Which one is your favorite?
In the year 4032, when postapocalyptic pod-dwelling aliens unearth the safely buried time capsule that includes the musical highlights of 2013, they’ll learn of Miley Cyrus twerking her way through the VMAs; the Jonas Brothers calling it quits; the epic return of Daft Punk with “Get Lucky“; Lady Gaga‘s ARTPOP takeover; Beyoncé making it rain power outages at the Super Bowl; Kanye‘s unbridled pomp, ego, and anger; the rise of teen-pop wunderkind Lorde, and Robin Thicke branding introducing the term “Hey, hey, hey” into our subconscious.
But that historical scroll will also tell the tale of bands that broke through in 2013. Like the ones who rose from relative obscurity (or stayed on their grind for years and finally broke through) to make this year theirs too by selling out shows, amassing cult-like followings, earning endless radio spins, and ruling every last corner of the Internet, from YouTube to hundreds upon thousands of emotionally charged Stan tweets and reblogs.
Because for every Kings of Leon, Fall Out Boy, One Direction, or Imagine Dragons (who had a killer 2013, to be sure, but they’ve been meteoric for years), there’s the relative newcomer that was waiting to snatch their wigs — twenty one pilots, The 1975, Sleeping With Sirens, HAIM, A Great Big World, and more bands that kicked down the industry door and made their names known and voices heard in 2013.
Buzzworthy’s writers, editors, and experts took a good, hard look at some of the most-buzzed-about bands of 2013, and now we’re turning it over to you, the fans, to vote for your favorite breakthrough band of 2013.
Check out the list of breakthrough bands below, and vote for your favorite breakthrough band of 2011. Voting closes on Dec. 16 at 11:59 p.m., and we’ll announce the winner on Dec. 17!
+ 5 Seconds Of Summer: Australian pop act 5 Seconds Of Summer got their start like many others in the industry: on YouTube. By posting covers of themselves singing hits by the likes of Chris Brown and Justin Bieber, Luke Hemmings, Michael Clifford, Ashton Irwin, and Calum Hood have since earned more than 5 million YouTube hits and a hyperactive, hyper-dedicated social media following — they were one of Tumblr’s most reblogged artists of the year for a good reason. One Direction‘s Niall Horan is even a devoted fan; when their first single, “Out Of My Limit,” dropped in Nov. 2012, Niall tweeted a link to the track, and it got more than 100,000 views in the first 24 hours. The guys parlayed the One D connection into an opening spot in the U.K., North America, New Zealand, and their Australian home turf, and managed to rack up MILLIONS of streams for their “Heartbreak Girl” and “Wherever You Are” videos. Now signed to Capitol Records, 5 Seconds Of Summer is working hard on their debut album.
+ The 1975: Sexy and mysterious Manchester quartet and MTV Artist To Watch The 1975 rock a retro, yet sophisticated vibe that combines synths, ’80s influences, art rock and electronica. Though their first EP, 2012’s Facedown got plenty of love from music bloggers and BBC Radio One, the band’s cred skyrocketed in 2013: The video for “Sex” (from EP No. 2) got more than 500,000 YouTube views, and the band’s third EP, Music For Cars spawned U.K. Top 20 single, “Chocolate.” Nowadays, The 1975 is riding high on the success of their full-length self-titled debut, which shot straight to No. 1 in the U.K. when it dropped in September, and the lads are currently touring all over the world, from November through March.
+ A Great Big World: Thanks to the spectacular success of their Christina Aguilera-assisted single, “Say Something,” indie-pop duo Ian Axel and Chad Vaccarino are having the best year of their (relatively short) career. After the original “Say Something” turned up on “So You Think You Can Dance,” the guys re-recorded their track with Christina, and BOOM — A Great Big World had a bona fide hit on their hands. It helped that the duo premiered their newly recorded track on “The Voice” in November, and the song hit No. 1 on the digital song chart with 189,000 copies sold for the week. But their biggest breakthrough moment(s) had to have been when A Great Big World performed “Say Something” with Christina at the American Music Awards and when AGBW took a seat at the piano at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.
