50 Best New Bands Of 2010

Now we’re over halfway through the year, we thought it was high time we looked back and rounded up the most exciting new acts to surface in 2010.

Here, then, are the 50 bands who’ve blown our minds over the past few months. Do you agree with our choices? Let us know who we’ve overlooked over on the Radar blog. You can also listen to every band on the list via our Soundcloud player.

Oh, and if you’re in a new band yourself, make sure you sign up to NME Breakthrough – it’s a great way of sharing your music with others and, just maybe, earning a write-up in the pages of NME.

50 Everything Everything


From: Manchester.

NME said: “Responsible for the most idea-packed British debut of the year.”

Essential Track: ‘Photoshop Handsome’.



49 Kindness

From: Hackney and Kreuzberg.


NME said: “Some tracks sound like tortured, stalking disco-ballads, some is more no-fi soul, elsewhere it’s disheveled, haunted gutter-funk.”

Essential Track: ‘Gee Wiz’.



48 Clare Maguire

From: Birmingham.

NME said: “She might be about as schmindie as a WOMAD knitting circle, but she’s punk at heart and her voice is a siren call loud enough to lure the hardiest Factory Floor fan on to pop’s craggiest rocks.”

Essential Track: ‘Strangest Thing’.



47 Funeral Party

From: Los Angeles.

NME said: “LA pogo punks reigniting America’s coastal gang wars and indie rock’n’roll’s embers.”

Essential Track: ‘Where Did It Go Wrong’.



46 Active Child

From: Los Angeles.

NME said: “Piano chords rising from the synth swirls, freefalling harps and operatic croons like a beautiful apparition.”

Essential track: ‘She Was A Vision’.



45 Magic Kids

From: Memphis.

NME said: “Anyone who’s felt themselves frozen out by arena-chasing indie should look no further than these wide-eyed orchestral-doo-wop magic kids for their salvation.”

Essential Track: ‘Hey Boy’.


44 War Paint

From: Los Angeles.

NME said: “They consolidated their bonds via ritualistic slumber parties, gorging on a diet of early Cocteau Twins dream-pop, the muddy bass twang of grunge and sassy R&B in order to write songs about toying with your heart.”

Essential Track: ‘Elephants’.



43 Gayngs

From: Minneapolis, United States.

NME said: “Antique keyboards pulse, fretless basses thrum and a variety of voices echo in and out, underlying the trippy feel and making this pretty much the most scintillating and daring record of the year so far. Buy it. Play it. Get beaten up for being different.”

Essential Track: ‘The Gaudy Side Of Town’.



42 Glasser

From: Los Angeles

NME said: “This ethereal West Coast singer-songwriter, signed to the mighty True Panther Sounds label, is like an electro Joni Mitchell crossed with Cocteau Twins.”

Essential Track: ‘Apply’.


41 Avi Buffalo

From: California.

NME said: “Avi Buffalo are one of the more impressive of the Californian lo-fi set; more thoughtful, delicate even, than the distorted daze of their contemporaries.”

Essential Track: ‘Summer Cum’.



40 Kisses

From: Los Angeles

NME said: “This duo are so laid-back, they sound like Erland Oye in a crushed velvet smoking jacket.”

Essential Track: ‘Bermuda’.



39 Wild Nothing

From: Virginia, United States.

NME said: “WN specialise in humming, soft-focus garage indie. But the tunes come gleaming through immaculately in tact, teeming and longing. Every song on the album is a keeper.”

Essential Track: ‘Summer Holiday’.


38 Delphic

From: Manchester.

NME said: “If there’s one band capable of putting Manchester back on the map as the country’s white-hot forge of forward-facing electronic sounds, it’s Delphic.”

Essential Track: ‘Clarion Call’.



37 Mona

From: Nashville.

NME said: “Nashville’s next gen rock ‘n’ roll classicists.”

Essential Track: ‘Listen To Your Love’.



36 Chapel Club

From: London.

NME said: “Aching with romantic possibility, its like Editors before they got rubbish.”

Essential Track: ‘Five Trees’.



35 Frankie & The Heartstrings

From: Sunderland.

NME said: “Frankie and the heartstrings are the result of some genetic splicing in Edwyn Collins’ pop laboratory.”

Essential Track: ‘Hunger’.



34 Trash Talk

From: California.

NME said: “An ability to whip audiences into scenes of cultish adoration and violent chaos within the space of a few chords has become second nature to Californian hardcore malcontents Trash Talk.”

Essential Track: ‘Explode’.



33 Perfume Genius

From: Seattle, Washington.

NME said: “The shattered-heart spectral-soul of this Seattle loner seeps further into our guts, day-by-day.”

Essential Track: ‘Look Out Look Out;


32 Veronica Falls

From: London.

NME said: “The sexiest damn lo-fi pop group to have stalked these shores in quite some time.”

Essential Track: ‘Found Love in a Graveyard’.



31 Jay Electronica

From: New Orleans.

NME said: “The tsunami of conscious rap music that’s about to impact on these very shores, spearheaded by Jay, is one you can enjoy without feeling too trustafarian.”

Essential Track: ‘Rennaisance Man’.



30 Wilder

From: Bristol.

NME said: “Sparky foursome making tightly-wound, tick-tocking post-punk in the Foals mould.”

Essential Track: ‘Girls Vs Boys’.




From: California.

NME said: “This in-demand electro duo are already famous, you just haven’t heard of them yet – just ask Mark Ronson, who asked singer Amanda Warner to guest on his new album.

Essential Track: ‘I Go Away’.



28 JJ

From: Sweden.

