I’m sure you’ve heard her this year and that’s why she deserves the Hummingbird
Best New Bands of 2012 HUMMINGBIRD AWARD #2: GRIMES
Hours and hours and hours we debated over our #1 Hummingbird…it wasn’t an easy choice and many bands not only missed out by a hair, they didn’t even make our top 12. Sad but true. Grimes is not a new artist per se. Some of us have been allured by her siren voice since 2009, but it took a stellar LP like Visions for her to really shine and break-through. We put her experimental harmonizing of Halfaxa behind us and truly were treated with a perfect record. Not many artists can move past this phase. I don’t think Cocteau Twins ever moved beyond it and we know that many artists go in the opposite direction and move way too far into the art and we lose them forever. Grimes chose the perfect year to blossom her flower and we loved it. Thank you for “Genesis”, “Be A Body” and my personal favorite no not “Vanessa” from 2011, but “Colour of Moonlight” of 2012. So good. She truly embodies what an artist is and should be in 2012. We look for more over the next 10 years, maybe a little less falsetto harmonizing and some amazing lyricism will push her to #1 in 2013.
Hometown: Montreal, Cananda
Members: Claire Boucher
Sonic Soulmates™: Stacie Q, Polica, Class Actress
“Be A Body”
“Colour of Moonlight”
The Weeknd is better than Frank Ocean so we gave him a Hummingbird
Best New Bands of 2012 HUMMINGBIRD AWARD #10: THE WEEKND
I hate secrets. Especially when they are about me. So why is The Weeknd such a secretive dude? Why won’t he tell us the truth or remove the shroud and celebrate his greatness. We want an interview! Here is what we do know, his music is absolutely amazing, he is Abel Tesfaye, he released three mix tapes in 2012, he signed to Universal Republic, he has important friends, he is a man, he sounds like Drake and R. Kelly, he is one of our favorite new artists for 2012, he just won a Hummingbird. So here is what we said last month…and enjoy our gift to you! He should be #1, but dude your Trilogy came out too late this year. He skyrocketed up our list around September and held onto to Spot 10. We even got several hundred votes from readers for him.
Home: Toronto, CA
Members: Abel Tesfaye
Sonic Soulmates™: R. Kelly, Drake
Trackables™: Notable tracks from his release Trilogy, but listen to the whole damn thing “This Morning”
“House of Balloons/Glass Table Girls”
UNCORKED™ – Best New Bands of 2012 (3.1.12) Grimes
By the way, let me just emphatically state this, I LOVE GRIMES! I want that t-shirt made now, hell, just buy it here. She is my muse for the dark times. Maybe she’ll be playing on 12.22.12 when that rolling ball of fire engulfs the world. Whatever the scenario, the new record Visions is a mixture of her 80′s electro-pop obsession from her first two records with a dash of polished digitalism. It’s a beautiful record and one that I would have played over and over and over again in 1986 while playing Ultima IV, or in 1994 playing Sega or today while playing Spotify. We don’t use love lightly around here, but Grimes is our lover and we are obsessed little puppies waiting for our next little aural treat.
Vitals: Founded: 2009 Hometown: Montreal, Cananda Members: Claire Boucher Sonic Soulmates™: Stacie Q, Polica, Class Actress Trackables™: “Be A Body” – My prediction for a chart topper…wow
Hummingbird Award #11 - Suuns --- One of the best new bands of 2011
Best New Band of 2011
#11 Hummingbird Award – Suuns
Thank God, Arizona Turk is persistent. We buried his email about Suuns back in 2010 and it was this past February that we finally got our act together and posted. Wow. Really, just one big wow. They’re minimalist, they’re Canadian and they take a lot of inspiration from the likes of Clinic and Thievery Corp. We miss the Turk, where are you but we love Suuns.
Hometown – Montreal, Canada
Members – Ben Shemie, Liam O’Neill, Max Henry, Joseph Yarmush
Sonic Soulmates – MGMT, Clinic, The Besnard Lakes, The Kills, Thievery Corporation with some Beck vocals
Don't Be Alarmed, People Still Go to the LIbrary and They Still Whisper
Band of the Day (10.11.11) Library Voices
I still have the urge to post more information about our “Already Profiled” bands that have new records. There are so many, it’s hard to keep up. We can’t forget about the new ones, we really can’t. Today’s band is a Canadian delight. Now that we’re finally over the maple leaf obsession, we get a band from Regina, Saskatchewan, CA dead center of Winnipeg and Calgary. Some of the most beautiful country in the world, but it’s damn cold. The band Bon Iver’d up in a small town of Kronau (population: 209) to record their sophomore record and it’s quite good. The band has not been on the golden road to Oz, their trailers have been robbed, their instruments and studio destroyed in a flood, but the seven piece Reginates are aiming for their own US rocket ship. The record hits next Tuesday and we have a track or two below. Think of the bell clanging female backed Los Campesinos combined with 80′s horn driven favorites like Bruce Hornsby and then sprinkle in some good ‘ol home cooked Canadian bacon like Stars and The Dears and you have Library Voices. Love ‘em and you will be hearing them all over soon.
