top 100 new band tips 2012 from Shell Zenner
top 100 new band tips 2012 from Shell Zenner

Top 100 New Band Tips For 2012 by Shell Zenner – Part 1Back in December we gave you our top 50 new band tips for 2012. Now it’s the turn of Shell Zenner, our favourite new band tipster, who has gone and found a whole top 100 new bands for 2012…

I’m Shell Zenner, a vintage dress wearing, cupcake making, vinyl junkie and new music obsessive! I’m on radio:

Wednesday at 12am ET (5am GMT) and Saturdays at 8pm (1am Sunday GMT) on 90.3 WXLV Radio, US on

Thursdays at 9pm GMT and Sundays at 5pm on 94.4fm Salford City Radio, UK on

Sundays at 9pm GMT on 96.5fm Bolton FM (Or on it’s iPhone App).

You can also find me here:





Shell Zenner’s new band tips for 2012

Youth Lagoon Trevor Powers own brand of nostalgic dream pop, the album is out already and its the aptly titled ‘The Year Of Hibernation’.

  1. The Unthanks: I’ve said many a time over the past year that there is something in the water in the North East and this all female band’s brand of traditional english folk is another amazing export.

  1. Mount Fabric Experimental: Energetic and LOUD. These guys are going to go far if their Threads EP is anything to go on.

  1. Get People Tropical: Electronic chilled sounds from the gorgeous London band are bound to get your pulse racing.

  1. Advances In Mathematics: I was proud to get the first radio play from these guys, wistful, romantic and the perfect music to burn candles to.

  1. We Are Willow: The novel collaborative approach taken by We Are Willow has been music to my ears through 2011, expect a gorgeous folk infused album this year..

  1. Lianne Le Havas: Lianne’s placing in the BBC’s Sound of 2012 list has made me kick myself even more for being busy the night she played Salford in 2011. A wonderful soulful voice that you must hear.

  1. Ren Harvieu: A Salford daughter of breathtaking talent, I’ve been waiting over six months for Ren to make an impact after she broke her back in a freak accident and her debut single was delayed until 2012.

  1. Lucy Rose: After being struck by single ‘Middle Of The Bed’ and her gorgeous take on ‘Driving Home For Christmas’, 2012 looks to be Lucy’s for the taking, stepping out of her Bombay Bicycle Club backing vocal shadow.

  1. Daughter: Intense, alternative and breathtaking, Daughter have already been tipped widely on blogs and radio.

  1. The History Of Apple Pie: I finally caught these guys live supporting The Drums at the Ritz in December, the NME darlings are full of shoegaze and ‘Lush’ vibes emanate.

  1. Seams: Things are building for the Berlin based Seams who toured in support of I Break Horses In december, who has his very own brand of lidl esque merch.

  1. Halls: South London based Halls’ minimalist beats and rhythms are literally music to my ears, the forthcoming Fragile EP is out this month and is gorgeous.

  1. Miracle Fortress: Maybe not new, but who is these days? This Canadian project by Graham Van Pelt is full of electronic goodness.

  1. Gross Magic: Brighton based Sam McGarrigle is big on lo-fi pop, think ELO and my current ringtone artist Ariel Pinks Haunted Graffiti. I literally cannot wait to hear more.

  1. Dry The River: I first heard of these guys back in 2010 thanks to the 405 and they certainly played the widespread live circuit in 2011. Think melodic and easy going indie-folk with shades of Bombay Bicycle Club and Mumford & Sons.

  1. Saint Saviour: You’ve probably heard Becky’s voice without even knowing it, I first saw her singing vocals for Groove Armada on their last album. 2012 is the year that brings her debut solo record to our ears, I’ve already pre-ordered mine through her pledgemusic campaign.

  1. Seventeen Evergreen: A San Francisco band that I can’t wait to see live on our shores, I fell for single Polarity Song hook, line and sinker.

  1. Simian Ghost: Their chill-wave pop vibes gets me all woozy inside, and make me want to move Sweden NOW.

  1. Craft Spells: I listened to their album ‘Idle Labour’ over Christmas and fell in love, so will you.

  1. Hookworms: Manchester promotoer Now Wave said Hookworms sound like the Stooges, Spaceman 3 and Wooden Shjips having a scrap, and having seen them live , I heartily agree.

