Let me start off by warning you these are not bands who would probably all occupy the same list often. There may be a little stylistic whiplash, but… None the less I either found out about or significantly deepened my appreciation of, these artists probably more than any others last year.
P.s. I know the time for 2012 lists is over but…here it is:
1. Yes Nice – I discovered Yes Nice at an annual music and action sports festival called “Shake The Lake” that I had the pleasure of doing video for this year (Check it out here). There were a ton of quality bands (Rococode, The Classic Crime, Acres of Lions, Zerbin, Derek Gust, etc) but Yes Nice stood head and shoulders above the pack. The songs, the live performance, the audience connection, the vibe. I loved it all. So I searched on YouTube to see more and realized someone had sent me their fantastic video quite awhile ago but it had slipped my mind; don’t let that happen to you, watch and then commit it to memory, they have a new album coming soon!
2. Macklemore – Unbelievable. I had vaguely heard of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ album “The Heist” before but in October I had a friend recommend it to me on the long drive from Edmonton to Grande Prairie and I actually checked it out. I have barely paused listening since. The beats, the flow…you have to check this album out! (Fair warning: You probably don’t check Macklemore out with your kids in the room or send a copy to your grandma) The track I posted is “Ten Thousand Hours”, the big single is “Thrift Shop” but this is the track that really does it for me. Sorry about the lack of real video.
3. The Castros – Discovered these guys while looking for a cool opening band in Columbus, Ohio and was blown away. Such a cool vibe and a great sound. Would love to see them live sometime, seem like a perfect band to watch at a house show!
4. The Civil Wars – I know they aren’t in anyway an unknown and I probably should have jumped on the train earlier but… I had heard them before, smiled when they won the Grammy, etc. but then I heard “Poison & Wine” and it BLEW MY MIND. Go listen now, and remember what a killer duet is.