Hometown: Regina, Saskatchewan, CA
Amanda Scandrett – keyboards /vocals
Paul Gutheil – saxophone / vocals
Michael Thievin – drums
Brennan Ross – Guitar /vocals
Carl Johnson – lead vocals
Michael Dawson – keyboards / vocals
Eoin Hickey-Cameron – bass guitar
Sonic Soulmates: Los Campesinos, The Dears, Stars, The Range with Bruce Hornsby
Montreal is not just Arcade Fire land...it's home to the coolest band of 2011 The Luyas
Band of the Day 3.15.11 The Luyas
Another Canadian band, and this time it’s an ensemble with three records to their credit. The Luyas performed live for the first time in December 2006, released their first record, Faker Death in August 2007, and now have Too Beautiful To Work , one of the coolest records of the year. Buy it here on Vinyl please. They’re part Stereolab’s cool free form electronic rock/jazz with the simplicity of Architecture of Helsinki and the celebration of Los Campesinos! At times I think I’m listening to a clever Bjork album with Jessie’s vocals, but really I find her vocals to be right in line with our past BOD La Sera. It’s a moody album and the band definitely shows it’s Arcade Fire DNA. If you’re already a fan, then pass the link along, if not let them know how cool they are.
Hometown: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Sonic Soulmates: Los Campesinos!, La Sera, Stereolab, Tortoise and a little Arcade Fire
Trackables: “Tiny Head” – My favorite track from the new record!
Chet where are you? We love these Victoria, BC natives
Band of the Day (3.14.11) Chet
It’s been two years and this vote is more of a call to action. Four albums and Chet has been in hibernation. It was CBC3 that reminded us of their brilliant folk sound. It’s part Devendra, part Nick Drake and a little MMJ. Where the hell have you gone Chet? We’re so sad but yet we hold out hope. Four albums, and two years of hiatus. Their last album Chelsea Silver, Please Come Home was a brilliant record, addressing love lost, heart and soul. From what I know and have read, Canada’s greatest living song writer is a vineyard field hand and postal worker living in rural Western Canada. Ryan Beattie, the lead dog of Chet writes from the heart, with a similar approach to Conor Oberst. He can articulate heartbreak and acceptance of flaws so well. Just listen and help bring Chet back to us!
Spoke with Ryan last evening and he mentioned that their priorities have shifted and Ryan is focused on Himalayan Bear. His second record Attacks The Brilliant Air was just released and it’s quite good. Check it out here:
Hometown: Victoria, BC
Patrick Beattie vocal, organ, guitar
Issac Flaag drum
Ryan Beattie guitar, vocal
Megan Boddy viola, vocal
Thomas Sheilds bass guitar, trippy shit
Matt Skillings piano/wurlitzer, head banging
Sonic Soulmates: Devendra Banhart, Nick Drake, Neutral Milk Hotel
“The Night The Night”
Nobody can deny that Mumford, Avett Bros. and Dylan ruled the Grammys tonight, but you have to give it to Win Butler. Only true musicians run up and play another song after they achieve the biggest upset victory in Grammy history. That may have been the first time we’ve ever seen Win smiling while playing. Yep we are “Ready to Start”….Oh and Esperanza Spalding deserved it.
Every band has to start somewhere. It took art galleries and cafes for Win Butler to create Arcade Fire in 2001. Every band has a story, so start reading some of the great stories of the BEST NEW BANDS of 2011 and the BEST of 2010.
Just because your favorite band becomes monsterously huge, doesn’t mean you have to become a hater. We know you were there in the beginning.
I have to admit that this year is shaping up to be a fantastic music year. Can’t quite get a grasp on what trends are hitting or where we’re headed but it’s clear that the bands are getting better and that we’re going to have one kick-ass summer. That being said, I feel as if we’ve neglected a few bands or genres for that matter. We got so excited with the return of rock that we forgot to profile garage bands. Those fantastic dudes that grind out 2 minute tracks ripping and shreading their way through an album. This years fave so far has to be Dead Ghosts. Why, because they’re a cross between Harlem of last year, The Vandals, a tame Dead Kennedys, The Walkmen and The Byrds. They got a little doo-wop in em too. They’re no JJ Revue, but they’re good. Buddy Holly cool. The boys are from Vancouver, their record was released late 2010 and it’s 13 tracks of pure garage bliss. I think only two tracks surpass the 3:30 mark…haha, gotta love Canadian surf garage rock.
