New Artists To Watch in 2013

by Sarah Wardrop
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Savoir Adore photo by Shervin Lainez

Get a jump on new music in the new year, as FUV staffers pick the artists to keep an eye (and an ear) on in 2013. And to get to know them better, follow the links to live performances in the WFUV archives.

Atoms For Peace

Atoms For Peace

History buffs may remember Atoms for Peace as the name of a speech then President Eisenhower gave about nuclear energy to the U.N.  Music fans should know it’s a band that includes Thom Yorke, Nigel Godrich, Flea, Joey Waronker, and Mauro Refosco. This gaudy assemblage of talent first played together three years ago when Yorke was touring after releasing The Eraser. They’ve evolved into an entity in their own right ,and their debut AMOK is among 2013’s most anticipated releases.  (Eric Holland)

Brother Sun

Brother Sun

Greg Greenway, Joe Jencks, and Pat Wictor each had successful solo careers when they came together to form Brother Sun. They are the Crosby Still & Nash (without egos) of the contemporary folk world – three singer-songwriters with soaring voices and social consciousness (and even a sense of humor) who are all about harmony in their music and in their lives. Their debut CD was one of the standouts of 2011, and the eagerly-awaited follow up is due in early 2013.  (John Platt)

Cold Specks

Cold Specks

Cold Specks’ place on this year's Polaris Music Prize short list was no fluke, as this Canadian songwriter living in London, not so much hides as thrives behind her alias. Her debut album, I Predict A Graceful Expulsion, haunts, challenges, and also entrances—with its raw warmth and her "old soul" voice and wisdom leading the way. It’s well worth following along.  (Sarah Wardrop)

Daughter

Daughter

Releasing four EPs over the last two years, the London-based trio Daughter has built a stunning collection of hushed, crepuscular songs that unfold like clues in a tangled Scandinavian crime thriller. The corpse is the broken heart of singer-songwriter Elena Tonra; her intimate lyrics cut ruthlessly like a razor, but the wounds are also self-inflicted. Daughter explores a cathedral-like quiet somewhat reminiscent of The xx, but Tonra’s soft-but-steely rage takes the band down a very different path. Look for Daughter’s debut album in early 2013.  (Kara Manning)

Father John Misty

Father John Misty

Father John Misty is J. (Joshua) Tillman, an indie singer-songwriter who’s been both a solo artist (with seven albums to his credit) and a drummer for a handful of bands, including Fleet Foxes. After three-plus years with Fleet Foxes, he stepped out to concentrate, once again, on his own music. Instead of just releasing another solo album, J. became Father John Misty and put out the elaborately packaged Fear Fun, which was co-produced by Jonathan Wilson.  (Darren DeVivo)

Foxygen

Foxygen

There are many different influences on indie bands these days, but it’s not often that you hear those of the classic rock variety. Such is the case with the duo Foxygen. Their new album 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace and Magic harkens back to the Velvet Underground, Rolling Stones and Bowie, all the while sounding fresh and cool. An indie rock band that doesn’t take themselves too seriously? Meet Foxygen.  (Russ Borris)

John Fullbright

John Fullbright

When I first heard John Fullbright play in a Memphis hotel room three years ago, I was astonished. That promise was fulfilled in his 2012 debut CD, From the Ground Up. Though born and raised (and still living) in Okemah, Oklahoma, the hometown of Woody Guthrie, the 24 year old Fullbright is more influenced by Randy Newman and Tom Waits, with a bit of John Hiatt’s grit. Unfazed by the buzz he’s receiving, he’s simply committed to perfecting his craft as a songwriter.  (John Platt)

High Highs

High Highs

Jack Milas and Oli Chang began making music together as High Highs while working at the same recording studio in their native Sydney, Australia. They’ve already gotten some buzz with songs used in Grey’s Anatomy and a commercial for the Amazon Kindle. They won over more fans through their performances at the CMJ Music Marathon in New York in 2012. Look for High Highs to be back in New York and touring the States after their full-length album debuts in 2013.  (Corny O’Connell)

Indians

Indians

Hailing from Copenhagen, Søren Løkke Juul is the man behind Indians. I first heard his music late last summer and thought we had to have him as part of our showcase at the CMJ Music Marathon. It was clear that night that there’s something pretty special about the simplicity of these songs that is both beautiful and cool. Hear for yourself on his/their debut album, Something Else.  (Russ Borris)

Kopecky Family Band

Kopecky Family Band

The six members of this Nashville band may not be blood-related, but they really do function as a family. Every morning Kelsey Kopecky sends each of them an inspirational or funny text message. They pack themselves sack lunches while on tour and finish each other’s sentences on stage and off. Their sound is rich with melody and harmonies and tons of places for listeners to sing along. Their debut album, Kids Raising Kids, is a reflection on how you can have major responsibilities in life, yet still feel like a kid.  (Alisa Ali)

