  In this here musical jungle, the single ‘Platoon’ became the cue for a hugely thrilling new band.  Texturally they fold a layer of hypnotic sounds and surround them with detailed beats that are subtle enough to carry the vocals and send you in some sort of soul-sway.  They’re a favourite new band and a definite one to watcher too, having been confirmed for next years SXSW festival in Austin, Texas – I’d happily camp out in this jungle for a while. — by Lior

MAGIC MAN

The past three years have seen Magic Man evolve from two college students behind a laptop into a five-person band.  Their EP (You Are Here) released in September is instantly rememberable and infectiously catchy.  — by Chris

WOODKID

Yoann Lemoine is a French artist, director and musician; as Woodkid, he is very simply a multifaceted genius.  His debut album The Golden Age revealed an all-encompassing level of creativity, putting music and image together in the service of art and awe.  Live, Woodkid goes beyond any expectations and provides for an unforgettable and epic experience.  Stimuli for all the senses! — by Rita

PURE BATHING CULTURE

This synth-heavy dream-pop duo made their mark in 2013 by creating an almost completely nonintrusive sound.  With clean vocals and clandestine synth tones that seem to echo in an empty room, Pure Bathing Culture are a band that cultivates tracks that reflect their namesake.  — by Sam

STWO

With just a couple of months of production experience under his belt, 21-year-old beat maker from Paris impacts the music scene with his fusion of soul, R&B and electronica elements.  His bass drops and delicate vocal samples flow together to create a soothing atmospheric sound. — by Lenore

GLASS ANIMALS

So you’re a fan of Animal Collective, Wild Beasts and Alt-J are you?  After hearing Glass Animals the need to re-scoop my jaw from the floor came only after all the songs had finished.  After being the first to sign with super-producer Paul Epworth’s new label WolfTone, we yet again understand the success of his work with Friendly Fires, Florence and The Machine and Adele. Afterall, these have put him in a league of his own, perched high atop the music industry branch.  It’s no wonder then, that singles like ‘Black Mambo’ dabble in eerie R&B and electro-pop textures and perfectly spotlight Dave Bayley’s effortlessly sumptuous vocals.  The inventive and intelligent musical abilities of this band highlight their eccentricities with synth clicks and bleeps that automatically sett them a part from their contemporaries – just a few fundamentals that place Glass Animals as an exciting new band to watch. — by Lior

JAGWAR MA

Following through on my post earlier this year, Jagwar Ma have been a great surprise in 2013. The psych-pop duo of Jono Ma and Gabriel Winterfield create some danceable rhytyms, while channeling such ’90s alt-rock influences (Screamadelica-era Primal Scream, Stone Roses). — by Chris

MS MR

I was lucky enough to see this New York-based noir pop duo live on their first European gig, motivated by the impression that their track ‘Hurricane’ had left in me.  From that night onwards, I became hopelessly addicted to MS MR.  Singer Lizzy Plapinger and producer Max Hershenow are not only an incredibly talented music act, but they also score points in the way they present themselves to the public with fabulous personalities and down to earth approachability.  Their album Secondhand Rapture is striking; live, they are just amazing – and that counts a lot for my opinion of a band! — by Rita

PITY SEX

This Michigan quartet attacks shoegaze with an almost bratty approach.  The melodramatic lyrics and overenthusiastic drumming may seem simple, but when combined a with dreamy, distortion-heavy guitar attack, their sound is effortless to get lost in. Their punk rock approach to shoegaze gives no concession to practicality and hands itself over to young idealism. — by Sam

THE HICS

London’s nu-soul infused sextet, all ranging from the ages of 18 and 21, mixes in a hint of jazz and dubstep for a velvety debut EP Tangle.  Their sax implements and sultry vocals are what constantly keeps me drawn in and mesmerized.  I just want to hear more and more. — by Lenore

MUSEUM OF LOVE

DFA’s descriptor tagline “Too Old To Be New, Too New To Be Classic” couldn’t possibly sum up their new studio project Museum of Love better.  Here we see Pat Mahoney move from behind the drum kit of LCD Soundsystem right to the edge of the microphone to lead the vocals whilst Dennis McNany from Juan Maclean slips comfortably into instrumentation and production.  The New Wave sonic atmosphere in the single ‘Monotronic’ pulsates with a patient pace through synths and teases us until a blissful summit.  I have no doubt their new album will exhibit the raw talent housed in this here museum, one I’d happily browse around in for a while.  — by Lior