Vitals for Dead Ghosts
Hometown: Vancouver, Canada
Bryan – Guitar, Vocals
Andrew – Guitar
Michael – Drums
Moe – Bass
Sonic Soulmates: The Vandals, Buddy Holly, JJ Revue, Dead Kennedys, The Walkmen, The Swamp Rats, The Ronettes’
Must Hear Tracks: “When It Comes to You” - By far the best track of the record and it’s the first one….Premature Musication!
“What to Do” - Buddy Holly meeting Kids in the Hall…LOVE THAT SHOW. The best thing to come out of Canada in 1991!
“I Want Your Love” – The Walkmen meet The Shirelles
Arizona Turk reminds me on a daily basis to write about one his 2010 gems Suuns. It’s not that they aren’t worthy of a BOD nod, it’s just that they got lost in the shuffle. Suuns of Montreal, CN really are worthy… Their album, Zeroes QC, was released late 2010, and it received tons of accolades. They have groove rock tracks, mixed with heavy electro beats. They’re part Clinic, part MGMT, part Beck and part Thievery Corporation. These Canadian lads have the groove of MGMT and the swagger of David Bowie. I love their sound. It’s so unexpected, it’s kinda shocking. Give em a listen and love em like we do!
Hometown: Montreal, Canada
Members: Ben Shemie, Liam O’Neill, Max Henry, Joseph Yarmush
Sonic Soulmates: MGMT, Clinic, The Besnard Lakes, The Kills, Thievery Corporation with some Beck vocals
Must Hear Tracks:
“Arena” – Probably the best tack on the record
“Sweet Nothing” – If David Bowie recorded a track with MGMT.
“Up Past The Nursery” – I feel a little Beck with MGMT here
early eerie creepy Elvis crooning creates Dirty Beaches
Band of the Day (1.12.11) Dirty Beaches
Can this really be true, this is our first Canadian band of 2011. WOW! Doesn’t matter, because we have a slew of them slated for January and February. Dirty Beaches is rock-a-billy mood music. I swear these are recent recordings. We didn’t find them buried in our stax box, or at some used record store in The Haight. Alex Zhang Hungtai is a solo performer who’s made homes in all parts of the world, primarily the Far East and Canada. The Eastern influence coupled with the chill of Canada, helps create a very unique classic early 60′s Elvis meets the Devil sound. He is my Lord Huron of 2011…so far. Once again, Mr. Arizona Turk was doing his work. Great find
Hometown: East Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Members: Alex Zhang Hungtai; solo performer, sound-smith, and trans-Pacific nomad. Born in Taiwan, Hungtai has made Toronto, Honolulu, Montreal, and Vancouver his homes.
Sonic Soulmates: Lou Reed, Roy Orbison, Misfits, if Depeche Mode came from the 60′s and early 60′s beat bands…
Must Hear Tracks:
“Lord Knows Best” – This is by far his best track.
“True Blue” – I think my mom was dumped in high school when this song was playing in her Chevy. Alex nails it here.
Ahhhh Day 2 of this new year and why not focus on walls of sound and shoegaze or as the band describes “doomgaze” pop. The Elizabeth Fraser layered vocals eerily remind you of the angelic voice rattling around inside your head. She’s alluring but disruptive, making you feel as if your safe in her arms, then she whispers those insane lyrics in your head. WOW, she may even be an Incubus…okay, I’m getting carried away, but you get the drift. Take a listen to our two favorite tracks below. After you listen…realize it’s only a duo. They did befriend Bethany of Best Coast and get a coattail ride on her label, so there is familial love here and you will be seeing their name on the SXSW/summer festival circuit.
Hometown: MONTREAL, CN
Members: The Montreal/L.A. duo of Laura Lloyd and Jasamine White-Gluz Kick your ass!!!!
Sonic Soulmates: My Bloody Valentine, Godspeed You Black Emperor, Gauntlet Hair,Eternal Summers
Must hear tracks:
“Maggie Says I Love You”
First of all let me thank you! This is the First Annual Hummingbird Awards and we owe it to you. This has been an amazing year for us here at NBD. We profiled over 200 bands, bands have thanked us and you fans have been supportive of us. So to close out this year, we going to count ‘em down. It’s time, we’ve taken the last week to study our picks. We’ve found a few things..
