20 Most Exciting New Bands Of 2012

There’s very few things that make January worthwhile. Film season is one (Shame being the highlight so far – read the review here – and of course the Golden Globes). Erm, what else? Well, nothing, save for annual onslaught of new band lists and tips for the year ahead.

With that in mind, we recently picked 100 names for you to check out, a massive list of new music that should see you through the next couple of months. Here’s 20 of the best in glorious widescreen. Drop your own tips at the bottom, and listen to all 100 in our bespoke Soundcloud player at the end.

  1.    Grimes
  2. Photo: Tom Oxley/NME
    Not actually grime at all, Claire Boucher is rethinking electro pop instead. Photo: Tom Oxley/NME

  3.    Spector
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    Photo: Roger Sargent/NME
    Fred Macpherson’s latest project, a dapper arch indie collective. Photo: Roger Sargent/NME

  5.    A$AP Rocky
  6. Photo: Pieter M Van Hattem/NME
    Harlem’s new rap prodigy, just signed for big bucks. Photo: Pieter M Van Hattem/NME

  7.    DZ Deathrays
  8. Photo: Amy Brammall/NME
    Australian noiseniks that call to mind The Scare. Remember them? Photo: Amy Brammall/NME

  9.    Howler
  10. Photo: Pieter M Van Hattem/NME
    2012’s answer to The Strokes – expect a very successful year from this lot. Photo: Pieter M Van Hattem/NME

  11.    Wise Blood
  12. Photo: Press
    A gloriously chaotic mess of Led Zep beats and Outkast-style funk. Photo: Press

  13.    Azealia Banks
  14. Photo: Richard Johnson/NME
    You must know Banksy by now – rap’s potty-mouted protegee. Photo: Richard Johnson/NME

  15.    Friends
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    Photo: Matt Salacuse/NME
    Angular indie thrills from the Brooklyn collective. Photo: Matt Salacuse/NME

  17.    Discopolis
  18. Photo: Eoin Carey
    Clue’s in the title – kind of. Photo: Eoin Carey.
    [Pic from The Skinny]

  19.    Willis Earl Beal
  20. Photo: Press
    The fact XL picked him tells you all you need to know. Go listen. Photo: Press

  21.    2:54
  22. Photo: David Edwards/NME
    Bad name, great tunes from the sisters, who come hotly-tipped by Hayden Thorpe no less. Photo: David Edwards/NME

  23.    King Krule
  24. Photo: Mikael Gregorsky/NME
    He may sport “African sunset” hair, and only be 17, but the hype-adverse teenager will be doing Big Things this year. Photo: Mikael Gregorsky/NME

  25.    Citizens
  26. Photo: Press
    London’s Citizens were tagged in the new bands issue as the new Franz Ferdinand. Alex Kapranos himself tips them, so check them out. Photo: Press

  27.    Toy
  28. Photo: Stew Capper/NME
    Formed from some of the ashes of Joe Lean’s band, these Londoners look instead to The Horrors for their inspiration. Photo: Stew Capper/NME

  29.    Alabama Shakes
  30. Photo: Pieter M Van Hattem/NME
    Rough Trade’s raucous soul rocker from, you guessed it, Alabama. Photo: Pieter M Van Hattem/NME

  31.    Apes & Horses
  32. Photo: Press
    Parisian duo, for fans of Wu Lyf and Talking Heads. Photo: Press

  33.    Frank Ocean
  34. Photo: Press
    Odd Future’s smooth soul crooner, striking out on his own. Photo: Press

  35.    Dog Is Dead
  36. Photo: Press
    Nottingham boys fond of harmonies, for Fleet Foxes and Mumford fans especially, but everyone welcome. Photo: Press

  37.    Zulu Winter
  38. Photo: Press
    Branded “the new Foals” in the mag, but sharing DNA with the Vaccines and Friendly Fires too. Download ‘Never Leave’. Photo: Press

  39.    Milk Music
  40. Photo: Jean Nagai
    The most exciting DIY band to come out of America in years. Photo: Jean Nagai