  1. Fear Of Men: I started my day at Constellations Festival by finally checking these guys out and was impressed. Lo-fi vibes backed with dreamy female vocals.

  1. Bos Angeles: I love a good play on words, and Boscombe’s Bos Angeles got me all a flutter in 2011 with Beach Slalom, NEED more of the same.

  1. Dauwd: For those asking, I checked and yes it’s pronounced Da-ood. ‘Whats There’ got a few of us radio and blog types hot under the collar in 2011 and I can’t wait to hear what this Liverpool outfit conjure up this year.

  1. Spring Offensive: Good guitar bands don’t have to be about cliche’s and these guys prove just that, raw talent that must be heard.

  1. Lana Del Ray: Who cares if she’s had a nose job, so what if she had another solo music career under a different name.. theres no doubt that when her debut album comes out shortly, Lana Del Ray will conquer.

  1. Robert Rotifer: signed to Edwyn Collins and James Endeacott’s AED Records, Robert is the kind of artist who’s catchy riffs make my drive a little too close to the speed limit.

  1. Star Slinger: Over a year ago he sat in my lounge and I had no idea who he was, I do now.. Master of remixes, beats and he loves soul and apostrophes.

  1. Dog Is Dead: Recently enlightened by the band Swimming that Nottingham has a thriving music scene currently, Dog Is Dead are one of the bands leading the charge with a mainstream indie sound that will win over hearts and minds.

  1. The Carpels: When I asked Trophy Wife about the music scene In Oxford recently they told me the buzz had moved further north to the midlands. The Carpels are signed to The Charlatans Jon Brookes label and are another band making waves in those parts. I expect big things in 2012.

  1. Young Liar: The North East hits a groove yet again with their instrumental ambient electronic sounds that are not dissimilar to Errors.

  1. Embers Recently aired by Jon Kennedy on Xfm relative newcomers Embers have that kind of dark and haunting sound that made bands like Joy Division renowned, albeit with a more modern take.

  1. The Jezabels: The Aussie band created a buzz at Brightons Great Escape Festival in 2011 and have had regular airplay on national new music station Amazing Radio ever since and It’s clear to hear why.

  1. Young Husband: I’ve completely fallen for their Crystal EP, shoegaze and experimental perfection.

  1. Weird Dreams – London band Weird Dreams hit me like a ten tonne truck with Holding Nails and their easy going indie vibe is just what I need to hear.

  1. Eugene McGuiness: I first saw Eugene play live In Liverpool about five years ago at my friends birthday do and so I was mega excited to hear his single ‘Lion’ gaining widespread airplay last year. I for one, can’t wait to hear more.

  1. Hooray For Earth: They’ve toured the US with The Pains of Being Pure At Heart and Surfer Blood and their sound lies kinda behind the two, erring more on the latters influences.

  1. 2:54: Does anyone else miss Shirley Manson and Garbage? Miss them no more, listen to 2:54’s attitude and old school sound.

  1. Alex Clare: Yet another soulful male vocal hot on the heels of Michael Kiwanuka but with a more modern take on the instrumentation.

  1. Visions Of Trees: Yet another exciting band setting the London music scene alight. The early 90s and dance are coming back, I kid you not. However, VofT are bang on the money.

  1. Shuga: Female led indie, raw, edgy but sweet as a nut.

  1. Casiokids – Their dreamy understated vocals coupled with strong electronica draw me every time.

  1. Pinkunoizu: Termed an underground, experimental noise collective they make music thats easy on the ears.

  1. Water Signs: layered, experimental and backed with beats, a local band serving up treats.

  1. Stay +: Despite a change of name from Christian Aids, the music is still in the same vein and speaks for itself. Rave Is BACK, and Chill Rave is their take. Now where did I put my glow sticks?

  1. Sharon Van Etten: It really is time that more people heard of Sharon and I think now is the time, third albumTramp is due for release in february and was recorded in the garage studio if The National’s Aaron Dessner.

