I find nothing more exciting than hearing a new song on the radio, seeing a support band or surfing through Spotify only to discover a band that you immediately know are going to be big. Just a band or artist with a sound that knocks you, makes you stop dead and immediately strike a chord, like they are what you have been looking for all along.
The music scene has seen a lull in the indie and alternative sector in recent years as Dance and Dubstep began to dominate the charts once again. Alternative Rock is not something that is going to be creating commercial fortunes anytime soon, sadly. Yet, that doesn't mean it's not out there.
The scene is thriving- you've just got to know which tiny club to look in or which website to look on.
However, 2012 has seen a wave of new music and there are bands that are bubbling under the surface playing intimate gigs just waiting to explode onto the main stage.
Check bands Facebook pages search the internet or go on a specific venues website in order to find smaller, lesser known bands and when they are touring. You'll be sure to find some amazing talent without breaking the bank. Those are the gigs that you'll remember and gloat to all your friends about when the band catapults to mainstream success and start charging thirty quid for a ticket. Something that I have shamelessly done in the past with regards to the likes of The Kooks; The Cribs; Bombay Bicycle Club and Example.
If you're going to any festivals be sure to wake up bright and early to see some of the earlier acts. The headliners are great but you may just find your new favourite band if you take a chance on someone lower down the bill.
So here are my picks of bands to listen out for in 2012.
Outfit: With comparisons to New order, Wild Beasts and Chapel Club, the overall sound of Outfit could be quantified as a mixture of all of these bands but with a twist, giving them their own distinctive spin on guitar based synthesised Pop- they really are a mixed bag of sounds and it seems to work very well indeed. Outfit's vocals are a dichotomy of despondency and bliss which could be bunched in with the delicate tones of Hot Chip or The XX. The low-key yet haunting sound means Outfit have created the kind of music that sits well either centre stage or simply as background ambiance- which could spell all together disaster and success- you will either find them a standout band or one that just fades out making no impact at all. Listen out for single, 'Two Islands'.
Cave Painting: Intrigue and eagerness has been steadily bubbling under the surface for months now waiting for Brighton based Cave Painting to unveil the delights of their debut E.P. The Brighton five piece are capable of not only proving, but superseding their hotly tipped hype with their melodic and blissful sound. Debut single, Midnight Love, catches hold of you with its strength and subtlety and will undoubtedly be the theme tune to everyone's sun drenched festival haze next summer. There is an ethereal beauty to Cave Painting's sound, yet it is still purposeful with its building and crashing crescendos and fragile vocals that hold profound sentiment through open-ended lyrics. Top track, 'Rio'.
Howler: Likened to The Strokes countless times - but with good reason. Vocals and songs echo that of Julian Casablanca and co. Enthusiastic, rattling rock from a bunch of boys who are clearly chasing the dream. However, do not write them off as a Strokes tribute band. They are much more- and exactly what the scene needs right now. A band trying to make Rock and Roll and succeeding pretty well. A straight up guitar-led band with some banging tunes. Check out songs: Beach Sluts and Back of your neck.
Bleeding Knees Club: Not dissimilar to the aforementioned Howler- a band going 'old school' and just banging out guitar led catchy tunes. Garage pop tunes reminiscent of the early Cribs albums. A mixture of punky vocals and slightly 60's sounding melody, it's hard to not bop along to the Australian teen duo. The songs throughout the album to and fro between the sixties drenched doo-wops and sha-la-la backing vocals and screeching with gritty lyrics. Teen angst with a dose of cool. I'll call it the love child of the Shangri-Las and The Misfit, sounds like it wouldn't work- but it does. Check tracks: Lipstick and Bad Guys.
Jake Bugg: An 18 year old working class lad from Nottingham who has been quoted as saying he wishes he was born in a different decade. Not much chance of that now, but luckily for him he sounds like he is from another era. Using music to make it out of the boring confines of his council estate based life-something which single Trouble Town touches upon- this boys vocals and lyrics are way beyond his years. His vocals and bluesy guitar riffs harp back to the original days of rock and roll. Simple music that sounds so organic you can't help but want to listen. Think Beatles, Bob Dylan and classic British pop. Definitely one to watch. Check out Lightning Bolt.
Guitar music seems to have died a painful death recently- keep it alive by checking out these guys. All are either touring or have an album out now.
Check each individual bands Facebook page or website for more info