Bourgeois Heroes (Northampton, Mass./Austin, Tex.): The deep, mystical vocals of Bourgeois Heroes would fit in very well next to a band like The Church or Echo & The Bunnymen or another similar melodramatic 80s group. While the Heroes hint occasionally at that sound on their release Musical Postcards, it also possesses the instrumentation of modern pop bands like Belle & Sebastian. And you can hear select other influences, as wide-ranging as The Pastels and The Zombies. — Fensepost
Finnmark! (Leeds, United Kingdom): Finnmark,from Leeds, make darkly, desperate, romantic pop music teeters on the precipice between soaring off into the sky and falling down in a hopeless heap. There’s no magic formula at work here, just a seemingly innate ability to write almost dreamlike pop […] If Finnmark aren’t this year’s next big/little thing on the indiepop scene, I’ll start believing that Scandinavian social democracy really is the cure-all some people seem to think it is. Make this band your next port of call in the meantime. — A Layer of Chips
The Halamays (Columbus, Ohio): … if I had to put my money on any Chicago band to succeed in the traditional sense of mainstream success, believe it or not, it’d be [The Halamays]. They deserve credit for crafting catchy pop songs that are, with the right promotion, radio ready and, most important, worthy. — Loud Loop Press
Малыш Камю (Taganrog, Russia): Malish Kamu consider lyrical themes through the prism of what another fan has called ‘pleasant, quiet, and carefree dream-pop. It all sounds beautiful…’ ” — Far From Moscow
The Pretty Greens (Philadelphia, Penn.): “What can you expect from this Philly based band? ‘Dual girl vocals, surf-sounding guitar with a little twang, melodic bass lines, shimmery cymbals, peppy drums, and tremolo – all peppered with cat-eye glasses, mini-skirts, bangs, headbands, glitter, and a whole lot of charm. But don’t let the name and girly-image fool you, The Pretty Greens know their stuff and will impress with the whole package.’ ” — SisterSpace Weekend website
Punctuation Club (Brooklyn, NY): Punctuation Club’s Liam Joseph Carroll says this is your creepy sister’s new favorite indiepop group and we think he’s probably right. “Liam Carroll fronts the outfit, and he’s got some deep vocal tones, as if Calvin Johnson was really into crafting indiepop gems.” — Austin Town Hall
Quiz Kids (Brooklyn, NY/Northampton, Mass.): Quiz Kids is comprised of members of Bourgeois Heroes and Boy Genius. New York-based musicians Jason Korenkiewicz and Lisa Klimkiewicz (both of Boy Genius) are joined by Massachusetts’ Jason Bourgeois (Bourgeois Heroes) to form the three-piece pop outfit.
Ry Smith (Newport, R.I.): Ry Smith is the musical mastermind behind the once-prolific Long Island folk-pop band Eastern Phoebes. Now, since relocating to Rhode Island, Ry is making music on his own, churning out solo pop gems with a slightly darker tone while tackling so many of the twists and turns of life.
The Swapsies (Liverpool, United Kingdom): Full of fresh guitar sounds and lovely harmonies reminiscent of Belle and Sebastian’s more upbeat moments. — Liverpool Echo
The Very Most (Boise, Idaho): And our beloved The Very Most just came out with the title track of their forthcoming EP “Just A Pup” … . You can accuse me of favouritism, but folks, this song has indiepop C-L-A-S-S-I-C written all over. What an elegant and charming tune. Jeremy Jensen and co (hear the wonderful female vocals by Gia Trotter joining him please!) are just perfecting their craftsmanship, each new song seems to be more enduring and rich. Can’t wait for the rest! — Bloodbuzzed
Abby Mott (Austin, Texas): Totally angelic indie-pop … Mott displays a growing songwriting sophistication and a divine sense of vocal control … with the sort of sensual abandon that would cause fans of Jenny Lewis, the Watson Twins and Zooey Deschanel to eat their James Perse pants. — CityPaper, Baltimore
Bangkutaman (Yogyakarta, Indonesia): Bangkutaman, which taken from Bahasa Indonesia with the meaning “park bench,” was originally formed by J. Irwin and Bayu Prabowo in 1999 in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. The band members are J. Irwin (lead guitar and backing vocal), Wahyu “Acum” Nugroho (lead vocal and bass guitar) and Dedyk Erianto (drums).
