Every year about this time, we tell you which L.A. bands will be big in the year to come. Not to brag, but we're pretty damn good at this, as you can see from the top photo here.
It's kinda like high school; we've scoured the halls to find the freshman that we think have promise. (Except not, like, in a creepy way.) Here are ten fresh bands (well, bands and solo artists) who have proved themselves with their debut work. We like the cut of their jib and think you will too.
See also: The 10 Best L.A. Albums of 2013
10. Moses Sumney
We love Moses Sumney, and not just because he's a former L.A. Weekly music intern. (Turns out he's a huge John Mayer fan!) At 23, the soulful singer has an entire band residing within his throat. Armed with a guitar and a looping pedal, he creates his songs piece by piece. Although he has not released anything official yet, he's caught many people's attention opening for Thundercat, Papa, and Beck in late 2013.
Dexy Valentine of the Magic Wands is scratching a long forgotten itch. Her new band Bonfire Beach — with bassist Brian Nope — just released a stunning debut album on Buddyhead Records titled Lit. Slinky and dark, this psychedelic work sounds like it belongs in a David Lynch film.
8. De Lux
Disco is back, kids. 22-year-olds Sean Guerin and Isaac Franco are going to make sure you feel the groove. After releasing their sparkling debut EP on Innovative Leisure and Scion AV in November, their debut (due at some point this year) has us anticipating some serious butt-shaking.
7. Jesus Sons
File these guys in the “apple pie, blue jeans, and motorcycle oil” section of your album collection. Utilizing strong harmonies and vintage amps, Jesus Sons sound like they would have fit right in at Woodstock. Still, lead singer Brandon Wurtz's voice has a distinctive quality all its own, and their debut album is due out this month on Mock Records.
Think: The sonic equivalent of glazed donuts and cotton candy. (The visual above should help. Or else just listen to their single “Playboy Girl”.) Twenty-four-year-old Louie Diller and Liz Nistico, who's 25, are poised to rain down their coquettish neon pop when their debut album is released this year.
5. Body Parts
Ryder Bach and Alina Cutrono's affection for the 1980s radiates from their debut album Fire Dream, released on Father/Daughter Records last year. Theatrical and ambitious, the duo has gained a huge following without compromising their vision. Rather than shying away from their inner weirdos, Body Parts embrace them with open arms.
See also: Our profile of Body Parts
No really, Gap Dream actually lives IN Burger Records. While some bands move across country to live near their label, Gap Dream (otherwise known as Gabriel Fulvimar) took it one step further, moving all the way from Cleveland to live in the back of the store in Fullerton. Whatever vibes he's absorbing seem to be working. His sophomore album Shine Your Light is a real psychedelic winner.
Echo Park/West Hollywood
Childhood buddies Darren Weiss and Danny Presant, aka Papa, have steadily gained momentum since the 2011 release of their EP A Good Woman Is Hard to Find. But their long-awaited 2013 debut Tender Madness (Loma Vista) has not disappointed. Chock full of ballads that are both macho and fearlessly romantic, Papa stands poised to plant a flag in 2014 and proclaim it theirs.
Composed of members of four local bands (Les Blanks, Amateurs, The Voyeurs, and Honey Loving Cells) Keith Waggoner, Josh Caldwell, Ryan George and Jonathan Hylander Holy Folk quietly released their splendid debut Motioning on Silver Side last summer. Evoking both dusty highways and orange sunset glows, the record captures a distinctly Southern Californian state of mind.
1. Zig Zags
After releasing three knockout 7″ singles in 2013, Zig Zags are poised to grab 2014 by the hair and plant a giant sloppy kiss on its mouth. The fiery punk band will be putting out their debut album on In The Red Records (Black Lips, Thee Oh Sees, and Jay Reatard) recorded by Ty Segall this spring.
See also: The 10 Best L.A. Albums of 2013
Like us on Facebook at LAWeeklyMusic.