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Acts to Watch For in 2013 (Part 2)

In the previous post in this two-part series, we shone the spotlight on a number of up-and-coming or well-established acts who are poised to do even better in 2013 than in 2012. With this post, I’m going to go out on a limb and point out a few “dark horses”—independent or recently signed artists and bands who may still be relatively unknown but who have the potential for 2013 to be their breakout year. Obviously, there are so many promising dark horses that we’re bound to miss some, so if you know of any band/artist we should be keeping our eye on this year, feel free to mention him/her/it in the comments.

Ready? Here goes:



Aluna Francis and George Reid have been making lots of waves in the UK this year under the moniker derived from their respective first names, touting a catchy blend of electro-R&B. Their single “Your Drums, Your Love” charted on the UK Singles Chart last fall. We can expect to hear more from this duo in 2013.




This is a trio of three sisters from Los Angeles (which gives them three points in their favor to start), whose blend of pop, folk and R&B is already generating a lot of buzz in the blogosphere without much help from the media machine. The single “Don’t Save Me” is already available on iTunes; watch for a much anticipated debut album next year.




Recently signed to A&M Octone Records (home to Maroon 5), this up-and-coming five-piece indie folk/rock act’s single “Change” has charted on Sirius Alt Nation and other radio markets, and has been a featured download on iTunes. Currently a favorite in their hometown of Denver, they are poised to follow in the footsteps of their hometown pals The Fray and recent Denver-based Grammy nominees The Lumineers. (You can read an interview with the band here.)




One of the “oldest” acts on the dark-horse list (some bandmates have been playing together since 2007), British-based Alt-J is now on its third moniker, and apparently the third time’s the charm. Their 2012 debut record An Awesome Wave won the Mercury Prize in Britain and peaked at Number 13 on the UK sales charts. I think we may hear a lot more from this band in 2013 here across the pond.




We have a thing for female rappers, and Angel Haze can rap with the best of ’em. Her mixtapes Reservation and Classick have already been hailed as best-ofs by publications like Pitchfork, and her skillful raps have garnered her great expectations from the media. Watch for an official debut full-length release from Angel Haze in 2013.

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About the Author


David Tillman is an independent composer/arranger whose primary work involves writing jingles for commercials for radio and television, with several film and television placements to his credit as well. David has a fascination for all things related to the music business and the music industry in general, an obsession which his wife finds to be mildly unhealthy at times. His personal tastes in music are in electronica and industrial rock, and include The Chemical Brothers, Daft Punk and Nine Inch Nails (he loves that Trent Reznor is writing soundtracks!). When not in his office or in his man-cave, David enjoys skiing, hiking, the occasional game of golf, and sometimes just lounging by the pool. David lives with his wife and three children in Los Angeles, CA.

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