Cults: This straight out of New York boy/girl duo -- both 21 year old art students -- might be new to the scene, but NPR has already labeled their single, “Abducted”, one of the best songs of 2011. Check out the video of Cults, playing their sticky sweet, sun-dazed feel good anthem “Go Outside” to see why it won’t be long before they have an obsessed, namesake-inspired fan base. (And then head to their recently launched website cultscultscults.com to hear a high quality version of the song).
JEFF the Brotherhood: This Nashville duo (formerly behind the band Be Your Own Pet) are brothers Jake and Jamin Orrall, and their brand of thick, kick-started glam metal-influenced garage-rock surges off their under the radar 2010 release Heavy Days. JEFF the Brotherhood recently knocked the socks off (admittedly already sockless) audiences at Bonnaroo, and earned critical praise for their efforts at South by Southwest.
Twin Shadow: Forget, the debut album by Brooklyn’s Twin Shadow, was initially noticed by Grizzly Bear’s Chris Taylor, who released the LP on his own Terrible Records. If this endorsement isn’t enough to sell you on Twin Shadow (that would be one George Lewis Jr.), check out Forget’s sparkly, electronica-kissed, Prince by way of Nick Cave-inspired pop. What sounds good on the album is absolutely epic live. Trust us.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.: A grating moniker to be sure, and their onstage outfits are strange, but this Detroit-based duo validates these off tendencies with pretty, elegantly produced indie pop tracks replete with simple/thoughtful lyrics (“Your love is easy/ and I get more than I deserve”) and pleasingly non-sequitur music videos.
Motopony: This Seattle indie pop outfit is rising fast thanks to their eponymous debut album, a pretty little LP that was released in 2009 and now finally gaining traction. The band has earned heavy rotation on L.A.’s ultra-influential music program, “Morning Becomes Eclectic,” and while this four-man band’s live show suggests they’ve still got some growing to do, we look forward to sticking around for the process.