David Dye's Favorite New Bands Of 2011

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The Joy Formidable, seen here at NPR Music's South by Southwest party, gave one of the best World Cafe performances of 2011. i i

hide captionThe Joy Formidable, seen here at NPR Music's South by Southwest party, gave one of the best World Cafe performances of 2011.

Katie Hayes Luke
The Joy Formidable, seen here at NPR Music's South by Southwest party, gave one of the best World Cafe performances of 2011.

The Joy Formidable, seen here at NPR Music's South by Southwest party, gave one of the best World Cafe performances of 2011.

Katie Hayes Luke

Last year's roundup of our favorite World Café sessions was so popular, we had to do it again this year. Below, you'll find downloadable songs from the best new artists of 2011, as well as links to the entire performances. Once again, I want to thank all of the 200-plus artists who came by our studios in 2011 — we couldn't do the show without them.

David Dye's Favorite New Bands Of 2011

The Civil Wars performed on World Cafe.

The Civil Wars, "Poison And Wine"

John Paul White and Joy Williams met on a songwriting "blind date" in Nashville. Within minutes, they formed a connection that has since propelled them to the top of the Billboard folk charts. "Poison and Wine," which first appeared on Grey's Anatomy two years ago, has become one of the duo's signature songs.

Hear The Entire Session

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  • "Poison and Wine"
  • Album: Barton Hollow
  • Artist: The Civil Wars
  • Released: 2011
 
The Head And The Heart performs at the 2011 Sasquatch Music Festival.

The Head And The Heart, "Down In The Valley"

Working in the same acoustic territory as its labelmates in Fleet Foxes, Seattle's The Head and the Heart fully arrived this year, with classic songwriting built on solid arrangements and wonderful harmonies.

Hear The Entire Session

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Purchase Featured Music

  • "Down in the Valley"
  • Album: The Head And The Heart
  • Artist: The Head And The Heart
  • Released: 2011
 
The Joy Formidable's first full-length album, The Big Roar, will be released in the U.S. on March 15.

The Joy Formidable, "Whirring"

The trio from North Wales, known for its fiery live shows, brought two acoustic guitars into the studio for its World Café performance. Grab this acoustic version of "Whirring," which in its original form was one of NPR Music's 100 favorite songs of 2011.

Hear The Entire Session

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Purchase Featured Music

  • "Whirring"
  • Album: The Big Roar
  • Artist: The Joy Formidable
  • Released: 2011
 
Diego Garcia.

Diego Garcia, "Nothing To Hide"

Garcia first rose to prominence in the New York indie-rock scene as leader of the moody post-punk group Elefant. As a charismatic solo artist, he made his debut this year with a gorgeous collection of dreamy pop songs inspired by Scott Walker and Serge Gainsbourg.

Hear The Entire Session

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Purchase Featured Music

  • "Nothing to Hide"
  • Album: Laura
  • Artist: Diego Garcia
  • Released: 2011
 
Middle Brother's Matt Vasquez shreds at Auditorium Shores in Austin, Texas.

Middle Brother, "Thanks For Nothing"

John J. McCauley III of Deer Tick, Taylor Goldsmith of Dawes and Matt Vasquez of Delta Spirit got together to tour and produce a record as Middle Brother. The result combines the best elements of all three bands: the rock, the roots and the fun.

Hear The Entire Session

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Purchase Featured Music

  • "Thanks for Nothing"
  • Album: Middle Brother
  • Artist: Middle Brother
  • Released: 2011
 

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