Being the managing editor of a website devoted to up-and-coming indie bands has its downsides — tons of unsolicited emails and way too many bad live shows an hour and a half away from my apartment, to name a few — but it's all worth it for the thrill of finding a great unknown band. I feel like it’s a similar feeling to hip hop producers who spend hours digging through stacks of record stores to find that one break beat lost to time. I exhibit that same kind of geeky enthusiasm when I hear a band that's begging to be heard by a wider audience. The end of the year is a perfect time to reflect on my favorite tracks from the best bands you've never heard of. Here are 9 of those tracks.
I don’t know how they did it, but these three Portland hippies somehow constructed the catchiest song of the year. Soaring harmonies and a lot of sweat drive this tweaked out live version of my favorite jam of 2012.
Another MTV connection (their music has been all over Jersey Shore this season). This crazy psychedelic music video for “Get Gone” matches the band’s quirky style.
This Seattle quartet barnstormed through the country earlier in the year with White Arrows, and their exploits were captured in a forthcoming documentary. Until then, peep the super creative video that was made in their spare time on tour.
Pure, sugary pop. I have no idea how a band featuring Miley Cyrus’s older sister has slipped so under the radar.