  1. Wide Sea: Another great call by the AED Records label, their new album ‘A Place To Call Home’ was recently bigged up by Mojo Magazine quite rightly.

  1. Ice Choir: Written, engineered and produced by Kurt Feldman (The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart) and they sound a similar indie-pop sound.

  1. Milagres: Meaning miracles in portuguese, their uplifting yet chilled sounds have made enough of an impression on me to make them my first live band watch of 2012. Their single Glowing Mouth is out on Memphis Industries this month.

  1. Beth Jeans Houghton & The Hooves Of Destiny: This album has been a long time coming and Beth and her hooves all have hoof tattoos to confirm their bond. One of the most stunning female vocals you will hear currently.

Top 100 New Band Tips For 2012 by Michelle Zenner – Part 2.

Previous articleNew band of the day: Dripback : UK hardcore
Next articleThe Tapestry : live review


  1. Nice work Shell. This list could do with a related Spotify playlist though with coupla choice tracks from each band. Not sure I’ve got time to click through to each band’s MySpace :)

  2. A top 100 tips for 2012 and yet no mention of: The Lost Boys (from southampton), Deadbeat Echoes (Manc/Liverpool area), The Lucid Dream (Carlisle), The Method (Cardiff) or Shadow Exchange (Portsmouth/Southampton/Northampton)! There must be an amazing amount of talent bubbling under the surface in this country. Let’s hope some of it breaks thru and wakes up the tedious mainstream.

  3. Nice list, look forward to working through the one’s I’ve not heard of.

    Hopefully, this will be the year AUX Innocent (formerly The Spires) take off aswell!

  4. Decent list, but the Unthanks as a new band tip? They’ve released five albums, been around for approaching ten years, and are the very definition of an ‘established’ British folk band. They’re also not all-female.

  5. My posts have always been about new music and bands that I feel will get greater recognition in the coming year and are currently under the radar, not necessarily ‘new’ bands.

    I’ve never worked with unsigned bands, who are stereotypically seen as ‘new bands’ as the radio stations I have shows on have unsigned radio shows which I am not involved with.

    No, its not going to be 100% perfect, you try doing something to perfection when you still work full time in a job that isn’t music/radio related and you’re there at 2am in the wee hours picking out the true facts from rumoured facts on the internet.

    These are just a collection of people/bands that I feel are well worth the listen. I’ve also written about another 150 bands over the past year for this website and i’ve only managed to double up on one band by accident.

    Not everyone will agree with my choices, but music taste is subjective and I accept that. But petty comments are not constructive. Especially when you bear in mind that I do all this work for free.

  6. i thought i had posted a comment earlier but its not here. but what Shell said, dont get knickers in a twist just becase one band in 1000s isnt mentioned!! she works bloody hard and she clearly stated what this list was all about. maybe you should try reading things a bit more carefully instead of bitching about tiny little errors. Ive been an Unthanks fan for years and I was quite sure that they were an all-female band , so there – and – so what?!

  7. Great list, it’ll be a good musical map for the year to come. lots of bands I grew to love in 2011 like I Break Horses and Loney Dear were on the 2011 list as well. as for all the whingers, do you own list if you feel that strongly about it :)

  8. I’d just like to add that I think it’s great that there are people like Shell who have the passion and take the time to tip us off to artists like this. I love discovering new bands etc as I have done already from websites & blogs like this – Janice Graham Band being a good example. I’m certainly gonna be working my way thru these tips. Thanks Shell! In the meantime, if you get a chance to check out any of my 5 additions to your list (see earlier post) that would be good.

  9. Some links:

    The Lost Boys: httpss://!/thelostboysofficial?sk=app_178091127385

    The Lucid Dream: httpss://!/theluciddream?sk=app_178091127385

    The Method: httpss://!/methodcardiff?sk=app_178091127385

    Shadow Exchange: httpss://

  10. Really nice list, looking forward to hearing some new stuff from Dry The River and Craft Spells in 2012.

    Check out my picks for 2012 httpss://

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