In 2011 Shattered Vinyl released it’s inaugural list Artists to Watch list, and with it’s success we decided to bring back Artists to Watch for 2012, and name another 10 artists worth your attention this year. All our acts have recently or are expected to drop new material over the course of 2012, and we think have what it takes to be big names by year’s end.
Indie-rock outfit Jagwar Ma are set to release their debut 7″ Come Save Me. A modern-day twist on the Beach Boys, Jagwar Ma’s sunny boyish vocals, looping drum beats, layered synthesizers take these simple pop tunes and warp them till they’re just right, like on the band’s track “What Love?.” Lead single “Come Save Me” with it’s retro 60s pop aesthetics that make for an enjoyable groove that’s earned the band plenty of buzz and many watching what’s next from the Aussies.
Droping their debut on February 27th, 2012 via Blue Rider, Jagwar Ma are sure to be a note worthy band especially in the early hours of 2012.
9. Ghost Beach
Brooklyn’s Ghost Beach started dropping dropping electro-pop jams throughout the latter half of 2011, that resulted in the January release of their self-titled debut EP.
Plans to tour this spring, the duo looks to bring their surprisingly polished beats to as many eager ears as they can in 2012.
8. Said The Whale
Vancouver’s Said The Whale are gearing up to release their new album Little Mountain, with the release of “Heavy Ceiling” there’s no doubt the band’s sounding more adventurous.
In gearing up for their latest, the band is set to produce videos for all 15 tracks off the album, and a long list of North American Tour dates.
Arguably the quintet’s biggest release yet, look to be seeing a lot of headlines for the British Columbia natives, one of Canada’s hottest indie rock acts.
Capturing attention with her anthemic single “Youth,” Foxes made a splash dropping her debut single on 7″ vinyl with trendsetters Neon Gold Records. Not to mention an equally enthralling b-side in “Home,” now available on iTunes.
Plans for a second single in the works for mid-2012, as well as some touring in the latter part of the year, Foxes is a hot commodity with growing interest from labels, this is just the beginning for the young Brit.
Named to our Best of 2011… EPs, there’s no denying the allure of Lianne La Havas, sharing a similar charm to fellow Brit Corinne Bailey Rae.
However the similarities end there, as Lianne’s latest EP Forget and it’s title track prove her neo-soul/folk style collide with grittier electric guitars and a beefy beat there’s an experimental edginess to La Havas that’s all her own.
Lianne La Havas – Gone (Live in LA) by Lianne La Havas
5. Of Monsters & Men
Icelandic folk-rockers Of Monsters & Men dropped their debut album My Head is an Animal in their homeland last year and an EP Into the Woods this side of the Atlantic last December.
Talk of releasing their LP in North America have been circling and if you’re a fan of lively folk-rock Of Monsters & Men are certainly worth getting to know.
The lively brass infused “Little Talk” is an immediately enjoyable jam that’s sure to have you wanting more of they bands male/female vocals and rich instrumentals.
Did we mention they’re from the land of Bjork?! Don’t be surprised to see them making the late night talk show circuit in due time.
Little Talks by Of Monsters and Men
If the success of Toronto outfits like Young Galaxy and Austra in 2011 is any indication, then Trust is in good company.
One half of the duo Maya Postepski, the drummer for the aforementioned Austra is set to have lightning strike for a second time alongside Robert Alfons as Trust.
Kathleen Edwards may not be an emerging artist given her debut album was 2003’s Failer, but the Ottawa native is reaching new heights with her gorgeous new album Voyageur.
The post-divorce album comes with some big names attached including her co-producer-boyfriend Justin Vernon of Bon Iver. Though a famous name like Vernon will draw in new listeners, the star is Edwards and her shimmering pop-rock sound of Voyageur.
Kathleen Edwards – Change The Sheets by Kathleen Edwards
2. St. Lucia
Recently signed to Neon Gold Records with an EP due in March and a full length album later this year, New York’s St. Lucia have plenty to offer.
Their two previous singles “We Got It Wrong” and “This Old House Is Gone” grabbed instant fans with shimmering synth and a bright sunny pop, the electro-pop act are gearing up for a big year, that will have their name on the tips of every bloggers tongue and a good chance if their last couple singles are any indication the Best of Lists come December.
Montreal’s Grimes is THE artist to watch this year, with an infectious and equally adventurous single in “Genesis” already one of the year’s best singles.
Set to release her latest album Visions and tour extensively throughout North America and a few dates into Europe come May, Grimes is about to make herself known to more than just a few outside Montreal.
Drawing on a variety of styles both in her music and visual asethetic, it’s hard not to become captivated by Grimes.
Grimes – Genesis by FACT magazine