Ten Local Bands to Watch in 2010

, Staff

2009 was an awesome year for the Boston music scene. With Passion Pit setting dance parties on fire on the road to national fame, the country began to set their eyes once again on our fine city and the rich music talent that it contains. With the local music scene under a bigger spotlight, 2010 has potential to be even more special. Here are 10 bands that we’ll be watching over the next year – some to see how they continue to build their name on home turf and others to see how they breakthrough and gain the national acclaim that is so well deserved. 

1. Mission Hill: They impressed all year with each show they played (including a pair of BMS showcases) and we’re eagerly awaiting their full-length debut to drop soon. With catchy hooks, great vocals and songwriting, these pop-rockers have all the makings to become mega radio favorites. We’ll be watching closely for what should be a memorable year for the band. It’s certainly starting off that way as they’ll be traveling to Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam next month to rock a month-long residency at the Hard Rock Cafe (no, we couldn’t even make that up). 
 Next Local Gig: The Dover Brickhouse (New Hampshire) on Saturday, January 23.
2. Magic Magic: After gaining acclaim in England first, the Dedham (MA, not England) indie rockers are finally getting some overdue praise on the homefront. That’s in much part to the song “Sleepy Lion” off their debut LP released last spring. They also won over a new set of fans with a great opening set for Passion Pit at the House of Blues earlier this week. Already hard at work on their sophomore effort, we’re expecting even greater things in 2010 as they continue to develop their sound. 
 Next Local Gig: At the Firehouse XIII in Providence on Saturday, January 23 

3. The Luxury: The Brit-Pop flavored band has been on an incredible ride over the past year or so. After winning the Rumble they released their stellar sophomore album, In the Wake of Won’t Change. They rocked all the local clubs including the Paradise – twice. What’s next for arguably the best band in Boston? One would hope the national stage – and with a tour in the works – we certainly hope the rest of the nation will soon discover what we already know. 
 Next Local Gig: At the Middle East Upstairs on Saturday, January 9.
4. Air Traffic Controller: What began as frontman Dave Munro writing songs on his 4-track recorder while serving as an air traffic controller in the U. S. Navy has evolved into The One, his band’s full-length debut album produced by Boston favorite Bleu and released at the end of 2009. With great vocals and songwriting, the band is delving a contemporary take on their classic rock influences like The Travelling Wilburys. The band is already starting to make themselves known on the local scene and we expect that to grow exponentially in 2010.
 Next Local Gig: At Precinct in Somerville on Saturday, January 16.

5. Mean Creak: Deservedly named the “Best New Act” at the Boston Music Awards, Mean Creek is looking to ride significant praise for The Sky (Or The Underground) to greater heights this year. They’ve spent a lot of time on the road and will soon return to the pavement by starting the year on a tour of the Northeast, and we’d be shocked if they haven’t spread their following quite a bit by the end of February.
 Next Local Gig: At TT the Bear’s Place on Wednesday, February 3.

6. The New Collisions: They had one of their idols (Greg Hawkes from The Cars) work on their EP Invisible Embraces and appear onstage with them (twice) and also spent time opening for Blondie and the B-52’s. Perhaps this year they can parlay their neo-New Wave dance music into a bit more notoriety a la this year’s BMS Band of the Year.
 Next Local Gig: None scheduled.

7. Life On Hold: Currently in the studio, we still love their EP The Element of Surprise, and that only has four songs. With a sound that gets the best of Paramore and Fallout Boy with their girl / guy lead vocals, it’s impossible not to be caught up in the excitement these youngsters put into their music. Here’s hoping for a big 2010.
 Next Local Gig: At the Middle East Upstairs on Sunday, January 17

8. Lansdowne: They’ve done national (and international) tours, and now Lansdowne is back in the studio to put down some more catchy alt-rock for the kids. Their new songs have been skewing more towards a harder edge. With “By Your Side” picking up popularity we foresee success in the New Year.
 Next Local Gig: None scheduled.

9. The Everyday Visuals: Really all it takes for people to like The Everyday Visuals is to hear them, and we think a lot more people will start to hear 2009’s self-titled release as the year goes on. The irresistible combination of voices tempered with just enough fuzz are made indie fans’ headphones.
 Next Local Gig: At TT the Bear’s Place on Friday, January 22.

10. Shadwell: Winners of the 2009 BMS Battle of the Bands, the band is putting the final touches on their full-length debut album. A band with loads of talent, we’re very exited to see what 2010 will bring for them.
 Next Local Gig: At Precinct in Somerville on Saturday, January 16.

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