+ Bastille: Riding high for four consecutive weeks on Billboard’s Alternative Songs Chart this year with “Pompeii” (from their debut album Bad Blood, which bowed at No.1 in the U.K.), this alt-rock quartet have become a crossover success in the alternative and pop space (oh, and with the laydeez — Bastille dudes are pretty dreamy). “Pompeii” is a hit on Top 40 radio, where it’s currently gaining millions of plays. Also, this hasn’t just been a big year for Bastille on the charts; in 2013, Bastille also joined Muse for two consecutive stints on their “The 2nd Law” Tour. Bastille’s following up their huge year by releasing All This Bad Blood on Jan. 14, which comprises their debut plus old and new tracks.
+ Disclosure: British brothers Guy and Howard Lawrence, best known as Disclosure, became a festival favorite in 2013, with unmissable sets at Coachella, Lollapalooza, and a sold-out headlining slot in New York’s Central Park, as part of their worldwide tour. (As in, the entire world.) The MTV Artist To Watch act also left their mark on 2013 when they released their “White Noise” collab with AlunaGeorge, which hit No. 2 in the U.K. Their debut album Settle went to No. 1 in the U.K., hit No. 2 on Billboard’s U.S. Electronic chart, earned a 9.1 on Pitchfork, nabbed them a Mercury Prize nomination for Best Album, BBC Radio 1xtra included Disclosure in their “Hot Ten For 2013″ list, and last but not least, scored them a 2014 Grammy nom for Best Dance/Electronica Album.
+ Haim: With their killer cadences, velveteen harmonies, and songs that blend classic rock, pop, and R&B, sister act Este, Danielle, and Alana Haim initially became blog darlings on the strength of 2012’s Forever EP and earned endless love from L.A. audiences by playing local shows for years. Haim dropped their Falling EP in April 2013, and their single “Don’t Save Me” won them BBC’s Sound Of 2013. And before their debut album even dropped, endless ink was spilled in praise and anticipation of their effortlessly timeless sound. The MTV Artist To Watch nabbed an appearance on VH1’s You Oughta Know televised concert (don’t miss their cover of Sheryl Crow’s “Strong Enough” featuring Lorde) and earned even more performing prestige touring the U.K., playing sets at the MTV Woodie Awards, Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, Made In America, and “Saturday Night Live.” And here’s the kicker: Their Days Are Gone debut record went to No. 1 in the U.K. and hit No. 8 on the Billboard 200. Word of advice? DO NOT sleep on tickets for their 2014 North American tour.
Check out more breakthrough bands of 2013 after the jump.
+ Krewella: The Chicago trio, which formed in 2007, explored a few different dance-pop styles before honing in on their current dubstep-influenced. But they weren’t destined to stay local for long: After singers/sisters Jahan and Yasmine Yousaf and producer Kris Trindl’s Ultra Music Festival performance in 2013, Billboard wrote “Krewella is going to be huge!” And, true to their prediction, Krewella’s full-length album Get Wet debuted at No. 8 on the Billboard 200 and spawned two massive hits — “Alive,” “Live For The Night,” and “This Is Not the End,” which amassed millions of video views and streams and became radio staples in 2013. Look out for Krewella on tour in December — they’ll hit select American cities through the end of the year.
+ The Neighbourhood: Los Angeles alt-pop act The Neighbourhood originally formed in 2011, but 2013 has been their biggest year to date: After releasing their debut full-length, I Love You, which featured their brooding hit “Sweater Weather,” “Sweater Weather” went gold, and the track’s video even garnered more than 13 million views. The album, which hit No. 9 on the Top Modern Rock/Alternative charts, showcases the band’s penchant for dark atmospherics, electronica, and pop. Also this year? The Neighbourhood toured with Imagine Dragons, they did a set at Coachella, embarked on a headlining summer 2013 tour, and they even nabbed a couple television placements on “Twisted” and “The Vampire Diaries.” Nowadays, the band’s second single from I Love You, “Afraid,” is currently making waves on radio, and the single’s visually disturbing video has nearly 500,000 hits on YouTube.
