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Strictly New Bands: The Sound Of 2012

2012 is here, which can mean only one thing, a list of the new bands most likely to take over the world during the next twelve months. Don’t worry this will not be as heavy on non-guitar as the most recognisable lists, like the BBC Sound of 2012, where indie guitar music seems to have disappeared completely, here is our likely stars for Reading and Leeds 2012 and beyond.


The Minneapolis band are most likely to be this year’s garage rock love affair, with their grim shoegaze and dirty cigarette sound being waved over poppy beats.  Howler are currently signed to Rough Trade after Geoff Travis heard a snippet of their demo, and in next to no time, Howler where no longer a little band from Minneapolis but an actual band people in the UK were reading about. Simone F

Début LP America Give Up is to drop on the 16th January 2012.

Dry The River

Anyone who was standing in the FR Tent while Dry The River took to the stage will know exactly why they’ve made this countdown. Their performance strongly recalled Mumford & Sons, not simply because they both favour nu-folk illusions, but because their was a sense of warmth in the tent; the girls in particular were going absolutely crazy, and everyone’s spirits were being raised by the band’s rousing crescendos. Over at Strictly Festivals were not 100% sold on the band as artists, although we’ll greet their album with an open mind, but Dry The River certainly have the ability to capture audiences hearts in an instant. David Hayter


Spector are no surprise inclusion on this list, we have been singing their praises for more than year, and finally the rest of the musical world have come to realise this is not just a ‘cool’ band, but actually a band making impressive romantic pop music who have amazing stage presence. You, the Strictly readers, agreed naming Spector the second top new band at Reading and Leeds this year, and in 2012 they will be back, bigger, and better than tiny BBC Introducing Stage, which has gave them great platform to expand their audience. Having already sold out two nights at 100 Club in March within a blink of an eye, Spector are leading the way of pop guitar music. Simone F


Those taking notes during Strictly’s report on the BBC Sound Of 2012 poll would have noticed that I promised never to write about Friends again, as this while be the six hype piece I’ve written about the band in just six months! Still, the promise must be broken, as Friends have to feature on this list. The band packed out the Hoxton Bar & Grill at the end of last year, and with an easy charisma and cool aesthetic they held the attention of a most unfamiliar crowd. Their hits are ethereal, “Friend Crush” clicks and snaps delicious as the tracks alluring vocals and aquatic synth line melt into one another, “I’m His Girl” is an improbably sassy slice of counter intuitive funk that sees Samatha Urbani asserting her character and independence from within a seemingly dependent position, while the band’s cover of “My Boo” is sultry and sublime. Friends are destined to steal indie hearts in 2012. David Hayter


2:54 will be this year’s horse, only managing to stay below the bigger world, they may not be reaching for headline shows in venues like Brixton or KOKO’s at the minute, but who cares? 2:54 make gloomy post-punk without the need to even try, their sound comes naturally and blissfully. I can see them playing the Festival Republic tent  in August to a more than average size crowd and with all the support from bigger artists, they will have an brilliant year. Simone F

Azealia Banks

Coming straight from LaGuardia High School in Manhattan, this art school kid turned rapper/singer/actress made a huge splash with “212″, a filthy ode to blaring basslines, cunninlingus and brutal punchlines (“I’m Going To Ruin You Cunt”). While it’s hard to see Azealia penning another crossover track of the same magnitude, she displayed some slick skills on “L8R” that suggests this rapper is for real, and her man stealing character may just be a winner. “Liquorice” was certainly hit and miss follow up single, but her verse was undeniably sick, so the future appears bright for Banks. David Hayter


Again? Tribes? Yes we get it Tribes are so 2011, but technically speaking Tribes were supposed to have released the début album last year, but Baby is due to drop on the 16 January, which means 2012 will still be a huge year for the fast growing band, even bigger than last year. With an appearance at Reading and Leeds already under their scruffy locks, it would almost be impossible not to see them once again grace the stage once again. Tribes will continue to get bigger and better capturing the souls of new fans along the way, Tribes are the ultimate risen from the ashes band. Simone F

Walk The Moon

I may have earned -100 cool points for this selection but whatever you think of Walk The Moon it’s hard to imagine them not making an impact in 2012. In “Anna Sun” and it’s sunlight laden chorus “This House Is Falling Apart” the band already have a midlevel hit and a ultra slick video waiting to explode into our lives in the “Pumped Up Kicks” fashion. However, scratch beneath the surface and you’ll find a band with a busy post-Vampire Weekend sound and some of the most charming MOR vocals we’ve heard in a very long time. The world is there’s for the taking, if they can pen just one half decent album on major label RCA they should have a good year. David Hayter


Fixers are Oxford’s finest genius pop band, like Tribes, the band were featured in many 2011 lists, but who really likes lists that tell you who tell who to listen to for this year? I do, Fixers are a band that will continue to surprise with their overly weirdly addictive experimental music. Third single red herring ‘Swimhaus Johannesburg’ helped the band gain Radio success from BBC Radio One and XFM, in the mean time new EP Imperial Goddess Of Mercy will have to wet your Japanese Pop lover appetite, Fixers are being ever-so-secret about album details (HMV pre-order say 9th January, not sure this information is actually correct) but like many bands featured today Fixers have already played Reading and Leeds, they headlined the BBC Introducing stage. Simone F

Charli XCX

Another safe no-brainer of a pick, after releasing the gloomily atmospheric but irresistibly immediate “Stay Away” and the satisfying “Nuclear Sessions” their will be a whole wealth of interest and not to mention money surrounding Charli XCX’s debut LP. North London Rave crossovers haven’t always faired well in charts (or outside of their niche), but this girl, like south London’s Katy B before her, has an excellent knack for penning catchy choruses and projecting her own sense of style. David Hayter

Two Wounded Birds

Two Wounded Birds have flown their wavy romantic old school rock n roll sound into the hearts of everyday people, they got their name about all by themselves without the need to be bigged up. The Drums discovered Two Wounded Birds for us in the seaside town of Margate via imaginativeness 60′s California pop. Two Wounded Birds songs present a high level of infectious melodies blessed with mercury sun. Simone F

King Krule

The former Zoo Kid, and former Brit School attendee, King Krule has been causing quite a stir online the last few months, with his hiccuppy soulful croon. He certainly feels timely, with his rough heartbroken look and tales of being trapped on council estates with lions at the gates, he feels like a natural reaction to a bleak year in British history. However, there is something about his delivery and his spartan production approach, that recalls both James Blake and Mark E. Smith without ever really sounding like either. Whether he can breakthrough remains to be seen, but King Krule is without doubt one of the most interesting voices in all of music right now. David Hayter



Author: Simone

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