Congratulations to the winners of BestNewBands.com’s first annual NEWBIE AWARDS, honoring 2012′s top acts in a variety of categories. In an outstanding year for new music and emerging artists, these five stood out: Tame Impala for Best New Band, Gary Clark, Jr. for Best New Male Artist, Ellie Goulding for Best New Female Artist, Frank Ocean’s channel ORANGE for Best New Album and Passion Pit’s “Take A Walk” for Best New Song.
Best New MALE Artist: Gary Clark, Jr.:
Blues-rock guitarist Gary Clark, Jr. had a phenomenal 2012 with rave reviews for his Blak & Blu CD (which peaked at #6 on the Billboard Albums chart) and his live appearances. The Austin, Tex. native finished the year with a flourish, joining the Rolling Stones on-stage during their recent Barclays Center (Brooklyn, NY) performance, playing guitar on a version of “I’m Goin’ Down.”
Best New FEMALE Artist: Ellie Goulding:
British singer-songwriter Ellie Goulding added an interesting event to her resume last year: performing live at the request of the future king and queen of England. So how did she top that in 2012? Her brilliant CD, Halcyon, featured a well-received single, “Anything Could Happen,” and a reissue of her earlier overseas hit, “Lights,” reached the upper echelon of the pop charts. She’ll return to the States in January-February for a major market tour, followed by a slew of European dates.
Best New ALBUM: Frank Ocean “channel Orange”:
Just 24, Frank Ocean had the kind of success in 2012 that most artists can only dream about. He was the musical guest on the season premiere of Saturday Night Live. He received rave notices for his headlining tour and various festival appearances. His first full-length release, the brilliant R&B-funk CD, channel ORANGE, entered the Billboard Albums chart at #2. And oh yeah, his six Grammy noms including Album, Record (for “Thinkin Bout You”) and Best New Artist, were tied for the most of any artist this year.
Best New SONG: Passion Pit “Take A Walk”:
Cambridge, Mass., home to Harvard University, can now also be known as home of indie band, Passion Pit. The band’s five members, all of whom attended Boston area music schools, had a breakthrough this year with “Take A Walk,” from their second album, Gossamer. The single’s success was spurred partly by its use in a Taco Bell commercial, and ultimately led to an appearance on SNL in October. Coming in February: a headlining date at NYC’s Madison Square Garden.