+ New Politics: This Brooklyn via Copenhagen, Denmark, alt-rock trio can easily peg this year’s success to their unstoppably infectious hit song “Harlem,” from their sophomore album, A Bad Girl In Harlem. The album topped the U.S. Heatseekers chart, while “Harlem” killed on the radio, reaching No. 4 on the Hot Modern Rock tracks chart. Plus it’s been featured in commercials and video games, which helped the track lodge itself permanently in your brains. New Politics joined Fall Out Boy on their “Save Rock And Roll” tour, then later they hopped on tour with Pink and Panic! At The Disco. The honors and accolades continue to roll in for the group this year, with ESPN naming them “Artist Of The Month,” Alternative Press dubbing them one of the “100 Bands You Need To Know In 2013,” and MTV including them on their 2013 Artist To Watch tour.
+ Skaters: They haven’t even released a full-length album yet, but New York garage punk quartet Skaters and sometimes-fashion plates have already made splashes both at home and in the U.K. Examples? The zombie-loving Artists To Watch‘s song “Deadbolt” was featured in NME.com (who also dubbed them last month’s New Band Of The Week), and “Deadbolt” recently got the remix treatment by indie-electro wizard Twin Shadow. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that the 2013 SXSW performers’ “I Wanna Dance (But Don’t Know How)” video has amassed more than 100,000 views, which is no doubt thanks to the support from their giant fan base. Look out for the guys’ upcoming debut full-length album, Manhattan, dropping Feb. 25.
+ Sleeping With Sirens: Post-hardcore act Sleeping With Sirens formed back in 2009, but their third studio full-length album, Feel, aided by emotive vocalist Kellin Quinn, is their most successful record to date, earning praise from AllMusic and Alternative Press. Feel debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 and went to No. 36 on U.K. Albums Chart, scream-hop ballad “Alone” featuring MGK hit No. 23 on the Rock chart, and “Low” climbed to No. 11 on the Rock chart. Feeling sold? Great! Now check out their acoustic rendition of Feel’s “Satellite” on Buzzworthy Live!
+ The Story So Far: This California pop-punk outfit originally formed in 2007, but 2013 was truly a banner year for The Story So Far. In addition to hitting up a slew of festivals (Australia 2013 Tour, The Suppy Nation Tour, Slam Dunk 2013, Warped Tour), when they released their second studio album, What You Don’t See, the band simultaneously snagged the March cover of Alternative Press’ “100 Bands You Need to Know” issue. (Not a bad way to promote a new album, eh?) Debuting at No. 46 on the Billboard 200 (the band’s first charting record!), What You Don’t See featured hoarse, fast-paced, retro-pop punk throwback tracks, like the album’s lead single “Right Here” and “The Glass.” Nowadays, The Story So Far are wrapping up their headlining tour with supporters Stick To Your Guns, Such Gold, and Rotting Out, and they’ll join Every Time I Die and A Day To Remember on their U.K./European tour in early 2014.
+ twenty one pilots: After self-releasing Regional At Best in 2011, Ohio everything-core duo Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun got signed to legendary pop-punk label Fueled By Ramen, who released the band’s full-length, Vessel, earlier this year. Featuring such absurdly catchy singles as “Car Radio” and “Guns For Hands,” the boys’ multi-genre debut album incorporates everything from piano-driven rock to elements of hip-hop, indie rock, and punk. (Think Green Day meets Rage Against The Machine meets Dismemberment Plan). But the best way to experience the Artist To Watch VMA nominees is live (the guys have a habit of doing back flips off of any and all available surfaces): In just the last year alone, Pilots got to watch Tyler and Josh performing at the MTV Woodie Awards, Hangout Music Festival, Bonnaroo, Firefly Music Festival, and on tour with Fall Out Boy. As for what’s up next, in 2014, twenty one pilots will tour Australia with headliners Paramore and supporting act You Me At Six.
VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITE BUZZWORTHY BREAKTHROUGH BAND OF 2013!
Photo credits: RCA, UMG, Columbia, Rise, Bella Lieberberg, Nikko Lamere, Brendan Walter, Capitol, Pure Noise, Fueled By Ramen, Shane Mccauley