The 11 Best New Bands/Artists Of 2010

Some of these bands/artists might have started in 2009, or had a 7" five years ago...the point is, these are the 11 best bands that I first heard in 2010.  Please drop a comment with a few new bands/artists that you've been enjoying in 2010.
11.) Baths 
The one-man show from California impressed with the debut LP, “Cerulean” which is packed to the brim with some of the best upbeat music I’ve heard in 2010.  My skepticism of how it would translate live was quickly put aside after two wonderful performances at CMJ.  

Lovely Bloodflow from BATHS on Vimeo.

10.) SOARS 
The creators of some of the most visual soundscapes you can ever imagine.  Their debut S/T album features a maze of sound that traps you in an abandoned industrial world, each instrument taking the listener further into desolation.  There is great beauty in the darkness.

09.) Family Trees 
“Dream Talkin” is easily in my top ten favorite tracks of 2010.  With the release of their 7” on Father/Daughter Records, Family Trees quickly grabbed a lot of attention for their softer tunes that paint beautiful pictures of serene nature and a better time.  I personally feel their music could easily be a backdrop to David Lynch’s “Blue Velvet”.  Everything seems happy on the surface, but underneath it all something else lurks. 

08.) Radical Dads 
Robbie Guertin might just be one of the most important indie musicians post 2003.  His involvement in three amazing projects (Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Uninhabitable Mansions, and now Radical Dads) means he’s pitching a perfect game. Front woman Lindsay Baker takes their live show to a new level with her amazing energy and enchanting way about her.  Hank is definitely smitten.  The music is everything that I used to love about indie rock and quite frankly can't find anymore.  If you were a fan of the early 2000 indie rock scene then Radical Dads are for you. 

07.) Cheyenne Marie Mize 
Mize has been a regular fixture in the Louisville scene for years working with every artist worth knowing in the Derby City.  With her debut LP, Mize’s talent becomes clear quickly.  Part bluegrass, part folk, part something slightly askew and never heard before, Mize is nothing short of one of the most important original voices of 2010.

06.) Slow Animal 
They’re loud.  They’re good.  With each song clocking in under three minutes, Slow Animal are bank robbers of sound and each track is a smash and grab job.  Distortion galore, these New Jersey boys find a way to make noise feel like pop without losing any edge.  
05.) The Pass 
Easily the most fun band of 2010.  They write great electro pop and don’t apologize for it.  High energy shows always turn into fun loving dance parties.  Very few people know that most of the members of The Pass have jazz backgrounds and have a talent as musicians that very few other 2010 newcomers can match. Their debut LP “BURST” shows they have one goal: to make you dance.

04.) Sunglasses 
Just watch this video and join me:

03.) Gobble Gobble 
The best live band I’ve seen in three years.  It’s the new Dan Deacon +3 and that’s one hell of a party.

02.) Cults
You don’t know anything about Cults.  Sure they hit blogger buzz gold with the track “Go Outside”.  Then they released “OMG” which didn’t hit me in the same way.  So they’re 1/2…why are they number two on this list?  After hearing the new tracks live I can rest easy in claiming that their debut LP will sweep everyone off their feet.  The tracks are brilliant, just brilliant.  Bobby Vinton and Lesley Gore with an updated feel.  Get your ears ready for 2011, the Cults debut LP is coming for you.

01.) Hip Hatchet
There was a month where I had to stop listening to Hip Hatchets LP “Men Who Share My Name”.  I would listen and get pissed off that Philippe Bronchtein (Hip Hatchet) wasn’t a household name.  I have a very sacred list of singer/songwriter names: Leonard Cohen, Tom Waits, Elliott Smith, Nick Drake, Vashti Bunyan, Neko Case, and David Berman.  What these musicians have in common and why they’re in a league of their own is because they’re not just musicians, they’re also poets.  If we lost every melody, guitar strum, recorded piece…there would still be the most enchanting poetry I’ve ever read.  This will sound like a huge claim, but Hip Hatchet could one day be in that group.  His lyrics are masterful and I can easily see him becoming the most important singer/songwriter of this decade.  Oh, and how is this for sad, his record is for sale on bandcamp…for two dollars.  Go buy one of the best albums of 2010 and invest some time into Hip Hatchet, WLFY’s favorite new musical discovery of 2010.


  1. Cults were so miserable live. I saw them twice over the summer, both times were equally as dismal. I was completely let down. Otherwise, I really like the list. And thank you for introducing me to the Pass, your video got me hooked after watching it 30 times.

    I have been enjoying the folkier side of things with Head and the Heart

    But I also really liked CEO

  2. I had the opposite experience with Cults live. They're just starting off so I'm sure they have bad shows occasionally.

    Need to check out CEO more, liked what I heard.

  3. Thanks for introducing me to artists such as Cheyenne Marie Mize and The Pass! I'll have to check them out in more detail. As far as myself, this year I have really liked Lissie and Sharon Van Etten

  4. With your definition of best new bands/artists of 2010, here's mine that I think should be mentioned...
    1. Phantogram
    2. Warpaint
    3. Mimicking Birds
    4. Violens
    5. Gold Panda
    6. Fredrik
    7. The Hundred in the Hands
    8. Tamaryn
    9. Kisses
    10.The Ruby Suns

  5. Great List!

    Burn Down The Charade
    Andrew Jackson jihad