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10 of the best acts to look out for in 2012

  • By MisterCharlie Author Avatar
  • 24 December 2011


The BBCs recent Sound Of 2012 Poll – a round up of 12 new comers who are all tipped to stick a banger up our collective musical arses in 2012—put quite a few noses out of joint, largely because the list only featured one act not signed to a major label. Why, oh why ?? indie fans bemoaned, Why do these artists need the support of the Beeb ?? They’ve already got an army of Universal employed intern slaves popping plump skinned grapes into their bloated maws, whilst harried teams of drooling, wizened songwriters hack out whatever crap said artist is going to inflict upon the charts. What about the little guy huh? What about the record labels run for love out of a bedroom in Scunthorpe? What about the skint songwriters holding their lives together with sellotape and whiskey? Let’s hear about THEM.

So here you go, 10 acts from across genres and continents that I’m planning on keeping an eye on through 2012. None of them are signed to a major label yet, although I suspect a couple will be by the end of the year. Let’s hear it for the underdog!



Already finishing 2011 in style by winning the SupaJam Fast Track to Hop Farm Festival, Maia are a bunch of hyper talented musicians fresh out of Huddersfield, who change instruments more times than some bands change key. Playing kinetic, contemporary English folk music for dancing feet, with lyrics for the heart and mind, we’re expecting big things from these lot next year, they need to be seen live to get the full energetic impact...


Maia - "Where Else But Earth" from Another Lazy Sunday on Vimeo.

King Krule

Looking like next years ‘most likely to blow up’ the teenaged Krule, formly Zoo Kid, has the voice of a 50 year old chain smoker, plays the guitar like a somnambulant Johnny Marr, and looks like has the pinched look of one of Fagin’s urchins after a night on the tiles. He’s been bubbling away for about a year now, with song Out Getting Ribs picking up more and more plaudits by the moment. Trust me on this one, unless he keels over with consumption 2012 is going to be a good year for the King.  

Jack In Water

Already a SupaJam favourite, with their beautiful song Epicurists on 2011’s The Meaning of Events EP winning our hearts. The band describe themselves as alt-folk from Essex, although that doesn’t really do justice  the soaring builds their songs pass through, with piano and voice reaching out to the listener like a magical not-gone–shit Coldplay

Listen HERE


Spice is getting pretty big on her home island of Jamaica, 2012 is her time to break out and go international. If you can imagine a Ragga Lady Gaga you’re pretty much there. She combines insanely catchy pop hooks with salacious sex chatter whilst sporting eye assaulting outfits that suggest a wicked sense of humour. She’s already guested on a Missy Elliott track, so the big time is surely just around the corner



Currently on tour with long time friends The Horrors, Toy emerged from the smouldering ashes of Joe Lean and the Jing Jang Jong – that band being roundly shafted by a major label who paid for the recording of, then shelved, their debut album. Now safe on indie shores with Heavenly Records, Toy are pushing a nattily attired post punk sound that should have indie discos ‘cross the land swooning over the next year.

Araab Muzik

Araab Muzik has got the fastest fingers you’ve ever seen. Watching him hammer on an MPC is like watching a crazed PCP addict batter 15 versions of Guitar Hero simultaneously. ‘Course this wouldn’t mean jack if the tunes he pounded out weren’t amazing swirls of psychedelic hip hop, taking in the expansiveness of trance and hooking it up to a bottom end designed to rattle windows to shards. He’s provided beats for some major rappers, but it’s this years solo work Electronic Dream that deserves to propel him to the mainstream.


Beach Boy harmonies? Check. Libertines ramshackle shuffle? Check. Drawling American singer cut from the Casablancas mould? Yep he’s there too. The debut album comes in January on the mighty Rough Trade, it’s got the great title of America Give Up and really with this sort of form they can’t go wrong.

Two Inch Punch

Having caused a mini internet eruption with a couple of tracks on soundcloud earlier in 2011, RnB/ dubstep fusioneer Two Inch Punch is all set to take on the rest  of the world in 2012. Coining his sound ‘lovestep’, TIP is all about songwriting, keeping his woozing bass melodies to a tight 4 minutes or less, with the emphasis on quality over quantity. Check current 5 track Love You Up EP for a set  of sweet future soul

The "Love You Up" EP by T.I.P


French wunderkid Canblaster has been described as making ADHD techno, and I can’t come up with much better than that. Like a young Daft Punk with the attention span of a tweet, Canblaster chucks hip hop bass, chunky French house, manic techno spurts and cascades of tumbling melody into a blender and emerges with a vital, schizophrenic sound that suits our info overload age.  



Chucking out huge radio friendly slacker riffs that hark back to grunge’s golden age, Fanzine are pretty easy to love. If you feel that the collected works of Pavement, Dinosaur Jr and Dandy Warhols haven’t fully fulfilled the worlds capacity for plaid clad college rock, then you need to hit up the apple bong and get a bit of this lot on your stereo--