What a year it has been for new music. Whilst it may seem like a fairly stereotypical and staid statement to make, this year has been yet another great year for new bands, new artists and new genres. Through our first year covering new artists, the Next Best Thing has introduced 57 exciting new acts, some of which are really starting to make waves in the music world.
A key new act that have experienced a huge growth in popularity throughout 2011 is The Civil Wars. Covered by Kimberly Manderson in October, The Civil Wars are a male/female country-folk duo that have recently received press coverage from everything from Q to Marie Claire. They are perhaps set to become a household name before 2012 is out.
Jodie Marie and Lucy Rose are two female solo singer songwriters who we covered earlier on 2011, who the likes of the NME and Pitchfork are only just waking up to. These girls have their own individual sounds, making beautiful, soft, quirky and feisty music with a credible heritage and good indie credentials.
We have also covered a fair few hip indie acts over the past year, many of which are becoming very popular. Lo-fi electro indie geniuses Love Inks were covered by us at the start of the year, and could be found headlining the Garage in London by the end of the year. BBC6 Music darlings Cashier No.9 were covered by us in March and have since crossed over to the likes of BBC Radios 1 and 2, as well as releasing their debut album to critical acclaim. Chapter 24 were another ultra-cool band we covered later in the year, and the group continue to bubble through the underground, with music to alight the punk-orientated imaginations of critics and musos alike.
There have also been a number of great new acts that were not introduced directly by the Next Best Thing that were covered by other sections of MTTM. We interviewed the all-girl super-pop duo Oh My!, who are fantastic new talent, hopefully set for true success in 2012. Cults are another awesome band with an enigmatic, seductive style, covered live by Lisa Bentley. A final favourite was Ed Sheeran, who over the last 11 months has wowed us with heart-wrenching folk-pop meets streetwise hip-hop beats. We reviewed his album in October.