This year saw the resurgence of several older garage rock denizens, like the Foo Fighters and the (car) commercially reliable Black Keys, but it also saw some lesser-known groups take steps toward becoming ubiquitous.
Don't be surprised if these guys are everywhere in 2013 ... provided there is a 2013.
The group's first album, Boys & Girls, has earned three Grammy nominations, they were tapped to open for Jack White's recent national tour and the group was picked to close the first night of Bonnaroo. Not too bad for a first album. With their throwback sound and the lovelorn vocals of Brittany Howard (whose soulful approach was compared to Janis Joplin), it looks like the group's renown will only grow in '13.
Segall must write songs in his sleep. How else can you explain the fact that the prodigious guitarist/drummer/singer released three albums this year? Unlike some trifectas (Green Day), all three albums have been received warmly by critics as well as fans. Blending bare-bones rock with whatever the hell he feels like at the time, Segall is forcing people to pay attention to him both with his quantity and quality of work, although for his health, a quick break should be in his near future.
JEFF the Brotherhood
A veteran garage rock duo, JEFF have seven full-length albums under their belt and have been a staple of the Nashville circuit for years. This year, however, their exposure went supernova, as the group hooked up with the Black Keys' Dan Auerbach to produce their Hypnotic Nights. The group went on to play Letterman the night of the album's release, and NPR began streaming the entire album in July. It's probably safe to say JEFF is done with basement shows.
John Grimley writes The Oil Slick blog for GuitarWorld.com.