Best of 2011, Features, The Best Of, Top Stories

Best of 2011: Sean Palmer’s Top 25 Underrated Acts of 2011

Sean Palmer / December 21, 2011

TEETH!!! (electronic / punk / pop)

A few months ago, London-based cyberpunks TEETH (also T3ETH or TΣΣTH) released their debut LP, WHATEVER—a noisy, chiptune-infused, electropunk pop album that gets better with each volume increment (full album stream here). Accompanying the release of WHATEVER are the singles “Care Bear” and “Flowers” which have gotten the remix treatment by the likes of Gross Magic, CSS, and LOL Boys. Though often compared to Crystal Castles, TEETH are a sassier, more colorful beast with deep cyberculture roots. Back in 2009, one of the trio’s members impersonated British novelist Will Self on Twitter (for 9 months) and hacked into Lady Gaga‘s Twitter account to post a slew of tweets like “<3 <3 <3 @T3ETH NXT TIME REALNESS PIC A BETTER PASSWORD!!!! PVNKS UNITE!!!” and “Hay my babies!!! LOVE GAGA??? LOVE T33TH!!!”. Last year, TEETH released the single See Spaces b/w Time Changes (both songs were re-recorded for WHATEVER) as well as Jammers EP, a cassette compilation of early demos.

 

Crim3s (electronic / witch house)

Also hailing from London, witch house duo Crim3s are well described as the love child of Salem and Crystal Castles. Aside from their own work, Crim3s have remixed songs by the likes of Clams Casino, White Ring, Teengirl Fantasy, and, of course, Crystal Castles. They’ve also created numerous music videos for themselves and others. Their first EP, SEAT†3A, was released on Black Bvs Records along with a remix EP, SEAT†3B, featuring reworks by GuMMyBeAR, Party Trash, GR†LL GR†LL, and others. (Editor’s note: The original publication of this information contained several factual errors. As of 1/6/15 this information has been removed in accordance with factual accuracy).

TRST (dark electronic pop)

After contributing vocals to Egyptrixx‘s Bible Eyes album, Toronto-based “speed, space, + tears” duo TRST (formerly TRUST) made their official debut this year with two releases on Sacred Bones Records. Though loosely similar to their neighbors Crystal Castles at times, TRST emit stronger coldwave vibes, generally take a more laid-back approach to their craft, and utilize both female and male vocals. Consisting of Maya Postepski (aka Princess Century; of Austra and, formerly, Galaxy) and Robert Alfons, TRST have been releasing songs online since 2009 and started touring last year—playing shows with kindred spirits Austra, Zola Jesus, John Maus, and many others. Postepski has also remixed songs by Tasseomancy (“Heavy Sleep“), LOOM (“Wholesome“), and Feathers (“Dream Song“), and contributed vocals on LOOM’s EPYLLION album. TRST are planning to release their debut LP next February on Arts & Crafts.

Napolian (“synth-music”)

Earlier this year, electronic wizard Daniel Lopatin (aka Oneohtrix Point Never; of Games, Ford & Lopatin, etc.) established Software—an exciting new Mexican Summer imprint. One of Software’s most promising rookies is LA’s Napolian (aka Ian Evans), who released his debut EP, Guns & Synths (fully streaming), this year through Beer On The Rug. You’ll be hard-pressed to find better jams to cruise around with on full blast; but at just four tracks, the album will leave retro-synth heads drooling for more. Since Guns & Synths, Napolian released a split cassette with Computer Dreams—which features the previously unreleased track “Olympia“—and remixed “Up” from Oneohtrix Point Never’s Replica. His next EP, Rejoice, is due out at the end of January.

Inc. (R&B / funk / electronic)

Following up on the fantastic Fountains b/w Friend Of The Night 7″ they put out in 2010, Inc. (formerly Teen Inc.) released their first EP, 3, this year featuring three more tracks of funky post-R&B smoothness à la early Prince meets new jack swing. The masterminds behind the Angeleno group are brothers Daniel and Andrew Aged, who worked with “50 Cent, Elton John, Pharrell Williams, Beck, Raphael Saadiq, Cee-Lo, Heavy D, Robin Thicke, amongst others” as session musicians prior to becoming Inc. Since then, they’ve played shows with Dam-Funk, DJ Quik, Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, and many others, and collaborated with Nite Jewel (“Am I Real?”), Steve Arrington (“We Got It”), and Francis & The Lights (“Eiffel Tower” / “The Things That I Would Do”). Inc plan to release their debut LP sometime next year.

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