Which bands are the best? Hip-hop, R&B, pop, rap, electronica – New York City has it all. So many bands try to make it in the Big Apple, but which ones will stick around for the long haul? Read on for what we think are the city’s best breakout bands of 2014.
If there’s anyone who’s had a breakout year in 2014, it’s Betty Who. Jessica Anne Newham is an Australian pop singer based in New York City. A singer who also happens to know cello, piano and guitar. Newham (better known as Betty Who) had success beginning in 2012 with her debut song, “Somebody Loves Me,” which went viral in 2013 after it was used in a marriage proposal video and posted on YouTube. This year, however, could be considered her breakout year, when her second EP, “Slow Dancing,” was released in April and hit number one on the pop music charts on iTunes. She also opened for Katy Perry’s “Down Under” tour this year and released her first full-length album this October to much praise.
HAERTS is an indie pop group from Brooklyn that debuted in 2012. The band’s members include Nini Fabi, Ben Gebert, Garrett Lenner and Derek McWilliams (hailing from the U.S., Germany and England). Their debut song, “Wings,” received plenty of air time in the states and has received some great critical attention. It is featured on their debut album, titled simply “HAERTS,” which just came out on Oct. 27. The group is much talked about in the blogging world and they have already established a large following.
A punk band that has also gained quite a bit of attention lately is Big Ups, a group of men who met at one of NYU’s technology classes. Their much-anticipated debut album, “Eighteen Hours of Static,” was released in January this year. They received many great reviews, including from MTV. They’ve been on tour for much of 2014, to Europe and the West Coast, where they’ve gained many new fans. Known as a fun band to both talk to and listen to, Big Ups released a 7″ record in November. The band is composed of Brendan Finn, Joe Galarraga, Amar Lal and Carlos Salguero.
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Based in (where else?) Flatbush, Brooklyn, this band has only been around a few years. A group of rappers featuring Meechy Darko, Zombie Juice and Erick “Arc” Elliott, Flatbush Zombies have collaborated with a number of notable rappers and groups to increase their visibility. This year, they released a new song (“Lit”) and a full EP (“Clockwork Indigo”). They are touring with The Underachievers, another hip-hop group that also collaborated with them on their new EP. Their current duo tour also goes by the name of Clockwork Indigo.
Another Brooklyn-based band, Caveman got their start in 2011 with their first album. They have since performed at a number of music festivals with great expectation. Their indie rock jams keep listeners entertained for hours. Caveman’s last music video, “In the City,” featured actress Julia Stiles and they recently performed at Bonnaroo this year. Check out Caveman at any number of Brooklyn venues this year, including the Bowery Hotel and Baby’s All Right. They’ve also performed in Philadelphia and were in Europe this past year.
Jennifer is a writer, reader, crafter, traveler and New Yorker. She works in midtown New York City for non-profit organizations. Her degrees are in communication studies and art history.You can contact Jennifer at @egyptologist. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.