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Aaron Axelsen’s Top New Bands Of 2013 … So Far (Part 1 Of 2)

It is about half way through the calendar year and LIVE 105 has seen a lot of great new artists on our airwaves. Here is part one of a two part series with the top new bands of 2013 … so far.

lorde16x9 01 Aaron Axelsen’s Top New Bands Of 2013 ... So Far (Part 1 Of 2)
1. Lorde
Kiwi synthpop teen-sensation is poised to take over the music world before her 18th birthday. “Royals” went from Subsonic and Soundcheck airplay back in January of this year to now exploding to be one of LIVE 105’s most requested songs AND hottest selling local digital single. (#23 today on the Bay Area Top 100) Her latest track “Tennis Court” could quite possibly be better!

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2. Bastille
One of England’s hottest new exports stormed the UK scene back in February when their debut album Bad Blood debuted at #2 on the album charts and then, subsequently, beat Mumford and Sons for #1 the following week. “Pompeii” is destined to be one of this summer’s biggest new Live 105 songs and tune-in this Sunday night on Soundcheck as Bastille perform acoustically live in-studio! (and we’ll have free tickets to giveaway for their SF live debut and sold-out popscene show next week)

(Photo by John Speirs)

(Photo by John Speirs)


Scottish electro-pop trio amazingly have ascended to dizzying heights here in the Bay Area in such a short period of time, going from sold-out shows at the Independent and Mezzanine to NOW returning this Fall to headline the Fox in Oakland … impressively, achieving this without a debut album released yet! Tracks like “Recover” and “The Mother We Share” have been featured regularly on Soundcheck throughout the year and look for Chvrches to drop their highly-anticipated debut album The Bones of What You Believe on September 24.

Fun Fact: Chvrches are label mates with Phoenix, Mumford And Sons, Two Door Cinema Club and Robert Delong.

the neighbourhood

4. The Neighbourhood

This new Los Angeles 5-piece exploded onto the scene in late 2012 with the self-release of their first single ‘Female Robbery’ and soon thereafter, inked a label deal with Rick Ruben and Columbia Records. 2013 saw the band release their debut album I Love You -featuring the #1 Modern Rock radio smash “Sweater Weather” and the boys also played BFD 2013, too

Fun Fact: The Neighbourhood made their SF debut opening up for UK starlet Charlie XCX at popscene last summer.

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5. Disclosure
British brothers Guy and Howard Lawrence collectively go under the moniker Disclosure and released one of the most compelling and adventurous dance records in years with their stunning debut Settle. Be sure to catch them live at this year’s Treasure Island Music Festival in October.

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6. MS MR

New York City two-piece who create haunting and ethereal, yet dance floor friendly electronic music and dropped their debut album Secondhand Rapture back in May. Singer Niki Robertson also moonlights as the head of indie label I Am Sound, which have released singles by Florence And The Machine, Little Boots and Lord Huron. MS MR play Outside Lands next month as well.

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7. The 1975
From the same fabled music scene that has produced such influential bands like The Smiths, New Order and Oasis comes this breakthrough new Manchester artist The 1975! Originally inked to American independent label Vagrant, home to bands like Alkaline Trio, Edward Sharpe And The Magnetic Zero’s and Dashboard Confessional, this new Brit 4-piece definitely have an Americanized sound and their latest single ‘Chocolate’ is my ‘Screamer of The Week’ this week. The band have a sold-out popscene show at Rickshaw Stop on July 25 and then return to SF to play the Indy on October 30.

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8. Smallpools
LA upstarts released a song on their own ‘Dreamers’ earlier this year that quickly caught the attention of several key music bloggers and that early blog buzz ultimately led to a major label record deal with RCA records. LIVE 105 was one of the first stations to play this song, which has been described by the dude who hosts Soundcheck as ‘the bastard stepchild of Passion Pit and Phoenix.’ Also, Smallpools make their SF live debut on August 8 hosting a LIVE 105 emerging artist showcase at Rickshaw Stop (with Cloud Control and Savoir Adore) and then quickly return to play Slim’s supporting San Cisco on August 12.

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9. Tumbleweed Wanders

East Bay folk-rock 5-piece impressed me so much when I saw them play at Outside Lands last year that I had them headline our Soundcheck local band stage at BFD 2013 in May at the Shoreline! This Oakland outfit have also sold-out shows at Bottom Of the Hill, Great American Music Hall and The Indy AND most recently put out a fantastic EP entitled Worn Down Welcome.

Fun Fact: Tumbleweed Wanders worked with local artist/producer extraordinaire John Vanderslice! I love John. He’s the best.

10. Clean Bandit

Despite only having 3 singles under their young belts, I’m absolutely blown away by this audacious new UK act Clean Bandit! Their influences include the likes of Hot Chip, Jamie XX and Massive Attack, and they’ve supported a sold-out tour with Disclosure earlier this year, too. I’ve seriously already played this video for like 15 of my friends today alone.

Fun Fact: Clean Bandit share the same manager with London indie-faves Friendly Fires.

More from Aaron Axelsen / Soundcheck

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