Today we bring you installment #3 of our Rabbits Black “Best of 2011” Staff Picks: Best New Band of 2011! This has been a dynamic year in music and with social media providing more access to bands than ever we have seen a tremendous influx of talented new bands. In this category each RB staff member was forced to choose that one band that emerged onto the scene in 2011 that made the biggest impact on them…and has the brightest future! See our staff picks, and the new bands you need to know, after the jump!
RB Staff Picks #3 – Best New Band of 2011
1. Ronnie: Electric Flower
I was hooked after I heard their 3 song EP this winter. Usually an EP consist of one good polished song, and a few demos. What we got was three polished songs, and an unhealthy desire to hear a whole album. If the pedigrees of both Imaad Wasif and Josh Garza don’t convince you that they are on to something special, check out our interview with the guys from a few weeks ago. Big things are coming, and you have the chance to say you were there from the beginning. The band recently played our Home For The Holidays Charity Concert, and simply put, they were phenomenal. So much sound, so much energy, and so much pure rock n’ roll talent that your mind wanted to explode. With a new EP coming out in March, and a full album release scheduled for next year, it’s time to get on board. Electric Flower is going to take over your eardrums in 2012.
2. Ryan: Standing Shadows
This is a difficult choice because there are so many great new bands out there right now. Standing Shadows started for me by sneaking a few songs from their new EP onto a few playlists, and then having to stop what I was doing everytime they came on because they were so damn good. Then of course they had to pass the real test: the live show. And they were absolutely dynamic at RB’s H4H concert. Great guys, great music, great show, and their newest EP is their best to date so they are still improving. This band is poised to make a huge jump into mainstream awareness, so see them soon and get in on the ground floor!
3. Andrew: Jonathan Tyler & The Northern Lights
I’m a sucker for old-fashioned, bluesy Rock N’ Roll, but it’s been a while since I’ve heard a new band get it right. They could easily become The Black Crowes or The Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band for a new generation. They’ve made a name for themselves on the road, but their first major studio album was impressively polished for a group that’s only been playing together for 3 years. Already an accomplished live act, I’m hoping they’re just getting started.
4. Tiffany: Gregory Alan Isakov
Although Gregory has been making music for quite some time now, I’m going to go ahead and pick him as most exciting new band because I didn’t discover him until this year. Gregory has that kind of voice that sounds great on a recording, but is magical when you get to experience it live. His heavily folk-influenced albums each have a personality of their own, and the next album should be just another step in his budding career. I am a sucker for intricate yet subtle song writing with am emphasis on lyrical composure. That’s Gregory Alan Isakov right now. With an international tour and new album in the works, expect to hear much more about Gregory Alan Isakov in 2012.
5. Anthony: Standing Shadows
I had the luxury of seeing this band in the most awesome little setting possible very recently. Their show presence, sound, and theme just fit with every Rabbitsblack personality. For those of you that have not heard their stuff and like to party…It’s a FREAKSHOW!! Check them out for sure.
6. Shawn: The War on Drugs
The War on Drugs is the type of band that seems to always push the bandaries on alternative rock. Unique effects and guitar sweeps fill their albums with a sense of progressing forward and never looking back. Their music is easily compared to the sounds of Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan and My Bloody Valentine and show great potential for being on the same level with bands such as Arcade Fire and Deerhunter.
7. Stephanie: Young the Giant
I may be biased for these local boys from Irvine, CA, but Sameer Gadhia’s voice makes me swoon while the music ain’t so soft that I feel like a bitch about it.
…check in tomorrow for installment #4!