ANBAD is running through the best new bands of the year. For explanation of why and how, click here.

Why pick 15 bands as the Best New Bands Of The Year? (Actually, it was 16 – yesterday’s post had a Super Special Bonus Band)

Well, as for most of the exciting things in life, and like some of the bad things too, there are no reasons. There were fifteen great new bands that stuck out over the year, and who am I to argue?

Although it appeared a tough job, it was actually mostly a breeze – all the following songs and bands poked their heads above the rest in one way or another. It was most interesting to see whether my at-the-time thoughts had changed at all.

It says a lot that they all exceeded my original estimations.


15 – Blue Boats ANBAD said then: “If other recent songs have as successfully reached out and patted the listener’s hand more comfortingly, I can’t think of them. A song of real, feathery beauty.”

ANBAD says now: An artist to watch out for, who creates deluxe, delicious and dreamy power-pop.

14 – Hillary and The DemocratsANBAD said thenHillary and the Democrats aren’t a bunch of poseurs – they’re playing good music for the right reasons: to have fun, to share pleasure and with an ethic that prioritises making the best music possible. What more would anyone want? Excellent.”

 ANBAD says now: Let’s Play Kubb is, months later, a song I find myself whistling in the shower. This is about as high as praise gets in the music world.


13 – Dream Sick – ANBAD said then: “Here’s a song that is milky, nourishing and intimately comforting – all whilst acknowledging the transience of life and the importance of closeness. Yikes.” 

ANBAD says now: Dream Sick have hit #13 chiefly for two reasons: their brilliant name, and the extraordinarily lovely chorus that creeps out throughout the song Caravel.


12 – VLAD – ANBAD said then:Caramel, kinky and enticing, is one of those songs that has an innate understanding: guitar music and those who play it have many needs, but also have limitations. The balance here is just about right – the songs caress and sooth, prickle and abrase. It’s a lovely song without ego.” 

ANBAD says now: VLAD are still a rarity, even months later – no artifice, no front, just glossy songs and confidence. They are both lovely to listen to and to behold.

11 – Bagel Project – ANBAD said then: “Structure is out of the window. Finesse is nowhere. Songs are quickly assembled, with little thought given to shape, depth, or complexity. And yet that’s the point. Her collection of songlets, which are part-musique concrete, part sound-sketchbook, are as thrilling as anything I’ve heard for weeks.”

ANBAD says now: A shining example of why I love finding new bands, and the bands I love finding. I’m still unsure as to Bagel Project’s motivations, longevity or ability – but I still love the brilliant naivety of Funmi Wittle’s songs.

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