2012 Tips / Ones To Watch: Alabama Shakes, Alt-J + BASTILLE

on Friday, February 24, 2012
Words: Saam Das (unless otherwise stated)

It's coming up to the end of February and I know what you're thinking - what's the point in doing your tips for 2012 now? Well, we'd like to think that this means that the hype has died down on certain bands while prominent others are emerging. We did much the same last year, although this time around, FG writers have chipped in too. To such an extent that I'll be splitting the tips up into four separate posts. Here be part one....

Alabama Shakes

After releasing a 4-track EP in the latter half of 2011, the band’s track 'You Ain’t Alone' set tongues wagging and it’s easy to see why. There is an earthiness to lead vocalist Brittany Howard’s voice that sits wonderfully alongside their blues tinged sound. The simplistic approach highlights the sheer power in the vocals, and creates something so heart-stoppingly beautiful. Follow that with the fact that the band are possibly the only group to have improved a Led Zeppelin song when covering it, and it's clear that Alabama Shakes have the brilliance to change the world. Raw, soulful, passionate and good old rock and roll. (Emily Solan)


Hailing from Leeds, Alt-J appear to be a blend between Wild Beasts and Bombay Bicycle Club with their beautifully haunting and incredibly hypnotic sound. It's got intricate guitars, jittery indie beats, and harmonies and melodies that will blow you away. It's this fresh sound that I believe will propel them into 2012 in a big way. (Jack Thomson)


Dan Smith's outfit have been making steady progress since being unearthed at the back end of 2010. Recently selling out two London shows within hours, their debut album is due out in 2012. Expected to mix their RnB influences with the more overt grandiose (electro)pop of the likes of 'Flaws' and 'Icarus'. We all expect BASTILLE to win over a lot more people by the end of the year. (Saam Das)

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