Music director and Soundcheck host Aaron Axelsen presents ten new indie and up-and-coming bands you gotta check out this year!
1. PHANTOGRAM – brand new New York based beat-centric indie rock project that has completely blown me away with their auspicious debut album EYELID MOVIES (drops 2/2/10) from the venerable Barsuk Records family (Death Cab For Cutie, Nada Surf, Ra Ra Riot) FOR FANS OF: Zero 7, Massive Attack, Stereolab, Great Northern, Royskopp, Rilo Kiley, DJ Shadow
2. MUMFORD AND SONS – one of the UK’s biggest new breakthrough acts of 2009 with their chart topping debut platinum album SIGH NO MORE, check out this amazing folk-tinged britrock act if you have a penchant for the Once Soundtrack, Frightened Rabbit, Snow Patrol, Belle And Sebastian, Fanfarlo and Decemberists.
3. SURFER BLOOD – fantastic new underground rock 4-piece out of Florida who love everything from the Beach Boys; to bittersweet harmonies; to lots and lots of fuzz and feedback. FOR FANS OF: Vampire Weekend, The Drums, Blonde Redhead, The Pixies and The Shins
4. VV BROWN – nu-soul/mod British Diva has stormed the UK music scene with her infectious blend of hip R&B and dancehall grooves. FOR FANS OF: Amy Winehouse, Duffy, Estelle, The Specials, The Jam, Lilly Allen
5. YOUNG THE GIANT (formerly THE JAKES) – Newport Beach is home to this new So Cal rock/pop group who are currently the subject of an intense record label bidding war. just opened up for Dizzy Balloon last month before returning to SF for their own headlining show!
6. SOFT PACK – these San Diego raucous garage-punks rule, period. FOR FANS OF: Black Lips, Cage The Elephant, The Kinks. Rocking the Rickshaw Stop on 1/28/10.
7. DAN BLACK – London based electronic-pop artist and proud occupier of the #9 slot on my top 10 best albums of 2009… Dan Black’s debut album UNI is an impeccable fusion of dreamy electronic melodies, clever and catchy pop tunes and dancefloor friendly jams. (Passion Pit has remixed his brilliant debut single SYMPHONIES, which is also impressively the iTunes single of the week today!) making his SF debut at popscene on 2/25 FOR FANS OF: Calvin Harris, Postal Service, The Streets, Hot Chip, Owl City
8. THE JEZABELS – brand new Australian band to watch for in 2010! melancholic, cinematic and orchestral piano based indie rock with a stunning female vocalist! (she reminds me a bit of kate bush or amanda palmer from dresden dolls)
9. NEON TREES – So Cal up-and-coming band that toured in support of THE KILLERS last year. playing a gig at Rickshaw with Har Mar Superstar on Thursday, January 21
10. AUTOKRATZ – dark, electro London duo who make sinister, intense and nocturnal electronic floor fillas.. FOR FANS OF: The Presets, Cut Copy, VNV Nation, Simian Mobile Disco, New Order