Boston Rock & Pop Class of 2013

A baker’s dozen of the best new bands in Boston — and slightly beyond
By MICHAEL MAROTTA  |  January 28, 2013

Old Boston is dead. Perhaps no city's music scene has undergone such a frantic transformation over the past few years as our very own here in the hub of New England. What was once a stodgy rock-and-roll town swallowed up by its participants' mutual disdain for one another has given way to a community fostering relentless creativity and support. From the basements of Allston to the stages of Somerville, the clubs of Cambridge to the living rooms of Brighton, it seems like Boston as a whole is ready to become noticed as a cultural hotspot. And if it isn't, then fuck it, we still have an endless amount of awesome bands toiling right here in our backyards. Here are 13 of our favorite new acts — some born in 2012, others a year or two prior — that are ready to make a beautiful racket in 2013. We've even included bands from Worcester and Lowell, because Massachusetts as a whole has some really cool shit going on.

>> LISTEN: Weekly Playlist #14: the Class of 2013 <<

FEAT_CLASSOF13_Abadabad-19_cCharlotteZoller

ABADABAD :: ALLSTON

CLASS OF 2013 TRACK: "ALL THE BROS SAY"

Named by Tennessee native and Allston gentleman Jeremy Lee Given after his mishearing of the Pakistani city of Abbottabad, Abadabad picks up where his previous band, Rodeo Church, left off: hazy, jangly indie pop with a slicked-back snarl just beneath the surface. Given and Adam Taylor Young lend the band an effortless cool, and next week will hit up the Converse Rubber Tracks studio in Brooklyn for a recording session. Most of the press after the release of September's The Wild EP used the words "summer" and "warm," and though that's not too far off the mark, the music of Abadabad is also similar to that feeling you get when you wake up in the morning after an overnight snowstorm. Just add an umbrella to your drink. abadabad.tumblr.com

FEAT_CLASSOF2013_BoomAndThunder-26_cCharlotteZoller

BOOM SAID THUNDER :: BOSTON

CLASS OF 2013 TRACK: "THE SAINT"

Three members, three words in the band name, and three distinct qualities come together to form the monolithic beast that is Boom Said Thunder. The ground shook with last winter's Boom! EP, and now the earth is set to implode with the March 1 release of Exist. On explosive first single "The Saint," John Magnifico's bass guitar serves as a livewire intro before you're seduced by Will Thomas's ground-pound drumming and Abby Bickel's vocals. Then things fly off the fucking rails. When the diminutive Bickel belts out her lyrics, she's taller than Kevin Garnett in heels, towering over her band's powder-keg rock-and-roll attack. Exist leaves little room to come up for air, but here's an instance where aural suffocation is a good thing. boomsaidthunder.com

FEAT_CLASSOF13_ChildActor

CHILD ACTOR :: ALLSTON/CONNECTICUT

CLASS OF 2013 TRACK: "WINDOW"

Cousins Max Heath and Sedgie Ogilvy create atmospheric dream-pop the old-fashioned way: collaborating from a distance, across state lines and back again, since Heath is based in New Haven, Connecticut, and Ogilvy calls Allston home. "I don't want distance to be part of Child Actor, that's just the way it's been due to our living situations," says Heath. After releasing two EPs and full-length Victory (Fake Four) in under a year's time, they're poised for their breakout in 2013. They've added a third member, Natalie Plaza on vocals and keyboards, and recently collaborated with Seattle/San Francisco duo Blue Sky Black Death for what was, for a while, the number-one-selling hip-hop album on Bandcamp last month, Cliff of Death. But though Heath has a background in indie hip-hop, slinging samples, beats, and R&B influences in other collabs and his solo project Circadion, it's the engaging electro-pop of Child Actor that could propel his vision to a national stage. These are songs that stay in your headspace long after you hear them. childactor.net

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