I thought last year's debut Atlanta Music Roundtable was a really important discussion on local Atlanta music last year. So when I was asked to participate, I gladly accepted the chance to discuss some of my favorite local music. While working at Paste Magazine has had me focused more on non-local music, we've covered plenty of our favorite Atlanta acts this year including Balkans, Little Tybee, Oryx and Crake, Reptar, Royal Thunder and Spirits and the Melchizedek Children. With this discussion, we turn our focus to see who's likely to turn our heads in 2012.
Denton (Little Advances):When I look back at who we wrote about in this category last year, it's pretty obvious that predicting breakthroughs is tricky business. There are just too many factors involved. We don't know who's going to put out killer records in 2012; we don't know who's going to grind it out on the road. It's even harder to predict which bands will get picked up by the national blogs. New Animal is the perfect example of how unpredictable this is. None of us had even heard about them last year, but they put out an excellent album in January that earned them national blog attention even before us locals caught on. How could we have anticipated that?
It's still fun to try, though. In light of all those variables, I think Order of the Owl feels like a sturdy prediction. They look like they have a great shot at breaking into the national metal scene. The live show is on-point, they seem committed to touring, and the rough mixes they've posted from their upcoming EP sound incredibly promising. That Zoroaster pedigree should help them in metal circles, too.
Who else? Lyonnais has been patient and deliberate, and it's paid off with some nice national notices. If they stay on the same path they're currently on, more and more people will start to pay attention. Red Sea has built a strong hometown base, and it feels like the right time for them to get some new material out there and tour behind it. On a smaller scale, Cassandras are still low profile despite releasing two very impressive EPs in 2011, and I wouldn't be surprised to see them playing to crowded local rooms by this time next year.