A big shoutout to ROZ RASKIN & THE RICE CAKES (thericecakes.com), winners of the 2012 WBRU Rock Hunt and nonstop touring warriors. Casey, Justin, and Roz are in the studio working on the follow-up to 2011's Monster Man, and will play the big Narragansett Beer anniversary party at the Met (with the Brother Kite, the 'Mericans, and more) on Friday, December 28.

Female singer-songwriters shined brightly in 2012, with the return of ALLYSEN CALLERY and her mesmerizing lullabies (pick up The Summer Place and Winter Island EPs at allysencallery.bandcamp.com), as well as PVD-via-Boston singer/pianist KAYLA RINGELHEIM's Wandering Feet, a personal favorite from 2012 (available at kaylaringelheim.bandcamp.com). "Smiles and Polaroids," "Juliette," and "Nobody Knows" sparkle with Ringelheim's vocal charm and piano prowess. 2012 proved to be a fruitful year for the BOO CITY crew, featuring the soulful and sultry vocals of Tai Awolaju. Pick up Midnight Folklore and the brand-new Anchortown EP at boocitymusic.com. Speaking of sultry sass, Malyssa BellaRosa leads FALL & BOUNCE (reverbnation.com/fallandbounce) on its 2012 debut Knickknack Avalanche. F&B bob and weave through hazy '70s rock and blues numbers, while BellaRosa shines on "Words Fall." (Fall & Bounce took Best Breakthrough Act of 2012 in the BMP.)

Of course, we need to save some space for beloved and nationally acclaimed acts like the nonstop touring duo BROWN BIRD (brownbird.net) and the stratospherically rising JOE FLETCHER & THE WRONG REASONS (joefletchermusic.com), who turned plenty of heads at the 2012 Newport Folk Festival. Plus, we can't forget THE LOW ANTHEM (lowanthem.com) and that epic "Revival" weekend at the Columbus Theatre last month. The newly expanded lineup (now a five-piece) set up shop in the historic theatre's attic to record its forthcoming album due out in 2013. Oh, and we were continually spoiled rotten with all the DEER TICK sightings between Pawtucket and Newport in 2012; DT will play Fête on Sunday, December 30.

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