It’s that time of year again: Time to take stock of the vast armies of new musicians making music in the past year, and to pick out a few dozen of the best and brightest. In the three previous annual versions of this column, we’ve hailed the arrivals of Frank Ocean, Tame Impala, A$AP Rocky, Grimes, Savages, Best Coast, Zola Jesus, HAIM, DIIV, and a host of others. Some have gone on to greatness, and others have slipped away into obscurity, but they’ve all deserved a few minutes of your attention. And that’s also the case with this year’s list, which makes room for frantic art-rappers, rickety DIY punk bands, slickly synthy festival-beaters, grimy art-noise warehouse-annihilators, and, um, Diarrhea Planet.
Our list is alphabetical, not ranked, and it comes with a handy 40-song playlist of every act included. But before you go all the way in, we should point out what we mean when we say “new band.” Some of these acts have been around for a while, but they’ve really come to prominence in the last 12 months. And now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, have fun discovering and arguing about all the artists who made this year’s list.