12 Australian Bands to watch in 2012... and 5 from overseas...

Jumping on the bandwagon, here, in no particular order, are twelve Australian bands we're looking out for in 2012... five bands from overseas we're predicting big things for here in Australia... AND a couple of Australian bands the rest of the world should have their eye on! Madness! Read on...

Deep Sea Arcade

Why? The Sydney band have been hard at work touring the world in 2011 and putting the finishing touches on their debut full length album, Outlands. Over the last few years it's been a pleasure seeing this band grow into one of the tightest live bands on the market, releasing a few catchy, radio friendly tracks along the way - not a bad combination/ We can't wait to hear the full length and we can't think of a more deserving band to embark on national - and perhaps even international - domination.


Why? Fast becoming a favourite of the live circuit (if you see them live, you'll understand why), this sextet are the latest group pumping out catchy tunes from Brisbane, while being eclectic enough to stand apart from the other bands in that market (Hungry Kids etc.). Their music is as widely ranged as the influences they cite - from Mogwai to Enya. They'll be releasing their debut effort Hadean and it's already sounding pretty epic. We expect a pretty damn good year for them.

Pluto Jonze

Why? Much like the aforementioned Deep Sea Arcade, Pluto Jonze is a Sydney based musician who we have loved watching grow over the years. Since his start as a Tropscore winner in 2009, he's been performing live relentlessly, gaining a live following and sharpening his craft along the way. The rewards are already obvious: his new track "Plastic Bag In A Hurricane" is getting a LOT of love, with its catchy hook garnering instant comparisons to bands like The Verve. He's finally got the traction he needs to take his career to the next level - and the timing couldn't be more perfect. We're expecting a massive 2012 for the hard working artist.

Bleeding Knees Club

Why? They've been making a name for themselves both in Australia and around the world, joining the NME list for top 50 bands in the world, and in 2012 they'll be spending plenty of time abroad as a result. But the release of their debut album Nothing to Do in February, produced by Dev Hynes (Lightspeed Champion, Blood Orange), will solidify their status in Australia, too, as one of the hottest commodities in town. 2012 will be an amazing year for these Gold Coast boys. Check out our chat with them at CMJ here.


Why? It's been an amazing evolution over the last couple of years for Sydney based talent Sam Yeldham, whose solo project "Guineafowl" is now very much a group effort. The band finished off 2011 celebrating the release of their debut EP with tours in Australia and in the USA. 2012 should see the release of a debut full length and if their current music, growing popularity and touring schedule is anything to go by, it should be a very good year for this Sydney band.


Why? Favourites of Triple J thanks in part to the fantastic track "Fly", up-and-comers Nantes are about to jet off on a tour with Northeast Party House and Millions. Following strong support slots at the end of 2011, alongside the release of their debut EP, they're kicking off 2012 playing Big Day Out in Sydney! This should spell great things for them throughout the year.

Matt Corby

Why? It's not easy for any artist to shake off the whole Australian Idol thing, but two artists who have done this successfully have been Lisa Mitchell and now Matt Corby, whose song "Brothers" has ripped through radios around Australia, and is sure to be a hit of the Hottest 100. With his latest EP Into The Flame going Gold, he'll be supporting Feist next month, doing a hell of a lot of headline touring, and might we finally see that full length debut? In either case, this is going to be the year that Matt solidifies himself as one of Australia's finest young talents.


Why? Selected by triple j Unearthed to open the main stage at Splendour in the Grass in 2011, Millions will be launching their debut EP in 2012, plus touring extensively in February and March with Northeast Party House and Nantes. They're no strangers to touring, however, with the band forming out of Comic Sans, Moonfleet and Stature::Statue. We're pretty excited for these guys in 2012, we reckon it's going to be a hell of a year.

Oscar + Martin

Why? Oscar and Martin are a "wonky pop duo" whose music has made the airwaves and graced stages around Australia throughout 2011, a year which included the release of their debut album For You. They've already kicked off 2012 supporting Metronomy, aided by their new single "What I Know", released in December. We see things getting only bigger and better for this entertaining duo.