1. You fans love your bands
2. Canada is producing some amazing music in 2010
3. Sweden and the Nordics are producing even better music (I’ll leave it to you to defend your music)
4. The Pet Sound was hot in early 2010, but it’s been replaced by….
5. XX/XY duos – WOW there a ton of female/male duos this year.
6. Singer songwriters will be all over our top 10
7. Arizona Turk has a lot to say about the list
8. We don’t give the award to bands that have already made it…we reward the ones who need it.
9. Our favorite band of the year is a shocker
10. Hummingbirds are amazing birds…Your Band Wants To Win a Hummingbird!
A Hummingbird is the most prestigious award a new band can receive. Hands down, if you win one, your life will never be the same.
The Arizona Turk is one the primary contributors to New.Band.Day. He’s been a fixture since 2010 and his picks are ahhhhmazing. They may seem confusingly unfamiliar, but that’s why we love him. His picks sound odd today, but if you look back over the past several years, you’ll notice that those bands are just now […]
UNCORKED™ – Best New Bands of 2012 (10.22.12) GRMLN Lo-fi, still living in his parent’s basement and he’s only a Sophomore at UC Santa Cruz. Isn’t that the school where you have clothing optional Wednesday’s? None-the-less it’s a great segue to the stripped down sounds of GRMLN. It’s lo-fi, single guitar, vocals, electronic backing. Think […]
STAFF PICKS – Our own Arizona Turk finally put pen to paper and sent us his 2011 GEM list stuffed with reverb, sonic soundwaves and spacey dreams. My mind is a whirl with all this great stuff. Read his list, like the bands on Facebook and listen to his playlist on Spotify. There are some real GEMS in here….Top 10 Bands, Tracks and Albums of 2011.
No other band put a dent in our 2011 universe, then Other Lives. They are big now, but even back in May of 2011, the band was still small. Now they’re touring with Radiohead and they are so deserving of our #1 Hummingbird Award for 2011. Get the album, tell your friends you’ve been listening since early 2011, and make them your new favorite band of 2011 and for all-time.
We don’t care that everyone knows who they are…they deserve to be voted onto the list of Hummingbird Award Winners. Listen and enjoy what everyone in The UK loves. They are better than any rock band since…The Strokes.
Best New Bands of 2010 Hummingbird Award: #1 The Tallest Man on Earth
He is the reason why I love music, why I love to share music, why we endure the crap…he is the gem that was excavated one Winter morning back in February, and now he is THE MOST IMPORTANT NEW ARTIST OF 2010. Thank you Kristian for making and creating.
Best New Bands of 2010 Hummingbird Award: #2 The Pomegranates
Fuzzy Cincinnati, Ohio surf rockers bring a fantastic new album to 2010. I think these guys have just enough quirk to break-thru. They’ve been grinders on the road and with 3 LPs and a few EPs, they deserve the accolades. Love them and so will you! Hear two new tracks now a grab the Daytrotter session NOW! They DESERVE THE HUMMINGBIRD!!!
Best New Bands of 2010 Hummingbird Award: #3 The Radio Dept.
They were voted #1 in our mid-year Best of 2010 list. They are perfection in motion, they’re Pet Shop Boys sounds are a new way to make the [Second] Wave worth it’s rise. The Radio Dept. has an amazing album and will make our final three Best Albums of 2010, posted later this week. We love The Radio Dept. and we know you will!
Best New Bands of 2010 Hummingbird Award: #4 Chapel Club
Chapel Club is Morrissey trapped in a Interpol video. They destroy the stereotypes of the Second [New] Wave, and make it fun to listen to again. They mix The Smiths, Interpol, My Vitriol, Glenn Danzig and Joy Division all into one. The single “The Shore” is brilliant and we are thankful that the Arizona Turk pulled an all-nighter to find this gem. Merry Christmas
Best New Bands of 2010 Hummingbird Award: #5 Jim Jones Revue
Seriously the Best Band of 2010 and they’re only #5…WOW, this is much harder than I thought it would be. They’re Little Richard, The Misfits and Jerry Lee Lewis all wrapped up in an angry little package. I love em soo much, I hope this endorsement gets you to listen. Listen to 2 new tracks.
This is the final post of 2010. The Top 10 Albums from Me the Editor. Damn it’s been a great year musically. If you said this year in music sucked, then you weren’t listening or reading. If you have a friend and you’re a friend then pass along NewBandDay.com to them. It’ll be their New Years Resolution, or yours if you’re looking to be a better friend. The albums are here. So go download them…NOW! See you next year.