Birds of California (Roslindale, Mass.): … brings to mind the happier pop of compositions by Van Dyke Parks and the early psych-sunshine or 90’s shoegaze-pop of indie groups like The Eggs, or The Boo Radleys — packed with a bit more crunch, and feedback of course! — Girl About Town
Brilliant At Breakfast (Yogyakarta, Indonesia): I noticed that they seem to be pals with Annemarie, which makes perfect sense given two points: they’re both from Indonesia, they both play pop songs with equal doses of sunshine and whimsy. It’s not too early to start thinking about Spring, and this song is the perfect way to get yourself in the mood! — Skatterbrain
Caténine (Massachusetts): …it is evident that Caténine is poised for something great with a style of music that harkens back to the post-punk of the early 80′s. Musically, they share a kinship with New Order and The Cure but with a push to go beyond and expand on the sonic palette already laid out. — The 1st Five
The Cavemen Go (New Haven, Conn./Boston, Mass./Brooklyn, N.Y.): Think about the Kinks and Elvis Costello, and if you smile, you’ll probably be into The Cavemen Go. Following the requisite series of EPs, TCG finally released their debut full-length New Lives earlier this year, solidifying their place as one of the top bands in the state. They’ve got jangly guitars, oohs and ahs, playful melodies, truly thoughtful lyrics and just a touch of punk rock attitude. — New Haven Advocate
Dexter Poindexter (Wheeling, Ill.): I was floored when I realized that this ‘outfit’ was, in fact, one person. Dexter Poindexter’s first release … seems like something a music veteran might have released; Perfect tight sound with melodies you feel like you heard before (in a very good way). — Norman Records
Eastern Phoebes (Long Island, N.Y.): Give them a cramped room full of random, forgotten instruments, and they will you give an album full of love, humility and maybe even a cup of hot herbal tea! — The Lucid Listener
Even Artichokes Have Hearts (New Haven, Conn.): The most frustrating thing about returning to Connecticut is that 98% of anyone who plays an instrument in this state chooses the wrong path, and that 99% of the listening population here could give a shit. That’s fine. I gave up trying to change that a long time ago, but every now and then you get a glimmer of hope and today I present the new brightness: Even Artichokes Have Hearts. … Two pals just killing it sweetly … — F*ck Yeah! Go Team!
The Fictional West (New Haven, Conn.): With hints of The Magnetic Fields, the Smiths, and what I say tastes like Orange Juice [The Fictional West] have a perfect formula for down-tempo jangle pop … No lie, the Giant Clouds single sounds like it could have been sent in to NME and gotten lost in the post for 20 years. — Sugar Sours
Ghost of Chance (New Haven, Conn.): … this record, with drum and bass low in the mix, quirky time changes, big, wide reverb-wash and Mellotron patches aplenty sounds more like late-era, John Lennon Beatles. “Dreams” and “The Breath” are sonic reminders of “Julia” and “Across the Universe.” … In short, it sounds sort of like The White Album, and that’s not a bad thing. — New Haven Advocate
The Inclined Plane (Hartford, Conn.): Sometimes delicate, sometimes assertively pounding, the band grabs hold of so many classic indie-pop signposts (jangly guitars, buzzing organs, white noise, and, most importantly, catchy melodies that shine through it all), it’s clear they understand the ’80s progenitors of the subgenre and also the early ’60s records those bands were referencing. — New Haven Advocate
The Month of June (New York/Connecticut): On the b-side, there’s ‘Daffodil’ – a more straightforward pop song, with a chorus that will accompany your every waking moment from now until eternity. There’s also a nice bit of trumpet from Brad San Martin of One Happy Island. I’d go as far to say that ‘Daffodil’ is the best song here. — A Layer of Chips
Onward Chariots (Brooklyn/Queens, NY): Once again Ben Morss and company present a wonderful little EP with two shiny gems “A New Beginning” and “Seven Miles Away” – both are delicate pop candy full of falsetto harmonies and club beats matched with a perfectly placed guitar riff in the latter track. Bring on the full length guys. — Powerpopaholic
Protocol Afro (Jakarta, Indonesia): Protocol Afro’s music, which can described as a mix of post-punk revival and danceable indie rock/pop, sounds much more like a serious music project with potential, rather than just a casual side-job. — Trax Magazine, March 2012
Summer Library (New Rochelle, NY): Patrick Kelly has that perfect knack of writing the most simple pop songs, yet making them so affecting. He takes the world around him, romanticizes it, adds a melody bands have spend years getting nowhere near, and then, lucky us, we get to listen to it. … Lovelorn fans of Brighter and Harper Lee be aware: there’s some magic at work here, and it’s called Summer Library. — A Layer of Chips
Two If By Sea (London, ON, Canada): … The music is both charming and soothing without being too laid back, the vocals work so well with the music that at times they almost merge into the instruments. — Beehive Candy
The Tyler Trudeau Attempt (New Haven, Conn./Brooklyn, NY): I was reminded of all manner of awesome late punk and new wave bands. The Tyler Trudeau Attempt specialize not only in evoking the sounds of that time, but also the stubborn awkwardness, the difficulty of interpretation. … Trudeau’s musical vision may seem to call upon cultural moments too disparate to make sense — but the thing is, his music makes it gel. — Hartford Advocate
The Whatevers (Leeds, United Kingdom): There is a thing with bands, where you work ,and write, and toil and one day it just CLICKS. Leeds duo The Whatevers have well and truly broken through. … Describing their sound as a ‘pop punk twee mess’, what they actually make is a gorgeous boppy, fun sound with Edwyn Collins meets Emma Pocketbooks vocals. The lyrics are also pretty bloody good, real stories to sigh to on the bus, stories you have lived through yourself. And get this, there are lines you can actually laugh out load to. Wow. — Brill Dream
Women’s Basketball (New Haven, Conn./Brooklyn, NY): Women’s Basketball isn’t what you’d call a “real” band. It consists solely of a bloke called Tyler Trudeau who plays everything. The album “An Octopus, But Like, An Octopus With Massive Wings And Junk” is released this month through Tweefort and is guaranteed to put a smile on even the most miserable of creatures. — Burning World