The Bay Area's musical roots run deep with everything from folk to jazz and hip hop to punk rock. Given the massive popularity of food blogs over music news in this town one might think the city's chefs are our biggest rockstars. But don't sit there in silence, dear local music lover, we reached out to our dialed-in friends and music editors around town to tell us about the local acts they're ready to see make it big in 2013.
James & Evander: "The Oakland duo of Adam Myatt (aka James) and Glenn Jackson (aka Evander) specialize in sweet, stoned, melancholic synth-pop. Danceable, but not in a thundering-club kind of way, James and Evander build hazy atmospheres, blurpy synth lines, and throbbing beats, then sing unadorned over them. Their output sometimes leans more into dancefloor-ready territory — see the "Let's Go/Welcome to Planet Dance" single on Gold Robot — but last year's excellent album Bummer Pop stands out for its earnest lyrics, vibrant textures, and deft songwriting more than any particular beat."
— Ian Port, S.F. Weekly Music Editor
Mikal Cronin: "A protege and pal of S.F. garage rocker Ty Segall — who fairly blew up last year — Cronin is next in line for the local six-string-shredder throne. He's got a great grunge voice and plenty of instrumental skill (he actually studied music at Cal Arts), but best of all, Cronin writes ludicrously catchy tunes. Given some fancier production, you could easily imagine hearing some of the hooks from his self-titled debut on rock radio. Which is probably why Cronin's next album, coming this year, will see release on powerhouse indie label Merge - the same outfit that's home to Arcade Fire, the Magnetic Fields, and M. Ward."
— Ian Port
Girrafage: "The moniker of Bay Area producer Charlie Yin. He makes glitchy beat-driven music that straddles the line between dreamy and manic. He uses tons of samples and stitches them together into gorgeously frenetic songs that feel more like jazz than electronica. He recently signed to Alpha Pup Records, and he's playing Noise Pop's Nightlife on Feb. 21 at Cal Academy of Sciences with Nosaj Thing"
— Dawson Ludwig, Noise Pop Industries
The Mallard: "A San Francisco four-piece that makes fuzzed-out psychedelic pop songs. They're coming up in the city's now-famous garage rock scene, which is great, however they're much more than just a garage rock band. They are fantastic songwriters that are capable of going well beyond the trend. They create these weird dark pop songs that are just perfect. They're playing Noise Pop opening up for !!! at Great American Music Hall on Feb. 28th."
— Dawson Ludwig
Warm Soda: "With Bare Wires, Matthew Melton repeatedly banged out power-garage-pop gems, so it was a real bummer when that group called it quits last year. Melton's new band, Warm Soda, just released a new LP called Someone For You on local powerhouse label Castle Face Records, which will hopefully garner him due credit as one of the Bay's resident pop geniuses."
— Ben Van Houten, The Bay Bridged.com
Wild Moth: "Wild Moth's flawless 2012 Mourning Glow EP mixed post-punk's melodic gloom with punk intensity to great success, so I'm excited the band is currently working on a new album. Unsurprisingly, they're also compelling live performers who will be playing a free Bay Bridged-hosted Noise Pop happy hour show at Bender's on March 1st."
— Ben Van Houten, The Bay Bridged.com
The She's: For the Bay Guardian's annual On the Rise music issue, which hits the streets next month, SFBG music editor Emily Savage asked "all-teenage, all-girl sunny rock'n'roll quartet, The She's" what they had in store for 2013. Their response? "New EP in the works, inspired by our secrets, other people's secrets, the Great Gatsby, heart ache, etc. Musically inspired by bands...such as La Sera, Wild Nothing, Tame Impala, and Dum Dum Girls. Graduating (from high school), touring, recording, making friends." "Just perfect, right?" Emily asks. "So far, the talented group, friends since kindergarden, has released one stunning, harmony-laden, Beach Boys-inspired album — Then It Starts to Feel Like Summer — recorded at Women's Audio Mission; and it's played endless awesome opening slots around town (for Girls, Surfer Blood, La Sera). Next up, another Noise Pop appearance, this time with the Thermals and Dirty Ghosts. It's starting to feel like 2013 will be the year of the She's, or at least, the year the ladies graduate to the next level."
When asked how he saw the Bay Area's music landscape shaping up in 2012, DJ/Push The Feeling Producer/Music writer Kevin Meenan wrote us: "For better or for worse, a lot of the garage and shoegaze bands that put the Bay Area on the map (see here and here) over the past few years have lately outgrown the "local" tag. [...] I am personally most excited about the recent wave of 80s and 90s-indebted electronic artist who are helping to make the Bay Area a sort of home base for forward-thinking house and disco — Roche, Bobby Browser, Avalon Emerson, (sometimes local) Magic Touch, Shock, Chautauqua and Silver Hands are all particularly worth keeping an eye on over the next year. And on another end of the electronic spectrum, I think we will continue to see more local bass-heavy experimentalist hit the national stage in 2013. Think Giraffage, Matrixxman, D33J, Natural Curves, (newer) Yalls, Shortcircles and their ilk. [...]
Finally, definitely hoping for more big things from San Jose-based rapper Antwon — if he can continue to turn out tracks like 2012 notables "Living Every Dream" and "Helicopters," he could easily be the Bay Area's next big musical export."