NME said: “For us, discovering JJ is how we’ve learned to connect with this higher state we knew was there but couldn’t reach before.”

Essential Track: ‘Let Go’.


27 Flats

From: London.

NME said: “The most visceral mess of a punk band we’ve seen in about a decade, they’re a snotty, grubby-faced antidote to today’s trust-fund shmindie landslide.”

Essential Track: ‘Flatz Waltz’.


26 Freelance Whales

From: New York.

NME said: “By mixing electronics with 18th century instruments, they can beam their wholesome sound into every nook and cranny of your temporal spectrum.”

Essential Track: ‘Starring’.


25 James Blake

From: United Kingdom.

NME said: “He’s recently started putting his classical voice training to use, creating a stunning selection of minimal compositions with his maudlin voice slicing through blanketing sub-bass ‘pooms’.”

Essential Track: ‘Air And Lack Thereof’.



24 Pure Ecstasy

From: Austin, Texas.

NME said: “Part of Austin, Texas’ skulking clique of art rock hedonists.”

Essential Track: ‘Voices’


23 Foster The People

From: Los Angeles.

NME said: “Blessed with a knack for melody, boogie-time beats, and an ornate electronic detail, Foster The People craft a sound ideal for a fantasy backyard barbecue with The Strokes, Vampire weekend, MGMT, and Daft Punk as guests.”

Essential Track: ‘Pumped Up Kicks’.

22 Cerebral Ballzy

From: Brooklyn, New York.

NME said: “Their name might make you roll your eyes, but Cerebral Ballzy are New York’s best new hardcore punk band.”

Essential Track: ‘Insufficient Fare’.



21 Dom

From: Worcester, Massachusetts.

NME said: “DOM makes highly danceable, postmodern no-fi pop – bounding from garage to synth, while making frolicsome wry references.”

Essential Track: ‘Jesus’.


20 Katy B

From: London.

NME said: “A Brit School graduate who has sung guest vocals with Magnetic Man, Katy B is London’s premier (only?) dubstep-influenced singer-songwriter.

Essential Track: ‘Katy On A Mission’


19 Mount Kimbie

From: London/Brighton.

NME said: “Where post rock meets post dub step and seraphim weep.”

Essential Track: ‘Would Know’.



18 Diamond Rings

From: Toronto.

NME said: “John O’Regan moves and shrugs like the coyest girl at secondary school, but sings like Ian McCulloch. He’s got Presence.”

Essential Track: ‘Wait And See’.



17 The Middle East

From: Queensland, Australia.

NME said: “Touted by Marcus Mumford as the most inspiring new band around.”

Essential Track: ‘The Darkest Side’.


16 Cults

From: New York.

NME said: “This boyfriend-girlfriend duo are forging a wholesome-but-haunting new lo-fi pop territory, buoyed by 60s melodies, bodged bleary production sonics, and the liberal use of glockenspiels.”

Essential Track: ‘Oh My God’.


15 Summer Camp

From: London.

NME said: “They trade in joyous nostalgia carried by fleeting synths and Elizabeth Sankey’s heartfelt vocal. Superb.”

Essential Track: ‘Ghost Train’



14 Hurts

From: Manchester.

NME said: “Thunderously melodic and machine-tooled.”

Essential Track: ‘Wonderful Life’.



13 Giggs

From: London.

NME said: “A UK rap talent the nation can be proud to call its own.”

Essential Track: ‘Look What The Cat Dragged In’.


12 Zola Jesus

From: Los Angeles.

NME said: “The coolest goth in yonks.”

Essential Track: ‘Night’.



11 Egyptian Hip Hop

From: Manchester.

NME said: “EHH are the first prime example of the potentially genre-free brilliance of a new generation utterly spoilt for choice by new media’s relentless splurge.”

Essential Track: ‘Wild Human Child’.



10 Grouplove

From: Los Angeles.

NME said: “Think a cross between National Lampoon’s European vacation, Summer Lovers and your favourite Yankee mall rat flick from the John Major years.”

Essential Track: ‘Colours’.



9 Yuck

From: London.

NME said: “This music is nestling up to the true connoisseur’s canon of early 90’s US indie.”
Essential Track: ‘Automatic’.



8 Magnetic Man

From: London.

NME said: “Dubstep’s crossover moment has arrived.”

Essential Track: ‘I Need Air’.



7 Darwin Deez

From: New York.

NME said: “The most likeable hipster in the world”.

Essential Track: ‘Radar Detector’.



6 Marina & The Diamonds

From: London.

NME said: “Dark, questioning themes seem to be Marina’s speciality, and when delivered in her distinctive tremulous tones, they carry a weight that other chart-friendly acts would find hard to bear.”

Essential Track: ‘The Outsider’.



5 The Smith Westerns

From: Chicago.

NME said: “Their debut album is a raucous, uninhibited romp of a record that is run through with the energy of youthful abandon and bored callous rebellion.”

Essential Track: ‘Be My Girl’



4 Sleigh Bells

From: California.

NME said: “Instinct-guided and gut clever, Sleigh Bells are a simple band, delivering simple potent pleasure.”
Essential Track: ‘Crown On The Ground’.



3 Wu Lyf

From: Manchester.

NME said: “Confrontational, bruised and battle-scarred drone-pop.”

Essential Track: ‘Heavy Pop’.


2 The Drums

From: Brooklyn, New York.

NME said: “So flawless you almost feel embarrassed for everyone else.”

Essential Track: ‘Let’s Go Surfing’.



1 Best Coast

From: Los Angeles.

NME said: “Cat-obsessed stoners reviving slacker for a new generation.”

Essential Track: ‘When I’m With You’.