Gummy Awards 2013 - Best New Act

Yesterday we started announcing the winners of our annual Gummy Awards — Stereogum & Videogum’s annual readers’ poll — with your Top 50 Albums Of 2013. And today, we move on to the category of Best New Act. It’s a pretty dynamic and diverse list including, for example, two brothers from England, three sisters from California, two 38-year-old veterans who joined forces under a new name, and a rookie who turned 17 last month. But enough with the census data, let’s get on with the awards! Here are your Top 10 New Acts Of 2013.

Run The Jewels

10. Run The Jewels

Mutual Benefit

09. Mutual Benefit

Parquet Courts

08. Parquet Courts

Speedy Ortiz

07. Speedy Ortiz


06. Lorde


05. Savages

Chance The Rapper

04. Chance The Rapper


03. Disclosure


02. Haim


01. Chvrches

To recap:

10. Run The Jewels
09. Mutual Benefit
08. Parquet Courts
07. Speedy Ortiz
06. Lorde
05. Savages
04. Chance The Rapper
03. Disclosure
02. Haim
01. Chvrches

Comments (44)
  1. Weird cause I bet Killer Mike and El-P have put out more music than the rest of the list combined.

    • I think unless it’s a complete artistic overhaul, supergroups shouldn’t qualify. I remember Wild Flag was named one of the site’s 40 Best New Bands two or three years ago, but it’s like *Kanye voice* “HUHHHH?!” I mean, technically, under this rule, Watch the Throne could have qualified whenever that album came out, and that seems rather unreasonable.

      Close your eyes if you are a HAIM fanboy or fangirl, but I don’t see HAIM and CHVRCHES as being long-termers in the cool and hip game. I don’t know how they might grow and evolve considering their sounds are so fully formed, modern and yet reductive. I predict their sophomore efforts being consistent with the quality of their first, but not progressing much.

      • I really agree with you on that second part. From what I’ve listened to on this list, the only artists I can really see staying in the game in the upcoming years are Disclosure, Lorde and Chance. Run the Jewels is after all a collab album, much like Watch The Throne, so I can’t see them count as an act, although they both will remain strong players in their respective careers. and as much as I enjoyed their album, I can’t see Chvrces keeping the hype for the long haul.

      • I think the HAIM girls will split and attempt solo careers in which only one will take off (I hope it’s bass-face)

      • That second part was exactly what I came to the comments to say, glad I’m not alone in thinking it. ESPECIALLY Chvrches, HAIM could theoretically pull some interesting stylistic turn, but I’m doubtful… while Chvrches has a pretty well-defined sound and straying from it will surely trigger “this isn’t the band I fell in love with!” while making more of the same will probably result in some “we already got this, where’s the EVOLUTION?” reaction. We’ll see.

  2. Run the jewels… jewels… jewels…. jewels… jewels… Jewels….

  3. John Wizards, i’ma keep saying it until somebody starts believing me.

  4. I really don’t get the appeal of Chvrches. I feel like they’re a band that everyone “gets” but me (like Grimes last year). Can someone explain them to me?

    • You’re not alone sir, same goes for HAIM imo

    • Agreed on Chvrches and HAIM. I also feel this way about Speedy Ortiz, they seem solid but all I hear is Pavement and I love pavement….

      • Yeah – I saw Speedy Ortiz as an opener by accident maybe a year ago. They were a great show, but not ground-breaking or anything.

        • Going to have to disagree about Speedy. They’re probably one of the few acts on this list I can see growing a ton with time. That first track off their new EP already sounds like a band stepping it up. Everyone wrote their labelmate Cloud Nothings off as some bedroom pop project, and then look what happened on Attack On Memory. They have the indie rock standards down as a foundation, but it doesn’t at all sound to me like they’re letting it roll off their fingers in just the same way.

    • I haven’t really gotten into Chvrches yet, but something that annoys me a little more than it should is the V and the all caps that’s usually used. What’s it for? Reminds me of Alt-J just naming their album that triangle shape. Gimmicky. There’s no reason for it. But, as I said, it annoys me more than it should.

    • i agree, too. and i also agree about HAIM. to me it’s pretty standard, forgettable indie fare. ZZZZZZzzzzz

    • I like them (and Haim) because it’s just a fun catchy album. I don’t need to think to hard or spend too much time with it. Sometimes it’s nice to just have an “easy” album, much like why I enjoy Japandroids.

      They’ve definitely hit at the exact right time, since I can name plenty of bands with a similar sound from years past. I’m not sure Chvrches will survive past their debut in terms of success. Of course, I thought that about Vampire Weekend…

    • I’m with you. I don’t really get why they are so hyped and popular and shoved down my throat on blogs like this one when there isn’t anything really fresh or groundbreaking about them. It sounds like pretty standard indie synthpop to me, not really worth any more hype and acclaim than Purity Ring, whose album I enjoyed but didn’t completely lose my shit over like people seem to be doing with Chvrches. Also “The Bones of What You Believe” has always sounded to me like some pseudo-deep phrase a 14 year old would come up with in an attempt to be profound.

      • Don’t forget, however, that Purity Ring was also hyped to death before their album came out. I remember some people saying (not on this website) that it was the future sound of pop and R&B… give me a break.

        • I really liked Ungirthed, then I lost all interest

          I really liked The Mother We Share, then I lost all interest

          who’s next on the chopping block?

    • No, I cannot.

    • They write catchy songs which are enjoyable to listen to. It’s not rocket surgery.

  5. I fought for Pharmakon on this one.
    Well, I guess i’ll just have to crawl on my bruised knees.

  6. Good list, but Chance should be #1.

  7. You found the only non-confrontational picture of Savages in existence. Glad to see them here, though.

  8. I am a little shocked Disclosure isn’t number one. I thought they had both the best album of any new act this year and the most potential as far as longevity goes (Run The Jewels notwithstanding because they aren’t exactly a new act)

  9. Darn, I really liked that Majical Cloudz album.

  10. This should have been a top 20

  11. London Grammar, guys. London Grammar.

  12. Mutual Benefit isn’t exactly new… but glad to see him get some recognition nonetheless.

  13. 10 9 8 Have a LOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG Future

  14. Palma Violets debut, 180. Really decent Clash/Libertines/shouting British guy type of album.

  15. No love for Potty Mouth? I thought Hell Bent was one of the best pop-punk albums of the year.

    And PUP’s self-titled debut isn’t out anywhere besides Canada yet, but it is shit-hot and I hope to see it get coverage when it finally lands stateside next year.

  16. CHVRCHES really really suck guys. Like really bad 90s sounding shit.

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