Why? Adding brass instruments to electro rock - an otherwise overdone genre in Australia - is a genius idea. Period. Their live show is fantastic, and their popularity has grown slowly over 2011 as they've played just about every festival they could get their hands on (Splendour, Festival of the Sun, Parklife, Fat as Butter and many more...). In 2012 they're going to be bringing out a remix EP for Parallels, another release and embarking on a lot of national touring... in their own words, they'll be "spreading the Pigeon love". We have a feeling that love will be contagious.


Why? A great name. A great band. They'll be touring their arses off in 2012 and thanks in part to a great deal of triple j support (and hype), they'll no doubt be playing to packed out rooms. By the end of 2012, here's hoping for a full length, and here's expecting national success along the way.

Glass Towers

Why? Glass Towers are a four piece, originally of Byron Bay, who were first featured on the AU review when they played Splendour in the Grass in 2009 - one of their first shows together as a band. Going on to win Triple J Unearthed High the year after, it was in 2011 (now out of High School) that they truly matured as musicians, touring incessantly and releasing a fantastic EP in the form of What We Were, When We Were. Things are looking very bright indeed for the band in 2012, and we're excited to hear what's coming next.

Special Mentions

We'd also like to pay a shout out to Aussie bands DZ Deathrays, Boy & Bear and The Jezabels, who will continue making massive waves overseas. We have a good feeling in that department for Electric Empire, Chicks Who Love Guns and Stonefield, too, but that's more of a long term prediction.

Missy Higgins will come out swinging with her new album, but will it live up to her last? Only time will tell. Meanwhile, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard will continue winning legions of new fans on namesake alone. But also their music is pretty damn fine, too, which is always a bonus. It should also be a good year for Northeast Party House, as they continue to pump out some damn impressive live shows, and hopefully some new music too!


We'd also like to give a shout out to FIVE international artists who we think are going to make a few waves in Australia in 2012.

Bombay Bicycle Club

Why? After touring the world several times over in 2011, Bombay will finally hit Australia in 2012, supporting Elbow in March. Having received the coveted "Album of the Week" spot on Triple J at the end of 2011, and with an entry into the Hottest 100 being almost a sure thing for "Shuffle", this band is going to be making a massive mark on the Australian scene in 2012. Check out our interview with the band while we waited for some Smoothies in Toronto.

Azealia Banks

Why? Releasing the track "212" back in September 2011, Azealia Banks immediately got plenty of love, with bloggers around the world saying "I think we've found ourselves the next OFWGKTA!" By that I simply mean the latest in a string of rappers who will ride a wave of internet (and NME) generated buzz to great success worldwide. Australia is never exempt from this, and nor should it be - "212" shows a young artist who has her finger tapped onto the pulse of the ever changing hip hop scene, and it bodes for a very successful 2012 indeed.

Wild Flag

Why? The American four piece released their debut, self-titled album last year to critical acclaim, and were the hits of SXSW and CMJ - two of the world's biggest music conferences. Though new to the market, Wild Flag consist of members who are well known by many, from now defunct bands Sleater-Kinney, Helium and the recently reformed (minus drummer Rebecca Cole, who plays keys in Wild Flag) The Minders. The band will be touring Australia in March, which includes a stint at Golden Plains, and we can predict they'll be buzzed about locally for the year to come.


Why? Every year there is a band who plays Laneway, who many people hadn't heard of, becoming quite a success off the back of it. This year we're putting our money on Yuck, a British band whose debut self-titled record got quite a lot of attention back in February 2011. It only seems like now that Australia is paying them attention, and you better believe that this will only grow following their much anticipated debut performances in Australia as part of Laneway.

The Weeknd

Why? Abel Tesfaye, aka The Weeknd, is a Canadian artist who made waves in 2011 with the release of a trilogy of mixtapes: House of Balloons (a Polaris Prize nominee), Thursday and Echoes of Silence. 2012 should see the release of his first official LP, a repackaging of the trilogy, a performance at Coachella and his success - which only just became noticed in Australia - will only grow from here. We're excited to see what this unique R&B star (whose skills herald back to the days of albums like Bad - albeit with slightly more risque material) will come up with next, and where his success will lead.

No matter how you look at it, 2012 is shaping up to be an amazing year music wise. See you out there!