Lake Street Dive

Lake Street Dive

This four-piece Brooklyn-based band is notably and quickly gaining fans online with their video of the old Jackson 5 song, “I Want You Back.” After seeing it, I just had to invite them to be the openers for the Holiday Cheer for FUV concert. At this point, they’re mostly known for their bold covers, but with their musical chops and distinctive vocals I know big things lie ahead for Lake Street Dive.  (Rita Houston)

Lianne La Havas

Lianne La Havas

Lianne La Havas is a natural – a pint-sized powerhouse from the UK, whose 2012 debut album, Is Your Love Big Enough?, earned her a Mercury Prize nomination and the adoration of the likes of Prince and Bon Iver. Just 23, but wise beyond her years, Lianne offers a blend of folk, soul, and jazz guitar, topped with a warm voice and lyrically honest songs, that sneaks up on you, with just enough quirkiness to defy easy categorization.  (Carmel Holt)

Little Green Cars

Little Green Cars

Little Green Cars are four guys and a girl from Ireland, all about 20 years old. The New York Times called them "a band to watch" during the most recent CMJ convention, and we got to hear how good they sound in an FUV Live broadcast that week. There's retro pop, folk-tinged rock, solid harmonies and a freshness in the few cuts they've already released, including a song called "The John Wayne.” I'm looking forward to their forthcoming debut album, Absolute Zero.  (Dennis Elsas)

Lord Huron

Lord Huron

Created less than three years ago as a solo project for Michigan-born, Los Angeles-based musician Ben Schneider, Lord Huron quickly grew into a traditional band to help flesh out his cinematic songs for live performances. After a couple of EPs, Lord Huron recently released their first album, Lonesome Dreams. Fans of Fleet Foxes and My Morning Jacket will not be disappointed with their lush, dramatic songs that capture the essence of nature, western plains, wanderers, and lonely freedom.  (Darren DeVivo)

LP

LP

LP has already had some success, composing for Rhianna and Christina Aguilera. You’ve also probably heard her song “Into the Wild” in a recent Citibank commercial. Well, the best is yet to come when she releases her full-length debut in 2013. LP (which is short for Laura Pergolizzi and not to be confused with hip hop artist El-P) says, “I want to make a journey of a record, something that flows as a full and complete piece of work.”  (Corny O’Connell)

Emeli Sandé

Emeli Sandé

Scotland’s Emeli Sandé, songwriter for other pop stars, had her own shining ascent in 2012, releasing a slickly-produced debut that racked up chart-topping sales in the UK. However, Sandé’s expected Stateside juggernaut never quite materialized, perhaps due to the pallor of her album when compared to Sandé’s real power – her astonishing live performances, such as her breathtaking incantation of the hymn “Abide With Me” at the Opening Ceremony of the Olympics. Hopefully, Sandé’s sophomore album will match her nascent promise, nurturing a more organic approach.  (Kara Manning)

Savoir Adore

Savoir Adore

The Brooklyn band Savoir Adore describe their sound as "fantasy rock." Once you get to know the band a little, you'll immediately find that a very fitting description, especially considering their EP, The Adventures of Mr. Pumpernickel & the Girl with Animals in Her Throat. Their latest full-length release, Our Nature, highlights their creative spirit while serving up some great dance beats.  (Alisa Ali)

Shovels & Rope

Shovels & Rope

Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent are a rootsy duo, based in Charleston, SC, who can stomp the hootenanny and swing the rockabilly, while maintaining an attitude in the spirit of husband/wife duos like The Cramps and X. With a name that suggests essential tools, Shovels & Rope does favor simplicity, but their creativity and versatility help them achieve impressive results whether they are going for soft or loud.  (Eric Holland)

The Last Bison

The Last Bison

“Mountaintop chamber” or “folkestrial” are two terms you might use to describe The Last Bison. It’s an eclectic, yet accessible sound that travels authentically between the bluegrass and classical worlds. It’s accomplished, but not academic. This tight-knit group of family and friends formed organically around bonfires and jam sessions in Chesapeake, Virginia. The now seven-piece band is set to release their major label debut early this year.  (Rita Houston)

The Lone Bellow

The Lone Bellow

This self-described “Brooklyn country music” trio brings strong, bellowing, three-part harmonies to dynamic, spiritually based songs. I was an instant fan after hearing the grammatically incorrect song, “You Never Need Nobody” and invited them to WFUV where they made their radio debut late last year. With the breakup of The Civil Wars, the music world is ready for The Lone Bellow.  (Rita Houston)