Now that 2013 is drawing to an end, and all of the end-of-year lists are compiled, this is normally a quieter time in terms of new releases. It is also a pretty perfect time to start looking at artists who are likely to break big in 2014, so I’ve put together a short list of five acts you should really keep an eye on.

All are at different stages of their careers with different expectations and very different sounds, but the one thing they do have in common is that they are all likely to become a lot more well-known in the New Year.

Perfect Pussy

This Syracuse punk band has already made waves with its brutally raw but highly promising EP, I have lost all desire for feeling. Now that the quartet is signed to Captured Tracks (home to the likes of Wild Nothing and Diiv) and with a new album coming in early 2014, you can expect to hear a lot more of their highly charged throwback punk. You can check them out in LA very soon, as the band has a show lined up at the 7th Street Warehouse on December 20th. Due to that venue’s old school word-of-mouth vibe, you’ll have to keep your eyes on social media for more details.


The brainchild of Swedish producer and songwriter Eric Berglund could not be further away sonically from the first act on this list, but with his fantastic new single, “Whorehouse,” there’s every chance that he’s aiming to steal Passion Pit’s crown when it comes to brilliantly produced, upbeat pop songs with dark and introspective lyrics. Berglund’s sophomore album, Wonderland, is due for release in the US on February 4th, and if the first single is anything to go by, it’s going to be well worth listening to.


The three Radke brothers barely look old enough to be in a band, and yet the trio from the Midwest is already primed for stardom. If you’re seeing the words “trio,” “brothers,” and “Midwest” and thinking “Hanson,” you might want to have a rethink. On the evidence of the melodic punk and hardcore of their debut EP, Devil Fruit, the band is going to become a favorite on the live circuit very soon. They supported Black Joe Lewis at the El Rey last night and will surely be returning to LA next year. With a few months of extra touring behind them, they’ll be damn-near unmissable.

Angel Olsen

The fact that we really, really like Angel Olsen here at the LA Music Blog is not a surprise to regular readers. Nevertheless, 2014 should see a big jump in her profile. Now that she is signed to Jagjaguwar and is readying the release of a new album that actually comes with a lot of anticipation (her wonderful album Half Way Home was the definition of a slow-burn success), the world will be hearing much more from a gifted young lady. The fact that her next LA show will be at the Echoplex is evidence of her growing audience.

Sam Smith

My review of Sam Smith’s Troubadour show this week just posted yesterday, but that only encourages me to stress the fact that I genuinely believe the man has a shot of being an Adele-sized star in the next year. He has yet to release a debut album, but he does have the might of Capitol Records behind him now, and more than anything, he has that voice, a tool of power, range, and warmth that marks him out as a sensational talent. When the boy soars, he really soars.